'Godzilla' to stomp all over box office, 'Million Dollar Arm' with Jon Hamm hopes to be competitive

By Daniel S Levine,

Hollywood is launching two very different films this weekend. Audiences can check out the return of the iconic Godzilla monster, or a feel good story with Jon Hamm in Disney’s Million Dollar Arm. The two films are hoping for good debuts, among strong holdovers Neighbors and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Godzilla, produced by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures for $160 million, was directed by Gareth Edwards and is the second attempt by Hollywood to create its own series based on the Japanese monster. In 1998, Sony tried it, but Roland Emmerich’s movie was a spectacular disaster, making $380 million worldwide and earning awful reviews. Warner Bros. is hoping for a better result.

Variety reports that the film is tracking for around $70 million. That would easily beat the 1998 movie’s $44 million launch and would get it close to the best monster movie debut of all time. That record is held by the Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World, which started with $72 million in 1997.

Godzilla is opening at 4,000 locations and will have to deal with X-Men: Days of Future Past next weekend.

Neighbors soared last weekend and is expected to do the same this weekend. If the film falls 35-40 percent, it could score a $30 million second weekend, notes Entertainment Weekly. Spider-Man 2 could also hang around $16 million.

Million Dollar Arm is a feel good, true story about two cricket players an American sports agent (Hamm) hopes will become baseball pitchers. The Disney movie is getting decent enough reviews and is opening at 3,019 theaters. Box Office Mojo is predicting a $14 million opening.



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