It's the third weekend of the summer movie season and Legendary Pictures' Godzilla remake stormed into theaters last night to the tune of an estimated $9.3 million from those Thursday night previews with $2.1 million of that coming from IMAX screenings.
This is slightly higher than the $8.7 million in Thursday previews grossed by Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 two weeks back but lower than the $10.2 million made in the same period by Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier a month earlier. "Spider-Man" ended up grossing $91.6 million its opening weekend compared to Cap's $95 million.
The only reason why it doesn't seem likely that Godzilla will be joining their company in the $90 million range for the weekend is that Warner Bros. advertised the Thursday night screenings far more than the other two movies with an added incentive to see the movie in IMAX. On top of that, the built-in fan base for the giant lizard probably got more fans out on Thursday night to see it early, and it may not be as big a draw for parents to bring their younger kids to see the movie over the weekend since it's a far more dark and serious take on the monster movie than the Japanese originals.
Even so, reviews are great and it's looking good to whoop the Weekend Warrior's prediction, more likely to end up somewhere in the high-$70 millions or possibly even reaching $80 million if the business holds up through the weekend due to positive word-of-mouth.