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Discuss: Is 'Grown Ups 2' Tracking Better 'Pacific Rim' Why We Can't Have Nice Things?

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 25, 2013 2:55 PM
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The common rallying cry around the movies— which tends to get louder on weekends when box office takes a dip— is that audiences want more originality and less sequels. They want something new and fresh, instead of another reboot, remake, sequel or spinoff. They want a new dish instead of last year's leftovers, but is that really the case? In 2013, the top 5 grossing movies of the year so far are a sequel ("Iron Man 3"), spinoff ("Oz The Great And Powerful"), sequel ("Fast & Furious 6"), sequel ("Star Trek Into Darkness") and reboot ("Man Of Steel"). And the top 10 is rounded out by two more sequels ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "The Hangover Part III"). And if early numbers and trends are anything to go by, one of the big original tentpoles of the summer could be in trouble.

According to Variety, as production company Legendary Studios exits Warner Bros. to find a new home, they wind up some egg on their face in the next couple of weeks. Tracking right now indicates that Guillermo Del Toro's massive monster movie "Pacific Rim" is trailing behind "Grown Ups 2" -- yes, really. And folks are worried. Warner Bros., who ponied up a quarter of the $200 million dollars-plus budget, are throwing even more money at P&A in the hopes to stir more excitement. But what dose this mean the next time someone like Guillermo Del Toro wants to make an original property with big studio bucks?

No matter how you look at it, "Pacific Rim" was a gamble. A big sci-fi blockbuster pitting monsters against robots, it's probably safe to say that even now this is being seen as a dude movie, with little interest to bring in female audiences. And not only is the movie trying to sell an original, exciting concept, it's doing so without any lift from an A-list cast, with character actor/TV types like Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day filling out the roles. The only thing "Pacific Rim" is being sold on is spectacle....but does that work when half the footage we've seen is hard-to-see, blurry fights at night in the rain? There's only much cranking BRAAAAM in the trailers will do.

But on the flipside of this is "Grown Ups 2," a sequel to a shitty, shitty movie that made a lot of money (over $270 million worldwide). Are we really seeing an instance where audiences are siding with a movie that's going to be familiar even if it's terrible, versus risking their dollars on something unexpected and untested? Are folks more comfortable letting Adam Sandler grunt his way through another movie than experiencing something potentially new? One could argue "Grown Ups" is a different kind of boys' club movie, with a thin veneer of a family movie painted on and a PG-13 rating, it aims at a broader audience than the very niche, very geeky "Pacific Rim."

If so, to an extent, this is why we can't have nice things— the more ticket buyers choose the safe route, the less likely studios are to roll the dice on original concepts. And even as Guillermo Del Toro sets up his next movie, it's telling that his gothic horror "Crimson Peak" is being stacked with a starry cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. And even someone like Christopher Nolan had to prove himself first with an established franchise, before getting the resources to make "The Prestige," "Inception" and the upcoming "Interstellar."

But let's not panic just yet— there has been more than one occasion where the trades like to report bad tracking weeks out, only for a movie recover by the time it hits the release date.  And that could certainly be true here. But what this does suggest at the very least, is that marketing an original movie concept with blockbuster expectations is an uphill battle all the way. But what do you think? Is "Pacific Rim" a risk that's going to pay off?

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  • Luxor | July 13, 2013 4:29 AMReply

    Transformers versus Godzilla = fresh originality. Clearly.

  • I, J | July 30, 2013 4:57 PM

    Anyone who cites Transformers as an example of originality needs to reexamine their argument.

  • Iridis | July 16, 2013 9:25 AM

    Well, to be honest no major blockbuster is really a new idea. Can you image them ever green lighting something which had genuinely never been tried before? Of course not, it would alienate most if not all of the audience who go to she big budget blockbusters.

  • Brad | July 11, 2013 1:52 PMReply

    I don't understand why some people is saying that "Pacific Rim" is not original or that some of the jokes in "Grown Ups 2" make you laugh in the trailer.
    The truth right here is that even if this is not the first movie about monsters that has ever come out it has a completely original and risky approach for big budget studio film. I think the problem is that the studio is selling only the action in the film and like in "Man of Steel" just action is not enough anymore, however I know the approach is original because in some trailers it has been mentioned that the people inside the robots make some type of emotional connection between them and the robot becoming one, besides the fact that looks visually groundbreaking and it is a homage to old japanese monster movies (Isn't that enough?).
    Now we all know that Adam Sandler hasnt come out with; lets not say a good movie..lets say reasonably decent movie in years, and dont get me wrong I like "Happy Gilmore", "The Wedding Singer" and even "50 First Dates" but I'm not going to watch another Adam Sandler movie unless he teams up with Paul Thomas Anderson again which I don't think it is going to happen; and besides that I'm not watching a movie where a bunch of rich people are acting like retarded kids (because most normal kids don't act like that) without an actual plot just throwing at people faces all the money they have.
    I rather spend money watching Pacific Rim ten times at the theater than watch Grown Ups 2.
    And I really think "Pacific Rim" will do good on the box office.

