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Does Godzilla Mark the Rise of Foreign Films in Hollywood?

by Javier Albite

“Godzilla Minus One,” written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki. (Toho/TNS)

Godzilla Minus One is the newest movie in the Godzilla franchise, with the monster epic crushing box office records and expectations for a foreign film. This especially applies to its performance in the U.S., and after this year's unexpected financial breadwinners when it's come to Hollywood, Minus One has been among the many movies that've led to the conversation of the new direction America's cinema is heading toward.

2023 has been a strange year in general when looking at the box office results of the movies that have released to the big screen. With the Barbenheimer phenomenon, The Super Mario Bros. Movie being the first vide game movie to cross 1 billion, and the Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film shattering expectations, alongside the failures of high-profile summer blockbusters like The Flash, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Fast X just to name a few.

These results are making it more and more evident modern audiences have been craving something different rather than the usual superhero movies and legacy sequels.

Godzilla's Unexpected Triumph

While the film's success in Japan is more understandable as it was heavily marketed over there, Western moviegoers only had a single teaser trailer to go off of. Despite this, Godzilla still managed to make over $11 million in its opening weekend, not only beating out any other movie that weekend, but also gaining the highest grossing debut for a foreign film in the U.S.

More impressive however is that it made more than twice that amount the next weekend, unlike other films that drop significantly. Comscore's senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian attributed the film's success to "outside-of-the-box thinking or movies that have a unique point of view, or not trying to just replicate what was successful before”.

Audience Reactions

Obviously the movie couldn't attain all of this profit on its own, but how did it? Well, to put it simply, positive word-of-mouth. Throughout social media, there's been people singing the film's praises leading to other getting curious and watching it for themselves.

Here's what they've been saying:

Will Foreign Films Reign the Box Office?

An image from the movie “The Boy and the Heron.” (Studio Ghibli/TNS)

With Godzilla's huge opening in North America, U.S. theaters have decided to expand the movie's limited release to being shown with the industry standard of 2,300 screens across the nation, alongside Studio Ghibli's The Boy and the Heron.

Now, does this mean that we'll be seeing French indie films at the top of the box office? Probably not, but what it does is that audiences are willing to spend money on more risky projects that come around every now and then.

Did you watch Gozilla -1 or The Boy and the Heron?

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