May 17, 2014

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Godzilla” Stomps on Expectations


The moviegoer love affair with CG spectacles continues in full force, as GODZILLA (Warners/Legendary) appears, on the basis of preliminary numbers at Deadline and elsewhere, to be headed for a $36M Friday (including $9.3M from Thursday night).  If that number holds, it’ll be midway between the $35.2M opening day for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which had a $91.6M weekend), and the $36.9M for Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95M weekend), and should guarantee a $90M+ weekend unless word of mouth completely collapses (unlikely).  It would give Godzilla almost as much in a single day as the $37.2M last summer’s Pacific Rim earned in its entire opening weekend.  Since Godzilla is a cinch to be far more successful overseas than in the US, the strong domestic showing puts it on track to be an enormous worldwide hit.

The weekend’s other wide opening barely registered by comparison.  MILLION DOLLAR ARM (Disney) should stay in theatres for a while thanks to its older target audience, but with a $3.5M opening day, it won’t get much higher than $10M for the weekend.

Despite its monstrous competition, NEIGHBORS (Universal) held decently, down 55% from last Friday to around $9M.  That should stabilize to a 45-50% drop for the weekend to $25-27M, putting it on track for a possible $150M in the US.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 (Sony), not surprisingly, was hit hard by Godzilla‘s arrival, down 55% from last Friday and likely to have a $15-17M weekend.  At this point, it’s starting to look like Amazing 2 will barely top $200M in the US, down 20% from the first Amazing.

THE OTHER WOMAN (20th), HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (TriStar/Sony), RIO 2 (20th/Blue Sky) and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Disney/Marvel) continue to hold very strongly, down 20-30% from last Friday.  Last weekend’s arrivals LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN (Clarius) and MOMS’ NIGHT OUT (TriStar/Sony), however, are down 50% Friday-to-Friday.

In limited release, CHEF (Open Road), now expanded to 72 kitchens, is headed for an OK $10K weekend per-theatre average, and THE IMMIGRANT (Weinstein) is soft with a likely $14K weekend average at just 3 NY/LA theatres.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."