Smashing Godzilla debut for Warner Bros.

|By:, SA News Editor

Godzilla smashed estimates for its opening day with an estimated box office haul of over $38M.

The weekend forecast is now for a $98M take vs. $65M-$75M prior and a total gross of $136M for the flimsy 1998 Matthew Broderick Godzilla.

Media analysts note Warner Bros. (TWX) and Legendary Pictures delivered a near-perfect marketing message which teased movie-goers without saturating them to the point of boredom.

A CinemaScore of B+ indicates Godzilla might stay on its legs for a while in the U.S. and easily eclipse The Lego Movie (also Warner Bros.) for the top U.S. gross of 2014.

Early indications are that a high mix of moviegoers are paying up to see the film in the IMAX (IMAX) 3D format.

What to watch: Theater operators (CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, DCIN) will get a definite boost with the strong weekend traffic, while Time Warner's Q2 just got a little more exhilarating through the giant lizard's exploits.