How much is too much: “Godzilla” and its many, many, sequels


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Godzilla’s downhill spiral

Bryson Dilbeck, Staff Writer

There’s no doubt that “Godzilla” is one of the most iconic names across the globe, and when it comes to children and adults, most would probably recognize the name. But how exactly did it become so popular? The original movie released in 1954, simply titled “Godzilla,” was a hit in Japan, making around 1.1 billion yen (or about 10 million USD,) in today’s economy. Godzilla was a hit in the USA as well, making about $22 million in today’s time. 

The movie is praised as a classic today, and is considered one of the best movies of the 1950’s. But the huge success of the original movie was also the course of the downfall of the series. Godzilla is now not only known for its great first release, but it’s many sequels, most of them being seen as low-quality by its fans and critics. Despite this, the series still remains popular because of its cult-like following.

One of the best ways to see the collective opinion of fans and critics alike is Rotten Tomatoes, a website that allows anyone to leave a review on many different movies. It has rated most, if not all, of the 36 Godzilla movies. If  the average rating of the movies is taken, and divided in sections by decade it’s pretty easy to see the decline of the series. 

The Godzilla movies released in the 1950’s scored an average of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, 1960’s scored an average of 61%, the 1970’s scored an average of 59%, the 1980’s scored an average of 56%, the 1990’s scored an average of 63%, the 2000’s scored an average of 67%, the 2010’s scored an average of 68%, and the one Godzilla movie released in the 2020’s, “Godzilla vs. Kong”, which came to theaters in 2021, scored 75%.

It’s obvious through these averages that the view of Godzilla as a series is alright through most people’s eyes, with no decade scoring lower than a 50%. However, the series has been on a decline since the original movie. Especially from 1960 to 1980, the average kept going down, but since 1990, the average has been increasing. It is not out of this world to believe that the Godzilla movies have been better since 1990, but the averages may be inflated due to the fact that expectations were low, and when you receive something better than you expect, it can appear to be a lot better than it actually is.

These bad ratings aren’t without reason, especially from the mid to late 20th century, the plot of most of the movies were known to be messy or in general, boring. Recent movies have had a solid plot, but they weren’t executed as effectively, as the movies have struggled in balancing on screen time for both humans and monsters. If the series can’t fix this issue, then this could lead to another massive decline, and maybe do permanent damage to the Godzilla name. 

There’s no doubt that Godzilla is a legendary name among films, but some legends should be put to rest before they are no longer considered one. 

Contact Bryson Dilbeck at [email protected]