Godzilla tramples rivals with summer season's first monster hit
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Monster movie remake "Godzilla" crushed its competitors at U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend, stomping its way to the top of box office charts with an estimated $93.2 million in ticket sales for the year's second-biggest debut.
The giant lizard trounced second-place finisher, adult comedy "Neighbors" which led sales a week ago and earned $26 million from Friday through Sunday, ahead of superhero sequel "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" with $16.8 million, according to estimates from tracking firm Rentrak.
"Godzilla" added $103 million in international markets where it opened on Wednesday for a global total of $195 million, said Warner Bros., which produced it along with Legendary Pictures.
The $160 million production is the latest Hollywood remake of the classic 1954 Japanese film about a mutant monster created when U.S. nuclear weapons testing goes awry.
"Godzilla" roared past industry forecasts which called for an opening of about $70 million. Its $93.2 million nipped at April's $95 million debut for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier".
"We have a franchise in the making, and we're looking at sequels as we speak," Fellman said.
"Those who thought a Godzilla movie might not necessarily be for them ... and that feeds on itself," he said.
"Godzilla" will face formidable competition next weekend from another big-budget action movie, mutant superhero sequel "X-Men: Days of Future Past".
"Neighbors" stars Seth Rogen as a former party guy who moves in next to a frat house and spars with its president, played by Zac Efron. After two weekends, total sales for the movie fromComcast Corp's Universal Pictures reached $92 million.
New Walt Disney Co movie "Million Dollar Arm" debuted in fourth with $10.5 million.
"Mad Men" star Jon Hamm plays a real-life sports agent who seeks to turn Indian cricket players into U.S. baseball stars in the $25 million film.
Comedy "The Other Woman" earned $6.3 million for fifth place. It stars Cameron Diaz, Kate Uptonand Leslie Mann as women who seek revenge on a cheating husband and was released by 20th Century Fox, a unit of Twenty-First Century Fox.