Early tracking data suggests that Guillermo del Toro’s long-awaited picture full of AWESOME HUGE ROBOTS fighting GIGANTIC MONSTERS FROM THE DEEP may not be as anticipated by the movie-going public as much as previously thought, so much so that some are calling Pacific Rim a flop already.
This in and of itself is the worst news in the world…Pacific Rim is obviously going to be a huge hit amongst our geek population but Pacific Rim is a bit of a tough nut to crack for general audiences. The question becomes if the geek masses will provide enough support to justify the reported $200M USD (and maybe more) price tag. It’s not based on an existing property, its director, while fantabulous, creates filmic landscapes that, while impressive, are somewhat niche, and there’s a lot of AWESOME HUGE ROBOTS fighting GIGANTIC MONSTERS FROM THE DEEP type action on display, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. I love the concept of Pacific Rim and am dying to see it, but can understand the challenges inherent in successfully marketing and selling tickets for a movie like this.
However, people are panicking more than normal because Sony Pictures’ Grown Ups 2 (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, etc.) is apparently garnering more audience interest than the movie about AWESOME HUGE ROBOTS fighting GIGANTIC MONSTERS FROM THE DEEP. While I do question whether the world really needed a sequel to Grown Ups (some people I know pledge fealty to its hilarity; I thought it was dreck), it’s not the end of the world if some peeps are looking for a comedic break from all the cinematic action this summer has offered so far. But how much will it impact an original concept? We get far too few of them these days…
Most of the blame is being aimed squarely at the current marketing campaign, with folks claiming that most trailers are good at showing robot versus monster action but not much else – in other words, no character development, no romantic angles, no supporting circumstances to make the more casual moviegoer take notice. And with a release date of July 12th, time is getting short. Does Legendary Pictures have enough time to turn things around to heighten Pacific Rim buzz? Will this be a case of a movie turning “tracking data” on its head by being more successful than the “experts” saw coming? In my opinion, I think overseas markets will be the saving grace when it comes to recouping costs…Pacific Rim will do okay in the States, but I can, sadly, see Grown Ups 2 opening bigger in the U.S. in a few weekends. (Please don’t hurt me.) Here’s hoping that this prediction is proven emphatically wrong.