Godzilla finished its opening weekend at the North American box office just $1.8m short of Captain America 2’s $95m year high but still exceeded studio expectations by a whopping $23m. Fan boy front-loading had boosted the giant lizard remake to the year’s highest Friday and the film sustained its strong performance after attracting the mainstream with a surprisingly high 60% of the audience coming from those over 25. Strong reviews – currently 72% positive on Rotten Tomatoes – and a healthy ‘B+’ CinemaScore from first night audiences would have helped propel word of mouth.
The film enjoyed a $14.1m boost from Imax screens and easily topped Captain America 2’s corresponding $9m tally. Unsurprisingly, it set a new high for the year.
Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros co-produced with a high $160m budget and Gareth Edwards was in the director’s chair for his second feature after the critical success of Monsters four years ago. The film’s early running total alone should make a sequel a dead cert and the producers are already moving into gear.
Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson head the cast.
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