Godzilla was widely expected to open #1 this weekend but it has not only done that but has blown expectations away with a hefty $38.53 million Friday which gives it the best opening day of any 2014 film thus far. If it manages to keep this pace up it could potentially challenge Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s huge opening weekend take of around $95 million.
Love him or hate him French “auteur” Luc Besson certainly remains relevant although one could easily make the argument that his heyday helming La Femme Nikita (1990), Leon: The Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997) now seem like a lifetime ago. He really hasn’t directed a true International hit since that period although he has kept himself more than busy writing and producing hit films most presciently being the Transporter trilogy as well as being the one responsible for turning Liam Neeson into an action superstar with the film Taken back in 2008.
We are just days away from Godzilla opening here in Canada/USA so those who don’t want to be spoiled should probably avoid this Extended International Featurette as it contains a ton of new footage as well as story elements. This is a pretty meaty 13 minute video containing cast and crew interviews along with footage from the film and though it is marketing material it certainly is better than most which are only superficially informative.
Hard-R rated comedy Neighbors is off to a very strong start as it has the potential to top $50 million in its opening weekend. The film’s marketing campaign has been stellar and the positive reviews from critics have only contributed to raise audience awareness. If it manages to rise above $50 million it will launch stronger than The Hangover ($45 million) and perhaps come close to what Ted ($54 million) managed to do a few years ago.
Proving that there is still some gas left in the franchise tank The Amazing Spider-Man 2 kicked off the 2014 Summer Movie season with a hefty gross in the $92 million range. While that sounds rather impressive the fact remains that this really is not as good as Sony was hoping for.
Early Weekend Box Office Estimates – Captain America #1, Rio #2, Heaven is for Real #3, Transcendence bombs hard at #4
Captain America: The Winter Soldier keeps raking in the cash with approximately $24.5 million while animated sequel Rio 2 keeps pace with about $22.5 million. The first big surprise is Heaven Is For Real which continues the recent trend of religious movie dominance as it seems to be headed for a hefty $19 million take.
With the atypical launch of Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter’s Soldier last week that successfully performed like a summer blockbuster, it shook up the domestic box office while at the same time validating the strategy to open huge films outside of traditional time frames. It wasn’t long ago that the summer movie season started on American Memorial Day weekend but it has slowly gotten earlier and earlier until it currently has settled on the first weekend of May.