Godzilla Minus One previously shattered box office records in Japan and is currently doing the same in North America.
With a $11 million opening weekend in Western theaters, the movie had the greatest North American debut for a live-action Japanese film to date. Of course, a few anime movies have made significantly more money than this, but Minus One, which has already brought in $23 million in Japan, has accomplished a remarkable feat, considering the fact that the production only cost $15 million.
Ultimately, Minus One opened at number three on the American box office rankings for the past weekend, trailing only Beyoncé's Renaissance 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 significant praise given that Edwards' 2014 feature, which launched Legendary Pictures' MonsterVerse, is regarded highly by North American kaiju enthusiasts.
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.