Theatrical release question?

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gatorzilla
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Theatrical release question?

Postby gatorzilla » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:52 pm

I was looking on box office mojo to see how Godzilla compared to the other franchises financially wise (actually not bad at all) and I notice that BO Mojo only lists 4 Godzilla movies ('98, 2000, '85 and '54) as money makers domestically while World Wide only has lists GINO and G2000. I thought most of the movies had theatrical releases here in America or internationally? Or was it just those select few that had wide releases?


Also fun fact- if the LP Godzilla were to gross atleast a little over 600 million than worldwide Godzilla would be a billion dollar franchise.

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tamura » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:31 pm

If you look through back issues of Boxoffice, you'll find box office data for a good deal of Godzilla movies in the "Boxoffice Barometer" section.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tohosaurus » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:33 pm

Someone correct me if I'm wrong here:

Everything in the Showa series had a full or relatively full theatrical release up until Godzilla vs Gigan. From Godzilla vs Gigan through Terror of Mechagodzilla everything had a limited release with the exception of Godzilla vs Megalon, which never had a theatrical release at all. Godzilla 1985 was the only Heisei film released theatrically and Godzilla 2000 was the only Millennium film to be released theatrically.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tamura » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:36 pm

^ GODZILLA VS. MEGALON did have a theatrical release in the US, and a very successful one at that. I have a trade ad from The Hollywood Reporter boasting the film's large box office earnings (over $300,000) in its first couple of days in Texas and Louisiana alone. The film was given one of, if not, the largest publicity campaign of any Godzilla US release.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby gatorzilla » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:07 am

My question is though why does BO Mojo not list all the movies that had theatrical releases and only those ones?
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Terasawa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:23 am

Tohosaurus wrote:Someone correct me if I'm wrong here:

Everything in the Showa series had a full or relatively full theatrical release up until Godzilla vs Gigan. From Godzilla vs Gigan through Terror of Mechagodzilla everything had a limited release with the exception of Godzilla vs Megalon, which never had a theatrical release at all. Godzilla 1985 was the only Heisei film released theatrically and Godzilla 2000 was the only Millennium film to be released theatrically.


GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER and SON OF GODZILLA both went directly to TV in the late 60s, but all the others were picked up for theatrical distribution.

US distributors kind of gave up on these movies in the early 70s. It wasn't until 1976 when GODZILLA VS. MEGALON was released by Cinema Shares that Godzilla returned to the big screen in the US. MEGALON was a big hit for what it was, so Cinema Shares snatched up and released GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (first as BIONIC MONSTER but then later as COSMIC MONSTER) and GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (as GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND). I think both of these were much smaller releases than MEGALON, but they definitely played nationwide.

In 1978, Henry Saperstein of UPA picked up the rights to TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA and sold the theatrical rights to Bob Conn Enterprises. Bob Conn cut the movie to shreds, renamed it THE TERROR OF GODZILLA, and released it in a small, roadshow-style release (this is the version that was released on video and DVD before the Classic Media DVD). UPA, meanwhile, released the nearly-uncut film (with that strange prologue) to television around the same time. As far as I know, this version only played on TV.

The original Godzilla had two theatrical releases, by the way: once in 1956 as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! (the version with Raymond Burr) and then again in 2004 by Rialto Pictures (as GODZILLA; this was the original Japanese version, and it was a limited release.) The info for GODZILLA ('54) on Box Office Mojo is for the Rialto re-release.

You're right about G85 and G2K. The other films in the Heisei and Millennium series went straight to video or TV (GXM and GMK).

gatorzilla wrote:My question is though why does BO Mojo not list all the movies that had theatrical releases and only those ones?


Maybe because most of these movies were released a long time ago, many by companies that haven't existed for several decades. It's possible that the box office records for some of the movies have been lost to time. Even companies that are still around, such as Universal, don't have box office numbers for all their old movies on the site. If you search 'Frankenstein,' you'll get a bunch of results for the films Universal made in the 30s and 40s, but none of them have information besides their release dates.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tohosaurus » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:31 pm

Thanks for the correction(s) guys!

The original Godzilla had two theatrical releases, by the way: once in 1956 as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! (the version with Raymond Burr) and then again in 2004 by Rialto Pictures (as GODZILLA; this was the original Japanese version, and it was a limited release.) The info for GODZILLA ('54) on Box Office Mojo is for the Rialto re-release.

I thought there was a limited release of G54 prior to the American GKotM cut?
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tamura » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:55 pm

^ There was one, but it was limited to Japanese-American theaters.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby kpa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:54 pm

-Toho screened the Japanese version of GODZILLA in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo in 1955. I don't know if it was shown anywhere else in the US at that time.

-One important detail to understand is that movies-- even the major Hollywood films-- generally weren't released nationwide back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Rather, they would open in a few key markets (usually New York and LA; sometimes other cities like Chicago or Boston) and then gradually move on to other cities and states. So some of the smaller markets may get a movie months (or a year or more) after it played NYC, or they may not ever get the film at all... particularly if the movie was handled by one of the smaller distributors like Cinema Shares or Bob Conn. The tremendous box office generated by JAWS and STAR WARS convinced the studios to transition to the "open everywhere on the same day" system they use now, but it was a much different world when most of the Godzilla movies were theatrically released. The way Rialto did the 50th anniversary release of GODZILLA would be similar to how many of the other Godzilla films were distributed years again.

