Spoilers Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Review and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by thribs, May 29, 2019.

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Your Grade?

  1. A*

    3 vote(s)
    9.7%
  2. A

    13 vote(s)
    41.9%
  3. A-

    6 vote(s)
    19.4%
  4. B+

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  5. B

    4 vote(s)
    12.9%
  6. B-

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  7. C+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. C

    2 vote(s)
    6.5%
  9. C-

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. D

    1 vote(s)
    3.2%
  11. F

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot

    Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While there are definite paralels between this summer and the summer of '16 when it comes to box office, there's also the fact that all the disappointing tentpole movies of '16 failed to start a franchise. Even "Star Trek Beyond" has not had a sequel, yet, and that's with the big "Star Trek" brand. Also, while several recent movies are underperforming, "Aladin" is actually doing better than projected.

    Also, don't put too much stock in the Asian market. The movie's best performance may be in China, but even there it took two weekends to get past the $ 100 million mark. And even if the movie's popular in Japan, that is simply not a strong enough market. It made less than $ 10 million on the first weekend in Japan. Plus, the movie's distributed by Toho, there, not WB, so I doubt WB/Legendary sees much of that profit. South Korea was only $ 2.2 million over the first week and second weekend. All in all, KotM made less than $ 300 million worldwide.

    Also, you have to look at the trend of this franchise. Usually, a franchise gets bigger box office numbers the longer it goes on. Right now, it would be a surprise if KotM did anywhere near the worldwide box office of the '14 movie. It does not look like this franchise is growing.
     
  2. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    At least we got one h3ll of a movie out of it, demonstrating that with the right people behind it, the States CAN produce something in the spirit of Toho, but with the visual appeal we've come to expect from Hollyweird. (Yes, I meant to spell it like that.)
     
  3. CryptCaitian

    CryptCaitian Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I can't help wondering if the mega-hauls of the Marvel movies have skewed perceptions of success in films, such that no movie is considered one now unless it's amassing the GDP of a small country in double-quick time. Speaking of Marvel, that franchise took a few films to really hit its stride, as did F&F, while the DCEU's been very inconsistent, as has every screen Star Trek run, just to give a few examples, so I don't think your assertion of steady growth being usual in franchises holds up. There are no guarantees.

    I don't think it fair to dismiss the Monsterverse so soon into KOTM's cinematic run - it's at £300m after two and a bit weeks, and $400m is quite possible, which is a profit - and while GvK is still in the offing. Worth noting - Avatar had a fairly modest US opening of (I believe) $75m, which by your apparent logic means it wouldn't have done particularly well overall. Didn't quite turn out that way, though, did it? No, KOTM isn't going to break any records, but it's very unlikely to fail miserably, either.

    Regardless, as @Redfern notes, we got a damn fine blast of king-size kaiju action, and that in itself is a success worth celebrating.

    PS. As MIB International is shaping up to be another slumper, Aladdin is becoming more and more of an exception to the blockbuster rule this year, although as it's from the mostly bulletproof Disney Nostalgia line, why is its success such a surprise? Even poorly-rendered blue Will Smith's aren't gonna stop that money train running, it seems.
     
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  4. Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot

    Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It isn't about Marvel (except maybe them dominating the big blockbuster market), it's about profit, and that has to take the budget into account. KotM cost $ 170 million to make, and then add marketing costs (which have really exploded in the past decade, which is why the early Marvel movies were able to make a profit with smaller box office numbers), and your at $ 230 million at the least. Considering American theatres keep about 50% of the box office, and that percentage being even higher in international markets (in China, only about 25% of the box office goes to the studio), and it becomes apparent that the movie has to make about $ 500 million before it makes a profit.

    Also, you have to remember that Legendary does not own Godzilla, Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan, they have to licence them from Toho. Marvel Studio owns their characters, WB owns the DC characters, Universal owns the F&F franchise (which wasn't a big budget franchise at the start, the first had a budget of $ 38 million, which even by 2001 standarts wasn't a lot, and it took up until Fast Five for the budget to go cross the $ 100 million mark). The only one situation you listed that is comparable is Star Trek, as Paramount has to licence the brand from CBS, but even there they're both owned by Viacom, Star Trek has such a long history in American cinema, and they're still struggling to get their shit together after "Star Trek Beyond".

