per the UK Express:
Published: Sun, July 21, 2013
Directed by Guillermo Del Toro, the event picture grossed just £24million, way off what it needs to break even once marketing costs are taken into consideration and well down on the £43million achieved by World War Z. Or the colossal £114million of Iron Man 3. In the UK it was a flat-out flop with a meek £2.1million. It seems that Steven Spielberg’s prediction of an “implosion” in Hollywood is coming true sooner than even he anticipated: “There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even half a dozen of these mega-budget movies are going to go crashing to the ground,” he said last month.
That’s just what is happening as audiences reject a succession of bloated blockbusters starring some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
The Lone Ranger, out in the UK in August (budget: £141million and counting), bombed in its opening weekend in America, earning just £32million over the five-day July 4 holiday.
It is unlikely to earn £66million in total and Disney analysts are predicting a write-down of up to £125million, not far off the £131million hit Disney took on the flop John Carter.
The picture reunited the team behind the Pirates of The Caribbean franchise: Johnny Depp, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, but failed to reach as broad an audience, playing to an older crowd more familiar with the original radio and TV series about the mythic gunslinger and his sidekick Tonto.
It has been troubled since production was suspended in August 2011 by then Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross, as the budget spiralled to £164million.
It was cut to £141million but rose again during production thanks to poor weather and complex action sequences: the filmmakers constructed six miles of railway track in New Mexico for live-action stunt work.
With estimated worldwide marketing costs of £115million it will have to earn an impossible £329million to break even after theatre owners take their percentage.
The Lone Ranger was not the first high profile miss of a crowded summer. Will Smith had a rare flop with his £85million apocalyptic sci-fi adventure After Earth, which has earned just £38million in North America, his lowest grossing film since Ali in 2001.
It was released by Sony Pictures, which suffered another financial headache with White House Down, a £99million action spectacle about a terrorist takeover of the White House.
Starring Channing Tatum as an aspiring secret service agent who saves the day it earned a mere £16million in its opening weekend in America, well down on figures required to break even and much less than the sums achieved by director Roland Emmerich’s other movies including 2012 which debuted to £43million in 2009.
Emmerich agrees that a crisis is looming with studios pursuing an unsustainable model of making fewer movies at inflated costs. Budgets up to £130million are now the norm.
“Steven Spielberg is totally right,” he told the Sunday Express. “When you want to do something small and interesting you have a really tough time trying to get the money together. And when you want to do a $150million or $200million extravaganza you get the money just like that.
“It’s upsetting because I see myself as a filmmaker and I want to alternate interesting films with big films and it’s hard to do.”
He points to the absurdity of director Steven Soderbergh going to a cable TV company to fund his Liberace movie, Behind The Candelabra, despite it starring Michael Douglas and costing only £16million.
“When Steven Soderbergh has to go to HBO to get it done, then you know there’s something wrong,” said Emmerich, “and Steven Spielberg needed 10 years to get Lincoln together and that nearly went to HBO at the last moment. This is Steven Spielberg!”
Joss Whedon shares Emmerich’s exasperation. When the director of last summer’s hugely successful Avengers Assemble wanted to make a micro-budget black-and-white version of Much Ado About Nothing, he funded it himself.
The Lone Ranger bombed in its opening weekend in America
Is the model sustainable? No studio is losing its shirt. Yet. Disney stock remained stable after the weak numbers for The Lone Ranger, in part because of Iron Man 3 (over £790million worldwide) and Pixar’s Monsters University. It also now owns the Star Wars franchise, to be re-launched in 2015.
Balance sheets have long been bucked up by international grosses, with markets like China and Japan expanding at two and a half times the pace of America.
Even so, the foreign box office is down 13 per cent on last year. This might reflect a cooling toward 3D, but the pressure is on foreigners to save Pacific Rim for backers Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.
Meanwhile, Universal is braced for its first flop of the summer this weekend with sci-fi comedy R.I.P.D. starring Ryan Reynolds. The £85million picture is “looking like the third big-budget box office flop in a row after The Lone Ranger and last weekend’s Pacific Rim,” reports trade bible Variety.
What’s worrying is that all these turkeys were all based on original ideas. However bad they may be, no one wants Hollywood to abandon its originality. Or what’s left of it.
here’s a shot behind the scenes video of the digital art involved.
per the UK Daily Guardian
Disney sequel is top at the UK box office as Pacific Rim fails to impress, and Andre Rieu’s live concert pulls in the profits
The third successive sunny weekend continued to see tough conditions for film exhibition in the UK, with significant drops for existing films, and below-expected numbers for new entrants. At least there wasn’t a historic Wimbledon final to contend with. Top title was Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University, with £3.46m, well ahead of rival new entrant Pacific Rim.
Disney cheerfully announced, “Monsters University Withstands the Heat as it Comes Top of the Class at #1 at UK Box Office,” adding that the film had achieved strong evening business, indicating a broad audience that extends beyond the family market. Fair enough, but that’s only the 11th best three-day debut of 2013, behind Iron Man 3, Man of Steel,Despicable Me 2, Fast & Furious 6, Les Miserables, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hangover Part III, The Croods and Disney’s own Wreck-It Ralph and Oz the Great and Powerful. Predecessor Monsters Inc debuted with a much more impressive £9.20m back in 2002, including previews of £2.71m.
