One of the summer’s biggest tentpole movies is also one of its riskiest. Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim — which chronicles humanity’s attempts to drive back massive extradimensional monsters with equally massive robots — is the sort of movie that seems predestined to gets nerds all in a tizzy (in a good way). However, they might be the only ones.
Io9’s Charlie Jane Anders recently asked “Is Pacific Rim destined to be an epic flop?” Her article revealed that early audience research has revealed that more people are interested in Grown Ups 2 then Pacific Rim. (Which, honestly, should make you depressed even if you’re not a nerdy fanboy.)
On a related note, Forbes’ Scott Mendelson points out that the early tracking that has supposedly sealed Pacific Rim’s fate is basically a bit of a scam and shouldn’t be taken all that seriously:
Here’s a shocker for you: Two weeks prior to release, a wholly original science-fiction action-fantasy with no major stars and a somewhat goofy concept is tracking for a lower opening weekend than the star-laden comedy sequel to a general audience-pleasing and financially successful original opening on the same day.
[T]rashing the future box office performance of a major release where most of its advertising budget hasn’t been spent yet is both silly and counter-productive. It’s also the kind of preemptive strike that dissuades original would-be blockbusters, since audience awareness is always going to be higher in the early going for known entities and/or sequels. Pacific Rim may well tank domestically and may even tank overseas (although I’d argue the latter is highly unlikely), but no good comes from screaming *flop!* before the campaign has really begun, especially as Warner Bros. marketing actually waiting until it matters should be encouraged.
Pacific Rim opens in theatres on July 12. This is probably just the fanboy in me talking, but if there was ever a movie that made me want to completely disregard early tracking — not that I ever pay attention to such things to begin with — it’s Pacific Rim. I have faith in Guillermo del Toro.