  • Kevin Vu | July 12, 2013 4:08 PM

    The problem is they dont elaborate on hownunique these monsters are from the others. The mecha were so unnecessarily complex to use 2 pilots just sonthe nuerons dont get damaged. The "KAIJU" were only KAIJU by name. And the JAEGAR were just fancy robots.

    Will it do good in the box office? I believe it already did. But is it worth it? The movie may have high action, but doesnt look not one bit original. Typical monsters vs giant robots and it doesnt even TRY to say otherwise.

  • acherondagger | July 10, 2013 4:30 PMReply

    how is this original you dumb shit must not watch enough anime like the rest of us true nerds

  • geoff | August 3, 2013 8:07 PM

    Anime looks shit though, people want to see live action robots fighting monsters. not some low budget shitty drawings of it.

  • Luke Skyrunner | July 9, 2013 8:10 PMReply

    Guillerwhatshisface should have said no to this film and done Hellboy 3 instead. :)

  • henry | August 3, 2013 8:07 PM

    No, he really shouldn't.

  • Some Guy | July 6, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    What part of Pacific Rim is "an original, exciting concept" Giant monsters versus giant robots? The only thing unique here is putting them together in the same film. Sorry, but after The Incredible Hulk, Cloverfield, Transformers and every other giant monster / giant robot movie in the past decade, I'm kinda sick of it...

  • Wade Wilson | July 28, 2013 12:04 AM

    Name one other live-action film that features piloting mecha to fight giant monsters. Other than 89's Robot Jox, which was simply the former. No one is saying the idea in and of itself is origin, just to live action film, you tards.
    For @#$%^sake...the movie was fun, and who gives a 5h1t about character development in a film like this, when there are MECHA FIGHTING KAIJU?!?!

  • Zinjo | July 5, 2013 8:19 PMReply

    I often wonder why ANYONE would pay full ticket price to see a dick and fart movie? I have passed on so many theater released comedies these days because the laughs rarely justify the expense when compared to viewing it at home or on Netfilx. Pacific Rim may become a flop or a new franchise (time will tell), but the reality is that seeing a spectacle film on home video will never do the "experience" of it justice. Unless you have an 80" flat screen with a ultra sound system in a home theater, you won't come close. I concluded this after seeing Titanic on the big screen for the 1st time on the disaster's 100th anniversary (thank you Jim Cameron) and it became potently clear that all the times I saw it at home did not compare.

    I think Hollywood needs to develop a better system of vetting big budget projects to avoid future John Carters and the like. The studio system is an anemic, self contained cocoon of individuals, who are very jealous of their exclusive club. However when talent like Del Toro, Nolan, Blomkamp, they too often don't know whether to shit or go blind.

  • Lkona | July 5, 2013 4:56 PMReply

    Nice misogynist comment there, Kevin. Are you at all aware this is 2013?

    And since when is ANYTHING that concerns Pacific Rim "original"? What a joke! I crave original, intelligent sci-fi but "Americans stealing monsters from huge Japanese genre that was initially spawned by the US atrocities in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the first place versus better-looking Transformers" ain't it. The lack of emotional depth is embarrassingly obvious.

  • Wade Wilson | July 28, 2013 12:06 AM

    Who the @#%^ wants emotional depth in an action flick? What kind of dumb@$$ are you?

  • Adam | July 12, 2013 9:02 AM

    What comment was misogynistic?

  • Denise | July 3, 2013 12:11 PMReply

    Perhaps this is something as simple as yet-another action/adventure flick versus a comedy, which come less often in the summer months.

    We'll see how it turns out but the marketing of Pacific Rim has not been very exciting.

  • asd | July 3, 2013 8:20 AMReply

    Hi:) if u want to watch this movie u should go to my house.

  • geoff | August 3, 2013 8:12 PM

    Get out of here you scum.

  • Evan | July 3, 2013 3:00 AMReply

    Grown Ups is the most painful movie I've ever endured all the way to the end. I'd rather have teeth pulled with rusty pliers than watch the sequel to that abomination. Pacific Rim all the way!

  • julian | July 3, 2013 1:03 AMReply

    I love some good sci-fi and fantasy and think the world of Pan's Labyrinth (it might possibly be one of the best genre films in the 10 years), but unless your a 12 year old boy or are obsessed with Japanese giant robots, why on earth would the trailers for Pacific Rim excite you about this film?

