Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters debuted at #3 in Japanese theaters this past weekend raking in a total of $1.3 million since it bowed on Friday. (Roughly $918,000 for Saturday and Sunday). The film sold 71,205 tickets.
That's a much smaller number than Shin Godzilla's #1 debut last year, premiering with $8.2 million for the three day weekend ($6.1 for Saturday and Sunday) and 412,302 in admissions. Part of the issue is that Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is not being released as a major blockbuster like Shin Godzilla. Toho only released Planet of the Monsters to 158 theaters--Less than half of Shin Godzilla's 448. (450 is generally as wide as any domestic release has in Japan.)
Fans and analysts speculate that the Planet of the Monsters' theatrical release may have been a late decision. Toho demanded the project be updated from a television series to a feature after Shin Godzilla's success. This likely led to a decision to release the film in theaters in addition to Netflix. It appears the eventual Netflix release is the main priority with the theatrical release being something of a preview or quick cash grab.
The film was beaten by IT (#1) in it's 3rd week and Shochiku's big action franchise film, High & Low 3: The Final Mission (#2) in its 2nd week.
The bottom line is Planet of the Monsters is not a blockbuster, but nor was it intended to be based on theater numbers. Still, most seem to sum up the opening as fairly lackluster. To continue following the film's box office progress, make sure you check the forum topic every week.
Below is a chart of Godzilla opening numbers since 1991:
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
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