Monday Morning Quarterback, Part I
By BOP Staff
May 20, 2014
Edwin Davies: Hollywood took a second swing at making an American Godzilla work this weekend and the results were pretty spectacular. Gareth Edward's version opened to $93.2 million, the second biggest opening of the year so far, and is off to a solid start overseas. How do you feel about this result? Were you as surprised by it as seemingly everyone else (including, based on their estimates, Warner Bros.) has been?
Bruce Hall: Go, go Godzilla!
Sorry...I had to, because you can put me in the "thoroughly surprised" column. Even as more or less a fan of the franchise I wasn't willing to give this more than low sixties, maybe $70 million TOPS. Kaiju films have always been a niche product in the United States, and attempts to "Americanize" them have met with mostly disappointing results. This time, audiences have responded. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on the quality of the already announced sequel. Either way, you can go ahead and put Godzilla down as one of the year's biggest success stories.
Matthew Huntley: Surprised, you ask? Not at all, actually, because the teaser and extended trailer for Godzilla were some of the best I've seen in recent memory. Each revealed just enough to build up fan excitement and anticipation and paid off splendidly. Because I see so many trailers at the movies (like all of us do), I feel I've become de-sensitized to how much they can affect me, but Godzilla's did just the opposite and I'm guessing it wasn't just me.
And speaking of revealing "just enough," that's actually how Gareth Edwards handles a lot of the storytelling in Godzilla. I must say, I was blown away by it. Visually and viscerally, this is one of the best and craftiest movies I've seen in recent memory, and the story isn't completely mindless, either. I'm writing a review as we speak, but I walked away from this one in utter awe. My faith in the summer blockbuster has been restored. I know that sounds cheesy, but that's truly how I felt. Anyone else have a similar reaction?
Felix Quinonez: I am very surprised. Even though I thought the trailers looked great and it got some good reviews, I just assumed there would be a ceiling for a Godzilla movie that would prevent it from reaching $70 million. But even if it opened with about $60 million I would have called it a big success. So the fact that it beat its forecast by about $30 million means they hit it out of the park with this one and if it holds well, I believe it could wind up as one of the year's biggest box office stories.