Rebuttal To Forbes' "Godzilla" Flop Prediction

by Armand Vaquer

Above, the Hibiya Godzilla statue. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

It may happen, and it may not.

John Furrier, a contributor to, predicts that the upcoming Legenday Pictures/Warner Bros. Godzilla will be a box office flop. He named it as number one of three big Hollywood productions that will be flops in 2014.

 On Godzilla, he wrote:
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.
Furrier neglects to factor the 1985 dollars and adjust them to inflation when it comes to Godzilla 1985. Plus, the studio who produced and distributed it paid relatively a paltry sum. So, $4 million in 1985 dollars was not that bad a return.

On Godzilla 2000, the movie was poorly marketed and many people thought it was a sequel to the 1998 Matthew Broderick disaster, which, by the way, deserved to flop. It didn't look like Godzilla or act like Godzilla. Additionally, he fails to mention that both Godzilla (1998) and Godzilla 2000 made money in the home video (VHS, DVD) market. (Godzilla 1985 is currently in limbo as far as home video rights are concerned.)

So far, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. seem to be doing everything right this time. Whether this translates to "more butts in seats" remains to be seen. The fan buzz on the movie has been very positive. That's another thing Furrier neglected to consider. Godzilla has a fan base (although not as big as the Star Wars or Star Trek fan bases) that will drum up more positive buzz should the movie meet their expectations. Good word-of-mouth is something that cannot be ignored.

To read the full article (Furrier does have more to say on Godzilla), go here.


  1. Also see my previous post:

  2. Well said, Armand. That Forbes piece really rubbed me the wrong way and was just idle speculation put about by someone clearly not in tune with the genre. The big problem with John Carter was the dreadful marketing by Disney, there seems to be no problem promoting Godzilla and it hasn't even really got started yet.

  3. The author also notes that Pacific Rim didn't make as much as predicted. Well that happened because it was a terrible movie. As was the case for Godzilla 98. If Godzilla is as good as advertised then it should be a hit.

    1. Pacific Rim may not have made as much as predicted,but it was still a moderate box office success and you forgot about its overseas earnings.Asian countries was where Pacific Rim really made a profit,especially in China,where it earned over 400 million.

  4. I think the real issue here is that Godzilla (2014)'s marketing campaign, as of now, is making all the same mistakes that Godzilla (1998) made. Let's just look at how the new marketing campaign is going, so far, shall we?
    1) They're keeping their monster hidden until the last possible moment (they only just recently revealed Godzilla on the cover of Empire, and he looks just like we always wanted him to look in a Hollywood movie).
    2) The trailers keep Godzilla either under shadows, in thick layers of smoke, or at an obscure angle to keep you from getting a good look at him.
    3) The (supposed) toys we've seen won't be released until around the time the movie comes out, but you can (again, supposedly) pre-order them.
    4) Even with the Snickers commercial alone, they're kind of overdoing it with the advertisement. It's like '98 Godzilla with the Doritos truck. remember THAT? When he bit the truck so he could eat the Spicy Nacho Doritos out of it? Yeah. It's basically like that, but instead of the truck, someone just throws a Snickers bar in his mouth, and suddenly, he's on water skis.
    5) They've managed to both over-advertise & undersell at the exact same time.
    Is it starting to come back to ya, now? Remember all those horrible marketing attempts? Like the Taco Bell dog luring Godzilla over to him? "HERE, lizard-lizard-lizard!" They've basically started doing the same thing to the NEW Godzilla by having him go water skiing, and eating a Snickers bar to calm down. Let's hope for both our sake AND Godzilla's that I'm just crazy for seeing the connection here. I'm just trying to fire the warning shot, here. I LOVE Godzilla, and I don't want us to ruin the franchise, again. I'm just saying. Also, as a side note, Godzilla isn't cinematic poison. Bad movies & shitty characters don't wind up being the first giant monster ANYTHING on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Everyone knows movie characters go to New York after they start losing business. Apparently, when your movies start to suck, you just send your monster over to New York, like what happened to Jason Voorhees & '98 Godzilla. We all know how well the BOTH of THOSE turned out. Let's all join hands and pray to the ghost of Raymond Burr's beard that the new American Godzilla actually comes through for us, this time. It's time we made a giant monster movie that's actually worth a damn without having to put the name "Kong" on the poster. King Kong was good, but I know we can repeat the success, if we actually TRIED, for once! Our generation's horror movies are bad enough as it is, so let's see if we can improve them, instead of just making things worse. #Godzilla #overtyping


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