-MEGAGUIRUS and GMK had an oddly unique style of US release. Toho had subbed theatrical prints of both films which were shown at a few theaters in America. Then Sony picked up TV. home video and theatrical rights for the movies, and around the time the dubbed versions were shown on TV the subbed prints were offered for theatrical bookings by Sony Repertory (DVDs followed a few months later). The movies certainly didn't get a wide theatrical run, but they weren't just "straight to TV" releases either.

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby gatorzilla » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:14 am

^Thank you that clears a lot up now

Thats interesting that SONY actually had the theatrical rights to Megaguirus and GMK. If only they couldve done like what they did with Godzilla 2000 and give them a wide release!
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Goji » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:11 am

Frankly, MEGAGUIRUS is far too embarrassing of a film to have had a U.S theatrical release. It's a good thing that it didn't.

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby kpa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:26 am

gatorzilla wrote:^Thank you that clears a lot up now

Thats interesting that SONY actually had the theatrical rights to Megaguirus and GMK.


Sony still has the rights. GMK had a screening near San Francisco less than 2 weeks ago.

If only they couldve done like what they did with Godzilla 2000 and give them a wide release!


G2000 didn't do well enough for Sony to give the other films a wide release.

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby gatorzilla » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:27 am

Funny how SONY still has the rights to some Godzilla movies but after GINO never tried to reboot it the way they are doing Spider-Man. Should the LP Godzilla succeed they will really be kicking themselves then
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tamura » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:38 am

^ They only had the rights for a few more years, IIRC.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Goji » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:47 am

Yeah, I'm sure kpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but I could have sworn that they only had the rights to make more Godzilla films until 2003.

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tamura » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:48 am

Hellspawn28 wrote:After GINO, I think Sony knew that most people would not care for anything Godzilla related for a while.


Average US movie goer, post 1998:

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"NNNNNNNO MORE! I'M SICK OF GODZILLA!"
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Rody » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:04 pm

^Rody likes this post. :-)

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby Tohosaurus » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:21 pm

gatorzilla wrote:^Thank you that clears a lot up now

Thats interesting that SONY actually had the theatrical rights to Megaguirus and GMK. If only they couldve done like what they did with Godzilla 2000 and give them a wide release!


There wouldn't really have been a point. As others said G2K did not do very well, and that's even taking into effect the fact that Sony didn't expect it to bring in sacks of cash. Megaguirus would've been a box office nightmare. GMK would've been the better chance but it's not like it really needed a widespread release either.

gatorzilla wrote:Funny how SONY still has the rights to some Godzilla movies but after GINO never tried to reboot it the way they are doing Spider-Man. Should the LP Godzilla succeed they will really be kicking themselves then

Spider Man is being rebooted a full decade after the first film of the Spider Man trilogy. Hulk was rebooted after five years although it didn't really do THAT well an blame has been heaped on people thinking it was a sequel or otherwise related to the 03 Hulk. So even if a much better Godzilla reboot was dropped in the early-00s or so, its success might have been dampened.
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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby kpa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:11 pm

- Sony's contract with Toho stipulated that a second film had to be in production within 5 years of the first film's release or the deal would expire. Sony's GODZILLA came out in 1998 so they had until 2003 to do something and they chose not to.

- G2000 got a US theatrical release for a few reasons. One was that it had been 15 years since a Japanese Godzilla movie had played in America cinemas so putting out a new one had some appeal, particularly in the wake of G98. Secondly, Sony was considering a reboot so having a Toho Godzilla follow G98 would provide a nice break between Sony's first film and whatever they did next.

Neither of those two key factors were in place for MEGAGUIRUS or GMK. And to the general public, one rubber suit Godzilla movie is the same as the next... Sony acknowledged that GMK was a different-- and better-- type of Godzilla movie, but it would be very difficult to convince audiences it wasn't just more of the same. There just wasn't enough profit potential to justify a wide release.

- Rebooting an established -- and extremely profitable -- franchise like Spider-Man, 007, and Batman makes sense because it takes a property that's already generating millions (or hundreds of millions) of dollars and makes it seem "fresh". That's harder to do quickly with something like Sony's GODZILLA or Ang Lee's HULK where there's only one film, and that film was considered a disappointment. I think THE INCREDIBLE HULK suffered at the box office for that reason. Legendary's GODZILLA may fare better since so much time has passed from G98.

Tyler wrote:GMK is the only Millennium film to feel like a proper movie to me so I'd love to have seen it in a theatre.


It's available for bookings so you should see if your local arthouse/repertory theater will rent a print from Sony.

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Re: Theatrical release question?

Postby gatorzilla » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:48 pm

It kinda would've been interesting to see SONY try to reboot Godzilla. I was thinking earlier that Toho and Sony shouldve both worked on Godzilla's 50th anniversary film because it couldve been a lot better of a film if you had both major studios working on it then it couldve gotten a worldwide release and looked much better in quality and not like something that was rushed with a poorly written script and atleast Godzilla's 50th anniversary film couldve been respectable and he couldve gone out with a bang

Hopefully Legendary gets this ball rolling and releases their Godzilla film in time for the 60th anniversary
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