To put it bluntly, this summer has not been a good season for American blockbusters internationally.
Even Iron Man 3, which added special scenes with Chinese pop stars to appeal to the audience, tanked as heavy as its army of metal suits. Frustratingly, Americans flocked to the critically panned Grown Ups 2 rather than the awesome Pacific Rim, which ended up being the king of the international box office this past weekend, grossing $35.3 million. I don’t think you don’t have to sync your mind with a kaiju to figure out why.
According to Deadline, Rim received 4.7 million admissions from 9,610 screens in 50 territories, netting $500K higher than the forecasted rate. This makes a lot of sense, considering the movie’s East-meets-West philosophy screams international audience. Most of its actors — Idris Elba, Rinko Kukichi, etc. — are better known outside of the United States, with only Charlie Day and Ron Perlman being recognizable American icons. Plus, you know, the whole kaiju thing was born in Japan. If that’s not a good enough answer for you, master of sci-fi William Gibson has acknowledged this as well:
If you haven’t seen Pacific Rim, go see why it was #1 internationally, this weekend. While having no Big Stars at all, which is amazing.
— William Gibson (@GreatDismal) July 23, 2013
There didn’t seem to be a lot of hope for Pacific Rim to become a series after its opening weekend in the U.S., but this newfound success gives fans of Guillermo del Toro’s mech-battling epic hope to enter the Shatterdome once more. Now, if only we could somehow get a Dredd sequel…
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Iron Man 3 did poorly internationally, but it actually performed amazingly well. My apologies. American films typically haven’t done great in China, and I was under the incorrect impression that IM3 was among them.
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