OFFICIAL Japanese Box Office (as of 05/21/18): 105 Million Yen ($945,000 USD)
Originally I wasn't going to make a Box Office Watch thread for this movie like I did with the Shin Godzilla Box Office Watch thread and the Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters Box Office Watch thread. There just isn't a lot of data on the anime Godzilla sequel, but I've recently been asked to create one for Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle. Unfortunately, due to the lack of data, this will be an even shorter update than Planet of the Monsters.
The movie flopped. And hard. According to World of KJ, via Kogyotsushin, Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle opened at #8 the weekend of May 18th. It made roughly $945,000. That brings the estimated attendance to 51,760. The movie was not considered a major release and opened in only 1 theater more than the last movie: A total of 159 theaters.
The weekend of May 18th were the last official numbers updated by Kogyotsushin. Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle disappeared from the top 10 by week 2 and no further numbers were updated.
Until future sources give us an idea as to how the film finished, fans/analysts predict the film finished with an estimated $1.7-1.8 million which would be an estimated attendance of 93,100-98,500. I won't be including that in the official numbers above since much of that data is relying on guesswork and comparisons to the prior anime film.
Shin Godzilla's #1 debut in 2016 premiered in 448 theaters with $8.2 million for the three day weekend ($6.1 for Saturday and Sunday) and 412,302 in admissions. It finished with $79.2 million and an attendance of 5.69 million. It was the #1 highest grossing live action Japanese film in three years - The #2 2016 release in Japan and #3 overall. (Your Name. and The Force Awakens [spilling over from 2015] beat it out.) It is the 5th most attended Godzilla film in Japan and will continue to find success as it racks up accolades during the award season.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters debuted #3 at the box office last year in 158 theaters. It opened with $1.3 million and 71,205 in attendance. It finished with an estimated $3.1 million and an estimated attendance of 169,000. It was the lowest attended Godzilla film in the entire series, until the sequel debuted this past May.
It's important to remember that these anime films were initially envisioned as a television series and Toho has heavily advertised the Netflix release. The thought process appears to be that, while Toho has likely made up all of its money for these films through the Netflix deal, the theatrical release is merely to shake some extra change loose from the branches--After all, had it been a TV series the project wouldn't be in theaters.
So while this seems dire (and the second movie really did bomb) the theatrical releases seem to be more of an afterthought, especially since they're putting them in much few theaters than Shin Godzilla.
Japan's attendance numbers for the Godzilla series:
Comparisons with other recent giant monster/kaiju films:
Well I will would see this as nothing much as a surprise. Knowing it will be on Netflix and soon after it’s released in theaters why would anyone want to spend money to see it. I don’t think this is bad news at all.
^Again, context is key. It's bad that interest in seeing it theatrically is so low that it bombed, but advertising that it will be available on Netflix soon after doesn't exactly add incentive.
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