Going into Warner Bros' Comic-Con panel there were quite a few known quantities – among them Man of Steel and The Hobbit – and a few surprises like Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis bickering. However, the biggest surprise came in the form of Godzilla. While rumors had suggested the reboot of the Japanese monster franchise might make an appearance, it wasn't until a teaser trailer was unveiled in Hall H that things got real.
Today Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment announced the Godzilla release date, which will be May 16, 2014. Beyond being a prime summer slot, the date is perfect, timing-wise, since the film will release before an onslaught of highly-anticipated sequels and superhero movies, such as X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy.
It's not a completely empty weekend of competition, however. Godzilla will be releasing against Ninja Turtles, but based on the way things have been going with Michael Bay's TMNT reboot, we wouldn't be surprised if it changed dates.
Godzilla's long-term competition will come in the form of Sony's Amazing Spider-Man 2 - which has snagged Marvel's coveted first weekend of the summer release date - and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on the 23rd. In all reality, though, Spider-Man's box office should have tapered off by May 16th, and if Godzilla receives the same kind of critical buzz that Rise of the Planet of the Apes did, it could conceivably smash right past Dawn and into Memorial Day weekend.
Just to ensure that Godzilla leaves a substantial footprint on the summer box office, Warners has also announced the film will be releasing in 3D. However, there is no word on if the film will be shot in 3D or if it will be post-converted.
At the Comic-Con panel Gareth Edwards spoke extensively about grounding his Godzilla movie in reality - something that 3D arguably works against. But if Warner Bros. can get (read: force) Guillermo Del Toro to accommodate the format for Pacific Rim (albeit through post-conversion), we imagine Edwards didn't have a choice in the matter.
Based on current developments, it appears that Warner Bros. – in a post-Christopher Nolan Batman world – is looking to ensure most of its summer tent poles (with a 3D option). Fan response to the decision to post-convert Pacific Rim was decidedly negative, but if it means a little extra revenue it appears the studio is willing to take on a little backlash. Hopefully, since Edwards knows his film is going to be 3D prior to production, he can plan out shots and sequences that benefit from the added visual effect.
Godzilla will be out in theaters on May 16, 2014.