    The problem isn't really the underwhelming first weekend, but consider that it dropped almost 70% on its second weekend. It was only its second weekend, and it only made $ 15 million.
    And, yes, $ 400 million is quite possible, thanks to the Chinese market, but as I demonstrated above, the movie has to make around $ 500 million just to break even. Also consider that while the MonsterVerse franchise might still be young, both of the previous movies stayed well below the $ 600 million mark. At best the franchise is stagnating, but more likely, it's shrinking. So, even if "Godzilla vs Kong" is a hit, Legendary is gonna have to wonder, do they want to continue deal with Toho, an outside company, to make further Godzilla movies? Maybe they could do more Kong movies, I'm not sure about the rights situation there (whether Legendary owns the movie rights, or has to licence the character from outside, as well).

    I'm with you there, I love the movie. But I just don't have much hope for more Legendary Godzilla after next year, and have therefore turned my hopes toward new Toho movies.
     
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  5. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think this is the case for a lot of movies. Remember when ST09 had a $78m opening and grossed around $380m and everyone was blown away by how successful it was? Then STID comes along and earns even more and is considered to have underperformed. Not every movie is going to earn half a billion or more and it's unfair on the creative teams to expect it of them. Especially in a case like this where they wanted to make what's essentially a classic Godzilla movie with a big budget. It was never going to have the mainstream appeal of a superhero movie.
     
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  6. CryptCaitian

    CryptCaitian Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Fair enough. :-) I believe Toho are opening/have opened offices in the US, so fuller co-productions might be in the offing. I do have my worries and doubts, as well, but I've also long been too optimistic for my own good! We shall just have to wait and see what happens and hope that, one way or another, beyond GvK, Godzilla will return. It wouldn't be the same without the big guy.

    You touch on a very good point here, actually - is the Monsterverse another example of trying to make a mega-franchise out of something not necessarily suited to it, ala Terminator? Do kaiju movies have enough mainstream appeal outside their home territories? Thus far the answer would appear to be "not quite", leaving us in an uncertain grey area, not really knowing what'll happen next. Frustrating!
     
  7. Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot

    Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't doubt that, should Legendary abandon the Godzilla franchise, Toho will pick up making their own movies again. "Shin Godzilla" was too much of a blockbuster for them not to, and the Legendary movies have proven that there is an international market for Godzilla, just not big enough to sustain the big budgets Hollywood blockbusters need. Again, I hope for Netflix to strike a deal with Toho, securing a timely international release (as opposed with how Godzilla movies took years or even decades to be released in Europe and/or North America), as well as higher budgets than Toho is used to.

    Yes, as I said, the market is there, it is just not big enough for a big $ 100+ million budget.

    It also does not help that there are those long-time fans who won't accept any Hollywood Godzilla. I've connections inside the fandom, and some fans don't like the Legendary Godzilla, no matter how faithful. One particular fan criticized that KotM showed the monsters from a human perspective. It's a silly argument, but it's clear that no arguing would bring this fan around to liking the movie.
     
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  8. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In general, budgets for blockbuster movies tend to be way too high. Why did KotM cost $170m to make while Shin only cost $20m? Obviously, there are more effects and sets in KotM and the production values are higher, but is that enough to inflate the cost so much? If they could get the budget down to $100m it probably wouldn't impact the quality of the movie too much and wouldn't put so much pressure on it to do well. This applies to Star Trek movies, too.
     
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  9. CryptCaitian

    CryptCaitian Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    That sounds like a good fall back in the event of WB & Legendary deciding to drop the Monsterverse, yes. Just be sure they're better quality than the animes. :-p Disappointed by those, given the freedom offered by animation. And coming from a country, the UK, where most Toho movies don't seem to be available other than via expensive import, more accessible Godzilla can only be a good thing!

    After Hollywood's first attempt, I can understand that to an extent, but it's remarkable, and saddening, how easily people can become entrenched.

