There is perhaps no more appropriate movie to usher in the summer months than one in which a bunch of giant monsters fight each other. That is what we are getting with this weekend’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters from director Michael Dougherty. As befitting a movie with beasts of leviathanic proportions, the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla is looking to stomp its way into theaters in grand fashion with massive worldwide opening numbers.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters should reign supreme at the worldwide box office this weekend with an opening in the range of $230-$235 million according to Deadline. That’s a massive worldwide opening and one that would be a great start for a movie that may have had a production budget of $170 million before print and advertising.
Such an opening would give Godzilla: King of the Monsters the top spot at the worldwide box office, and the ability to say it’s the biggest movie in the world in TV spots, as well as besting Aladdin’s impressive $213.5 million opening from last weekend. An opening of $230-$235 million would also crush Legendary’s previous two MonsterVerse movies, Godzilla, which opened to $196 million and Kong: Skull Island, which opened to $146.1 million.
As far as how that $230-$235 million breaks down, domestically the tracking for King of the Monsters has the film landing between $50-$55 million. This is on the upper end of the long-range tracking from a couple months back that had the sequel opening between $40-$60 million.
However, there is an expectation that the Rotten Tomatoes score could have an effect on the domestic box office for Godzilla 2. Namely, if negative reviews continue to drag the film’s score on the Tomatometer down into the 20th percentile range, that could damper the enthusiasm of domestic audiences and thus hurt the film’s chances to enjoy that $50-$55 million debut.
Nevertheless, as anyone who follows the box office of films of this ilk could probably guess, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was always going to live and die overseas. On that front, the kaiju clash is expected to top the box office in 75 offshore markets for an international debut of $180 million. That would best the $140 million and $160 million international openings for Godzilla and Skull Island respectively.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ opening crucially includes China and where the movie ultimately lands on the weekend will depend a great deal on how it fares in the Middle Kingdom. A great debut there could possibly push Godzilla to $200 million international in its opening weekend. High anticipation and an international cast could work in its favor, with Godzilla 2’s Chinese debut estimated to be in the $75-$90 million range.
Also opening this weekend and hoping to counterprogram against Godzilla and friends is Rocketman. The Elton John musical from Dexter Fletcher is looking at a $25 million domestic bow and $45+ million worldwide. It obviously won’t take the crown from Godzilla, but it shouldn’t get drowned out either, as other would-be counterprogramming success stories have this year.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters hits theaters on May 31. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all of this summer’s biggest titles.