Pacific Rim Has Been Beaten By Grown Ups 2 At the U.S. Box Office. No. I Can’t. I Am Unable to Can.
We don’t often report on box office numbers here at The Mary Sue, but this bit of information is relevant to our interests and also so very, very Monday-ish.
This past weekend marked the opening of both Pacific Rim, much beloved by us (check out Zoe’s review here) ever since the first shiny metal trailer hit our eyeballs, and Grown Ups 2, which… no. Just no. Unfortunately for the entire world (I may be exaggerating), Pacific Rim pulled in only $38.3 million at the box office, putting it in third place behind Grown Ups 2 ($42.5 million) and Despicable Me 2 ($44.7 million), which has now been the U.S.’s top-grossing movie for two weeks in a row.
I understand Despicable Me 2 holding onto its number one spot; apparently it’s pretty darn good, and one should never underestimate the earning power of an animated kids movie during the summertime. But Grown Ups 2? Really? Critics hate it; its RottenTomatoes score is a whopping seven percent. Even the people who’ve seen it don’t like it as much as those who’ve seen Pacific Rim; the Adam Sandler sequel has a B CinemaScore to Pacific Rim‘s A-. Personally, I’d give it an A: I was sold on the film when a character quoted Han Solo in the first 15 minutes, and I never stopped loving it.
Pacific Rim‘s financial underperformance isn’t entirely unexpected, since we’ve been hearing rumbles that it wasn’t tracking too well with potential audiences, who apparently weren’t responding to its marketing. Audience tracking is notoriously unreliable, but it looks like this time there was something to it. (Personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with its marketing, but the commercials could’ve been two minutes of director Guillermo del Toro farting on a snare drum* and I’d still have been super-excited to see it, so I’m biased.)
Granted, $38.3 isn’t horrible, though given the film’s budget was between $180 and $220 million you can be darn sure everyone was really, really hoping for more. For those of you worrying this might spell bad news for the sequel del Toro has in mind, it’s not time to panic quite yet. According to Deadline:
While a major studio might be disappointed with Pacific Rim‘s domestic gross, [Legendary Pictures’] mega-financier [Thomas] Tull has the luxury of mining this marginal outcome into a franchise – especially depending on how foreign performs.
Overseas performance has been good, and word of mouth may well help the film in the coming weeks. To do my small part: If you haven’t seen Pacific Rim, go see Pacific Rim.
*Yes, that was an Airheads quote. Hey, Adam Sandler’s been in some awesome movies. Airheads is a flipping masterpiece. I will fight you on this.