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How Godzilla Minus One achieved its unexpected success, according to Toho President

It's all about word of mouth

Still from Godzilla Minus One trailer
Image credit: Toho Co

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Godzilla has been king of the cinemas for a whopping 70 years, as President of Toho Hiroyasu Matsuoka shared at CinemaCon's opening event on Tuesday.

Not only has the King of Monsters appeared in the cinema over those 70 years, the films themselves have served as commentary on cultural tragedies, from nuclear destruction to earthquakes. As Matsuoka points out, "the history of Godzilla is linked to the very history we've been living."

Related: Godzilla Minus One left theaters early and is avoiding streaming & home video, and we think Godzilla x Kong: New Empire is to blame

As for the more recent past, Matsuoka talked briefly about the international box office success of 2023's Godzilla Minus One, which also received the distinction of being the first Godzilla movie to win an Oscar when it nabbed its Academy Award this season.

"Godzilla Minus One was a surprise on many levels," said Matsuoka, pointing out that the film's leading talent was unknown outside of Japan and that the film was released mostly in the Japanese language. "On paper, it may not sound like the makings of an international success," Matsuoka commented. And yet, it was. As for how this movie was able to go so far, Matsuoka specifically named the power of word of mouth, highlighting that it was early fans who drove momentum and attention to the film.

Godzilla Minus One went on to make $114 million in international box officess off of the film's $10-12 million budget. So, next time you see a movie you like, go tell someone about it. You might just make a hit.

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