'Godzilla' tramples rivals with summer season's first monster hit

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK Sun May 18, 2014 12:14pm EDT

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK May 18 (Reuters) - Monster movie remake "Godzilla" crushed its competitors at U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend, stomping its way to the top of box office charts with an estimated $93.2 million in ticket sales for the year's second-biggest debut.

"Godzilla" trounced second-place finisher "Neighbors", an adult comedy that led domestic sales a week ago which pulled in $26 million, according to data released Sunday by Rentrak.

Superhero sequel "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" grabbed the No. 3 slot with $16.8 million.

The new "Godzilla" stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a naval officer who battles the reawakened monster. Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston plays the officer's scientist father.

The big start was second only to the $95 million opening for

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier".

The movie, produced by Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, is a remake of the classic 1954 Japanese film about a giant lizard created when U.S. nuclear weapons testing goes awry.

"Neighbors" stars Seth Rogen as a former party guy who moves in next to a frat house and spars with its president, played by "High School Musical" actor Zac Efron.

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2", a follow-up to a 2012 blockbuster, stars Andrew Garfield as the web-slinging superhero.

Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, released "Neighbors". Sony Corp's movie studio distributed "Spider-Man 2". (Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Chris Michaud; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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