Thursday, January 23, 2014

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.

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Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.