The Deeper Significance of ‘Pacific Rim’s Box Office Performance

Posted Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 05:00 pm GMT -5 by

 

pacific Rim

I’ve been covering a lot of the Pacific Rim news for ScienceFiction.com over the past few weeks and I couldn’t help but notice that… well, there was a lot to cover.  They have been cranking out a massive number of promotional videos, including behind-the-scenes featurettes highlighting various aspects of the film and even two B-Rolls (unedited making-of clips).  Whereas most movies might get a couple of different trailers, Pacific Rim seems to be cranking out at least one a week, including this week, with the movie coming out in just five days.  In addition, there are dozens of promotional images available online.  Powerhouse studio Warner Brothers seems hell-bent on enticing fickle movie viewers to turn out in droves for this film in particular, even after scoring massive hits already this summer with Man of Steel and The Great Gatsby, both of which blew away their predicted opening numbers.  Even so, one can’t fail to notice the almost desperate push for Pacific Rim.  Why is that?

Pacific RimIt seems there is a lot riding on this movie internally, including the partnership between Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures, the fellow studio responsible for both the Batman/Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel.  Earlier this year, however, planned franchise starter Jack the Giant Slayer flopped, squashing plans for any sequels, and Warner Brothers is hoping that Pacific Rim is successful enough to warrant follow-ups.  Negotiations between the two, however, have broken down and Legendary CEO Thomas Hull is reportedly shopping around for new partners, with Universal Pictures rumored to be in the mix.  He may be looking to seal a new deal before Pacific Rim flops, which could shift the leverage away from Legendary and toward any second negotiating party.

Also, there has been some instability within Warner Brothers as movie chief Jeff Robinov was recently replaced by three executives, Toby Emmerich, Sue Kroll and Greg Silverman.  Kroll, the head of marketing, could greatly benefit if Pacific Rim follows Man of Steel and Gatsby‘s lead and outpaces expectations.

Strangely, on the flip side, if the movie fails, because it began its development under Robinov, it could strengthen Warner Brothers and prove that it was right in cutting ties with him.

pacific rimThe movie is tracking “softly” with current expectations that it should open around $30 million or higher.  With a budget of $180 million, that’s probably not a good thing, when you look a The Lone Ranger‘s $48 million opening considered one of the biggest flops of the summer.  (Its budget was higher than Rim‘s, at $250 million, however Ranger opened over a five-day holiday weekend, giving it a longer period in which to collect box-office dollars.)  Rim‘s director Guillermo del Toro is hopeful, stating, “We just need to keep working. Our numbers are going up. Not in a minor way. Significant. We are on the right track.”

It should also be pointed out that box-office predictions have been off lately (see Man of Steel and Gatsby), as figures are largely collected by phone surveys and most young people (the biggest group of movie attendees) and even a lot of not-so-young people don’t have home phones and it is illegal for polling services to call cell phone numbers.

Pacific Rim is currently enjoying a very fresh 76% rating on Rottentomatoes.com and an excellent 98% “Want To See” rating.  Even with a soft opening, good word of mouth could drum up additional interest in the movie. It is also expected to do well overseas.

Are you planning to check this movie out this weekend?  Leave a message in the comments to share your expectations for this film!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter