The Godzilla Franchise Marches On

The new Warner Bros. Godzilla film has a new director and a new title. No longer dubbed the generic Godzilla 2, the film is now called Godzilla: King of the Monsters. As kaiju eiga fans know, this was the original U.S. title of the first Godzilla movie.

 

As for the director, the man who helmed Krampus, Michael Dougherty, is handling the duties. Krampus was a pleasant surprise during the holiday season. The nearly $550 worldwide gross of the Godzilla reboot was an even bigger surprise. The franchise is continuing in an expanded form. The new King Kong film, Kong: Skull Island, will connect with the Godzilla series and lead into a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla.

 

All this is quite interesting considering several years of King Kong and Godzilla disappointments. In the 1980’s, King Kong Lives and Godzilla 1985 did poorly. The 1990’s Godzilla remake was a dud. Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake was a marginal — and overlong — success.

 

Toho rebooted Godzilla to great success in Japan in the early 1990’s, but a second reboot in the 2000’s was really hit and miss. Amazingly, Toho released a new Godzilla film to herald yet another reboot after the Warner Bros. remake. The recent Toho film was a hit, too.

 

The Godzilla franchise was hugely successful through the 1950’s and 1960’s. By the time the 1970’s rolled around, Toho’s giant monster films lost steam. If nothing else, the history of the Godzilla franchise shows it runs hot and cold. When hot, Godzilla can make a huge sum of money. In addition to box office results, toys, games, and other merchandise can generate massive revenues.

 

Godzilla is an iconic character. The giant radioactive dinosaur is never going to disappear from the entertainment landscape. Every so many years, audiences do crave monster mayhem.