    I'll skip both films thank you very much.

  • kaiju | July 2, 2013 9:00 PMReply

    Just got back from a screening. Overlong, dull, no interesting characters... not the worst blockbuster I've seen this year, but I would have felt robbed if I had paid to see it.

  • fu | August 3, 2013 8:24 PM

    go away pirating scumbag.

  • Gary | July 2, 2013 4:52 AMReply

    Pacific Rim thankfully leans toward the far, far superior and aesthetically pleasing Japanese style of robot designs, not the godawful, utterly crap, hideous Western robot designs Bay used in Transformers.

    Oh, and if we are talking about unoriginality and creative bankruptcy, let's not forget Steven Spielberg, who HIRED Bay after Bay said he hated Transformers. That is the action of a soulless, cynical, and creatively bankrupt producer/director.

  • bob | August 3, 2013 8:23 PM

    Real steel had nice mechanical aesthetics.

  • Julian | July 9, 2013 7:19 PM

    Spielberg has had his creative failings as a producer the last 10 years compared to what he was producing in the 80's, but "soulless, cynical, and creatively bankrupt"? as a director? MUNICH alone absolutely annihilates that statement. Kind of insane how misunderstood he is by a certain faction of film lovers.

  • NEIL | July 1, 2013 8:16 PMReply

    I love Science Fiction but I have no interest in this film. Maybe that's the problem; it's not anything to do with Grown Ups 2 (different audience), it's the impression that it's a "better, more artistic version of, Transformers" . The reality about this film is that its success rests mostly with fans of Tranformers movies and hoping THEY choose to embrace this "finer" version of THEIR film. It's like revisiting Transformers vs. Terminator Salvation,

  • pop | August 3, 2013 8:21 PM

    jaegers don't transform, jaegers require pilots and the mechanical action are far more realistic in pacific rim. I like'd transformers but this has taken its spot in my heart.

  • Wade Wilson | July 28, 2013 12:09 AM

    No @#$%^ clue why people keep mentioning Transformers. Last I checked, they didn't have human pilots, so clearly there is an ignorance in regards to what the movie is even about, why would I take the opinion of someone who name-drops 'Transformer' when speaking of Pacific Rim? Not the same, at all.

  • Mason | July 1, 2013 7:57 PMReply

    I'm wondering if they do any tracking with foreign audiences because Pacific Rim looks like it could do huge internationally. It is about people from all over the world uniting to fight the alien invasion, and even the star, Idris Elba, isn't covering up his British accent. I always imagine the staunch American perspective in movies must push some foreign audiences away. There also seems to be a huge element of Asian locales and characters (that don't seem offensively shoehorned in like Iron Man 3). Remember people, China's population is more than 4 Americas (assuming this is on the limited list of US movies their government lets in this year).

  • Snare | June 30, 2013 10:58 PMReply

    I'm not going to get involved in some argument about whether or not Pacific Rim is original, or whether or not it's going to have more substance than other big-budget fare, or anything like that.

    But what I will say is this: regardless of your opinion on his movies, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a filmmaker who puts as much love and affection into his work as Guillermo del Toro does. Every film he makes is personal to him on some level. It reflects something that helped form the man that he is, and is inspired by the things that pushed him into this crazy business to begin with. On that basis alone, I am excited to see this movie. And I would love to see it succeed because I would love to see more movies approached in that same respect. If a movie isn't original, then it isn't original. But if it's made by someone who legitimately gives a damn about what he's making, then that's at least a step in the right direction.

    And if you are a Sandler fan, then I truly hope that Grown Ups 2 is everything you want and more. But in my opinion, he's the kind of creative force that the industry needs less of.

  • Maki P | June 28, 2013 10:42 PMReply

    Defend Pacific Rim is exhausting. How many times does one have to say: "It's a Homage to giant robots and monsters movies. It's supposed to be loud and spectacular. And being similar to other robot/monsters, that's the Whole Damn Point" before it gets into people heads?

  • Maki P | June 28, 2013 1:33 PMReply

    Pacific Rim is NOT a Dude Movie. It's a geek movie, female geeks will see it for the same reason male geeks will: Monsters vs Robots. It's the normal people that are the problem, not women

  • Wade Wilson | July 28, 2013 12:11 AM

    ...because normal people can't grasp the simple concept of people piloting mecha to fight gigantic monsters, something I have wanted to see in live-action since the mid-90's.
    And if you compare this to the only other film of it's kind, Robot Jox, filmmaking has come a looong way, and Pacific Rim was everything I hoped it would be. Here's hoping this genre is not DOA.

