Godzilla: King of the Monsters now officially has the lowest opening weekend in the MonsterVerse franchise. The shared universe kicked off back in 2014 with Gareth Edwards' Godzilla movie and continued in 2017 with Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kong: Skull Island. Both of those films were financially successful, encouraging Warner Bros. and Legendary to further develop the series. The most recent installment, King of the Monsters, hit theaters this past weekend and Godzilla vs. Kong is set for a 2020 premiere.
While fans were excited for Godzilla 2 and all the epic monster battles the trailers promised, the film seemed to have an uphill climb at the multiplex. Hamstrung by polarizing reviews, analysts projected King of the Monsters to have the worst opening in the brief history of the MonsterVerse so far. Unfortunately, not only did that turn out true, the movie actually made less than what was initially estimated.
According to Box Office Mojo, Godzilla 2 earned $49 million domestically in its first three days. Heading into the weekend, the expectation was that it could make $56 million. The first Godzilla made $93.1 million in its debut, and Skull Island grossed $61 million, so King of the Monsters is a considerable step down from its predecessors. Worldwide, the film is at $179 million.
Obviously, this isn't a great start for Godzilla 2, which WB was banking on to be a big hit. The film cost up to $200 million to produce, making it the most expensive entry in the MonsterVerse thus far. It has a long way to go before hitting its break even point and then becoming profitable. As for what caused this weak turnout, word-of-mouth could be to blame, as critics didn't give the film glowing reactions. Many thought the action set pieces were worth the price of admission, but felt disappointed by the main plot and the human cast. Additionally, lucrative holdover Aladdin proved to be a major challenger to Godzilla, earning $42.3 million in its second weekend. Nobody thought Disney's live-action remake matched the pure magic of the animated original, but it was still seen as a fun family film with mass appeal.
Things probably won't get better for Godzilla 2 from here, seeing that it's already opened in a majority of territories around the globe. It's unlikely to have strong legs, since there are a number of tentpoles opening in June (like Dark Phoenix and Men in Black: International) that play to similar demographics and will take away business from Godzilla. King of the Monsters will need to be a considerable draw overseas in order to become the hit WB needs it to be. If it can't rebound and do well internationally, then the MonsterVerse may not have much of a shelf life left.
Source: Box Office Mojo
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019