Monday Morning Quarterback Part II
By BOP Staff
July 17, 2013
Kim Hollis: Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, a celebration of giant robots battling enormous monsters, opened to $37.3 million domestically and $91.3 million worldwide against a reported budget of $190 million. What are your thoughts on the opening weekend as well as the project itself?
Jay Barney: This opening for Pacific Rim is just fine. I am sure studio executives were hoping for a breakout performance here in the United States, but in the long run, I think the U.S. dollars were only part of the equation. It should be a great popcorn option here, but it will play much more like the old Godzilla movies, and be more popular overseas.
In one sense, Pacific Rim succeeded where The Lone Ranger failed. When I saw the trailers to both movies, I think I joined a lot of people and sighed, not believing studios would put their creative energies into such projects. Both had an over the top, unbelievable element to them. The Lone Ranger came across as ridiculous where Pacific Rim is being looked at as a legit summer option. Pacific Rim is surprising with its fairly good reviews, and I think people are walking away entertained.
Bruce Hall: Despite this being on the low end of expectations, I suspect the good people at Warner Bros will sleep soundly enough tonight. This was a film that a lot of people were going to mistake as a Transformers ripoff, since the average moviegoer does not spend as much time thinking about giant fighting robots as say, someone like me. Also working against the film was a lot of unnecessary attention being paid to supposedly poor tracking in the weeks leading up to release. Neither of these things are really relevant in light of the finished product, but from a marketing standpoint this movie already had a narrow demographic. Any additional level of misconception or bad press does not help. So all things considered, Pacific Rim has come up a little short domestically, but I think internationally is where its primary appeal will be. And I am willing to bet this thing moves once it hits VOD and BluRay.
You can't see it, of course, but there's already a space for it on my shelf.
Edwin Davies: I think this is a pretty solid opening considering the kind of film that it is - an original property with no stars and inspired by a sub-genre that most people aren't that familiar with - and considering that it was up against two sequels, one a runaway hit and the other from one of the most consistent box office performers of the last ten years. I'm sure everyone involved would have liked the film to pull a World War Z and become a surprise smash, but giant robot films apparently only do big business if they are inspired by toys, rather than the inspiration for them.
As Jay and Bruce have both said, the domestic market was probably never the key piece of the puzzle with Pacific Rim since it's almost certainly going to play better overseas. I'm particularly interested to see how it does in China and Hong Kong, where much of the film is set. If it can really crack that market, it might be looking at a final worldwide total of half a billion dollars even if it doesn't crack $100 million domestically. Then again, word-of-mouth around the film has been very, very positive, and there aren't that many big action blockbusters coming out in the next few weeks, so there is a chance that it might hold up pretty well over the next few weekends.