Godzilla (franchise)

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Godzilla (franchise)
Gojira 1954 Japanese poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster for Godzilla (1954).
No. of films 35
Years active1954–present
Main character Godzilla
First film Godzilla (1954)
Latest film Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Genre(s) Kaiju
Science fiction
Country Japan
United States

The Godzilla(ゴジラ,Gojira)franchise is a Japanese kaiju media franchise created and owned by Toho, featuring the fictional giant monster character Godzilla. It is recognized by Guinness World Records to be the longest continuously running movie franchise, having been in ongoing production from 1954 to the present day, with several hiatuses of varying lengths. [1] The film franchise consists of 35 films, 32 produced by Toho and three Hollywood films.

<i>Kaiju</i> genre of tokusatsu (live-action film) entertainment

Kaiju refers to a Japanese genre of films which feature giant monsters. The term kaiju can also be used to describe the giant monsters themselves, which are usually depicted attacking major cities and engaging the military and other monsters, or other kaiju, in battle. The kaiju genre is a subgenre of tokusatsu entertainment, and can be considered synonymous with the term "Japanese monster movies". The term kaiju originated from the Chinese text Classic of Mountains and Seas.

A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. The intellectual property from the work can be licensed to other parties or partners for further derivative works and commercial exploitation across a range of media and by a variety of industries for merchandising purposes.

Toho Japanese film production company

Toho Co., Ltd. is a Japanese film, theater production, and distribution company. It has its headquarters in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Tokyo and is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. Outside Japan, it is best known as the producer and distributor of many kaiju and tokusatsu films, the Chouseishin tokusatsu superhero television franchise, the films of Akira Kurosawa, and the anime films of Studio Ghibli, TMS Entertainment and OLM, Inc.. Other famous directors, including Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi, and Mikio Naruse, also directed films for Toho.


The first film, Godzilla , was directed by Ishirō Honda and released by Toho in 1954 and became an influential classic of the genre. It featured political and social undertones relevant to Japan at the time. The original introduced an acclaimed music score by Akira Ifukube, which was reused in many of the later films. The original also introduced the work of special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya, who used miniatures and "suitmation" to convey the large scale of the monster and its destruction. For its North American release, the film was reworked as an adaptation and released in 1956 as Godzilla, King of the Monsters! . The adaptation featured new footage with Raymond Burr edited together with the original Japanese footage.

<i>Godzilla</i> (1954 film) 1954 film directed by Ishirō Honda

Godzilla is a 1954 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, written by Honda, Takeo Murata, and Shigeru Kayama, and produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho, it is the first film in the Godzilla franchise, and Shōwa period. The film stars Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata, and Takashi Shimura, with Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka as Godzilla. In the film, scientists and politicians deal with the sudden appearance of a giant monster known as Godzilla, whose attacks trigger fears of nuclear holocaust during post-war Japan.

Ishirō Honda Japanese film director

Ishirō Honda, sometimes miscredited in foreign releases as "Inoshiro Honda", was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his kaiju and tokusatsu films, including several entries in the Godzilla franchise, but also worked extensively in the documentary and war genres earlier in his career. Honda was also a lifelong friend and collaborator of Akira Kurosawa, and worked with Kurosawa extensively during the 1980s and 1990s.

Akira Ifukube Japanese composer

Akira Ifukube was a Japanese composer, best known for his works on the film scores of the Godzilla movies since 1954.

Toho was inspired to make the original Godzilla after the commercial success of the 1952 re-release of King Kong and the success of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953). The success of the Godzilla series itself would go on to inspire other monster films worldwide. The popularity of the films has led to the franchise expanding to other media, such as television, music, literature and video games. Godzilla has been one of the most recognizable symbols in Japanese pop culture worldwide, remains a well-known facet of Japanese films and was one of the first examples of the popular kaiju and tokusatsu subgenres in Japanese entertainment.

<i>King Kong</i> (1933 film) 1933 American monster adventure film

King Kong is a 1933 American pre-Code monster adventure film directed and produced by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. The screenplay by James Ashmore Creelman and Ruth Rose was developed from an idea conceived by Cooper and Edgar Wallace. It stars Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong, and opened in New York City on March 2, 1933, to rave reviews. It has been ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as the fourth greatest horror film of all time and the thirty-third greatest film of all time.

<i>The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms</i> 1953 film by Eugène Lourié, Ray Harryhausen

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a 1953 American black-and-white science fiction monster film from Warner Bros., produced by Jack Dietz and Hal E. Chester, directed by Eugène Lourié, that stars Paul Christian, Paula Raymond, Cecil Kellaway, and Kenneth Tobey. The film's stop-motion animation special effects are by Ray Harryhausen. Its screenplay is based on Ray Bradbury's short story The Fog Horn, specifically the scene where a lighthouse is destroyed by the title character.

As an enduring and iconic symbol of post-World War II cinematic history, Godzilla, the King of the Monsters, has been referenced and parodied numerous times in popular culture. Godzilla and other atomic monsters have appeared in a variety of mediums, including cartoons, film, literature, television, and video games.

The tone and themes vary per film. Several of the films have political themes, others have dark tones, complex internal mythology, or are simple action movies featuring aliens or other monsters, while others have simpler themes accessible to children. [2] Godzilla's role varies from purely a destructive force to an ally of humans, or a protector of Japanese values, or a hero to children. The name Godzilla is a romanization of the original Japanese name Gojira—which is a combination of two Japanese words: gorira (ゴリラ), "gorilla", and kujira (クジラ), "whale". The word alludes to the size, power and aquatic origin of Godzilla. As developed by Toho, the monster is an offshoot of the combination of radioactivity and ancient dinosaur-like creatures, indestructible and possessing special powers (see Godzilla characteristics).

A shared universe or shared world is a set of creative works where more than one writer independently contributes a work that can stand alone but fits into the joint development of the storyline, characters, or world of the overall project. It is common in genres like science fiction. It differs from collaborative writing where multiple artists are working together on the same work and from crossovers where the works and characters are independent except for a single meeting.


The Godzilla film series is broken into several (different) eras reflecting a characteristic style and corresponding to the same eras used to classify all kaiju eiga (monster movies) in Japan. The first two eras refer to the Japanese emperor during production: the Shōwa era and the Heisei era. The third is called the Millennium era as the emperor (Heisei) is the same but these films are considered to have a different style and storyline than the Heisei era.

Heisei An era of Japanese history, starting 8 January 1989 and ending 30 April 2019

The Heisei era refers to the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of Emperor Akihito from 8 January 1989 until his abdication on 30 April 2019. The Heisei era started on 8 January 1989, the day after the death of the Emperor Hirohito, when his son, Akihito, acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor. In accordance with Japanese customs, Hirohito was posthumously renamed "Emperor Shōwa" on 31 January 1989. Heisei translates as "peace everywhere".

Over the series history, the films have reflected the social and political climate in Japan. [3] In the original film, Godzilla was an allegory for the effects of the hydrogen bomb, and the consequences that such weapons might have on Earth. [4] [5] [6] [7] The radioactive contamination of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon No. 5 through the United States' Castle Bravo thermonuclear device test on Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954, led to much press coverage in Japan preceding the release of the first movie in 1954. [8] The Heisei and Millennium series have largely continued this concept.

