Pacific Rim fails to light up the box office
Guillermo del Toro's sci-fi blockbuster has, so far at-least, failed to make a dent at the box office, after coming in behind animated hit Despicable Me 2 and Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2 with $38 million.
Pacific Rim, a movie that was being billed as one of the most anticipated movies of the year, could well be on its way to becoming a flop. In most cases, taking $38 million on the opening weekend could be considered a bit of a success story but when your movie cost just shy of $200 million, it could be in for a rough ride. Somewhere along the way, something has gone wrong; the reviews for Pacific Rim have been largely positive with Ty Burr of the Boston Globe going as far as saying that 'Pacific Rim is, hands down, the blockbuster event of the summer - a titanic sci-fi action fantasy that has been invested, against all expectations, with a heart, a brain, and something approximating a soul' - praise doesn't come much higher than that.
The general consensus is that the movie will now have to rely heavily on strong word of mouth if it is to fare any better in the coming weeks, overseas it has managed to rake in $54 million, so the movie has still got a lot of work to do if it is to break even, let alone turn a profit.
The news will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to the cast and director, who openly discussed ideas for a sequel in the run up to the film's release - a scenario that's now looking incredibly unlikely.
Quite what has caused this heavily marketed, critically acclaimed movie to tank is a bit of a mystery - perhaps scheduling it for release at a time when more family friendly films such as Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University are pulling in moviegoers wasn't such a wise decision. You could even argue that star Idris Elba's comment that the movie was 'a piece of art' didn't help - do people really want art from their summer blockbusters? Or would they rather be able to switch off their brains for a couple of hours and watch the carnage unravel?
Despite opening to thunderous applause at comic-con last year and being tweeted and blogged about like no other film since, the hype simply hasn't been exchanged for hard dollars at the box office. In the end Pacific Rim's failure will probably be put down to one thing; you can't bank on fanboy buzz at the box office, it's not the first movie to make this mistake; 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' and 'Watchmen' are two recent examples, and despite the fact that Pacific Rim will almost certainly be the blockbuster that will attract the most critical acclaim this summer, it just doesn't appeal to a wide enough audience.