“Godzilla is poised to be a breakout hit in May. I hope it overachieves.” That’s me, on April 9. One month later, Godzilla is breakout hit, crushing the box office with the year-to-date’s second-biggest opening of $93.2 million. Even the most aggressive projections had it tapping out in the mid-seventies, so this is a major, major win for both the film itself and Warner Brothers, who stumbled with last summer’s disappointing Pacific Rim and needed to score here. It’s also a big win for the stars—Bryan Cranston has a hit movie and Aaron Taylor-Johnson has finally delivered a box office hit. (It’s weird to say that because he’s only 23, but the expectations of him have always been great.)
And this was totally Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s movie. Well, no, it’s Godzilla’s movie as the King of Monsters finally gets his due in the contemporary era, but among the human cast, it’s ATJ’s movie. Those trailers depicting Cranston as the hero? Total fake out. (And no, it’s not a spoiler—this has nothing to do with the plot.) The entire marketing campaign for this movie turned out to be a complete misdirect—yet it wasn’t constructed on a lie, either (ahem, Star Trek Into Darkness). They just culled from the B and C plots to cut the trailers, leaving the actual A plot out entirely. They got all the audience anticipation they wanted, while still preserving most of the plot twists, so when you actually see the movie it feels fresh and surprising, and not like you’ve seen the entire movie in the trailers already (AHEM, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2).
Though Godzilla won’t give us Bryan Cranston, Movie Star, it may well mark the birth of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Movie Star, instead. He has cult hits, indie cred, a blockbuster hit, and next year, will be part of what is sure to be The Biggest Movie Of All Time, At Least For A Little While (Except For Gone with the Wind But F-ck Off With Your “When You Account For Inflation” Because Back Then Movies Stayed In Theaters For Like Ten Years And These Days Movies Have About Sixteen Weeks On Average To Earn Their Box Office) aka The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Can Lainey handle one half of Her Obsession becoming a legit movie star? And what if Fifty Shades of Grey comes out okay and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s career gets a boost, too? She’ll be the pseudo-scandalous director wife and he’s the dashing Movie Star husband and they have a passel of kids between them and oh sh*t. They’re the Brange. LAINEY, THEY’RE THE BRANGE.