History of Japan aspect of history

The history of Japan covers Japan and its relation to the world. It is characterized by isolationist, semi-open and expansionist periods.

Allegory Literary device

As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred widely throughout history in all forms of art, largely because it can readily illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.

Nuclear weapon Explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions

A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first test of a fission ("atomic") bomb released an amount of energy approximately equal to 20,000 tons of TNT (84 TJ). The first thermonuclear ("hydrogen") bomb test released energy approximately equal to 10 million tons of TNT (42 PJ). A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT (5.0 PJ). A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast, fire, and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy.

Shōwa period (1954–1975)

Every film incarnation of Godzilla between 1954-2017 Godzilla 1954-2014 incarnations.jpg
Every film incarnation of Godzilla between 1954–2017

The initial series of movies is named for the Shōwa period in Japan (as all of these films were produced before the "Shōwa Emperor" Hirohito's death in 1989). [9] This Shōwa timeline spanned from 1954, with Godzilla , to 1975, with Terror of Mechagodzilla . With the exceptions of Godzilla , Godzilla Raids Again , Mothra vs. Godzilla , Destroy all Monsters , and Terror of Mechagodzilla , much of the Shōwa series monster-action was intentionally made comical and laughable for children, with Godzilla frequently engaged in clownish slapstick wrestling with other monsters. Starting with Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, Godzilla began evolving into a friendlier, more playful antihero (this transition was complete by Son of Godzilla , where Godzilla is depicted as a more virtuous character) and, as years went by, it evolved into an anthropomorphic superhero. Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster was also significant for introducing Godzilla's archenemy and the main antagonist of the film series, King Ghidorah. The films Son of Godzilla and All Monsters Attack were aimed at youthful audiences, featuring the appearance of Godzilla's son, Minilla. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was notable for introducing Godzilla's robot duplicate and the secondary antagonist of the film series, Mechagodzilla . The Shōwa period loosely tied in to a number of Toho-produced films in which Godzilla himself did not appear and consequently saw the addition of many monsters into the Godzilla continuity, three of which (Rodan, Mothra and Varan) originated in their own solo movies and another five (Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Gorosaurus and Baragon) appeared in their first films as either antagonistic or secondary characters.

Haruo Nakajima mainly portrayed Godzilla since 1954 until his retirement in 1972. However, other stunt actors have portrayed the character in his absence, such as Katsumi Tezuka, Yū Sekida, Ryosaku Takasugi, Seiji Onaka, Shinji Takagi, Isao Zushi, and Toru Kawai. [10] [11] Eiji Tsuburaya directed the special effects for the first six films of the series. His protege Sadamasa Arikawa took over the effects work for the next three films (with Tsuburaya supervising), while Teruyoshi Nakano directed the special effects for the last six films of the series.

Heisei period (1984–1995)

Toho rebooted the series in 1984 with The Return of Godzilla , starting the second era of Godzilla films, known as the Heisei series. [12] The Return of Godzilla serves as a direct sequel to the original 1954 film and ignores the subsequent events of the Showa era. The Return of Godzilla was released in 1984, five years before the new Emperor, but is considered part of this era, as it is a direct predecessor to Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), which came out in the first year of the new Emperor's reign. [13]

The Heisei films are set in a single timeline, with each film providing continuity to the other films, and brings Godzilla back as a destructive force of nature that is feared by humans. [12] The biological nature and science behind Godzilla became a much more discussed issue in the films, showing the increased focus on the moral aspects of genetics. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah gave the first concrete birth story for Godzilla, featuring a dinosaur named Godzillasaurus that was mutated by nuclear radiation into Godzilla. Godzilla was portrayed by Kenpachiro Satsuma for the Heisei films while the special effects were directed by Koichi Kawakita, with the exception of The Return of Godzilla, for which the effects were directed by Teruyoshi Nakano.

Millennium period (1999–2004)

Toho rebooted the franchise for a second time with the 1999 film Godzilla 2000: Millennium starting the third era of Godzilla films, known as the Millennium series. The Millennium series is treated similarly to an anthology series where each film, with the exception of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (which are a series all their own and share continuity with Mothra and The War of the Gargantuas ), is set in its own timeline and follows-up on the events of the original 1954 film, but ignores the events of the Shōwa and Heisei eras.

After the release of 2004's Godzilla: Final Wars , marking the 50th anniversary of the Godzilla film franchise, Toho decided to put the series on hiatus for another 10 years. Toho also demolished the water stage on its lot used in numerous Godzilla, kaiju and tokusatsu films. [14] Yoshimitsu Banno, who had directed 1971's Godzilla vs. Hedorah , secured the rights from Toho to make an IMAX 3D short film production, based on a story similar to his Hedorah film. This project eventually led to the development of Legendary's Godzilla.

Tsutomu Kitagawa portrayed Godzilla for the majority of the Millennium films, with the exception of Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack , in which Godzilla was portrayed by Mizuho Yoshida. Unlike the Showa and later Heisei films, the special effects for the Millennium films were directed by multiple effects directors such as Kenji Suzuki (Godzilla 2000, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus ), Makoto Kamiya (Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack), Yuichi Kikuchi (Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla), and Eiichi Asada (Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., Godzilla: Final Wars).

Reiwa period (c. 2016–present)

The Reiwa iterations of Godzilla Toho's New Godzilla's.jpg
The Reiwa iterations of Godzilla

In December 2014, Toho announced plans for a new Godzilla film of their own for a 2016 release. [15] The film is intended to be Toho's own reboot of the Godzilla franchise and is co-directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi (both who collaborated on the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion ), with the screenplay written by Anno and the special effects directed by Higuchi. [16] [17] [18] Principal photography began on September and ended in October with the special effects work following in November that year. [19] [20] Shin Godzilla was released in Japan on July 29, 2016 in IMAX, 4DX, and MX4D to positive reviews and was a box office success. [21]

In August 2016, Toho announced plans for a trilogy of anime Godzilla films with Polygon Pictures animating the films and Netflix distributing the trilogy worldwide, except in Japan where each film will be given a theatrical release by Toho. [22] [23] The first film, titled Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters , was released on November 17, 2017. [24] The second film, titled Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle , was released on May 18, 2018. [25] The third and final film in the trilogy, titled Godzilla: The Planet Eater , was released on November 9, 2018. [26]

In January 2018, Toho announced its plans to invest ¥15 billion (US$135 million) for the next three years beginning in 2019 to co-produce content with Hollywood and Chinese studios who have licensed Toho's properties, such as Godzilla , Your Name and Pokémon . Toho will invest 25% in production costs and will earn a higher share in revenue and manage creators rights, so their creative input will be shown in each work. [27]

In May 2018, Toho's Chief Godzilla Officer Keiji Ota revealed that a sequel to Shin Godzilla will not happen, but revealed plans for a "World of Godzilla", a shared cinematic universe between Godzilla and other Toho monsters after 2021. Ota cited the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an influence, with plans to release a new film every one to two years. [28] Ota stated:

