With 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.