Movie Monday: Godzilla, King of the Box Office

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For a radioactive lizard who’s now technically eligible for retirement, Godzilla still knows how to get his stomp on. It’s been 65 years since Gojira (as he’s known in Japan) first tore through Tokyo. Thirty-five films later, moviegoers still pony up to see him square off against his always-angry kaiju nemeses.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters reigned at the box office this weekend, gobbling up an estimated $49 million domestically (and another $130 million overseas). And while that’s enough green to get this geriatric dinosaur some much-needed chiropractic help after going head to head against his hydra-like foe Ghidorah (three toothy heads, zero arms—no wonder he’s so mad), Godzilla didn’t demolish the competition quite as convincingly as expected.

Chalk that up to the strong hold of another outsized protagonist, Will Smith’s blue-tinged (and sometimes similarly gigantic) genie in Aladdin. Disney’s live-action remake of this 1992 classic conjured up another $42.3 million in its second frame. The film has shaken off not-so-great reviews (it stands at a tepid 56% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) to overperform at the multiplexes.

Blasting off to No. 3 was the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Despite its R-rating for an explicitly unfiltered look at the British pop icon’s life, the film took in an estimated $25 million. It earned rave reviews from mainstream critics, in contrast to a much more cautionary one from Plugged In.

The No. 4 slot belonged to another newcomer, Ma. This R-rated horror-thriller stars Octavia Spencer as a “kindly” older woman who lets high schoolers drink in her basement … before doing some really bad things to them.

Rounding out the top five is yet another flick with that restrictive rating, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Plugged In reviewer Paul Asay said of the hyperviolent Keanu Reeves series, “The John Wick movies aren’t so much stories as they are ballets of blood. And in this chapter—obviously the third installment in the John Wick franchise—the fanbase gets exactly what it wants.”

That’ll close out our box-office report for this week. Tune in next week to see how the latest X-Men movie (Dark Phoenix) does against an animated animals sequel (The Secret Life of Pets 2).

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Anonymous 11 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Oof. 2019 has so far not been a great year for Warner Brothers. The LEGO Movie 2 bombed in February, and now the monster verse is starting to show cracks. And while I loved Kong: Skull Island and am looking forward to Godzilla vs Kong, I’m honestly not interested at all in seeing this new Godzilla movie. Judging by the trailers, the film seems to be taking itself too seriously, almost as if it’s trying to be an awards contender. That just doesn’t work for Godzilla. I liked the pitch that the trailers for Kong did. I wasn’t interested in another Kong movie at first, but once the trailers sold the film as “Jurassic Park but with a giant gorilla instead of a t-rex”, I was sold. Not so much with King of the Monsters.

Oh well. At least we’re only 5/12’s through the year.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I have seen the very first King Kong. It was really strange. The special effects for the time were good, but I did not enjoy it in the slightest. Of course, later Kongs might have been better, but I think I might just dislike the monster genre. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 11 months ago
Aladdin was a shockingly great movie, but nothing else right now interests me in the least except for maybe All Is True since I'm a huge Shakespeare fan and have read his complete body of work including the vast majority of his apocryphal plays. Unfortunately All Is True doesn't seem to be playing in Bakersfield, so looks like I'm out of luck.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I love Shakespeare too. My favorite play is As You Like It, but I love the Agincourt speech in Henry V. I also like the witchs' cauldron song in Macbeth. (The Scottish Play. Never say it in a theater.)  Not too pumped about All is True though.
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 11 months ago

I've really only been into Shakespeare the last couple of years, but now I'm officially hooked line and sinker, lol. Like just about everyone else I think I was forced to read Romeo & Juliet in my Freshman English class in high school  and thought it was great but figured I didn't need to delve any deeper into his stuff than that. But then for some reason around 2015 or so I decided to try out some more of his plays, and slowly but surely I became a big fan of most of them.


Then last year from my local library I bought a Complete Works by him with 37 plays, all his sonnets, and 6 of his short and long poems in it, and in a matter of months I had devoured each and every one of them, even buying myself a copy of The Two Noble Kinsmen by itself since my book included Pericles but not that one. And then from my library I read various other books about him, including a volume of all of his apocryphal stuff that may or may not have been written by him. Heck, I even started watching his movies on tv when I notice they're on. So I can definitely say I'm bummed about All Is True not playing in Bakersfield anywhere around here, but hopefully I'll be able to rent it one day at least.


And by the way my favorite Shakespeare plays are definitely Hamlet and Macbeth, but I also think Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, Titus Andronicus, Timon of Athens, and just about all the Henry plays are absolutely stunning as well. My favorite plays are definitely his Tragedies and Histories, but his Comedies are no slouch either with Loves Labors Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It being my favorite of those.


Anonymous 11 months ago
Shakespeare loving Anonymous: Wow. You are a real fan. Compared to you I have nothing more to say on that. 
-Emma Bibliophile
Anonymous 11 months ago
I literally don't care about a single one of these movies except possibly Aladdin. 
By the way, isn't it interesting that so many movies are coming out that are about various music legends? For instance, 
1 I Can Only Imagine (Bart Millard)
2 Bohemian Rapsody (Freddy Mercury)
3 And now, Rocketman (Elton John) 
 Now they will be making a movie about Christian singer Jeremy Camp, apparently entitled I Still Believe, after a song of his. 
 I sense a trend. 
-Emma Bibliophile 
Karl The Klown 11 months ago
I really look forward to seeing this Godzilla. I was a big fan of the old films growing up, so I hope this lives up to the hype. Also hope that it's highly nostalgic.

Wolverine is gone, so couldn't care less about X-Men. Besides for possibly The New Mutants  
Anonymous 11 months ago
Wasn't Hugh Jackman Wolverine? I haven't seen X-Men, so I only know him from Greatest Showman and Oklahoma, but I learned that he played that role and that he was done playing it. Weird to think of him not singing. Somehow, I can't picture Wolverine singing.
-Emma Bibliophile
Natalie L 11 months ago
Wolverine is kind of Jackman's iconic role. I saw him in the Greatest Showman before I watched the X-Men films, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Then of course, his acting blew my mind, and now I picture him as the Wolverine. ;) With a microphone, naturally. XD
Anonymous 11 months ago
Like I said,  I think before he was Wolverine  he played Curly in Oklahoma. He was really young looking in it.
Anonymous 11 months ago
We need to have Danny DeVito play Wolverine in the MCU. The world demands it!

-Evan
Big Mike 11 months ago
just the thought of Danny Devito in tights scares me 
Anonymous 11 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I’d rather have Tom Hardy play Wolverine to be honest. If not him, then Henry Cavill.
Big Mike 11 months ago
Nick Offerman as the wolverine!!!