"After 2021, we’re thinking of a potential strategy that [releases] Godzilla movies uninterrupted at a rate of every two years, although there is a preference for a yearly pace as well. The future of the series and its forwarding developments are very conscious of the method of "shared universe". Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, etc. could all share a single world view much like a Marvel movie where Iron Man and the Hulk can crossover with each other. It is said that each movie can be a possible film production where any one of them could lead a film of their own as the titular character." – Keiji Ota, translated from Nikkei style. [28] [29]

In 2019, Toho invested ¥15.4 billion (US$140 million) into their Los Angeles-based subsidiary Toho International Inc. as part of their "Toho Vision 2021 Medium-term Management Strategy", a strategy to increase content, platform, real-estate, surpass ¥50 billion in profits, and increase character businesses on Toho intellectual properties such as Godzilla. Hiroyasu Matsuoka was named the representative director of the project. [30] In 2019, Toho launched the first official English website and the first official English Twitter and Instagram for the franchise. [31] [32]

In June 2019, Toho revealed plans to present the Toho Godzilla at San Diego Comic-Con for the first time to commemorate the franchise's 65th anniversary, as well as being part of their plan to expand the franchise in the United States. [33] At the San Diego Comic-Con, Akito Takahashi, the project manager of Toho's Godzilla Strategic Conference, revealed Toho's intentions to have the Toho and Legendary Godzilla films expand together. He also revealed that the option to reintroduce political themes and old or new monsters would be available to filmmakers, should they choose to pursue it. Akito also expressed interest in re-introducing Mechagodzilla and Jet Jaguar in the future. [34] [35]

Foreign adaptations

Storyboard by William Stout for Steve Miner's unproduced 3D Godzilla film Steve Miner's Godzilla.jpg
Storyboard by William Stout for Steve Miner's unproduced 3D Godzilla film

In 1956, Jewell Enterprises Inc., licensed Godzilla and produced an "Americanized" [lower-alpha 1] version of the film called Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. The film utilized a majority of the footage from the Japanese original but a majority of the political themes and social commentaries were removed, resulting in 30 minutes of footage from the Japanese original replaced with new scenes shot exclusively for the film featuring Raymond Burr interacting with Japanese actors and look-alikes to make it seem like Burr was a part of the original Japanese production. In addition, sound-effects and soundtracks were tweaked and some dialogue was dubbed into English. Similar "Americanizations" occurred for the North American releases of King Kong vs. Godzilla and Godzilla 1985, the latter which included Burr reprising the role of American journalist Steve Martin.

In 1957, producer Harry Rybnick attempted to produce a Hollywood-made alteration of Godzilla Raids Again titled The Volcano Monsters, using some of the Japanese footage from the former to make a totally different film; however, funding from AB-PT Pictures collapsed after the company closed down and Godzilla Raids Again was instead dubbed in English and released in 1959 by Warner Bros. as Gigantis the Fire Monster. [41]

In 1965, Toho co-produced Invasion of Astro-Monster with American studio UPA, marking the first time that a Godzilla film was co-produced with an American studio.

In 1976, Italian director Luigi Cozzi intended to re-release Godzilla in Italy. Facing resistance from exhibitors to showing a black-and-white film, Cozzi instead licensed a negative of Godzilla, King of the Monsters from Toho and created a new movie in color, adding lots of stock footage of graphic death and destruction and short scenes from newsreel footage from World War II, which he released as Godzilla in 1977. The film was colorized using a process called Spectrorama 70, where color gels are put on the original black-and-white film, becoming one of the first black-and-white movies to be colorized. Dialogue was dubbed into Italian and new music was added. After the initial Italian run, the negative became Toho's property and prints have only been exhibited in Italy from that time onward. Italian firm Yamato Video at one time intended to release the colorized version on a two-disc DVD along with the original Godzilla. [42] [43] [44]

In the 1980s, filmmaker Steve Miner pitched his idea for an American 3D production of Godzilla to Toho, with story boards by William Stout and a script written by Fred Dekker, titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 3D which featured Godzilla destroying San Francisco in an attempt to find its only offspring. [45] Various studios and producers showed interest in the project but passed it over due to high budget concerns. [46] The film would have featured a full scale animatronic Godzilla head built by Rick Baker, stop motion animation executed by David W. Allen, additional storyboards by Doug Wildey, an articulated stop motion Godzilla figure created by Stephen Czerkas and the production design overseen by William Stout. [47] [48]

TriStar Pictures (1998-2000)

TriStar's Godzilla in Godzilla (1998) Godzilla (1998).jpg
TriStar's Godzilla in Godzilla (1998)

In October 1992, TriStar Pictures acquired the rights from Toho with plans to produce a trilogy. [49] Director Jan de Bont and writers Terry Rossio and Ted Eliott developed a script that had Godzilla battling a shape-shifting alien called "the Gryphon". De Bont later left the project after budget disagreements with the studio. [50] Roland Emmerich was hired to direct and co-write a new script with producer Dean Devlin.

Godzilla was released on May 20, 1998 to negative reviews from critics and fans [51] [52] and was a box office success, grossing $136 million domestically and $379 million worldwide, [53] however, it was considered a box office disappointment. [54] [55] Two planned sequels were cancelled and an animated TV series was produced instead. [56] TriStar let the license expire in 2003. In 2004, Toho began trademarking new iterations of TriStar's Godzilla as "Zilla", with only the incarnations from the 1998 film and animated show retaining the Godzilla copyright/trademark. [52] [57]

Legendary Pictures (2014–present)

Legendary's Godzilla in Godzilla (2014) American Godzilla '14.jpg
Legendary's Godzilla in Godzilla (2014)

In 2004, director Yoshimitsu Banno acquired permission from Toho to produce a short IMAX Godzilla film. In 2009, the project was turned over to Legendary Pictures to be redeveloped as a feature film reboot. [58] [59] [60] Announced in March 2010, the film was co-produced with Warner Bros. Pictures and was directed by Gareth Edwards. [61] [62]

Godzilla was released on May 16, 2014 to positive reviews from critics and fans [63] [64] and was a box office success, grossing $200 million domestically and $529 million worldwide. [65] The film's success prompted Toho to produce a reboot of their own and Legendary to proceed with sequels and a shared cinematic franchise, [66] with Godzilla: King of the Monsters released on May 31, 2019, [67] and Godzilla vs. Kong set to be released on March 13, 2020. [68]


From 1954 through 2019, there have been 35 Godzilla films produced by Toho in Japan. There have been several American productions: adaptations including Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, King Kong vs. Godzilla and Godzilla 1985, and three Hollywood productions: Godzilla (1998) produced by TriStar Pictures, and Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) produced by Legendary Entertainment in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Toho productions

#TitleYearDirector(s)Effects directorMonster co-star(s)Current U.S. licenses
Shōwa era (1954–1975)


1954 Ishirō Honda Eiji Tsuburaya None The Criterion Collection [Note 1]

Godzilla Raids Again

1955 Motoyoshi Oda Anguirus
3 King Kong vs. Godzilla 1962 Ishirō Honda King Kong, Oodako [73] Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Mothra vs. Godzilla

