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Cautiously Optimistic

All is Not Lost: Pacific Rim Hits #1 on the International Box Office

The apocalypse is cancelled. Just not in America.

Lets just come out and say it: Pacific Rim has been tracking below the prayerful expectations of many a nerd these past few weeks. See, we like superheroes and reboots and all (well, most of the time), but we also have an appreciation for good, original genre film, and when that actually shows up in the middle of the summer blockbuster season, we really want it to prove to Hollywood that they should do more of this kind of thing. So it was a bit of a blow to find out that the movie came in behind Grown Ups 2 in its opening weekend, even accounting for a slightly off-base marketing campaign.

But echoing events in the movie, the international community has banded together to defeat the slavering monster of Pacific Rim being a flop, by delivering it to the top of the international box office after it opened France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Holland. That brings its current box office totals to $178.5 million, for a film that Deadline estimates cost between $180 and $220 million to make. And there is yet more hope: the movie has yet to open in China, an increasingly powerful audience for American action films, Spain, Japan, where many of the movie’s roots in anime might be most appreciated, and Brazil.

(Deadline via Geekosystem.)


  • R.O.U.S.

    I hope it continues to do well – I really enjoyed it and am totally bummed about its US reception!

  • Nat

    Seeing it this weekend for my birthday. Am most excited. Would’ve dished out the extra for IMAX but it’s in 3D :/

  • Anonymous

    I hope Hollywood starts taking into account international box office a bit more. That’s the quickest way to have more american films starring non-white actors and also a good way to have more varried type of films year after year. The movie didn’t even open in Japan yet and it’s very likely to do well there.

  • Thomas Hayes

    Brit here. Saw this two days ago in IMAX, and am going to see it again in 2D and normal widescreen soon, because I think the IMAX did it as much of a disservice as service. IMAX is great for long shots and slow moving pans when you have time to take it in, and really let you look at the lushness of the film’s world. Great work from the digital artists, and excellent direction from del Toro. But IMAX isn’t great for fast-moving action and it actually left me confused in some of the fight scenes, especially given the darker colour palette and use of close-ups. I liked it a lot, but I feel I need to see it again to really get the full picture. So it’ll get a double dose of my dosh, which is something I haven’t felt like spending on a film in a long time. Will also be buying this on DVD, I am pretty certain!

  • AverageDrafter

    I see this as part of the de-centralization of the film industry in LA and the US in general.

    Its no secret that the US film industry is full of bloat. It won’t be long before Bollywood, Hong Kong, and who know where else realizes it can hire western writers, directors, and actors to make movies for western audiences and significantly cheaper than we do today.

    Think about the hubris of Detroit and how far its fallen. SoCal has a lot more to offer than just the film industry, but there is no doubt they are priming themselves for a major fall.

  • Sarah Brockman

    I have been encouraging everyone who is on the fence about seeing it to go. My elevator pitch for it has been: “Pacific Rim took all of Transformer’s hopes and dreams, crushed them in one massive jaegar fist, then proceeded to be the most fun I’ve had in a movie all summer.”

    Seems to be working – my coworkers loved it as much as I did, and I think we’re slowly converting our friends to the massive robot camp.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps it’s popular internationally because it openly recognises that the rest of the world actually exists? The whole film feels like the worlds last stand, not just America’s last stand.

    I want to see a British Jaeger in the sequel. You just know we’d build a giant Dalek.

  • Lapin

    I bet the DVD will also sell pretty well compared to those of some of the movies that beat it at the US box office. Or I hope, anyways. It’s a unique movie, and I really enjoyed its visual style, so that constitutes a re-watch for me.

  • César Riquelme

    if you think that you need the rest of the world, to bring more less the same money that USA bring alone is not a really good picture, you have to take into account the marketing budget in each country.

  • Sarah Brockman

    This is BRILLIANT. Biggest plunger ever created.

  • Alberto Cox Délano

    Yohoooo! (read it in South Park’s Butter’s voice) International Power. It is also the number one film in Chile I’ve heard, I couldn’t go to a evening showing last Thursday for being sold-out (second week of release), and though it wasn’t perfect, I had a blast. But the applause goes to Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Mexican and hopefully Japanese fellows for (once again and in a different manner) raising Hollywood’s bar.

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Yeah, but it would probably destroy itself the first time it sees a blue box ^^;

  • Anonymous

    Well for a Kiwi it was unexpectedly exiting just having a disaster movie include the Southern Hemisphere. I was genuinely surprised when a kaiju actually turned up in Sydney.

