PACIFIC RIM Scores Record-Breaking Opening in China; Sequel Looks Likely

     July 31, 2013


There’s hope for a Pacific Rim sequel yet!  Though Guillermo del Toro’s original tentpole scored a respectable—if underwhelming—$37 million opening domestically, the effects-heavy pic is unlikely to hit the $100 million benchmark here in the states.  However, given its international cast and the universal language of “monsters and robots beating the ever-living shit out of each other,” the long-game for Pacific Rim always hinged on it playing well overseas—and indeed it has.  The pic’s foreign box office total currently stands at $140 million, and the film just opened in China to a record-breaking $9 million on Wednesday.  That’s the highest debut ever for a Warner Bros. film in China, and Deadline reports that the result of the performance is that Pacific Rim will “likely have a sequel.”  Hit the jump for more.

pacific-rim-2-sequel-rinko-kikuchi-charlie-hunnamWhile the expansive (and gorgeous) visual effects for Pacific Rim meant that the budget for the tentpole sat somewhere between $180-$220 million, the film’s worldwide box office total currently stands at $224 million.  Though that budget doesn’t include the cost of marketing, Pacific Rim’s success at the box office overseas means that there will now be a built-in audience for the PR brand, making the prospects of greenlighting a sequel that much more attractive.

This is excellent news for fans of del Toro and screenwriter Travis Beacham’s creation, as the duo crafted an incredibly intricate and colorful world that demands to be explored further.  Quite a while ago, Legendary Entertainment enlisted the two to start drafting an outline and screenplay for a Pacific Rim sequel, so there are no doubt plenty of ideas in place for where the follow-up can go.  Del Toro previously hinted that Dr. Geiszler (Charlie Day) drifting with a kajiu brain is something that will be explored further in the sequel, but mostly I’m just eager to dive back into the world of Pacific Rim.

Pacific Rim 2 has yet to receive an official greenlight and we haven’t heard anything from Legendary or Warner Bros. with regards to the follow-up, but the first film’s box office performance in China certainly bodes well.  Whether del Toro will be able to return and direct the follow-up is unclear, however.  His schedule in the near future is pretty stacked, as he starts filming the pilot to The Strain in September, then moves to directing his next feature film Crimson Peak early next year.  Moreover, del Toro recently told us that his next film after Crimson Peak looks like it will be ready to go directly after he finishes up with the gothic romance pic, so it’s entirely possible that he could just be writing and producing Pacific Rim 2 and not directing.  That being said, it’s still very early days.

What do you think, folks?  What do you want to see from a Pacific Rim sequel?  Sound off in the comments below.


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