1964 Mothra The Criterion Collection [69]

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

King Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra

Invasion of Astro-Monster

1965 King Ghidorah, Rodan

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep

1966 Jun Fukuda Sadamasa Arikawa Ebirah, Mothra, Ookondoru [73]
8 Son of Godzilla 1967 Minilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras
9 Destroy All Monsters 1968 Ishirō HondaKing Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra, Anguirus, Minilla, Kumonga, Manda, Gorosaurus, Baragon, Varan

All Monsters Attack

1969 Ishirō HondaGabara, Minilla

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

1971 Yoshimitsu Banno Teruyoshi Nakano Hedorah

Godzilla vs. Gigan

1972 Jun Fukuda Gigan, King Ghidorah, Anguirus
13 Godzilla vs. Megalon 1973 Megalon, Jet Jaguar, Gigan, Anguirus

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

1974 Mechagodzilla, King Caesar, Anguirus

Terror of Mechagodzilla

1975 Ishirō Honda Mechagodzilla 2, Titanosaurus
Heisei era (1984–1995)

The Return of Godzilla

1984 Koji Hashimoto Teruyoshi Nakano Giant Sea Lice [74] Kraken Releasing
17 Godzilla vs. Biollante 1989 Kazuki Ōmori Koichi Kawakita Biollante Lionsgate
18 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah 1991 King Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Dorats, Godzillasaurus Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Godzilla vs. Mothra

1992 Takao Okawara Mothra, Battra

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

1993 Mechagodzilla, Super Mechagodzilla, Rodan, Fire Rodan, Baby Godzilla
21 Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla 1994 Kensho Yamashita SpaceGodzilla, Moguera, Fairy Mothra, Little Godzilla

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

1995 Takao Okawara Destoroyah, Godzilla Junior
Millennium era (1999–2004)

Godzilla 2000: Millennium

1999 Takao Okawara Kenji Suzuki Orga, MillennianSony Pictures Home Entertainment

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

2000 Masaaki Tezuka Megaguirus, Meganulon, Meganula

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

2001 Shusuke Kaneko Makoto KamiyaKing Ghidorah, Mothra, Baragon

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

2002 Masaaki TezukaYûichi KikuchiMechagodzilla

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

2003 Eiichi AsadaMechagodzilla, Mothra, Kamoebas
28 Godzilla: Final Wars 2004 Ryuhei Kitamura Monster X, Keizer Ghidorah, Zilla, Rodan, Mothra, Gigan, King Caesar, Anguirus, Minilla, Kumonga, Kamacuras, Manda, Hedorah, Ebirah
Reiwa era (2016–present)

Shin Godzilla

2016 Hideaki Anno
Shinji Higuchi
Shinji HiguchiNone Funimation [75] [Note 2]

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters

2017 Kōbun Shizuno
Hiroyuki Seshita
N/AServum, Dogora, Dagahra, Orga, Kamacuras, Anguirus, Rodan, Mechagodzilla Netflix
31 Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle 2018 Mechagodzilla City, Servum, Vulture
32 Godzilla: The Planet Eater King Ghidorah, Mothra, Servum

Foreign adaptations

#TitleYearDirector(s)Effects directorMonster co-star(s)Current U.S. licenses
1 Godzilla, King of the Monsters! 1956 Ishirō Honda
Terry O. Morse
Eiji Tsuburaya NoneThe Criterion Collection
2 King Kong vs. Godzilla 1963 Ishirō Honda
Thomas Montgomery
King Kong, Oodako [73] Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
3 Godzilla 1976 Ishirō Honda
Luigi Cozzi
4 Godzilla 1985 1985 Koji Hashimoto
R.J. Kizer
Teruyoshi Nakano Giant Sea Lice [74] Lakeshore Entertainment

Hollywood productions

#TitleYearDirector(s)Effects directorMonster co-star(s)Current U.S. licenses
TriStar Pictures (1998)
1 Godzilla 1998 Roland Emmerich Volker Engel Baby Godzillas Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Legendary Pictures / MonsterVerse (2014–present)
1 Godzilla 2014 Gareth Edwards Jim Rygiel MUTOs (male and female) Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
2 Godzilla: King of the Monsters 2019 Michael Dougherty Guillaume Rocheron Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, King Kong, Scylla, Methuselah, Behemoth, female MUTO [77]
3 Godzilla vs. Kong 2020 Adam Wingard John “DJ” DesJardin King Kong

Guest appearances

In 2007, a CGI Godzilla appeared in the Toho slice of life movie Always Zoku Sanchōme no Yūhi (Always: Sunset on Third Street 2). In an imaginary sequence, Godzilla destroys part of 1959 Tokyo, with one of the main protagonists getting angry that Godzilla damaged his car showroom. The making of the sequence was kept a secret. Godzilla has been referenced in, and has briefly appeared in, several other films. [78] [79] Godzilla guest starred in the show Crayon Shin-chan as an antagonist. [80] Godzilla also appears in cave paintings (alongside Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah) in a post-credits scene in Kong: Skull Island .

Box office and reception

Box office performance

Below is a chart listing the number of tickets sold for each Godzilla film in Japan including the imported Hollywood films, along with their gross revenue in Japan and outside of Japan. The films are listed from the most attended to the least attended. Almost all of the 1960s films were reissued, so the lifetime number of tickets sold is listed with the initial release ticket numbers mentioned in notes.

The first 13 films, from Godzilla (1954) to Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), had collectively grossed more than $260 million worldwide, including over $130 million in Japan and over $130 million outside of Japan [81] (equivalent to around $2–5 billion adjusted for inflation). [82] Godzilla films grossed at least $20 million each in the 1970s. [83]

By 2016, Toho's Godzilla film series (excluding Hollywood productions) had sold more than 100 million tickets at the Japanese box office. [84] [85] It was the highest-grossing film series in Japan, up until it was surpassed by the anime film series Doraemon in 2013. [86]