  • Jared Carlson | June 27, 2013 11:49 PMReply

    I think people should get out of this shitty cinematic runt,
    Transformers 3 was completely the same as the previous two
    (Lots of explodes, boobs, and pathetic storytelling). I've seen the trailers from both of the films above and (shocker!) I'll be seeing the one with the robots, And not the one where Adam gets pissed on by a deer who somehow got into his home.

  • Primarch | June 27, 2013 10:17 PMReply

    I've read that the "general audience" finds the premise of giant mechs hard to swallow. Yet these are the same idiots who watched garbage like Avatar, the Transformers series, Twilight, and shitty overrated superhero movies with steel boners and never once questioned their lack of plausibility and myriad plot holes. Oh well, enjoy your boring unfunny generic comedies.

  • ASFan | June 26, 2013 9:57 PMReply

    Pacific Rim looks like a fanboy film that doesn't have fanboy source material. And nor is there any touting of an original technical achievement that films like The Matrix and Avatar had. So this lack of buzz shouldn't be surprising.

  • LOL | June 26, 2013 1:31 PMReply

    "...blurry fights at night in the rain? " That's what ruined the South Korea sequence in WORLD WAR Z. After that I gave up on the movie and left.

  • Ahmed | June 26, 2013 10:02 AMReply

    "The only thing "Pacific Rim" is being sold on is spectacle....but does that work when half the footage we've seen is hard-to-see, blurry fights at night in the rain? There's only much cranking BRAAAAM in the trailers will do."

    Hit the nail on the head. It looked like crap from day 1.

  • D | June 26, 2013 9:48 AMReply

    So basically: We can't have nice things because the alternative to Grown Ups 2... is Pacific Rim.

  • Edward Davis | June 26, 2013 10:53 AM

    Try reading...

  • loudrockmusic | June 26, 2013 5:45 AMReply

    Currently, the HSX stock price for Pacific Rim is at 120.43 per share. That's up from $43 I paid for my shares . I'd say it will do OK.

  • Jen | June 26, 2013 12:47 AMReply

    Pacific Rim has no one to blame for its poor tracking. It's a monster vs. robots movie, if people aren't interested in that premise alone, then they at least need a big star to draw them in (a la Brad Pitt in WWZ). But no, instead you have actors that no one really knows. What else do you expect?

  • jake | August 3, 2013 8:14 PM

    Us brits know them!

  • Glass | June 26, 2013 12:44 AMReply

    I think people need to realize the problem isn't a lack of original movies, it's a lack of GOOD movies. Do people really care that The Dark Knight isn't an 'original' film when it's that good? Pacific Rim doesn't look very good to me, but I like Guillermo and I'll see it before I see Grown Ups 2.

  • ASFan | June 25, 2013 11:23 PMReply

    I don't care for either one. Although I am curious what the actual tracking numbers are.

  • Alan B | June 25, 2013 10:11 PMReply

    "Ugh! I can't tell you how much that headline annoys me as it seems to suggest Pacific Rim is equal to "nice things" while Grown Ups 2 is not. Based on what I've seen a lobotomy might be "nicer" than either of them."
    - Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon

    Yeah, and it's just The Playlist's commentators who don't respect the writing team, right?

  • RoperofS | June 26, 2013 10:58 AM

    Brad is like good buddies with Kevin. He invites him on his podcast all the time, dickmunch.

  • P-DUB | June 25, 2013 9:17 PMReply

    And I'm sure you'd be complaining if Pacific Rim was a huge hit and they made a sequel...and another sequel...then in twenty years remade it. That's what they do.

    It's easy to forget, but The Hangover was original material that broke through the mainstream. Hell, even Grown-Ups was an original screenplay. Adam Sandler may not be everyone's taste (he's certainly done an amazing job destroying most of my good will towards him) but average moviegoers still love him, especially 12-13 year old kids. And while the films may not be, in my opinion, anywhere as good as the films he started out making, I also realized that I enjoyed his brand of humor when I was 12 years old too. There's really nothing wrong with that at all. Sandler has made more original material that he's developed than a good number of major actors. Just because readers of The Playlist don't like the films, that doesn't mean he isn't doing it.

    And all of this seems like a silly argument to have, especially in the midst of summer releases. There is always several bombs a year, including material that is adapted or remade or sequelized. It's not as if every comic book adaptation is an amazing success story (Green Lantern, Superman Returns, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, etc..)

    I think there is opportunity to get original stuff made, even large scale. There needs to be filmmakers willing to actually CREATE these screenplays, and hopefully they're actually good. But the $200 million dollar budgets are the problem. Having that price tag doesn't allow for there to be a niche audience that may expand and catch on. District 9's can still be made and still be successful with the right filmmakers, big actors willing to take pay cuts, and marketing teams that aren't afraid to push that kind of material on mainstream audiences. You never know how they'll react. Who could have guessed that random things like Black Swan become massive hits?

