It's also revived interest in the Toho flicks as a whole. Not just those three films but other films are being picked up for Blu-ray releases, younger audiences have been inspired to go and watch the Toho flicks, and torrent downloads of the old flicks have been given a considerable boost too.
Not only that, but it's because of its box office success and the revival of the Godzilla fandom that Toho has started making Godzilla movies again.
In the leaked Wondercon footage, Ford Brody saves a little kid from falling to his possible death, this after comforting him when all of the power goes out at the airport.
He also reassures the kid when the lights go back on. Notice that he's holding his hand.
Earlier, he's shown giving the kid the action figure that he saved from the wreckage of his old home.
Joe's parting words to his son. The guy's just seen the creature that killed his wife 15 years ago, however indirectly; and it drops the bridge he's standing on. Yet, what does he say to Ford, with his dying breaths? "Go...Go back to your family. You keep them safe. Whatever it takes." Nothing about revenge, nothing about telling the world the truth—no, Joe tells Ford to do what he couldn't: protect his family. Oh, Joe, we hardly knew ye...
When the male and female MUTO finally meet, there is a rather cute mini-courtship scene where the male presents a nuclear warhead to the female as a food-present. They nuzzle each other and touch mouths while making small clicking noises before the female takes the warhead. Fans who saw Gareth Edward's previous film Monsters will recall similar sympathetic treatment of its titular monsters.
It's very Meta but needs to be said. Gareth Edward's treatment and respect of the monsters presented in the film is so beautifully done it deserves applause alone. They aren't just these soulless, giant malicious creatures that are hellbent on destroying everything and anything in their path. They breathe. They live. They thrive. We can see just how natural and primal they are. They act and react just according to how an animal would. These aren't shown to be the old men in rubber suits thrashing around. But as actual animals who are doing what simply comes naturally to them.
Tied with a bit of a tearjerker but the two M.U.T.O.s see an explosion over by their nest and react much the same as the various other parents in the movie do when their children are in danger.
Sometime after, Godzilla has the female MUTO at his mercy...and then the male one flies in and attacks him as if to say "GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY WIFE!"
Godzilla himself showed he had no quarrel with the humans. He several times over the course of the movie goes out of his way to avoid casualties, and when ships get in the way he tries to dive to avoid them. Hell his first scene he could have easily cut through the USS Saratoga to get to the male MUTO. Instead, he took the time to dive underneath the ship and surface on the other side. And when he first appears in San Francisco? He stops and tries a alternate route through the blockade, only slamming through when he has no choice. And when the movie's all said and done...he's earned a hero's send off from the city!
After Godzilla has defeated the male MUTO, a skyscraper falls on him, he falls crashing to the streets as Ford is running by, and they see each other. Ford looks on with awe and respect; while Godzilla returns an exhausted but somewhat peaceful expression, before vanishing in a cloud of dust and smoke. Thinking about it, if one believes Godzilla's intelligence, it might be influenced by Ford destroying the MUTO nest, saving Godzilla's life. It's like Godzilla is saying, non-verbally, both "Nice job, human" and "You all right down there, buddy?" Or at least "Hello, human. Thanks for the help..." or "We fought well today, rest now."
The above might not even be a matter of interpretation; the novelization even touches on this. Ford is totally awestruck at the intelligence in Godzilla's eyes - this is not some primitive beast.
The reunion between the Japanese kid that Ford rescues and his parents, who managed to live through the attack on the airport.
Godzilla being honored as a hero, given two titles: King of the Monsters and Savior of our City?.
A meta-example: After the premiere, many of the Toho executives and staff were seen smiling, but some were actually crying tears of joy at their most beloved and famous character's respectful treatment in the film.
Ford's interaction with Elle and Sam.
The expressions of joy and relief on the faces of Dr. Serizawa and Dr. Graham when Godzilla wakes up and leaves in the finale.
A whole bunch of people in the crowd are smiling - even cheering - for him. The news even has the subtitle: "King of the Monsters - Savior of our City?"
Meta-example: Gareth Edwards getting to direct the movie. He has been a fan of Godzilla since he was a young boy, having watched Godzilla cartoons, before going on to watch the movies a few years later. Every time Edwards brings up getting the chance to direct the film and how it's been a dream, you can see his face light up and fill with that child-like joy as he excitedly describes it. You can truly tell that his dream has come true, and that he couldn't be happier.
Even more so, even though we don't know for sure, but stomping out with over $200 million opening weekend must've felt unbelievable. Then getting the deal to direct a Godzilla Trilogy, might have caused a few tears of joy.
The ending. Will Godzilla be atomized by an Oxygen Destroyer? Will he be tricked into a volcano? Will he be shot down by jets on the Golden Gate Bridge like a very similar kaiju did on the Brooklyn Bridge? Nope! He'll go back home, head held high, as a borderline hero.
It's been mentioned multiple times, but it bares repeating. At the end of the movie, Godzilla is honored not as a monster, not as some feared and despised creature, but as a HERO. In almost all of his other movies, even after he has saved humanity from the monster of the week no one has ever cheered for him. They would just stand by, wondering whether or not he was a necessary evil. Not in this one. Godzilla gets up, and the people cheer. The big man finally gets a proper send off, and it can bring a tear to any Godzilla fan's eye.