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This Is The Most Disappointing Movie In The Warner Bros. MonsterVerse

No screen legend has aged better than King Kong or Godzilla. Our favorite giant ape first swung into action in 1933, while the big lizard roared into Japan in 1954. Since then, the two super creatures have headlined dozens of films, including their first faceoff in 1962, and have generated billions in box office returns. In 2014, Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures launched what would in 2017 become known as the "Monsterverse," a shared universe franchise with Kong and Godzilla as the featured players, introducing a new generation of moviegoers to the two cinematic behemoths.

The Legendary-Warner Bros. collaboration has thus far produced four films, with 2021's "Godzilla vs. Kong" as the latest entry. Despite the age of its two stars (88 years for Kong, 67 for Godzilla), the Monsterverse has filled movie theaters and helped usher in the age of same-day streaming releases. Looper recently fielded a survey, asking 536 Americans which of the four Monsterverse films they felt was the most disappointing.

Godzilla works best alone

Of the 536 survey participants, 16.04% voted 2014's "Godzilla" into fourth place making it the de facto least disappointing option. Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, and Bryan Cranston, "Godzilla" laid the foundation for the Monsterverse. Critics enjoyed the film, giving it a 76% favorable score on Rotten Tomatoes, though some felt the oversized dinosaur received too little screen time (via Indiewire). Audiences rewarded the franchise-starter with a box office take of nearly $525 million, more than covering its $160 million production budget (via Box Office Mojo), making it the 11th best earner of the year according to Box Office Mojo.

In 2019, Godzilla made his second solo outing in the third film of the Monsterverse. "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," which received 25.56% of the survey's votes and was directed and co-written by Michael Dougherty, whose previous work includes co-writing "X2: X-Men United" and directing the Christmas horror-comedy "Krampus." Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga star in the "Godzilla" sequel, playing Drs. Mark and Emma Russell, parents to Millie Bobby Brown's Madison. Unlike its 2014 predecessor, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" did not wow the critics. The film currently holds a 42% favorable score on RT, a significant drop from "Godzilla." The movie also experienced a sizable drop in profits. Despite a $170 million budget, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" only earned $384 million at the box office (via Box Office Mojo), but it earned the second-fewest votes, making it the second-least disappointing.

Kong may be the king, but ...

With 27.43% of the vote, "Godzilla vs. Kong" comes in as the second-most disappointing Monsterverse film. Directing duties for the Monsterverse's own clash of the titans went to Adam Wingard. With a budget reportedly at $200 million (via Deadline), "GvK" is the Monsterverse's most expensive project, as well as Wingard's first blockbuster effort — the largest budget Wingard had worked with prior was the $40-50 million "Death Note" (via Engadget). Millie Bobby Brown reprises her "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" role and is joined by co-lead Alexander Skarsgård. According to Rotten Tomatoes, "Godzilla vs. Kong" earned a 76% favorable score among critics. According to Box Office Mojo, the film generated $440 million in ticket sales. However, the movie's true earnings are difficult to determine given its simultaneous theatrical and streaming releases.

After "Godzilla" kicked off the Monsterverse, it was followed by "Kong: Skull Island" in 2017. With just two film directing credits, Jordan Vogt-Roberts took the reins on the second Monsterverse movie, working with a budget of $185 million (via Box Office Mojo). Marvel Cinematic Universe powerhouses Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and Brie Larson star in the film, alongside John Goodman. Among those who participated in Looper's survey, 30.97% judged "Kong: Skull Island" as the most disappointing entry into the Monsterverse. Critics, however, disagreed, giving the movie a 75% favorable Rotten Tomatoes score, which likely contributed to the impressive $566 million box office — the best showing of the four Monsterverse movies.