  • Anonymous

    Time was international revenue was icing on the cake. US sales was what was counted, period. So too video sales. But as time has passed, and budgets skyrocketed, they slowly started including all those numbers into that final total. That became more the case in the as overseas release dates became much closer to the US date as well, not to mention a world where the release date for a movie’s DVD is often announced less than a week after the release.

  • Anonymous

    I DARE you to tell me the British Jaeger wouldn’t be named Big Ben.

  • Important Film Maker

    Radical. I hope for a Canadian Jaeger in the sequel, maybe a lumberjack who fights a seal- like Kaiju.

  • Nat

    So I saw it and was really confused for half the movie because it was nothing like anyone said it was going to be. Article after article said it was a female lead (no, pretty sure the movie centralized more on Raleigh) and Mako hardly spoke and mostly held her quivering lip up (I don’t have a problem with expression of emotion, but it was the fact that I felt like she did very little). I was really annoyed and upset about it last night until a friend of mine said they cut like 90 minutes of footage? People were making it sound more than just a robots vs monsters movie which is what I went in expecting (and had I simply gone in expecting robots vs monsters I would’ve been more alright).
    I suppose this means I should see the movie again.

  • Miko

    Mr. Bay crushed them not Pacific Rim. As a Transformers nerd who absolutely loathes Bay’s abominations, this movie gave me hope that people wouldn’t think all giant robot movies were complete crap.

  • Sabrina

    I suppose most people went in expecting a robots vs monsters film and to their surprise they got some really likeable characters on top, hence many reviews were commenting positively on this.

  • Nat

    Which makes total and complete sense. IT just made it sound like there should’ve been more of the character development so I went in expecting a different movie.

  • Sabrina

    Moral of the story: be careful with your expectations! ;)

  • Shauni Farella

    Any chance this will make my local pick it up? Still narked their showing the Lone ranger for two wweeks straight and skipping Pacific Rim entirely… (especially as I was damn hyped for it, and weeing it elsewhere is prohibitvely expensive)

  • Diego Méndez

    I really enjoyed this movie, more than Star trek, so much better than Iron Crap 3, I love Jaegers

  • Christopher LaHaise

    I’ve seen it twice so far here in Canada. Does that count as American box offices, or International box offices?

  • Mark Brown

    This. People have been calling this the Transformers movie they wanted to see.

  • Anonymous

    More likely teapot headed, like the Cybermen.

    I’d rather see it styled like the Warzone Imperial Trenchers, myself.

  • Anonymous

    I personally thought they gave us more character development here than they have done in most other films, even if most of the characters background could be pluck out of a number of other films.

  • Anonymous

    Lone ranger looks crap.

  • Jason Paskiewicz

    It hasn’t even been released in China and Japan (Aug 9th), arguably the two biggest markets next to america for this film. Internationally its already at it budget. You factor in Toys, DVD, Blu-ray Sales ect, this movie will or has turned a profit.

  • Anonymous

    IMAX 3D is actually the way to go on this one.

  • Thomas Hayes

    I didn’t see many articles selling Mako as the lead – although to be honest I didn’t see a lot of commentary on any of the characters at all before the film so I was going in pretty blind. I wish there’d been more of Mako in the trailers.

  • kenchun24

    It’s weird because my cinephile friend’s (and I) have gone to repeat viewings for pretty much one movie this summer and that movie is Pacific Rim. I do live in L.A. so maybe that has affected my view that the movie has been well received even though U.S. box office was not great (and keeps getting edged by Grown Ups 2 if you check the daily intake Box Office Mojo).

    As for a PR sequel Legendary’s new partnership with Universal might be different. NBCUni may not be as opposed to a sequel either if the international results and DVD/Blu/VOD sales are good. Plus Universal could look at several other Pacific Rim franchise opportunities – Universal Studios theme park(s) “Pilot A Jaeger” ride? I’m sure Legendary CEO Thomas Tull has been thinking of this since Legendary left Warner Bros,that and how badly WB handled the marketing and release date for Pacific Rim. Which is one of the reasons why Tull bolted for Universal – more total control of Legendary’s film projects marketing (especially since they are one of the few that are actually supporting original/lesser known IP’s) and release dates.

  •!/ David R. Schmitt

    America, you like to think you are King of Geek. When all you seem to be is King of Sequels and bad comedies of late. It saddens the World. You’re better then this.

  • Anonymous

    Well since the kaiju come from deep in the Pacific… the nations that had to deal with them (Australia, China, Russia, US, and Japan) are all part of the actual Pacific Rim, which Britain is pretty much on the other side of. I don’t recall whether they mentioned every nation having them or not

  • Anonymous

    I assume that everyone in the world is already looking for the flimsiest excuses to build giant robots and smash them against giant monsters. I don’t think that not being near the Pacific would stop them…