Pacific Rim: Could It Be A Monster-Sized Box Office Flop?

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PacRimWith the release of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim in a few short weeks, there is still a big question mark surrounding how general audiences will receive an original science fiction movie about giant robots battling giant alien sea monsters. Added to the film’s central premise, there are no really recognizable Hollywood stars in the new film. Is Pacific Rim positioned to be a box office bomb rather than the giant smash hit movie that genre fans would like it to be?

According to Variety — buried in an article about Pacific Rim‘s production company, Legendary Pictures, parting ways with Warner Bros. — Guillermo del Toro’s latest creature feature isn’t tracking very well with general audiences. Apparently, America is more interested in Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2 than Pacific Rim. [If you’ll excuse me, I need to go kill myself. – Ed.] Variety’s Marc Graser explains:

Tull’s (Legendary’s CEO) company has a lot riding on the success of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, a more than $200 million-budgeted tentpole, which is facing some hurdles in exciting moviegoers before its July 12 release despite getting a major promotional push since last summer’s Comic-Con in San Diego.

Early tracking for [Pacific Rim] is so far disappointing with audiences showing more interest in Sony Pictures’ sequel Grown Ups 2, which also opens that weekend. Some are comparing Pacific Rim to to Saban’s Power Rangers kids franchise or Japanese anime. As a result, expect a last-minute marketing blitz from distributor and 25% investor Warner Bros. to try to turn around those numbers.

So what does this mean? Well, if you believe in early tracking, Pacific Rim appears poised to be a giant flop in the making. But if you think the quality and word-of-mouth of Pacific Rim will be high, then it stands a chance of being successful. Warner Bros. will be pouring in more money into promoting the film before Pacific Rim‘s release, but if general audiences believe that del Toro’s latest is for children, then perhaps Pacific Rim can be sold as somewhat of a family film, if it isn’t too violent.

Legendary Pictures is looking for a new deal with Warner Bros. before the Fourth of July holiday. If that doesn’t happen, Legendary Pictures will most likely move to another movie studio like Universal or Twentieth Century Fox. Warner Bros. is also looking to oversee and be more hands-on with their DC Comics properties, instead of having a third party like Legendary Pictures, who produced all three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, Superman Returns, and Man of Steel, take over big comic book franchises.

As for Pacific Rim, it’s a $200 million tentpole summer would-be blockbuster about giant robots fighting giant alien sea monsters. Without celebrity-star power, maybe the science fiction film doesn’t have a chance against more mainstream material like Grown Ups 2.

Pacific Rim will hit theaters everywhere on July 12, in 3D and IMAX.


  1. John Whorfin says:

    Sigh. Legendary is not looking for a new deal with Warner Bros. – they’re looking for a new deal with another studio. This has been widely reported.

  2. Daniel Rogers says:

    to be honest it’ll be good to actually watch a film where i can just enjoy giant monster and robots fighting just for the fucking fun of it without having to find any deeper meaning in what its trying to say (i hope at least it doesn’t try to be anything more))

  3. Dyce Raptor says:

    I doubt it will flop. Asian and European markets will likely have a big turn out for this. Domestically it might not make back its budget. But other countries are big into this genre of big monsters vs big machines.

  4. Nathan Paul Kennedy says:

    I’ve seen trailers for this and quite frankly, if I’m not interested in Transformers 3 or 4, why would I be interested in this? What’s more, they can push the trailers as much as they want, the film still looks crap.

    • robertmf says:

      Dude this is Guillermo del Torro… for those who enjoyed Hellboy, Blade II, or even critically acclaimed (Oscar Awards, standing ovation at Cannes) Pan’s Labyrinth then we would be expecting good work from GDT for he knows his stuff: monsters, fairy tales, comic books, etc…

      So between… a Japanese anime-type movie about soldiers riding humongous Mecha battling multiple Godzillas and… a movie about Americanized humor and silliness.. well the obvious choice for the most of us outside the US would be a non-America-centric movie… most of the world don’t watch SNL…

      I’ll watch this most especially since it’s the Mazinger-type robots I grew up with… not the latter 80s cartoons like the CGI-obese Transformers which made me nauseous…

  5. RoyalEF says:

    I like Guillermo’s work but this hits me the same as Battleship. Hopefully, some cool effects and fights, but the concept is a tough sell. It is Voltron vs. Godzilla. And I’m not 13 yrs old anymore. This is something one reads as a comic when young or into the flights of fantasy, but general audiences might dismiss as entertainment solely for young and nerdy boys. The trailers have near ZERO marketability to women. A limited built in audience outside of Anime-heavy cultures. Jets, bomb, guns and explosions don’t work, so lets build giant rock’m, sock’m robots and punch them to death. The premise is too easy to mock.

    • robertmf says:

      So you were not among those “kids” who watched Iron Man,Thor, The Avengers, Dark Night, Superman, etc…???

  6. Dheep' says:

    I’d say its quite a possibility. What a cryin’ shame if Sandler’s career was revived on the back of del Toro’s Magnum Opus. It will surely be Ginormous fun ,but very few women will be saying “Would you check the Times For Pacific Rim honey ?”

  7. Sunrider says:

    It looks like an adapted script for Evangelion (much in the same vein as that “rough draft” of Ninja Turtles that leaked), that the filmmakers figured would get the Eva fans screaming for blood. So, they just switched the name “Neon Genesis Evangelion” with “Pacific Rim.”

    But however it came to be, looks like the typical big-action, low-depth summer flick: little substance, but entertaining all the same. I might even see it in theaters.

  8. Montgomery Draxel says:

    The movie is already tracking ahead of estimates, and the word of mouth is solid.

    Very fun summer movie.