    It's the middle of the summer. By mid-fall we're going to be bombarded with all the "important" films this year and it will erase all our memories of the shitty blockbusters that disappointed us during the summer.

  • LA2000 | June 25, 2013 8:13 PMReply

    It's sort of sad that you refer to a movie that comes off like a manipulative and cynical recycling of elements from tentpoles past as something fresh and new. Because it speaks to just how low we have set the bar when it comes to the idea of "original." I don't believe anyone is confusing "Pacific Rim" with "Inception."

    But then again, starve people long enough, and even a meal served out of a rat infested dumpster looks like fine dining.

  • D.Z. | June 28, 2013 8:13 PM

    " I don't believe anyone is confusing "Pacific Rim" with "Inception."'

    Yeah, one's honest about being influenced by anime, and the other ripped it off.

  • Kitcon | June 25, 2013 7:25 PMReply

    The problem w/ Pacific Rim is it looks like a mash up of several other films: Transformers, Real Steel, Godzilla. It's really hard to make a strong argument about how original it is. I will see it but many others I've spoken to had no interest after seeing the trailers.

  • Mason | July 1, 2013 7:41 PM

    @Maki P, with all of your repeat posts, making an "homage" to the same genre we have been bombarded with for the past decade (except with no stars or a recognizable brand name) is why mainstream audiences are blowing it off. Cloverfield, Godzilla, King Kong, The Host all monsters. Transformers, Real Steel, War of the Worlds etc had robots. I don't see what makes this more of an homage to anime except the two gimmicks fighting each other and there are Asians. Nobody needs a nostalgic homage to something that came out nine months ago, and a lot of general public probably see this as the generic Godzilla or off brand Transformers. That's how Michael Bay will continue cashing in on my age demo's nostalgia for things that entertained us when we were kids with TMNT (even if they are bad). But I think even the knuckle dragger tentpole audience will give up on the diminishing returns soon.

  • Maki P | June 28, 2013 1:41 PM

    Pacific Rim is a HOMAGE to mecha/monster anime, things like Transformers and Godzilla. It's similar? That's the whole damn point!

  • 5678 | June 25, 2013 6:50 PMReply

    Also, has anyone seen Mimic? It sucks. Has anyone championing GDM seen any of his films other than Hellboy and Pan's? Probably not, Kevin included

  • Michael | June 25, 2013 11:44 PM

    In all fairness, he also made "Chronos" and "The Devil's Backbone", which are both excellent, especially the latter. Sure, Mimic isn't great, but that was his very first Hollywood movie, and even GDT admits that it was a failure. Everything else he's made has been pretty terrific.

    Both "Hellboy" movies prove that he can make an exciting and creative blockbuster movie, and that makes me excited for Pacific Rim.

  • RAY GEHG | June 25, 2013 6:46 PMReply

    The trailer for Grown Ups 2 is funnier than the trailer for Pacific Rim is thrilling/interesting. So, there you go

  • Wade Wilson | July 28, 2013 12:16 AM

    Honestly, that paints a pretty bad picture of you, bub.

  • Rebecca | June 25, 2013 6:33 PMReply

    maybe people just don't want to see pacific rim. tickets are so expensive these days, people are going to must sees/ not maybes

  • Zach | June 25, 2013 6:07 PMReply

    The reason why sequels and reboots are the top grossing films this year is because...those are the ONLY movies that are made widely available to the public. It's easy for them to dominate when majority of original movies are only in select theaters or have a short run as opposed to the sequels and reboots. Why not check to see which were the top grossing films of last year when sequels and reboots weren't practically the only thing for the audiences to choose?

  • D2 | July 8, 2013 2:00 PM

    Sequel, Sequel of Reboot, Original Adaptation, Sequel of Reboot, Sequel, Sequel, Reboot, Branded Original Concept, Branded Original Concept, Sequel

    1 Marvel's The Avengers BV $623,357,910
    2 The Dark Knight Rises WB $448,139,099
    3 The Hunger Games LGF $408,010,692
    4 Skyfall Sony $304,360,277
    5 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB $303,003,568
    6 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 LG/S $292,324,737
    7 The Amazing Spider-Man Sony $262,030,663
    8 Brave BV $237,283,207
    9 Ted Uni. $218,815,487
    10 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted P/DW $216,391,482

  • Rob | June 25, 2013 4:37 PMReply

    To compare these two movies is a bad comparison. Firstly, "Pacific Rim" is original only in its title, not concept. Conceptually, it's the same as "Godzilla vs. Mecha-Godzilla" with a bigger budget. It doesn't look good. It looks like more of this culture of recycling. Adam Sandler, however, has always made money. Even "Jack & Jill" made fucking money.

