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

Warner Bros.‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters.’
  • Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” won the domestic weekend box office with an estimated $US49 million, knocking Disney’s “Aladdin” from the top spot.
  • However, it performed below expectations and was a softer opening than 2014’s “Godzilla” ($US93.1 million) and WB’s fellow “MonsterVerse” release “Kong: Skull Island” ($US61 million).
  • “King of the Monsters” also was part of a crowded new release slate this weekend, with “Rocketman” opening with a healthy $US25 million opening and the $US5 million-budgeted Blumhouse release “Ma” earning $US18.3 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 $US49 million. Disney’s live-action remake of its animated classic took in $US42.3 million in its second weekend (it now has a global total of $US446 million).

But WB was originally hoping for a little more from Godzilla, as its projected opening was between $US50 million and $US55 million. It also didn’t open as strong as 2014’s “Godzilla,” which brought in $US93.1 million, or the other big monster franchise WB has in its stable, 2017’s “Kong: Skull Island,” which had a $US61 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.

Read more: “Good Omens” author and showrunner Neil Gaiman explains why TV’s fantasy and sci-fi “gold rush” is just getting started

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 $US25 million, while “Ma” brought in $US18.3 million. The Blumhouse playbook was in full effect with “Ma,” as it’s a $US5 million-budgeted thriller fuelled 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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