After breaking Japanese box office records, Godzilla Minus One, is now doing the same in North America.
The film opened in Western theaters this past weekend to the tune of $11 million, making it the biggest North American opening ever for a live-action Japanese film. Of course, there are several anime films that surpass this total but it's a remarkable feat for Minus One, which has already grossed $23 million in Japan. The film only cost $15 million to produce.
Overall, Minus One debuted at #3 on the domestic box office weekend rankings, coming in behind Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.
Last month, Gareth Edwards, director of Legendary Pictures' Godzilla (2014) praised Minus One during Japan's Godzilla Fest 2023. He even went so far as to say that Minus One might be the best Godzilla film to date.
"There were a lot of things that I felt were very new for Godzilla [in Godzilla Minus One], and I felt jealous the whole time I was watching the movie. This is what a Godzilla movie should be...[Godzilla Minus One] must be mentioned as a candidate for the best Godzilla movie of all time."
That's high praise given the fact that Edwards' 2014 film kicked off Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse is looked upon very favorably by North American kaiju fans.
Godzilla Minus One is directed and written by Takashi Yamazaki (Lupin III The First, Dragon Quest: Your Story). It stars Ryunosuke Kamiki as Kōichi Shikishima, Minami Hamabe as Noriko Ōishi, Yuki Yamada as Shirō Mizushima, Munetaka Aoki as Sōsaku Tachibana, and Hidetaka Yoshioka as Kenji Noda.
In a previous interview, Yamazaki revealed that he was partially motivated by Shin Godzilla to tackle the newest take on kaiju king.
"I had been approached several times but turned it down until my team’s technology was capable of expressing the Godzilla I had envisioned. After seeing Shin Godzilla, my motivation increased, and my technology evolved considerably. I was once again formally approached and decided to give it a try."
The official synopsis for the film reads, "In the final days of World War II, a small group of Japanese soldiers encounter a dinosaur-like creature on a remote island and are massacred—leaving only two survivors. Two years later, the creature, now many times its original size and capable of shooting thermonuclear breath, appears and begins attacking ships off the coast of Japan—moving ever closer to the still-devastated, post-war Japanese mainland."
Godzilla Minus One started its limited theatrical run in North America on December 1. Special fan showings will be available on November 29.