Godzilla: King of the Monsters is projected to win the box office during its opening weekend, but it may end up with the lowest debut in the MonsterVerse franchise. Legendary's shared universe combines the famous characters Godzilla and King Kong, and has been pretty successful in the early going. 2014's Godzilla took home $529.1 million worldwide, while 2017's Kong: Skull Island made $566.7 million. Both performed modestly domestically, but their global totals encouraged WB to pursue further installments.
Before Godzilla and King Kong collide in Godzilla vs. Kong, the former gets to headline a solo sequel in King of the Monsters. The trailers have promised all the monster-on-monster action fans crave, teasing epic action sequences with several classic creatures from the franchise, including Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah. And though King of the Monsters looks to deliver classic summer movie spectacle, it may have some trouble scoring a sizable opening weekend.
Per Box Office Pro, Godzilla 2 is projected to earn approximately $56 million in the U.S. during its first three days. That, unfortunately for the studio, would be the lowest of the three MonsterVerse films to date. The 2014 Godzilla took home $93.1 million domestically in its debut, while Skull Island earned $61 million. With the franchise building to the ultimate clash of titans, diminishing returns is not ideal.
$56 million would challenge John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum for the fifth-highest opening weekend of the year, but if these estimates prove to be accurate, it would be troubling. Godzilla: King of the Monsters cost $200 million to produce, making it the most expensive of the MonsterVerse entries. Clearly, WB felt they had a massive hit on their hands, which is why they committed so much money to the project. If King of the Monsters does indeed earn about $40 million less than its predecessor in its debut, that raises some questions about the longterm viability of the MonsterVerse. It also doesn't help matters that reviews for the film are mixed, with critics praising the set pieces, but panning the actual story. Dealing with massive Memorial Day hit Aladdin may also hurt Godzilla's prospects.
The silver lining for King of the Monsters is that the domestic box office is not everything and it could get a boost from the international markets. This is what happened with Skull Island, which made $168 million total domestically, and yet turned a sizable profit because it grossed almost $400 million overseas. The 2014 Godzilla earned a majority of its money in foreign territories as well, posting healthy numbers in China (the world's second-biggest film market). Obviously, WB would like to make as much as they can Stateside, but Godzilla: King of the Monsters isn't in danger of being a commercial disappointment just yet.
Source: Box Office Pro
- Godzilla vs. Kong (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) release date: May 31, 2019