Godzilla roars to monstrous $196m global opening

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Gareth Edwards’s monster movie enjoys biggest box-office debut so far of 2014, with a sequel reportedly on the cards

Godzilla

Roaring success at the box office … Godzilla has made the biggest global debut so far of 2014. Photograph: AP/Warner Bros
Monster movie Godzilla has roared to a gargantuan $196m (£117m) opening across the globe, the biggest debut of 2014 so far.

In the US, Gareth Edwards’s retooling of the famous Japanese Kaiju tale came in second with $93.2m – superhero tale Captain America: The Winter Soldier retains the year’s best debut after hitting $95m in its first weekend last month. But a superior haul in the rest of the world pushed the Warner Bros release into top position globally, and the film has yet to open in the world’s second largest box office, China.

The UK managed the highest opening outside North America, with $10.4m.

The impressive totals mean a sequel for the British film-maker’s second film is now inevitable. Variety reports that Warner and production company Legendary Pictures will move forward with a follow-up.

Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn, Godzilla has arrived in multiplexes 16 years after Roland Emmerich’s first Hollywood take on the character failed to wow critics or filmgoers. The huge lizard first emerged from the oceans in Toho studio’s classic 1954 monster movie, which has spawned numerous sequels in the following decades.

Edwards’s version has faced its own fair share of naysayers, including the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw. The critic wrote: “Edwards supervises some colossal creature-feature effects, but the human beings are on fantastically dull form and the storyline is a muddled and supercilious affair”.

Elsewhere, the film has received fair to strong reviews, with a current rating of 72% “fresh” on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

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