    Another nail hit squarely on the head - budgets can be ridiculous now. I know a lot of times that's in part down to the fees big stars demand - hello Robert Downey Jr! - but not always, and since KOTM had no A-list cast members, where did the $170m go? Scale polish for Godzilla?
     
  10. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The catering budget. it takes a lot of fish to feed Godzilla.
     
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  11. Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot

    Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, no, no, Zilla ate fish. The real Godzilla is even worse, he eats radioactive energy. Try getting that and keep a small budget.
     
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  12. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know if the KotM budget was necessarily bigger than it needed to be, but Shin is a ridiculous comparison, imo. KotM has gorgeous (best I've ever seen) kaiju effects for like half a dozen kaiju in multiple different fights. Shin has Godzilla in a few stages and not much else and it still looks about as good as tv show effects from 15 years ago at best. KotM has a lot more destruction in it, too, and a much more global setting, as well as major underwater scenes and the giant cave sequence and the major storm effects. And yeah, some of the money obviously went to the actors, which it always will. Even b list actors in America are just not going to be available at the price of Japanese actors in Japan.

    If anything, Shin did not have anywhere near the budget it should have, because releasing that cgi in 2017 (or was it 2016? 18?) was an embarassment, imo.
     
  13. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Obviously, it's not possible to directly compare them. But I still don't see why budgets need to be so high. and I'm not just talking about Godzilla. Why does Star Trek Beyond have a higher budget than the previous movies even though the plan had been to make it for less? It just seems like movie budgets are at the point where it's impossible for anything except Marvel and Star Wars to be considered highly successful.
     
  14. Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot

    Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While I agree that it's ridiculous to compare the effects of Shin Godzilla and KotM, I'd say that Shin Godzilla's effects were quite impressive for a Japanese production with a mere $ 15 million budget.
     
  15. Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot

    Unaired Kai "the spy" TV Pilot Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "Star Trek Beyond" suffered through the very expensive shoot in Dubai, as well as the actors getting higher salaries than in previous movies.

    As for the matter of budgets in general, yes, there seems to be the idea in Hollywood that you need a high budget to even have a chance at making a success, though there are signs that the studios a reconsidering that position. "Shazam!", for example, had a $ 100 million budget, far less than the previous DC movies, and it is thanks to this smaller budget that the movie can be viewed as a success even with a worldwide box office below $ 400 million. "Joker" is being made with a budget around $ 50 million, and the Birds of Prey movie's budget splits the difference at $ 75 million, so the mid-budget genre movies seem to be making a comeback.
     
  16. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Alien: Covenant had a budget, I believe, of around $80m. Okay, everyone hated it, but it still shows that you can do an effects-heavy creature feature for less than what they typically cost.
     
  17. That's So Bane

    That's So Bane Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I mean I understand they're working for a different market primarily. They don't have big enough audiences for large budgets and they don't have the hollywood cgi talent pool available. I get that and I try not to take it out on them too hard. But there is a difference between 'good for the amount of money spent' and 'good'. So far I sadly can't say that any of the Toho movies have looked particularly good since they switched to cgi, because they just don't/can't give it the budget or the expertise required.
     
  18. CryptCaitian

    CryptCaitian Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Not yet watched Shin Godzilla, largely as I'm not very keen on Godzilla's design(s) in the film, but the clips I've seen looked pretty good effects-wise. Not good enough to make your eyes bulge, but also not bad enough to distract, just solid CGI that appears to largely do its job. That said, I may not be as attuned to or particular about these things as some. If it serves the story, I'm generally happy.

    Speaking of, I'm all for the return of mid-budget movies. Enough money for a couple of decent set pieces, but not so much the flash-bang drowns everything else out, so character and plot hopefully get proper room to breathe. After all, the original Trek movies were in that category, and it worked very well for the most part.
     
  19. Molech-ular

    Molech-ular Vice Admiral Admiral

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  20. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That was a fun little article, thanks for sharing. I didn't realize Godzilla's size had changed that much, I thought it was just a few feet here and there.