    Minus "Man of Steel", I have seen all the big summer blockbusters. The only one I found satisfying was "This Is The End." It was highly original, very funny, and still making money. Audiences are still demanding originality, the options we are being given just aren't great.

  • Maki P | June 28, 2013 1:44 PM

    Pacific Rim is a HOMAGE to giant monsters and robots. Of course it's gonna looks like Godzilla, THAT'S the Point! (okay, that's kind of culture recycling, but it's not because Guillermo del Toro likes money, it's because he likes giant robots)

  • Marko | June 25, 2013 4:35 PMReply

    So wait. You guys make fun of the fanboy/ComicCon type crowd and the movies they like all the time, and now that there's a movie aimed directly at that demographic that isn't tracking well, you start complaining?

  • Anuar | June 27, 2013 3:39 AM


  • BradZuhl | June 25, 2013 4:16 PMReply

    I think the fault with your reasoning is that Pacific Rim is not tracking well because it's an original concept. I think it's not tracking well because it looks dumber than a bag of hammers, and just maybe people have finally gotten tired of big, dumb spectacle movies.
    Also, I hardly think Cumberbatch, Chastain and Wasikowska qualify as a "starry" cast. I don't think anyone's rushing out to see a movie because any of them are in it.

  • Borjy | June 26, 2013 4:49 PM

    I can accept the use of "starry" with regards to Cumberbatch and Chastain. But Wasikowska? She doesn't have major award noms/ avid fanbase that the other two have. Not yet anyway. And yes, count me in as one of those people who will pay for a Chastain or Cumberbatch film.

  • Travis | June 25, 2013 4:50 PM

    That cast is for a different movie, but I think that they do qualify for the use of the word "stars"

  • RatBasterd | June 25, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    This article is all whining. Face it. The marketing SUCKED!

  • geezuss | June 25, 2013 4:11 PMReply

    Yes, let's all shed a tear if the $200 million art movie about giant CGI robots fighting giant CGI monsters doesn't find a place in the audience's heart.

  • wes | June 25, 2013 3:49 PMReply

    both movies look terrible. enough said.

  • Snipes | June 25, 2013 4:10 PM

    Grown Up 2 looks terrible. Enough said.

  • Chris | June 25, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    Aren't the audiences different though? Not saying that there wouldn't be some overlap, but something like Grown Ups 2 strikes me as being more for the family than Pacific Rim. Plus, just because a film tracks well doesn't mean it's going to be a hit. Pacific Rim was always a gamble and I think all parties involved knew that. I plan on seeing it just because I like watching giant things fuck shit up. I personally think del Toro gets jocked waaaaaaaay too much. Seems like a nice man though.

  • Laurence | June 25, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    Wow, you people are no fucking fun. I don't know where you've been seeing Pacific Rim trailers, but they look spectacular on a cinema screen. It's a $200 million original tent pole, do you really expect to get that much depth from the promotional material? Can we stop for a minute and trust that Guillermo del Toro is a terrific director and place some faith in his abilities rather than bullshit, knee-jerk reactions based on studio-cut trailers? Good lord. I wish the static culture of the internet wasn't to tear down everything sight-unseen. It's so exhausting.

    It may not be conceptually original, but not much is.

  • Collin | July 3, 2013 8:56 PM

    I wasn't looking for "depth" from the Pacific Rim promotional material. I was looking for some kind of human story or appeal. Not there. At all.

    And I don't trust GDT after Hellboy 2. Pan's Labyrinth is one of the most moving and powerful cinematic achievements I can name. I don't expect that every time out (obviously, since I love Hellboy), but Hellboy 2 was a big letdown.

    I don't care about giant toys fighting. If there's more to the movie - ANYTHING more - what is it?

  • John | June 25, 2013 3:37 PM

    Am I not allowed to think that Pacific Rim does not look like a film I'm interested in without being part of the 'static culture of the internet'? I saw the trailer in a theater, in a vacuum, without speaking to other members of the internet to decide what our consensus opinion would be. It looked bad to me. It looked like giant robots fighting monsters. Am I allowed to think that that premise does not interest me without you invalidating my opinion? People have dissenting opinions, that's life. For some people, Grown Ups 2 looks like a fun time at the movie theaters. For others, Pacific Rim looks like a fun time. Yet there are others who think that neither look good, and it's a bit reductive on your part to call any negative reactions I, or others, may have regarding Pacific Rim as 'bullshit'.

