AceShowbiz - "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" is the new ruler at North American box office. The Legendary Pictures monster movie bows at No. 1 on the chart despite its mediocre performance on its first weekend after its May 31 release.
The Michael Dougherty-directed movie, which serves as a sequel to 2014's "Godzilla", raked in an estimated $49 million over its first three days, below the industry predictions of $50M-$55M. The third installment in Legendary's MonsterVerse, it debuted well behind its predecessors, "Godzilla" ($93 million) and 2017's "Kong: Skull Island" ($61 million).
Like the previous two movies, "Godzilla 2" now relies on international audience. "The challenge and goal for us is to make sure the audience broadens out," says Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. head of domestic distribution. "The movie is dependent on broadening beyond just the fanbase."
The movie, which reportedly cost $170 million budget to make before promotion and advertising, has brought in $130 million from international market for a current worldwide total of $179 million. It doesn't help that the film received an approval rating of 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, though audiences gave it an average grade of B+ on CinemaScore.
Remaining optimistic, Goldstein adds, "The good news is kids are out of school starting today and people are on vacation, so you have audiences available seven days a week."
The number, however, is enough to push aside last week's champion "Aladdin" to No. 2, with additional $42.3 million. Disney's live-action remake of its animated classic of the same title has accumulated a total of $445.9 million from worldwide screenings despite mixed reviews from critics.
At No. 3 is another new release, "Rocketman", with an estimated $25 million. The Elton John biopic starring Taron Egerton as the titular character, was made on a relatively small budget of $40 million and doesn't need to reach the level of "Bohemian Rhapsody" $900 million haul to be considered a success.
Kyle Davies, Paramount's president of domestic distribution, explains their strategy to release the R-rated flick in the summer, "For us, the advantage of going in the summer was counterprogramming. It's an R-rated movie for adults. I think that will be our advantage." He adds, "In the summer, you need to be this event franchise that everyone knows about, and if you're not that, you better be good and original, and I think that's what 'Rocketman' is."
Universal and Blumhouse's "Ma" debuted at No. 4 with an approximately $18.3 million. It's a promising start for the psychological thriller starring Octavia Spencer, which was made on a $5 million production budget.
At No. 5 is another holdover, "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum", which added an estimated $11.1 million to its domestic haul for a current total of $125.8 million domestically and $221.6 million worldwide.
Top Ten Movies at Weekend Box Office for May 31-June 02: