For me, movies have always been a measurement about the temperament of a society in general. The kinds of films that make money, and those that don’t speak largely about the values of earthly civilizations. I enjoy most films, small art pictures like Atlas Shrugged sometimes because they don’t make much money and speak to a very focused and intelligent audience. I also like films like the new Godzilla movie which speaks directly to the masses with enthusiastic hope. What is different now as opposed to even a decade ago is that occasionally, huge blockbuster films like Godzilla are released simultaneously around the world and provide a very clear picture of what those worldly economic conditions are relative to the United States which can be directly measured by ticket sales.
Godzilla earned an estimated $103 million from 64 overseas markets this past weekend—during its opening. Warner Bros. reported that 51 percent of those sales were from 3D showings.
The movie’s biggest markets were the U.K. ($10.4 million) and Russia ($9.1 million), and it had the top opening of the year in Australia ($6.1 million). Other major territories included Mexico ($8.9 million), France ($6.5 million), Korea ($4.5 million), Brazil ($4.2 million), Italy ($3.6 million) and Spain ($1.6 million).
Godzilla opens in China in June, and then Japan in July. If it lives up to its potential in those two markets, it should wind up with over $400 million from overseas sales.
Produced by Legendary Pictures and released by Warner Bros., the monster movie reboot earned an impressive $93.2 million at the domestic box office.
Godzilla‘s domestic debut ranks second in 2014: it wound up in between Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million). It also opened significantly higher than last summer’s World War Z ($66.4 million), and more-than-doubled Pacific Rim‘s $37.3 million.
It’s also worth noting that Godzilla earned more in its first three days than Star Trek Into Darkness earned in its first four ($83.7 million) on the same weekend last year. It was also above 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($90.2 million).
To sum all this up properly just in the North American continent Godzilla made $93 million dollars. Over the entire rest of the world the film made $103 million without China and Japan being factored. Those countries will see the film over the next couple of months. With all politics removed from public relations jargon promoting all these other countries as equal to the United States, and the demand for Godzilla being universally equal all over the world—it could be observed that dollar for dollar—The United States—a capitalist country has the buying power of the rest of the world combined.
For instance, Brazil is a large country, but because they lean in the direction of socialism, they have a per capita income that is far below that of The United States. $4.2 million is about how much most states made in America displaying vividly that in Brazil there are not nearly enough movie theaters available to show the film. In America, I have around seven different theaters to choose from to see Godzilla while in Brazil, there may only be a few theater in each major city. The rural areas of Brazil are lucky to have power let alone have a theater down the road from their house making it impossible to even think of seeing Godzilla. So as a country, their demand to see the movie was high, but their people because they are poor did not have much opportunity to attend a theater. Even more pressing to the whole problem is that there is not enough per capita income to dictate that an investor could even open and operate a movie theater in the country. Italy and Spain are both socialist countries and put out a pathetic number in response to the Godzilla box office. Again, it is not that people did not want to see the movie. Those that could did. But in those countries, there just aren’t enough theater owners who want to embark on the entrepreneurial activity of theater ownership.
France put up a respectable number as they have several major cities that have movie theaters. In the future however because of the socialist policies of the current government penalizing the rich, there will likely be far less real-estate investment into movie theaters leading the country back into something like what Spain, Italy and Brazil are putting out as far as economic activity.
Economic activity is of course the access of investment into theater ownership and access to money to attend a movie by the general population through disposable income. If taxation consumes much of that income, then movie attendance will of course decrease. After China loosened up a bit toward western films and actually allowed their citizens to watch movies like Godzilla, they are usually good for around $40 million in opening weekend box office totals out of a population matrix of over a billion people. Much of this market base is around the capitalist region of Hong Kong, but the communist portions of the country are still deeply deprived of business investment and disposable income to even purchase a movie ticket. There are likely millions of children within China who would love to see Godzilla, but they can’t because no movie theater owners want to deal with the communist government to operate such things with all the restrictions involved. After all, China only allows ten films a year from America. The rest of the year there aren’t many opportunities to see movies that are good. China isn’t making many movies, and neither is the rest of the world. Only America makes movies like Godzilla and only a select few are allowed to be seen within a communist country. Godzilla will be one of them—thank goodness.
Here is a sad statistic; the entire country of Australia which is a large landmass, only produced $6.1 million in Godzilla sales—mostly on the east coast of the country. Australia has also functioned under socialism for a number of years which has killed their economic growth and the results can easily be seen in the terribly deficient movie theaters available. Obviously people in Australia would love to see Godzilla, but they do not have enough movie theaters to allow such a thing. They have not been friendly enough toward entrepreneurial activity to allow their people such a positive leisure time activity like seeing Godzilla.
Is it fair to judge the world against such standards—well, yes it is. Godzilla is the kind of movie that boys, girls, young, old, virtually every market demographic in the world would like to at least see, but those opportunities do not exist in countries struggling with socialism, communism, and over restrictive governments. Countries like Russia have at least stepped up to the plate and allowed for western films to be shown in their city multiplexes and they produced a respectable $9.1 million, just shy of England which boosts a much smaller landmass and total population. Such comparisons speak very accurately about the economic strength of the cultures viewing the film Godzilla.
Godzilla is s global phenomena built with Japanese branding for many years, so it is a stable platform to make such comparisons. And the economic status of the world is easy to measure against such a globally unified reference point. If you want to measure the strength of a nation, just look at how many people attend movie blockbusters and determine if they have access to a movie theater, have expendable income, or live in a country that allows the kind of free speech needed to see such a thing. Then ask why they can’t, and you will have the answer as to which political systems work best for the people they are supposed to serve, and which ones simply use people as a platform for their own self-importance.
I bet dear reader—that you had no idea that the new Godzilla movie told so many stories on so many levels—but now you do.
Rich Hoffman www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com