Toho productions
FilmYearTicket sales (Japan)Box office gross revenue
JapanOther territories [lower-alpha 2]
Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla, King of the Monsters!)19549,610,000 [87] $163,000,000 [lower-alpha 3] $130,562,712 [lower-alpha 4]
Godzilla Raids Again19558,340,000 [91]
King Kong vs. Godzilla196212,550,000 [92] [lower-alpha 5]
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster19645,410,000 [91] [lower-alpha 6]
Invasion of Astro-Monster19655,130,000 [91] [lower-alpha 7]
Mothra vs. Godzilla19647,200,000 [91] [lower-alpha 8]
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep19664,210,000 [91] [lower-alpha 9]
Son of Godzilla19673,090,000 [93] [lower-alpha 10]
Destroy All Monsters19682,580,000 [93] [94]
All Monsters Attack19691,480,000 [93]
Godzilla vs. Hedorah19711,740,000 [93]
Godzilla vs. Gigan19721,800,000 [95]
Godzilla vs. Megalon1973980,000 [93]
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla19741,330,000 [93] ¥840,000,000 [96] $17,100,000 [lower-alpha 11]
Terror of Mechagodzilla1975970,000 [93] ¥730,000,000 [96] $17,500,000 [lower-alpha 12]
The Return of Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla 1985)19843,200,000 [92] ¥2,890,000,000 [98] $4,116,710 [99]
Godzilla vs. Biollante19892,000,000 [93] ¥1,770,000,000 [100]
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah19912,700,000 [93] ¥3,190,000,000 [96]
Godzilla vs. Mothra19924,200,000 [92] ¥3,770,000,000 [101]
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II19933,800,000 [91] ¥3,180,000,000 [102]
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla19943,400,000 [93] ¥2,810,000,000 [103]
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah19954,000,000 [91] [92] ¥3,400,000,000 [104]
Godzilla 2000: Millennium19992,000,000 [92] ¥1,650,000,000 [105] $10,037,492 [106]
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus20001,350,000 [92] ¥1,200,000,000 [107]
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack20012,400,000 [93] ¥2,710,000,000 [108]
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla20021,700,000 [109] ¥1,910,000,000 [110]
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.20031,100,000 [92] ¥1,300,000,000 [111]
Godzilla: Final Wars20041,500,000 [92] ¥1,260,000,000 [112] $33,570 [lower-alpha 13]
Shin Godzilla20165,690,000 [115] ¥8,250,000,000 [116] $2,620,385 [lower-alpha 14]
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters2017260,000 [120] [121] ¥342,349,800 [120] $244,713 [122]
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle201873,000 [123] ¥100,000,000 [123]
Godzilla: The Planet Eater2018130,000 [124] [121] ¥171,859,045 [124]
Total regional gross105,923,000$653,115,202$182,210,514
Total worldwide gross$835,325,716
Hollywood productions
FilmYearBox office gross revenueTicket salesBudget
United States and CanadaOther territories [lower-alpha 15] WorldwideRefUnited States and CanadaJapan
Godzilla1998$136,314,861$242,700,000$379,014,861 [125] 29,064,900 [126] 3,600,000 [92] $130,000,000 [126]
Godzilla2014$200,676,069$328,400,000$529,076,069 [127] 24,107,800 [128] 2,180,000 [87] $160,000,000 [127]
Godzilla: King of the Monsters2019$109,600,735$274,800,000$384,400,735 [129] 12,164,300 [130] [131] 479,000 [132] $170,000,000 [129]

Critical reception

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Godzilla (1954)93% (72 reviews) [133] 78% (20 reviews) [134]
Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)83% (24 reviews) [135] 60% (7 reviews) [136]
Godzilla Raids Again 56% (9 reviews) [137]
King Kong vs. Godzilla 47% (15 reviews) [138]
Mothra vs. Godzilla 92% (10 reviews) [139]
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster 75% (12 reviews) [140]
Invasion of Astro-Monster 60% (2 reviews) [141]
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep 57% (3 reviews) [142]
Son of Godzilla 60% (8 reviews) [143]
Destroy All Monsters 75% (7 reviews) [144]
All Monsters Attack 25% (8 reviews) [145]
Godzilla vs. Hedorah 58% (11 reviews) [146]
Godzilla vs. Gigan 67% (6 reviews) [147]
Godzilla vs. Megalon 38% (7 reviews) [148]
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 71% (6 reviews) [149]
Terror of Mechagodzilla 43% (7 reviews) [150]
The Return of Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla 1985 )20% (8 reviews) [151]
Godzilla vs. Biollante 71% (7 reviews) [152]
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah 56% (9 reviews) [153]
Godzilla vs. Mothra 75% (6 reviews) [154]
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II 83% (3 reviews) [155]
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla 57% (7 reviews) [156]
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah 100% (5 reviews) [157]
Godzilla (1998)16% (76 reviews) [158] 32 (23 reviews) [159]
Godzilla 2000: Millennium 57% (69 reviews) [160] 41 (23 reviews) [161]
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus 60% (5 reviews) [162]
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack 63% (14 reviews) [163]
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla 71% (1 review) [164]
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. 80% (5 reviews) [165]
Godzilla: Final Wars 45% (11 reviews) [166]
Godzilla (2014)75% (315 reviews) [167] 62 (48 reviews) [168]
Shin Godzilla 86% (61 reviews) [169] 68 (14 reviews) [170]
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters 80% (5 reviews) [171]
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)40% (302 reviews) [172] 48 (46 reviews) [173]

Other media


In Japan, Godzilla appeared in five out of the 26 episodes of Toho's live-action television program Zone Fighter in 1973. Also in Japan, Godzilla (along with a plethora of other kaiju) appeared in an animated toy show called Godzilla Island that ran from 1997–1998.

In 1992, Toho produced a children's [174] educational television series titled Adventure! Godzilland (冒険!ゴジランド,Bōken! Gojirando), which featured both live-action and animated segments. The animated segments featured various characters from the Godzilla franchise in a chibi style, [175] including Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Anguirus, along with a pink female Godzilla known as Gojirin. The series aired on TV Tokyo and was followed by a second series, Adventure! Godzilland 2(冒険!ゴジランド2,Bōken! Gojirando Tsū), in 1993. In 1994 and 1996, a series of four OVAs titled Get Going! Godzilland(すすめ!ゴジランド,Susume! Gojirando) were released on VHS by Gakken Video, and focused on teaching children how to read the hiragana alphabet and how to perform mathematics.

The success of the Godzilla franchise spawned two American Saturday morning cartoon TV series. The first one is the collaboration series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and co-produced by Toho, Godzilla . [176] The second one is the series produced by Sony Pictures Television, Godzilla: The Series , a cartoon sequel to the 1998 film. [177] Both series feature a scientific investigative team who call upon Godzilla as an ally, as well as making several homages to the Shōwa films. Several antagonist monsters in both series have been inspired by extant Toho creations.

In 1991, two Godzilla films, Godzilla vs. Megalon and Godzilla versus the Sea Monster, were shown on the movie-mocking TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 .

A parody creature resembling Godzilla, alongside another parody character resembling what appears to be a hybrid between Ultraman and Kamen Rider, appears in the television special Olive, the Other Reindeer during the song "Merry Christmas After All", during part of which Olive, Santa and the other reindeer are shown passing through Tokyo delivering gifts. The two characters are shown to be friendly and taking part in the song and dance routine shown to include numerous figures, both real and fictional, in the show in various locations visited by the team as they make Santa's annual trip around the world.

Godzilla made an appearance in a Nike commercial in which Godzilla (this version was created at ILM) went one-on-one in an oversized basketball game with a giant version of the NBA star Charles Barkley. [178]

Godzilla has been referenced multiple times in the American animated TV sitcom The Simpsons . Godzilla first appeared in the episode "Lisa on Ice" when Lisa imagines herself on Monster Island and is chased by various kaiju, including Godzilla. It has also been referenced in "Treehouse of Horror VI", "Mayored to the Mob" (where Godzilla can be seen signing autographs at Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con), "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" (in which the plane carrying the Simpson family is being attacked by Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and Gamera), "Simpsons Tall Tales", "Treehouse of Horror XVI", "Homerazzi", "Wedding for Disaster", "The Real Housewives of Fat Tony", "Treehouse of Horror XXIV" and "Treehouse of Horror XXVI".

