The new “Godzilla” movie was a huge success with its release, both commercially and critically. The movie brought in $93.1 million domestically and $103 million internationally in its opening weekend, the highest total so far for the international number. It also received a nice CinemaScore, which bodes well for the movie’s chance at longevity on the box office charts. This also means good things for the franchise, as fans received the news that there is a “Godzilla” sequel coming down the pipeline.
This is actually the first time that Hollywood has been able to achieve both commercial and critical success with the Japanese created monster movie franchise. With the new movie doing so well, here is a look at the highs and lows of the “Godzilla” franchise.
The biggest problem with making Godzilla movies is that the entire franchise started off with the best movie of them all, “Gojira.” This was also the first attempt at Hollywood to capitalize by taking the movie, adding some American actors, and actually putting out a lesser movie as the result. The original “Gojira” was Japan’s answer to the devastation caused when over 100,000 Japanese people died in the bombings that ended World War II. Godzilla was a metaphor of a destructive force tearing through their country. For America, it was a big monster movie. For Japan, it was a way to cope with very real horror.
“Destroy All Monsters”
Soon, Godzilla became a hero, fighting other monsters to save Japan. It was a strange turnaround for the creature, but breathed new life into the franchise. Instead of Japan just trying to stop Godzilla over and over again, Godzilla began to fight King Ghidorah, Mothra and more. In 1968, when it seemed like there were no more monsters for Godzilla to face, Toho went all out and brought back them all in “Destroy All Monsters.” Aliens brought the monsters, including Godzilla, to attack various cities on earth. Luckily, Japan is able to save the world by breaking off the mind control of the aliens, but then the aliens bring back King Ghidorah, and all the monsters team up to battle him. It was the ultimate monster mash.
After Hollywood seemed to lessen the greatness of the first Godzilla movie with their touch, they remained content to let Japan continue to put out their versions of the movies. However, in 1998, Hollywood struck back and brought in disaster maestro Roland Emmerich to have Godzilla attack America. Sadly, “Godzilla” was a critical bomb. Complaints range from Godzilla looking like a snub-nosed iguana to the military destroying more of New York than Godzilla. Emmerich did what he does best – he destroyed things – but this movie lacked every nuance that made Godzilla great.