Weekend Wrap-Up

Pacific Rim: Down But Not Out

By John Hamann

July 14, 2013

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Third spot goes to Pacific Rim, and despite all the "woe is me" out there in the media regarding this one, I think Warner Bros. is going to be just fine after all is said and done, and will finish with a better score than The Lone Ranger. Pacific Rim got started with Thursday previews, taking in a quite strong $3.6 million on Thursday night. Friday wasn’t as strong, though, as the reported number was a second place $14.6 million including those Thursday night previews. Thus, the true Friday number was $11 million, leaving it in third, a few million back of Despicable Me 2. Over the weekend proper, Pacific Rim brought in an okay $38.3 million – not the $40 million plus it needed, but better than the $29 million that the Lone Ranger took in over three days last weekend. Much has been made about Pacific Rim’s $190 million production budget; however, that’s $60 million less than The Lone Ranger cost to make and Pacific Rim will play about 1,000 times better than The Lone Ranger in Asia. Additionally, the $190 million is all on the screen.

Given that Pacific Rim is 72% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and has a subject matter that will play to teen boys for years to come, all is not lost on this effort. The word-of-mouth on this one is quite good (A- Cinemascore), which means that $100 million domestic is not out of the question. Additionally, Pacific Rim is going to be huge in Japan and other Asian countries as well as Latin America, so there is no reason to think it won’t follow the Prometheus model, where $125 million was earned domestically, and $275 million was earned overseas. Another example is Real Steel, which earned only $85.5 million domestically and another $210 million overseas. Pacific Rim also has the opportunity to become a cult classic, and do huge business on home video.


Finishing fourth this weekend is 20th Century Fox's The Heat, which has become another big win in a summer of success stories. The Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock comedy had another strong frame, as it earned $14 million in its third frame, down 43% from the previous weekend. It crossed the $100 million mark on Friday, only its 15th day of release. It took the same amount of time for films like Wedding Crashers and American Pie 2 to reach the same mark. It took the original Grown Ups 16 days to reach $100 million, while it took The Proposal 20 days and Identity Thief 22 days. The total for The Heat has now reached $112.4 million, against a production budget of only $43 million.

The battle for fifth is between two Disney films, one wildly successful, and the other The Lone Ranger (which may need the loan arranger). Coming out on top (for now) is The Lone Ranger, Disney’s disappointing attempt at another franchise and toy seller. After an opening weekend that brought $29.2 million over three days, The Lone Ranger gets spanked again, as it falls a woeful 62% to only $11.1 million this weekend. Yes, things just got measurably worse for the Johnny Depp/Armie Hammer flop, as $100 million at the domestic box office is now out of the picture. Remember, the budget here is reported to be as high as $250 million, which means the loss on the film could be as a high as $190 million, depending on what happens overseas. For now, the domestic total has reached $71.1 million, and should top out around $90 million.

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