Forbes Hates Godzilla: Predicts Biggest Bomb Of 2014!


From Forbes

I wrote a prediction story on SiliconANGLE about the flops of 2014 in Hollywood. I got lots of emails on one of the movies Godzilla. It seems many in the “crowd” think of all the predictions Gozilla will flop the most. After the mega ton flop known as John Carter imploded harder than any movie in recent memory in 2012, costing Disney a $200M write down, several supposed “blockbusters” faced a similar fate at the box office in 2013.

Following are our predictions and analysis for the Top Three biggest flops of 2014, in order of magnitude (net loss):

1)Godzilla. Hands down, Godzilla will be the biggest box office bomb of 2014. Godzilla as a character is box office poison. The fact is the last 3 Godzilla movies released domestically have flopped: “Godzilla 1985” made $4M; “Godzilla 2000” made a whopping $10M and the last attempt at a Hollywood-style big budget remake, also called “Godzilla” bombed so bad that its lead toy licensee went bankrupt. Had the movie made a profit the studio wouldn’t have just let the rights expire in 2003 without even attempting a reboot or sequel. They had 5 years to make a new film based on this property yet they passed. Think about it—Sony, the studio that greenlights sequels to most anything—Resident Evil 6 is on the horizon and don’t forget about Underworld 5—walked away from investing another cent in Godzilla.

Moreover, the last Godzilla movie produced was a decade ago—“Godzilla: Final Wars”—and that bombed so hard that the studio, Toho, Co. Ltd., put the entire franchise on ice. That movie cost $20M and made $12M in Japan and had the lowest admission numbers for a Godzilla movie in nearly 30 years. Following that bomb, the film’s director, Ryuhei Kitamura, has been cranking out budget rate horror slasher flicks ever since—choice fare like “Midnight Meat Train” and “No One Lives.”

Asides from Godzilla, the giant monster genre as a whole is anemic. “King Kong” flopped, despite having Peter Jackson at the helm; “Pacific Rim” bombed, despite having umpteen giant monsters battling on screen; Gamera the Brave, about a lumbering giant turtle monster, delivered weak numbers at the box office; and if you go to the outer edges of the giant monster genre, recent films like “Jack the Giant Slayer” bombed and “Walking with Dinosaurs” flopped as well.

The bottom line is if Peter Jackson couldn’t turn “King Kong” into a mega-size box office hit, the chances that an indie film director—Gareth Edwards—attempting to make a big budget giant monster action film like “Godzilla” a global, profitable hit are essentially non-existent.

The $160M Godzilla is also sandwiched between some of the summer’s sure-fire mega hits, with Sony’s the “Amazing Spider-Man 2” coming at it with strong tailwinds just two weeks before, and the double team of Adam Sandler’s latest summer comedy “Blended” and Fox’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” opening just one week later with strong headwinds pointing right at Godzilla. Godzilla will essentially be getting hit from all sides, and theater owners will be allocating more screens for “X-Men” and “Spider-Man” rather than take a chance on empty theaters screening “Godzilla.”

It’s also worth noting that the marketing to date for “Godzilla” has been rather weak (and nearly invisible). This appears to be continuing—and part of the plan—as Warner Bros. has elected not to feature a “Godzilla” trailer during the upcoming Super Bowl, while “Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “X-Men” are there in full force.

Considering that “Godzilla” is the last film that Warner Bros. is co-financing with former producing partner, Legendary Pictures, we believe that Godzilla’s box office results aren’t exactly WB’s top priority at this time. Especially considering that the studio is opening up an Adam Sandler summer comedy only one week after Godzilla’s release. It should also be noted that WB is only financing 25% of “Godzilla,” so its exposure is minimal. And since the two companies have effectively divorced, we don’t expect a “full court press” on the marketing front from WB, who is distributing worldwide except for Japan.

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