#TitleYearMonster Co-star(s)Licenses/Media
1 Zone Fighter 1973Red Spark, Jikiro, Destro-King, Dorora, Wargilgar, Spyler, King Ghidorah, Dragon King, Gilmaras, Gelderah, Spideros, Garoga Gorilla, Shadorah, Shipdoror, Gigan, Barakidon, Garaborg, Detragon, Zandora, Mogranda, Balgaras, Gundarguirus, Goram, Jellar, Kastom Jellar, Super Jikiro, Bakugon, Needlar, Kabutogirah, Grotogauros Toho Video - DVD
2 Godzilla 1978–1979Godzooky, Fire Bird, Earth Eater, Stone Guardians of Ramal, Megavolt Monsters, Seaweed Monsters, Energy Beast, Colossus, Cyclops Creature, Chimera, Minotaur, Magnetic Monster, Breeder Beast, Great Watchuka, Diplodocus, Time Dragon a.k.a. Allosaurus, Giant Squid, Giant Fly, Axor, Power Dragon, Giant Octopus, Cyborg Whale, Giant Venus' Flytrap, Giant Bees, Giant Dragonfly, Giant Ants, Giant Beetle, Giant Black Widow Spider, Moon Monster, Giant Magma Lizards, Macro-Spider Crab, Macro-Sea Turtle, Macro-Jellyfish, Macro-Tropical Fish, Macro-Sharks, Macro-Squids, Macro-Sea Horses, Macro-Electric Eels, Flying Macro-Manta Ray, Golden Guardians of Kyat-nor Classic Media - DVD (Season 1 (1978) available only, with its 13 episodes on three volumes (episodes 1-4 on Volume 1, episodes 5-8 on Volume 2 and episodes 9-13 on Volume 3; Season 2 (1979), with episodes 14-26, currently unavailable))
3 Godzilla Island 1997–1998 Godzilla Junior, Mothra, Battra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Anguirus, Gigan, Hedorah, SpaceGodzilla, Destoroyah, Baragon, King Caesar, Moguera, Megalon, Gorosaurus, Kamacuras, Jet Jaguar, Dogora Toho Video
4 Godzilla: The Series 1998–2000 Baby Godzilla, Crustaceous Rex, Giant Squids, Nanotech Creature, El Gusano Gigante, Cyber-Flies, Giant Rats, Cryptoclidus, Reptilians, Crackler, Queen Bee, Mutant Carnivorous Plants, Quetzalcoatl, Baby Quetzalcoatl, Ice Borers, Baby Ice Borers, Nessie a.k.a. the Loch Ness Monster, Baby Nessie, Giant Albino Yeti a.k.a. Robo-Yeti, King Cobra, Termite Queen, Giant Bat, Cyber-Godzilla, Chameleon, Bacillus, Giant Mutant Black Widow Spider, Techno-Sentient, Silver Hydra, D.N.A. Mimic, Lizard Slayers, Swamp Beast, Fire Monster, Norzzug the Iron Lion, Giant Mutant Hummingbirds, Medusa, Giant Gila Monster, Megapede a.k.a. Giant Cicada, Giant Centipede, Ts-eh-Go, Armillaria, Shrewster, Skeetera, D.R.A.G.M.A.s, Mutant Jellyfish, Komodithrax, Giant Turtle, Thorny Devil, Giant Armadillo, Desert Lizard, Desert Rat, Deep-Dweller, Rhinosaurus, Giant Water Beetle Mill Creek Entertainment – DVD (all 40 episodes, including two that never aired originally, are available here in chronological order, in contrast to how the broadcast order showed many episodes out of sequence)

Video games

A game called Gojira-kun (which was originally going to be titled Gojiraland) [179] was released for the MSX in 1985. The art style is similar to that of the chibi-style Godzilland series. In 1990, Gojira-kun: Kaijū Daikōshin was released for the Game Boy. It featured sprites that were similar to the ones used in Gojira-kun. The game included cut scenes that depicted a different style to the rest of the game. In 1993, Super Godzilla 's Bagan, a newly created Toho-approved creation (which had previously been intended for appearances in several 1990s Toho films that were never made), was released for the SNES and featured original monsters that were video game-only kaiju in a former film/movie.

In 2007, Godzilla: Unleashed , featuring Krystalak and Obsidius, two newly created Toho-approved creations, was released for the Wii and DS and featured original monsters that were video game-only kaiju. Legendary's Godzilla was featured as a playable character in Bandai Namco's 2014 video game Godzilla as "Hollywood Godzilla". [180] The widely popular video game Pokémon has made multiple references to Godzilla. The Dark/Rock type Pokémon Tyranitar is a direct reference to Godzilla. The Pokémon's appearance is a large green lizard monster-type creature who is characterised as an unstoppable force. In 2015–present, Gojira and Godzilla 2600 from the Homebrew fangame were released for the NES and Atari 2600.


A Godzilla series of books was published by Random House during the late 1990s and the first half of 2000. The company created different series for different age groups, the Scott Ciencin series being aimed at preteens and the Marc Cerasini series being aimed at teens and young adults. Several manga have been derived from specific Godzilla films and both Marvel and Dark Horse have published Godzilla comic book series (1977–1979 and 1987–1999, respectively). In 2011, IDW Publishing started a new series, Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters, rebooting the Godzilla story. It was followed by two sequel series, Godzilla (published in book form as Godzilla: History's Greatest Monster) and Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, as well as seven five-issue miniseries to date.

To tie-in with the 2014 film, three books were published. Titan Books published a novelization of the movie in May 2014, written by Greg Cox. The graphic novel Godzilla: Awakening by Max Borenstein, Greg Borenstein and Eric Battle served as a prequel, and Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta told about the making of the movie. Godzilla has been referenced in The Simpsons comics on three separate occasions. The character is featured in Bart Simpson's Guide to Life where it and other kaiju characters such as Minilla and King Ghidorah can be seen; it is featured in the comic "An Anime Among Us!" and K-Bart. Godzilla is also featured in the comic Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror 7 where it and other kaiju can be seen referenced on the front cover. Godzilla has also been referenced in Marc Brown's Arthur adventure book called Arthur's April Fool, where Francine told Arthur and Buster that they need to pick on someone their own size, like Godzilla. Both Godzilla and Arthur became the two of the most popular characters to root for.


Godzilla: The Album , the soundtrack album of Godzilla (1998), sold 2.5 million copies worldwide. [181] The album's lead single, "Come with Me" by Puff Daddy featuring Jimmy Page, sold a certified 2.025 million copies worldwide. [182] Its Japan-exclusive single, "Lose Control" by Japanese rock band L'Arc-en-Ciel, sold 938,401 copies in Japan. [183] Shin Godzilla Ongakushuu , the soundtrack album of Shin Godzilla (2016), sold 43,951 copies in Japan. [184] Mars (1991), an album by the Japanese rock duo B'z featuring a Godzilla-themed song, sold 1,730,500 copies in Japan. [185]

Blue Öyster Cult released the song "Godzilla" in 1977. It was the first track, and the second of four singles, from their fifth studio album Spectres (also 1977). Artists such as Fu Manchu, Racer X and Double Experience have included cover versions of this song on their albums. American musician Michale Graves wrote a song titled "Godzilla" for his 2005 album Punk Rock Is Dead. The lyrics mention Godzilla and several on-screen adversaries such as Mothra, Hedorah, Destoroyah and Gigan. [186] The Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura has a song titled "Biotech is Godzilla" on its 1993 release Chaos A.D. [187] The French death metal band Gojira named the band after Godzilla's name in Japanese. [188]

The song "Simon Says" by Pharoahe Monch is a hip-hop remix of the Godzilla March theme song. The instrumental version of this song was notably used in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels . The British band Lostprophets released a song called "We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan" on its second studio album Start Something . The American punk band Groovie Ghoulies released a song called "Hats off to You (Godzilla)" as a tribute to Godzilla. It is featured on the EP Freaks on Parade released in 2002. The American artist Doctor Steel released a song called 'Atomic Superstar' about Godzilla on his album People of Earth in 2002. In 2003, the British singer Siouxsie Sioux released the album Hái! with her band The Creatures; the album had a Japanese theme with a song dedicated to the monster, simply titled "Godzilla!".

