LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Godzilla” has smashed its way to the top of the box office.
The 3-D monster movie from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures had the second-largest debut of the year this weekend with $93.2 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Godzilla” trails Disney-Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which opened with $95 million in April, and sits just above “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” which debuted with $91.6 million this month.
Paying homage to the 60-year-old franchise in tone and spectacle, the latest iteration continues the legend of 1954 Japanese original — Ishiro Honda’s “Gojira.” Reviews of the film were positive — it earned a “fresh” rating from review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com, with 72 percent of film critics responding positively.
Legendary Pictures President Jon Jashni said the film did better than expected partly because it was “starting to get sampled even by those who didn’t think it would necessarily be for them. They didn’t have nostalgic feelings for it.” He said friends or family members likely recommended the movie to those viewers.
Jashni added that the success of “Godzilla” is “validating” after last year’s “Pacific Rim” and “Jack the Giant Slayer” performed below expectations for the Warner-Legendary team.
The film, directed by Gareth Edwards, also helped eliminate the bad memory of another of the franchise’s remakes, Roland Emmerich’s “Godzilla,” released in 1998 and starring Matthew Broderick. Backed by Sony, the film opened with $44 million.
Two other reboots — “Godzilla 1985” and “Godzilla 2000” — also flopped.
May is prime real estate for studios looking to launch or advance franchises. The top two opening weekends of all time in North America occurred in May — “The Avengers” opened with $207.4 million in 2012 and “Iron Man 3” debuted with $174.1 million in 2013.
“Godzilla,” starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, marks the largest May opening ever for Warner.
It’s also the year’s biggest opening for Imax globally. It generated $103 million and 14.35 million admissions from 16,946 screens in 64 markets outside the U.S. and Canada.
“Godzilla” knocked last weekend’s No. 1 hit, Universal Pictures “Neighbors,” down to No. 2 in its second weekend.
The raunchy Seth Rogen and Zac Efron-led comedy earned $26 million, bringing its domestic total to $91.5 million.
Rounding out the top three was “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” with $17 million. So far it’s earned a total of $172 million domestically.
Also opening this weekend was Disney’s feel-good sports drama “Million Dollar Arm,” starring Jon Hamm, which landed at No. 4 with $11 million.
“The summer is about having a diverse lineup, and this film will have legs,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak. “If superheroes and monsters aren’t your pleasure, you can go see a more character-driven sports movie.”
In its fourth weekend, Fox’s femme-fueled comedy “The Other Woman,” starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, gained $6.3 million, bringing its domestic total to $72 million.
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(Photo Source: AP)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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