Japanese kaiju film Godzilla Minus One has been stomping all over North America and has become the top-grossing live-action Japanese film in the region. The Takashi Yamazaki directorial has shattered all records and has raked up nearly USD 14.36 billion at the box office.
After a robust four-week run on home turf in Japan, the monstrous tale headed to the US and had a mammoth opening at the theatres on 1 December 2023. Having collected nearly USD 23 million since its November release in Japan, Godzilla Minus One made a staggering USD 11 million over the first three days of screening in the US, reports Collider.
Godzilla Minus One creates box office records as a foreign-language film
Opening day statistics
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Godzilla Minus One has been sending shockwaves across the box office right from its release. Its USD 11.4 million opening collection dethroned Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999). The latter had earned around USD 10 million, reports Deadline. Such a massive figure also makes the 2023 monster flick the biggest Stateside debut of a foreign film this year.
The film scripted history by becoming the first foreign-language film to dominate the domestic box office in 19 years. Owing to an astonishing Monday performance, it raked in around USD 1.23 million, states Collider. It recorded the second-highest debut for any live-action, foreign-language film, after Hero (2002), mentions ScreenRant.
In total, Godzilla Minus One surpassed the numbers achieved by current title-holder The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1986), which grossed USD 14.1 million in 1989 and a 1990 re-release.
Interestingly, such astounding figures of Godzilla Minus One are recorded against the film’s estimated budget of USD 15 million. Fans must hold their breath as earnings from the UK and Ireland are yet to be announced on 15 December.
At a global level, the film has already made more than double its budget, with roughly USD 35 million collection worldwide. Godzilla Minus One entered at No. 3 at the domestic box office, behind Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé (2023) and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023), states ScreenRant.
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Critical appreciation and ratings
Besides outstanding commercial success, the Japanese live-action film has received immense critical appreciation as well. An IMDb rating of 8.5 and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97 per cent are a testimony to it.
The BBC review states, “The success of Godzilla Minus One tells us that action-movie viewers want entertainment, not homework,” describing the title as “The Japanese film that’s 2023’s best action-blockbuster.”
The plot of Godzilla Minus One
The Japanese movie begins with kamikaze fighter pilot Kōichi Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) realising that Japan would lose at the end of World War II. He refuses to kill himself and lands his plane on Odo island where aircraft are repaired. When the island is attacked, Kōichi freezes and fails to launch a missile. He is guilt-ridden and takes care of survivors who have lost their families to Godzilla. When the horror resurfaces and the monster attacks mainland Japan, Kōichi teams up with a large band of veterans to take down the beast.
(Hero and feature image credit: Godzilla Minus One/ IMDb)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
-Which is the top-grossing live-action movie in 2023?
Titles like Barbie, The Super Mario Bros. Movie Oppenheimer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Fast X are among the highest-grossing live-action movies in 2023, according to Box Office Mojo.