"Godzilla" is leaving a giant impression at the box office in its opening weekend, earning an estimated $38.5 million Friday night.
The total adds to the film's already impressive take of $9.3 million on Thursday night alone, and carried the film to the strongest opening day of the year. The number topped the previous record holder, "Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier," which earned $36.9 million.
Featuring the big-screen return of the giant lizard which began its big-screen career in 1950s Japanese cinema, the $160-million summer franchise-in-the-making is expected to earn $70 million this weekend, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys.
Last weekend's box office champ, the Seth Rogan and Zac Efron-starring "Neighbors," was dwarfed by comparision, earning $8.4 million to take its total past $70 million since its release. Another early summer star at the box office, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," added to its more than $150-million total with another $4.5 million.
Another debut this weekend, the family-friendly "Million Dollar Arm," opened in fourth place with an estimated $3.4 million, while "The Other Woman" earned an estimated $2 million to round out the top five.