Welcome to the second installment of So Much Potential, Yet So Much Risk or SMPYSMR.
I'm here to talk about one of the most anticipated films of the year: Pacific Rim. The film is scheduled to be released on July 12. It is distributed by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures.
I previously talked about Man of Steel, which opened huge but has yet to reach $300 million domestically.
Pacific Rim ads have been all over the place. The Facebook page has reached well over 300,000 fans. People know about this movie. When I saw World War Z, a preview for Pacific Rim started and ended a few minutes later and a few people behind me whispered : "If they're going to show previews, maybe show some I want to actually see."
Previous reports suggested that Grown Ups 2, which is not even expected to break $100 million, is tracking higher than the robots-vs-monsters film. But some films that were tracking badly turned it around and became a hit. Just look at World War Z: many articles were writing its obituary months from release, but mainstream audiences didn't care. They wanted a zombie flick and they saw it, which resulted in its $66 million opening weekend. There have been complaints on the marketing strategy/campaign, and how it seems to be reaching the hard core fans instead of trying to reach broader audiences.
If Pacific Rim bombs, Warner Bros. still has the DC Universe. That's where they will turn if Pacific Rim does in fact fail at the box office. Bombing domestically does not mean it's over. This film will certainly make more overseas, perhaps more than twice the dough. Legendary even said that they are risking losing money. The film cost over $200 million to produce, and at least $100 million for worldwide marketing. It will need at least $600 million worldwide to break even. The marketing strategy is still trying to overcome some thinking that Pacific Rim is Transformers vs. Godzilla.
If its a modest success, and by that I mean $150-200 million domestically and $300-$400 million overseas for a $450-$600 million worldwide total, a slightly cheaper sequel could be on the way.
The action marketplace will most likely be empty by the time July 12 comes around. If The Lone Ranger fails to catch on with audiences, Pacific Rim could be looking at some decent numbers. If it is a break out hit, it won't have much time in the marketplace to itself. The Wolverine opens just two weeks later, and it will probably steal some of Pacific Rim's repeat viewers.
All in all, I think it will draw decent numbers; but not enough to justify a sequel, let alone the franchise Del Toro was expecting.
Opening Weekend Prediction: $56 million
Domestic Total: $132 million