Over the past few weeks, as we built up steam moving towards Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, there was widespread worry that the mech versus monster adventure might do a massive belly flop at the box office. Many were concerned that we could be talking about a Lone Ranger sized disaster after this weekend. The Johnny Depp/Armie Hammer western was absolutely eviscerated by Despicable Me 2 a few weeks ago. Granted, Pacific Rim only opened last night, but if early returns are any indication, apprehension over massive financial failure may have been unfounded, or at least not as catastrophic as some feared.
According to Variety, Pacific Rim did $3.6 million in late shows yesterday and last night, which is better than many predicted. These numbers are similar to the early business World War Z pulled in last month, and Brad Pitt fighting zombies racked up $66 million over the course of its opening weekend. While recent history doesn’t necessarily mean Pacific Rim will hit these numbers, this is significantly better than the $35 million projected heading into this weekend.
Worldwide, the numbers have been more mixed. While Pacific Rim opened with a resounding number one in South Korea, the monster movie only managed to squeak out a fourth place finish in Australia, raking in a woeful $604,000 down under. Overnight Pacific Rim’s main weekend competition, Grown Ups 2 did $2.3 million in ticket sales.
We’ll see if these numbers hold up throughout the remainder of the weekend, but when your movie cost $200 million to make, not to mention an astronomical promotion budget, you need more than a single strong weekend to make your money back. Presale, 3D, and IMAX ticket sales have helped bolster the film’s numbers, but we’ll have to wait and see. Also, unless you’re really in love with 3D, save your extra money for another day, it’ll be just as good with a standard projection.
I’m glad to see that Pacific Rim is doing better than expected. Not only because it is totally rad, like grown ups playing with action figures, but because I don’t want to live in a world where that many more people want to watch Grown Ups spew vitriolic diarrhea all over our faces than want to see giant monsters fight giant mechanical men. That’s a truly horrific vision of the future, one worthy of the bleakest, most dire dystopian science fiction you can imagine.