• Industry

World Box Office May 12-18

Godzilla roared to a monster release as Warner Brothers’ first big summer offering scored a massive $93 million debut weekend in North America. This tally makes it the second biggest opener of 2014, nestled comfortably between Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million). Audiences were 58% male, as was expected for a testosterone-fueled romp about nuclear bomb eating monsters, and 60% were over the age of 25. Overseas figures were equally impressive with the Gareth Edwards picture, starring Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Aaron-Taylor Johnston, Ken Watanabe and a 350-foot tall fire-breathing dragon, raking in a staggering $103 million from 64 markets for a global cumulative debut of $196.2 million. Sales received a sizable boost as fan-boys flocked to Imax screens, generating $22 million dollars for the second best large-format May opening of all time after Iron Man 3. Number one debuts in the UK ($10.4 million) Russia ($9.1 million) Mexico ($8.9 million) France ($6.5 million) Italy ($3.6 million) and Australia ($6.1 million,) where it enjoyed the most successful debut of 2014, contributed to Godzilla’s international success. With China still to feel the force of the great and terrible lizard when it opens there on June 13, global numbers will certainly continue to impress.
While audiences were certainly captivated by the idea of an unfathomably powerful monster emerging not as harbinger of doom but as humanity’s savior, a more relatable hero held sway over hearts and minds (and wallets) as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 added another $31.5 million from its overseas markets and $16.8 million for a third place finish at home. Now in its fifth weekend, the Sony and Marvel Studios picture did well to put up these numbers even in the face of a deafening assault by Warner’s Godzilla. Its international tally now stands at $461 million. Domestically the high-flying sequel made $16.8 million for the week, taking its home-market total to $172.1 million. With a global cumulative of $633.1 million it remains to be seen if will equal the original reboot’s $752.2 million benchmark. Superheroes and mindboggling explosions certainly seem to be the golden ticket but college-focused comedy Neighbors showed that films sharing a certain basis with reality haven’t totally lost their appeal. The Point Grey Pictures (read Seth Rogen and long-time collaborator Evan Goldberg) and Good Universe production came in second at home with an estimated $26 million. Stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron couldn’t save the comedy from this weekend’s marauding champion as it dropped 47% percent compared to last frame. While this rate of decline is fairly high for a comedy, its $150 million global cumulative, built largely on the foundation of a greatly overreaching $51 million domestic debut, means that the film is still in excellent shape.
This frame’s other new release, Million Dollar Arm, opened to $10.5 million at home in 4th place. It tells the true story of a sports agent (Jon Hamm) who holds a reality show in India in order to find major league-caliber pitchers among the nation’s talented cricket bowlers. Two candidates, Rinku Singh (Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh Patel (Madhur Mittal) are selected and the film follows their adventures in American professional baseball. International appeal is expected to be low for the picture, but Buena Vista execs are confident of decent returns in both India and Japan, where baseball is still the number one sport.
Number 5 belonged to The Other Woman. The estrogenic revenge comedy pulled in $6.3 million to reach a $71.7 million domestic total. Rio 2 spread its wings slightly wider this week. The well-received animated sequel added another $7.6 million internationally to reach an overseas total of $332.4 million, while The Grand Budapest Hotel continued it’s dogged march to $100 million overseas, reaching $97 million as of Sunday.
After it’s thoroughly laudable 63 day stay at the top, Spanish favorite Ochos Apellidos Vascosgave way to Godzilla and finished number two in its home country. With a national take of $73.4 million, it is the second biggest release ever in the Iberian nation after Avatar.
Get set for more fireworks next week as X-Men: Days of Future Past gears up for its domestic release and looks to take a chunk out of our current scaly overlord.
Lorenzo Soria