The record label Shifty issued compilation Destroysall with 15 songs from 15 bands, ranging from hardcore punk to doom-laden death metal. Not all of the songs are dedicated to Godzilla, but all do appear connected to monsters from Toho Studios. Fittingly, the disc was released on August 1, 2003, the 35th anniversary of the Japanese release of Destroy All Monsters. King Geedorah (a.k.a. MF DOOM) released Take Me to Your Leader , a hip-hop album featuring guests from the group Monsta Island Czars, another Godzilla-themed hip-hop group. These albums include multiple Godzilla samples throughout the series. Taiwanese American electronic musician Mochipet released the EP Godzilla Rehab Center on August 21, 2012, featuring songs named after monsters in the series including Gigan, King Ghidorah, Moguera and Hedorah.

Cultural impact

Godzilla is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture worldwide and is an important facet of Japanese films, embodying the kaiju subset of the tokusatsu genre. It has been considered a filmographic metaphor for the United States (with the "-zilla" part of the name being used in vernacular language as a suffix to indicate something of exaggerated proportions), as well as an allegory of nuclear weapons in general. The earlier Godzilla films, especially the original Godzilla, portrayed Godzilla as a frightening, nuclear monster. Godzilla represented the fears that many Japanese held about the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the possibility of recurrence. [189]

At least two prehistoric creatures from the fossil record have been named after Godzilla. Gojirasaurus quayi is a theropod dinosaur that lived in the Triassic Period; a partial skeleton was unearthed in Quay County, New Mexico. [190] Dakosaurus andiniensis , a crocodile from the Jurassic Period, was nicknamed "Godzilla" before being scientifically classified. In 2010 the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society named their most recently acquired scout vessel MV Gojira. Toho, the people in charge of the Godzilla franchise, served them with a notice to remove the name and in response the boat's name was changed in May 2011 to MV Brigitte Bardot. [191]

Steven Spielberg cited Godzilla as an inspiration for Jurassic Park (1993), specifically Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), which he grew up watching. [192] During its production, Spielberg described Godzilla as "the most masterful of all the dinosaur movies because it made you believe it was really happening." [193] Godzilla also influenced the Spielberg film Jaws (1975). [194] [195]


The Return of Godzilla (1984) generated $230,000,000 merchandise sales in Japan. [196] Godzilla (1998) generated more than $400,000,000 in North American merchandise sales. [197] In Japan, Godzilla merchandise sold ¥1.93 billion ($24.19 million) in 2005, [198] ¥7,000,000,000 ($64.36 million) in 2016 [199] and ¥15,000,000,000 ($136 million) in 2017. [200] Combined, Godzilla generated more than $852.5 million in merchandise sales as of 2017.


(*) In 1996 Godzilla received an award for Lifetime Achievement at the MTV Movie Awards. Creator and producer Shōgo Tomiyama accepted on his behalf via satellite and was joined by "Godzilla" himself.

Name usage

"-zilla" is a well-known slang suffix, used to imply some form of excess to a person, object or theme; [205] some examples being the reality show Bridezillas and the Netscape-derived web browser Mozilla Firefox. "-Zilla" is rumored to mean "reptilian" as shown in the kaiju name, "Zilla". It has no word before its meaning, therefore it is not purely a suffix.

See also


  1. [36] [37] [38] [39] [40]
  2. Including North America
  3. Japan box office for first 13 films up until Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
  4. Overseas box office for first 13 films up until Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
    • Up until 1977 – $130,000,000+ [81]
    • Godzilla (1954) limited North American re-releases in 2004 and 2014 – $562,711 (including $491,389 in 2004, [89] and $150,191 in 2014) [90]
  5. 11.25 million tickets upon initial release.
  6. 4.32 million tickets upon initial release.
  7. 3.78 million tickets upon initial release.
  8. 3.51 million tickets upon initial release.
  9. 3.45 million tickets upon initial release
  10. 2.48 million tickets upon initial release
  11. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla$20,000,000+ worldwide [83]
    • Japan – ¥840,000,000 ($2,875,905) [97]
  12. Terror of Mechagodzilla$20,000,000+ worldwide [83]
    • Japan – ¥730,000,000 ($2,459,676) [97]
  13. $33,462 in Taiwan. [113] ₩120,000 ($108) in South Korea. [114]
  14. $1,918,403 in the United States and Canada. [117] $192,492 in Australia and South Korea. [118] $509,490 in other territories. [119]
  15. Including Japan
  1. Janus Films and The Criterion Collection have sub-licensed these films from DreamWorks Classics (formerly known as Classic Media), who hold permanent rights to the Japanese and English versions of these films: Godzilla (1954), Godzilla Raids Again (1955), Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), Rodan (1956), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), The War of the Gargantuas (1966), All Monsters Attack (1969), and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). [69] [70] On April 28, 2016, NBCUniversal announced it would be acquiring DreamWorks Classics' parent company DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion. [71] The acquisition was completed on August 22. [72]
  2. On July 31, 2017, Sony Pictures Television announced that it would buy a controlling 95% stake in Funimation for $143,000,000, a deal that closed on October 27, 2017. [76]

Related Research Articles

<i>King Kong vs. Godzilla</i> 1962 film by Ishirō Honda

King Kong vs. Godzilla is a 1962 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho, it is the third film in the Godzilla franchise, and the first of two Toho-produced films featuring King Kong. It is also the first time that both characters appeared on film in color and widescreen. The film stars Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yū Fujiki, Ichirō Arishima, and Mie Hama, with Shoichi Hirose as King Kong and Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla. In the film, as Godzilla is reawakened by an American submarine, a pharmaceutical company captures King Kong for promotional uses, which culminates into a battle on Mount Fuji.

<i>Ebirah, Horror of the Deep</i> 1966 film by Jun Fukuda

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep is a 1966 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda and produced and distributed by Toho Studios. The film stars Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno, Akihiko Hirata and Eisei Amamoto, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Mothra, and Ebirah. It is the seventh film in the Godzilla franchise, and features special effects by Sadamasa Arikawa, under the supervision of Eiji Tsuburaya. In the film, Godzilla and Ebirah are portrayed by Haruo Nakajima and Hiroshi Sekita, respectively.