  • Genga31 | June 25, 2013 3:27 PMReply

    I'm not with the demographic that will contribute to the comfortable laziness that is grown ups 2 (or any adam sandler pile of crap for the matter). I'll be one of the people to go and see pacific rim! I love all the elements involved (del toro, kaiju, robots, & sci-fi)! And it baffles me to no end that people make ignorant and dismissive comments about it before even giving pacific rim a chance. It is NOT and transformers movie! Let's see: shia lebeouf? Open, exposed gears and piston designed robots fighting in a confusing, cacaphony of visual confusion? Megan fox? Michael Bay? Where in pacific rim do we see the connection?? And let's get this straight! Transformers is from Japan! And we all know giant robots and monster battles are best when they're from Japan! Del toro has made his love for the genre clear! This is his love letter to that genre!! He's not taking pre-existing characters and destroying it with completely terrible western redesigns and watering them down! He's paying his homage to it! And that's what pacific rim is. As a fan of godzilla and mech, i'm excited like a little kid to see this!

  • max | June 25, 2013 3:24 PMReply

    Like the others, I don't really see this as a problem of original movie vs. known quantity. Pacific Rim isn't an original idea and is tailor made for toys/merchandizing. It's probably not tracking well because most people don't care about 2 hour VFX reels.

  • Maki P | June 28, 2013 1:56 PM

    Actually Pacific Rim is kinda toyetic. But that's because it's a Homage to giant robot/monsters franchises that are toyetic by their very nature. That's why it doesn't look original, because it's a HOMAGE

  • cuntpunter | June 25, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    Yeah, Pacific Rim might not be based on a specific existing property, but nothing on display so far has suggested true originality. A mash-up of genre tropes presented together with a no-name cast and so far underwhelming action scenes. Why would it be generating excitement? Everything is shot in the dark, hard to see and clunky. Robots fighting monsters is not exactly the sort of fresh thinking we need to revitalize summer blockbusters.

  • Pamela | June 25, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    I like Guillermo del Toro but Pacific Rim looks like something that Michael Bay would direct or Jerry Bruckeimer would produce, although I should give it the benefit of the doubt, the trailer for Sector 9 wasn't impressive either but the movie was

  • Gary | July 2, 2013 4:23 AM

    But I can actually see what's going on in Pacific Rim, and thought and care have gone into the design of the robots. Del Toro understands character design (distinctive silhouettes), whereas Bay clearly doesn't ("doo-dads" and clutter, with no clear shape or definition).

    Del Toro loves the mecha and kaiju genres, whereas Bay's ignorance of the source material oozes off his "Transformers" movies where the Transformers have no personality at all.

  • dufus | June 25, 2013 6:17 PM

    I haven't seen Sector 9 but District 9 was dope.

  • tomincmh | June 25, 2013 3:16 PMReply

    It's freakin giant robots fighting giant monsters with Del Toro's creative genius behind it. It looks like a perfect summer action movie. Sandler's brand of comedy is way past it's expiration date. It's pathetic that anyone would pony up 10-12 bucks a ticket to see his latest heaping pile and not give something like Pacific Rim a chance.

  • James | June 25, 2013 3:16 PMReply

    Is Pacific Rim really worth championing as original cinema? Its a hyper commercial monster film (Godzilla with robots) with tons of city destruction and a sure to be forced love stroy between the leads. It's as mainstream as Man of Steel and Star Trek. What part of PR is"niche" Kevin?

  • Justin | June 26, 2013 1:43 AM

    Actually there is no love story. Guillermo Del Toro has stated that the relationship between the leads is purely platonic. He was very interested in making an action movie with a male and female lead who were not romantically interested in each other. Feels it helps send a positive message that men and women can be friends and co-workers and not sleeping with each other.

    As far Pacific Rim being "niche." It's "niche" in the sense that since day one Legendary has been marketing this as a "Kaiju" film, a term which is all over their marketing materials and in the trailers. Kaiju movies like Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra, etc.... have a very small - or "niche" - audience in the US. I would know I'm one of those fans. The only time I talk to other fans is online. Most confirm they are often the only Kaiju fan they know in their entire city. Liking movies about giant monsters wrecking cities and fighting robots is not nearly as mainstream as superheroes or Star Trek, even within geek culture. So yes del Toro and Legendary are taking a huge gamble marketing a film so narrowly to an audience that only encompasses a few hundred people in the US.

  • Ugh | June 25, 2013 8:21 PM

    To be fair it's an interracial romance. He's American. She's Japanese. If it was to play by traditional blockbuster rules she'd be a hot blonde American supermodel who just happens to have been raised in Japan.

