Lost amid the hype for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, Legendary Pictures and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) have Godzilla roaring his way into theaters on May 16. Can the "King of All Monsters" deliver?
Host Ellen Bowman puts this question to analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Tim says that initial reaction to Godzilla appears to be positive. The movie's style also seems to recall the slow and terrifying reveal of director Gareth Edwards' Monsters, an independent movie that vastly out-earned its modest budget. Vulture quotes Edwards as saying he was also influenced by Jurassic Park, which holds off showing the biggest dinosaurs till more than an hour into the movie.
How that will play with audiences is impossible to know at this point. But initial tracking says we can expect a $60 million debut and $500 million to $600 million in worldwide grosses by the time the movie ends its run in theaters. An impressive -- and likely profitable -- performance if those numbers hold, Tim says.
Nathan says that Warner investors shouldn't expect a massive hit. Last summer's giant monsters vs. giant robots epic, Pacific Rim, had trouble appealing to American audiences. Foreign moviegoers helped push the movie's overall tally to better than $400 million in grosses, yet that probably wasn't enough to produce profits after accounting for marketing, distribution, and revenue sharing with theater operators.
The good news? Legendary CEO Thomas Tull has said that any sequel would likely stay with Warner, which opens the possibility of a genre-building series wherein the worlds of Godzilla and Pacific Rim combine into a glorious panoply of giant monsters and giant robots facing off in theaters regularly.
Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. What do you expect from Godzilla? Can it win at the box office despite heavy competition from Marvel superheroes? Click the video to watch as Ellen puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!
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