<i>Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah</i> 1991 film by Kazuki Ōmori

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is a 1991 Japanese kaiju film written and directed by Kazuki Ōmori and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. The film, produced and distributed by Toho Studios, is the 18th film in the Godzilla franchise, and is the third film in the franchise's Heisei period. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla and King Ghidorah, and stars Kōsuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Yoshio Tsuchiya, and Robert Scott Field.

<i>Godzilla vs. Mothra</i> 1992 film by Takao Okawara

Godzilla vs. Mothra is a 1992 Japanese kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara, written by Kazuki Ōmori, and produced by Shogo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 19th film in the Godzilla franchise, and is the fourth film in the franchise's Heisei period. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Mothra, and Battra, and stars Tetsuya Bessho, Satomi Kobayashi, Takehiro Murata, Megumi Odaka, Shiori Yonezawa, Makoto Otake, Akiji Kobayashi, Koichi Ueda, Shinya Owada, Keiko Imamura, Sayaka Osawa, Saburo Shinoda and Akira Takarada, with Kenpachiro Satsuma as Godzilla. The plot follows Battra and Mothra's attempts to stop Godzilla from attacking Yokohama.

Rodan kaiju

Rodan is a fictional monster, or kaiju, which first appeared as the title character in Ishirō Honda's 1956 film Rodan, produced and distributed by Toho. Following its debut standalone appearance, Rodan would go on to be featured in numerous entries in Godzilla franchise, including Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, and Godzilla: Final Wars, as well as in the Legendary Pictures-produced film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Mothra kaiju who first appeared in Tohos 1961 film Mothra

Mothra is a fictional monster, or kaiju, that first appeared in the 1961 film Mothra, produced and distributed by Toho Studios. Mothra has appeared in several Toho tokusatsu films, most often as a recurring character in the Godzilla franchise. She is typically portrayed as a colossal sentient larva (caterpillar) or imago (moth), accompanied by two miniature female humanoids speaking on her behalf. Unlike other Toho monsters, Mothra is a largely heroic character, having been variously portrayed as a protector of her own island culture, the Earth and Japan. Though identified as a kind of moth, the character's design incorporates elements more frequently associated with butterflies, and has caddisfly-like mandibles rather than a proboscis. The character is often depicted hatching offspring when approaching death, a nod to the Saṃsāra doctrine of numerous Indian religions.

King Ghidorah fictional character

King Ghidorah is a fictional monster, or kaiju, which first appeared in Ishirō Honda's 1964 film Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster. Although the name of the character is officially trademarked by Toho as "King Ghidorah", the character was originally referred to as Ghidrah in some English markets.

<i>Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla</i> 1974 film by Jun Fukuda

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is a 1974 Japanese kaiju film directed by Jun Fukuda, with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 14th film of the Godzilla franchise, and features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Anguirus, and King Caesar, along with the mecha character Mechagodzilla. The film stars Masaaki Daimon, Kazuya Aoyama, Gorō Mutsumi, and Akihiko Hirata, with Isao Zushi as Godzilla, Satoru Kuzumi as both Anguirus and King Caesar, and Kazunari Mori as Mechagodzilla. The film marks the first appearances of King Caesar and Mechagodzilla in the franchise.

<i>Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster</i> 1964 film by Ishirō Honda

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster is a 1964 Japanese kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. Produced and distributed by Toho, it is the fifth film in the Godzilla franchise, and was the second Godzilla film produced that year, after Mothra vs. Godzilla. The film stars Yosuke Natsuki, Hiroshi Koizumi, Akiko Wakabayashi, with Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla, Masanori Shinohara as Rodan, and Shoichi Hirose as King Ghidorah. In the film, a Venus alien, possessing the body of a princess, warns humanity of the arrival of King Ghidorah, with Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra being their last hope for survival.

<i>Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II</i> 1993 film by Takao Okawara

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, is a 1993 Japanese kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara, written by Wataru Mimura, and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 20th film in the Godzilla franchise, as well as the fifth film to be released during the franchise's Heisei period. The film features the fictional monster character Godzilla, along with Baby Godzilla and the mecha character Mechagodzilla. Despite its Japanese and English titles, the film is not a sequel to the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.

<i>Godzilla: Monster of Monsters</i> 1988 video game

Godzilla: Monster of Monsters! (ゴジラ) is a Nintendo Entertainment System video game released in the US in 1988 by Toho Co., Ltd. The North American version removes all references about Toho Cenfile-Soft Library and Compile, crediting the game to Toho Eizo on the title screen instead.

<i>Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla</i> 1994 Japanese science fiction kaiju film directed by Kenshō Yamashita

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is a 1994 Japanese kaiju film directed by Kensho Yamashita, written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara, and produced by Shōgo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 21st film in the Godzilla franchise, as well as the sixth film in the franchise's Heisei series. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla, Mothra, Godzilla Junior, and SpaceGodzilla, as well as the mecha character M.O.G.U.E.R.A., in its first appearance since the 1957 film The Mysterians.

<i>Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack</i> 2001 film by Shūsuke Kaneko

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is a 2001 Japanese kaiju film directed by Shūsuke Kaneko. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 26th film in the Godzilla franchise and the third film in the franchise's Millennium era, as well as the 25th Godzilla film produced by Toho.

<i>Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla</i> 2002 film by Masaaki Tezuka

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is a 2002 Japanese kaiju film directed by Masaaki Tezuka, written by Wataru Mimura, and produced by Shogo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 27th film in the Godzilla franchise and the fourth film in the franchise's Millennium period, and is also the 26th Godzilla film produced by Toho. The film features the fictional giant monster character Godzilla, along with an updated version of the mecha character Mechagodzilla, who is referred to in the film as Kiryu. The film stars Yumiko Shaku, Shin Takuma, Kou Takasugi, Yuusuke Tomoi, Kumi Mizuno, and Akira Nakao, with Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla and Hirofumi Ishigaki as Kiryu.

<i>Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.</i> 2003 film by Masaaki Tezuka

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. is a 2003 Japanese kaiju film directed by Masaaki Tezuka, written by Tezuka and Masahiro Yokotani, and produced by Shogo Tomiyama. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 28th film in the Godzilla franchise, the fifth film in the franchise's Millennium series, the 27th Godzilla film produced by Toho, and a direct sequel to the 2002 film Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. The film features the fictional monster characters Godzilla and Mothra, along with the mecha character Mechagodzilla, who is referred to in the film by the name Kiryu.

Shōgo Tomiyama is a Japanese writer and producer.

Koichi Kawakita (川北紘一) was a Japanese Special Effects Director and Actor.

Godzilla Island was a television show spinoff of the Godzilla franchise. It premiered on October 6, 1997, and ran for a total of 256 three-minute episodes, finishing on September 30, 1998.

<i>Godzilla</i> (2014 video game) 2014 video game

Godzilla is a 2014 video game developed by Natsume and published by Bandai Namco Games for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 based on the Japanese monster Godzilla franchise by Toho. It was first released on December 18, 2014 in Japan only for the PlayStation 3. It was released on July 14, 2015 in North America and on July 17, 2015 in Europe. The Western PlayStation 4 version is based on the upgraded Japanese release called Godzilla VS, released on July 14, 2015, containing more content such as additional monsters.



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