    I'm not gonna get up in arms about this. Truthfully the two biggest reasons I'd say it's tracking low is because it's not a franchise film/remake/prequel/sequel/whatever-quel. Another reason is the film has no real stars whatsoever. You can market a Superman movie on Superman alone but a film like Elysium needs a Matt Damon. Pacific Rim has that guy from "Sons of Anarchy", that dude from "The Wire" & that guy from "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia".

    Either way I'll see the film. I have high hopes for it. But only as spectacle.

    Also, I think the "Guillermo Del Toro is a genius director" is way over used. With monsters his heart & vision are in the right place. With human beings & narrative his smaller budgeted Spanish films aside he's remarkably average.

  • a | June 25, 2013 3:15 PMReply

    Typical example of d bag, pretentious internet writers being out of touch with real life. If people enjoy adam sandler movies, fine - the whole point of movies is to go enjoy yourself for a couple hours.

  • Michael | June 25, 2013 11:49 PM

    I think what the author was arguing was that "Grown Ups" was not an enjoyable movie. It got 9% on Rottentomatoes. Critics are willing to give a good review to a movie that's fun and not thought provoking (e.g. "This is the End" getting 85%), and Grown Ups is just kind of lame. He wasn't trying to argue that fun is bad.

  • Gabe Toro | June 25, 2013 5:14 PM

    Wait, is this true? Wait, no... it can't be. The whole point is to "enjoy yourself for a couple of hours"? Where's your data on this? Do we know this for a fact? Someone get this post to a lab for further analysis, we have to crack this formula, people.

  • Luke | June 25, 2013 3:15 PMReply

    I want to like Pacific Rim because I enjoy Del Toro, but the trailers and images haven't impressed me so far. Without his name attached it would be indistinguishable from the mindless spectacle of the Transformers films. On the other hand, Grown Ups 2 looks like a festering pile of shit, which it undoubtedly will be. At least Pacific Rim MIGHT be good.

  • John | June 25, 2013 3:13 PMReply

    Not to defend Grown Ups 2, which looks atrocious and I intend to never, ever see, but what's so original about Pacific Rim? It looks like Transformers with monsters. Don't create a false dichotomy in which Pacific Rim represents what is a 'nice thing' about cinema and that I'm to blame for its poor tracking- I didn't ask for this overbudgeted, lame-looking spectacle. Just because I'm not choosing to buy a ticket for Pacific Rim does not mean I'm to blame for Grown Ups 2's success.

  • Liz | June 25, 2013 5:16 PM

    I agree with John. You couldn't pay me enough to watch Grown Ups 2, but each new piece of marketing I've seen from Pacific Rim has been more disappointing than the last. I wouldn't be surprised if Pacific Rim ends up disappointing everyone, from the studio to the fans that are looking forward to it.

  • Jose | June 25, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    I'm genuinely surprised. Whenever a trailer for Grown Up 2 pops up, the audience usually groans. Personally, I didn't even know that it was even tracking any interest, let alone more than Pacific Rim.

  • bohmer | June 25, 2013 3:11 PMReply

    Pacific Rim will do well internationally, which is what remain the main goal of the studios. There's gonna be as much people waiting for PR in, say, Japan then people waiting for GU2 in, say, the midwest of america. Comedy cost less and take in less because it's limited to US audiences. I know what I will see.

  • Frank | June 25, 2013 3:07 PMReply

    Pacific Rim looks to be about as stupid and terrible as Grown Ups 2? No, it isn't directly based on any toy or comic or videogame, but it might as well be. There's no originality on display here.

  • Gary | July 2, 2013 4:28 AM

    Why did you not include books alongside video-games and comics? Books are just as unoriginal.

  • Travis | June 25, 2013 3:02 PMReply

    I'll be blunt. I am not an Adam Sandler fan. I can't even sit through most of his movies. But at present, Grown Ups 2 looks better than Pacifc Rim.

  • Travis | June 25, 2013 4:46 PM

    Del Toro made Pan's Labyrinth, which I enjoyed, as did others. But let's be honest, what has he made that was good since? Pacific Rim looks like nothing but loud noises, robot fights, and dubstep. Grown Ups 2 does not fare much better. However, some of the jokes I have seen have at least inspired laughs. Even if those jokes are the only enjoyable part of the movie, it will still do more towards entertainment value than what Pacific Rim seems to be aiming towards.

    I should also point out I am going solely on marketing right now. I could be completely wrong. I am, however, going based on what I-and audiences subjected to this marketing-are seeing. One looks like it will provide baseline laughs. The other seems to be boring and Transformers-esque, but without the things that made it appeal to an audience.

  • Travesty | June 25, 2013 4:05 PM

    Seriously? PR looks far more interesting and made by one of the best filmmakers right now. GU2 looks trash.

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