'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' wins the weekend box office but performs below expectations


Godzilla King of the Monsters Warner Bros

  • Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” won the domestic weekend box office with an estimated $49 million, knocking Disney’s “Aladdin” from the top spot.
  • However, it performed below expectations and was a softer opening than 2014’s “Godzilla” ($93.1 million) and WB’s fellow “MonsterVerse” release “Kong: Skull Island” ($61 million).
  • “King of the Monsters” also was part of a crowded new release slate this weekend, with “Rocketman” opening with a healthy $25 million opening and the $5 million-budgeted Blumhouse release “Ma” earning $18.3 million.
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Warner Bros. needed a giant monster to vanquish Disney.

Its “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” knocked off “Aladdin” from the top of the domestic box office over the weekend by bringing in an estimated $49 million. Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic took in $42.3 million in its second weekend (it now has a global total of $446 million).

But WB was originally hoping for a little more from Godzilla, as its projected opening was between $50 million and $55 million. It also didn’t open as strong as 2014’s “Godzilla,” which brought in $93.1 million, or the other big monster franchise WB has in its stable, 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island,” which had a $61 million opening.

The studio can only hope that fans of both Godzilla and King Kong will show up when they finally go face-to-face in “Godzilla vs. Kong” next year.

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Another obstacle facing “King of the Monsters” was that it was a very competitive weekend, as two other wide releases opened. Paramount had “Rocketman,” the Elton John biopic, and Universal had its latest release from Blumhouse, “Ma,” starring Octavia Spencer.

“Rocketman” took in a strong $25 million, while “Ma” brought in $18.3 million. The Blumhouse playbook was in full effect with “Ma,” as it’s a $5 million-budgeted thriller fueled from a modest Rotten Tomatoes score of 61% and the pedigree of the Blumhouse label. It resulted in the latest Blumhouse title that made a profit before its opening weekend even ended. “Rocketman” has more of a challenge than last year’s hit rock biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as that title opened in November while the Elton John movie is right in the summer season blockbuster fray. But word-of-mouth can hopefully keep that title in the top 10 of the domestic box office in the coming weeks.

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