Everyone likes to complain that there are no original ideas in Hollywood anymore. It seems like there are only remakes, reboots, adaptations, reimaginings, sequels, prequels, and all that jazz, but the truth is that all of these films based on preexisting properties dominate the box office year after year. That’s why studios are more inclined to go in that direction rather than completely new ideas. But every once in a while, something completely different slips through the cracks and makes an impact on the numbers. However, it usually isn’t enough to motivate these movie moguls into investing in the unknown. Exhibit A: Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’.
Despite being an incredibly enjoyable and marketable movie, the Jaegers versus Kaiju flick failed to make a mark domestically. In fact, it fell victim to ‘Despicable Me 2’ and ‘Grown Ups 2’ during it’s opening weekend. The film fared much better abroad, especially in the Asian markets, so some would consider its $407 million draw a success. But then, when you factor in that it cost $190 million to make, plus marketing, then things don’t look as good to the suits in LA. Though it appeared clear that fans in countries like China, who contributed $111 million to the box office take of Del Toro’s latest feature, would certainly love to see a sequel, chances are that executives won’t take a risk in dishing out the dough for such little reward. After all, ‘Iron Man 3’ cost $200 million and made $1.2 billion to date. If you’re a studio rep, you want those kinds of numbers too.
Still, despite falling to the 10th spot on the list this year and losing (in order) to the likes of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’, ‘World War Z’, ‘The Croods’, ‘Monsters University’, ‘Fast and Furious 6’, ‘Despicable Me 2’, and ‘Iron Man 3’, it managed to beat out fellow originals such as ‘Oblivion’, ‘Now You See Me’, and ‘Elysium’, which all have their fair share of fans around the world. After thwarting competition like that, there’s still a chance that ‘Pacific Rim’ could continue to gain some steam in home video sales and reach cult status, so don’t lose all hope on that sequel yet.
Basically, what this comes down to is that the majority of the movie going public doesn’t tend to take risks. They like coming back to old familiars, even if that means putting out ten ‘Fast and Furious’ movies or allowing Michael Bay to continue with everything that he’s doing with ‘Transformers’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. But there is still a place for well done little flicks like ‘Pacific Rim’ that have a lot of heart and even more kick-ass action.
Why do you think people choose to revisit franchises when they go to the movies? Do you think that ‘Pacific Rim’ should have been more successful? And do you think that the studio will grant it a sequel despite the smaller than expected box office gross? Share your thoughts in the comments.