Pacific Rim is a great film, with some truly massive visual innovations, if you’ve read Lourens’ review of the live action anime flick. It’s a film which has fans, lovers and has quickly become a cult sensation. So naturally, it’s the kind of movie which has bombed at the North American box office.
The thing is, failing in that territory used to be an automatic death sentence for up and coming franchises. After all, that’s where most of the movie-watching money comes from. Well not anymore, because while those USA audiences may not be flocking to see Pacific Rim, the rest of the world certainly is.
Currently, Pacific Rim has just made $86.4 million in the USA. But over in China, the movie has just opened, taking in a haul of $9 million so far. That may not sound impressive, but considering that this a weekday opening, Pacific Rim has managed to surpass the Harry Potter films with a 23% higher gross, films which were remarkably popular in that country. In fact, 61.8% of the film profits have come from international markets so far, with more of those foreign cinemas waiting to start showing the film.
As of now, Pacific Rim has an international haul of $226 million, with $140 million coming from 52 other territories. If the Chinese release can keep the momentum going, there’s a good chance that a sequel could be on the way, as director Guillermo Del Toro and screen scribe Travis Beacham have slipped in a loose thread to allow that one film to expand. One key factor that could also help Pacific Rim conquer the Chinese box office, is that the film takes place primarily in Hong Kong, something that will no doubt have those mainland audiences happy.
In fact, China is quickly becoming a Kaiju-sized factor in movie popularity these days. Iron Man 3 took advantage of this, filming special scenes for those Asian audiences, a move which helped it score $121 million at the Chinese box office. Hell, it’s quickly becoming clear that films these days, will have a success factor based not on their domestic performance, but on their international appeal. For better or for worse, that is the future of big budget movie-making.
Pacific Rim opens tomorrow in South Africa, and the slobber-knocker film stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky and Max Martini.
Last Updated: August 1, 2013
August 1, 2013 at 10:50
This is good news. The perceptions of the U.S. box office have long been hurting movies that deserve more. It’s been a fact anyway for a while, directors like Tarantino perform best abroad. There is this persistent Hollywood culture around box office takings that do little other than serve the egos of studios. Something like this might finally start changing that perception.