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Box Office Results In China Keep Hope Alive For 'Pacific Rim' Sequel

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 31, 2013 8:25 PM
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Coming on three weeks in release, Guillermo Del Toro's big, and very expensive ($190 million) monster/robot movie spectacular "Pacific Rim" has pulled in a rather average $86 million. For a blockbuster like this, right in the heart of the summer movie season, that's the kind of number you aim for on opening weekend. Needless to say, much has been written about the successful or failure of the film, all the while the prospect of a sequel—with reports of development first arriving last year—looms in the background. But it looks like China could be a deciding factor as to whether or not Warner Bros. gets the gang back together.

Deadline reports that "Pacific Rim" has opened strong in the country with $9 million (which, let's face it, is a tiny dent in the big balance sheet), notably becoming the biggest bow for any Warner Bros. flick in the country ever. According to Deadline, this means a sequel is "likely" but we'll wait and see what that really means. While WB is certainly feeling heartened by the play over there, we'd wager they might want to see what the ledger looks like at the end of the day for this one. "Pacific Rim" still has a way to go to be profitable, and while Hollywood isn't shy about throwing good money after bad, WB has time to be cautious. Why?

Well, Guillermo Del Toro is busy as hell for the next little while. He's spending the rest of 2013 on the FX series "The Strain," and kicks of 2014 shooting "Crimson Peak" and lord knows what else he'll sign on to in the interim. So a flicker of hope for "Pacific Rim 2," but not a sure thing just yet.

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  • alexluevanocf | August 3, 2013 3:14 AMReply

    All the world don' t know why american people don't want to see this great movie...bad taste surely.

    This movie are awesome and well done made it. Fantastic if there a sequel .......I watched the movie 3 times and is better and great.

  • don | August 2, 2013 8:20 PMReply

    variety, deadline and assorted movie business websites desperately trying to kill pacific rim. posts are on many of these sites are deleted everyday as part of this campaign. box office stats are late, and emanate from one site. the film has not been a financial failure like lone ranger and ripd already, but is still presented as such even though it has not even opened fully worldwide. This malicious campaign based on politics, race, and greed symptomizes American world views, which are not shared by the characters in Pacific rim. Hollywood has shot itself in the foot probably for the last time with this campaign.

  • loudrockmusic | August 1, 2013 4:29 PMReply

    According to Box Office Mojo, the movie has already made $228M from both foreign and domestic. That's profit, right?

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | August 1, 2013 9:57 PM

    It would be if theaters passed 100% of the ticket price on to the studio. But since theaters need money too, the general rule of thumb is that a movie needs to gross twice its cost to break even (this is vastly simplified, but calculating the studio/exhibitor split in different markets and at different times is impossible without an army of accountants and reams of inside information). If we assume a budget of $200 million, then the movie needs $400 million just to break even on its negative cost, i.e. before marketing and distribution costs are thrown in.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | August 1, 2013 10:37 AMReply

    The studio cut from China is 25% (assuming they ever get it--China's been withholding payments all year because of the studios' refusal to pay a tax that they claim violates an existing Sino-U.S. agreement). So WB is claiming a sequel hinges on whether they make $12m from China (probably the bare minimum they could count on, even STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS did better than that) or $20m (probably the ceiling)? This sounds like a face-saving maneuver.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | August 1, 2013 10:40 AM

    Argh, replied to the wrong post there, of course you probably already figured that out. I blame this steam-driven Mac.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | August 1, 2013 10:39 AM

    "Still, at least I now know that a machine powered by a nuclear reactor is analogue, not digital."

    That was a nice touch there. I guess that incredibly sophisticated neural interface was powered by a steam-driven Babbage computer.

  • cineman | August 1, 2013 5:13 AMReply

    No way this movie deserves a sequel. Great fx but appalling script, characterisation with some moments so eye-wateringly, embarrassingly bad it could almost be a spoof of a blockbuster, rather than an actual one.

    Still, at least I now know that a machine powered by a nuclear reactor is analogue, not digital.

  • JD | August 1, 2013 4:20 AMReply

    Pacific Rim was a poor movie. Of the 3 action scenes, the 2nd one was the best. The last one was boring. In between those 3 scenes, the acting was terrible, the dialogue was woeful & the father/son tender moment was unintentionally funny. Reminded me when Bruce Willis cried in Armageddon. Hopefully money won't be wasted on a sequel.

  • alexluevanooo | August 3, 2013 3:10 AM

    Thanks god this is only your particular opinion. The most of the people that saw this movie ..don't agree with you... this is an awesome movie for sure.

  • Shavonne | August 1, 2013 2:40 AMReply

    Pacific Rim rocked. If there is a sequel, I am totally on board!

  • Michael | July 31, 2013 11:19 PMReply

    $9 million on a Wednesday opening day should be more than a tiny dent. The Wolverine opened in the US with $4 million.

  • Andres | July 31, 2013 9:17 PMReply

    Would WB be in charge of an eventual sequel? I thought it was Legendary pics.

  • John | July 31, 2013 8:48 PMReply


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