In Disney’s favour are the strong legs often exhibited by animated features. For example, The Croods opened with £3.52m plus £1.85m in previews, and is now at an impressive £26.2m. Monsters University has posted a very similar three-day debut, and could easily end up with a comparable number, especially with the whole school summer holiday ahead of it.
Animation is so far proving particularly robust in 2013, with The Croods, Despicable Me 2 (£27.1m) and Wreck-It Ralph (£23.8m) among the top eight grossers so far. Despicable Me 2 is steadily rising up the all-time animation rankings, and now has Shrek (£29.0m), A Bug’s Life (£29.4m) and Chicken Run (£29.5m) in its sights.
Critics and audiences bemoan Hollywood’s obsession with sequels and film based on established material such as comicbooks, TV shows and young adult fiction, but once again the numbers seem to support the studios’ risk-averse thinking. Pacific Rim, debuting with £2.19m is the latest film that is struggling to engage audiences, having been based on characters that lacked pre-existing awareness. The number would be less of a problem had the production budget not been a reported $180m (£118.5m).
Last summer, Battleship, derided at the time as a costly flop, opened with £2.25m plus £1.51m in previews. Thanks to director Guillermo Del Toro‘s credible reputation, Pacific Rim might hold up stronger in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures cool. But at this point it hardly looks a profitable endeavour for backers Warners.
The other big commercial disappointment of the summer so far is likewise based on an original story: M Night Shyamalan‘s After Earth, which debuted just ahead of Pacific Rim with £2.25m, and is now at £6.25m. Of course, critics may carp that the problem with Pacific Rim and After Earth is their familiarity, rather than their originality. The only 2013 release based on original characters that’s above £20m box-office is The Croods.
Dutch violinist André Rieu once again proved the potency of live events beamed into UK cinemas, with a stunning £449,000 on Saturday evening (includes some Sunday encore showings), according to distributor CinemaLive. The company adds that official data gatherer Rentrak has verified the result as the biggest opening weekend for an artist music concert at UK cinemas, ahead of May 2012’s Westlife farewell performance.
UK audience interest for Rieu’s concerts, beamed in from his home town of Maastricht, has been steadily growing since they began transmission here in 2010. His summer concerts in 2011 and 2012 grossed £55,000 and £153,000 respectively at UK cinemas, and his Home for Christmas 2012 pulled in £250,000, according to CinemaLive. A point to note: Rieu plays a week’s worth of concerts, and the cinema event has in fact been recorded several days before live satellite transmission.
Is your local arthouse playing mostly summer blockbusters? If so, it’s hardly surprising given the dearth of commercially viable specialised fare right now. With animation, action and comedies occupying the top eight places of the chart (respect to genre straddler Now You See Me, offering something a bit different and holding well in fourth place with £5.4m to date), and Bollywood flick Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in at number nine, the top release targeting non-mainstream audiences is The Bling Ring. Next comes Behind the Candelabra, now in its sixth week of release – the fact that it is still beating the numerous arthouse films released in the past month tells its own story. Everything else grossed less than £20,000 at the weekend, and the Other Openers chart below is mostly a sorry tale of woe.
Overall, the weekend box-office is 43% down on the equivalent frame from 2012, although, as so often, the devil is in the details. A year ago the market was boosted by two successive weekends of previews in England and Wales for Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, totaling £4.8m – whereas there were no previews to add in for Monsters University or Pacific Rim. Cinema owners will now be pinning hopes on a) an end to the heatwave and b) a nice big opening from The World’s End, which reunites Edgar Wright with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. There’s also serial killer investigation The Frozen Ground, with Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens; Swedish thriller Easy Money with Joel Kinnaman; and arthouse offerings including Breathe In and Wadjda.
1. Monsters University, £3,463,917 from 525 sites (New)
2. Despicable Me 2, £2,225,543 from 539 sites. Total: £27,082,903
3. Pacific Rim, £2,193,500 from 494 sites (New)
4. Now You See Me, £1,142,376 from 478 sites. Total: £5,366,612
5. The Internship, £397,660 from 388 sites. Total: £2,263,505
6. World War Z, £382,975 from 366 sites. Total: £13,242,263
7. Man of Steel, £278,607 from 317 sites. Total: £29,190,336
8. This Is the End, £181,367 from 265 sites. Total: £3,677,230
9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, 56 sites, £89,348
10. The Bling Ring, £76,540 from 75 sites. Total: £348,269
per the UK Daily Guardian
Guillermo del Toro’s apocalyptic adventure can’t beat the combined might of Despicable Me and Adam Sandler sequels
Monday 15 July 2013 07.23 EDTguardian.co.uk
Warner Bros‘ robots v monsters mash-up Pacific Rim arrived in third place at the North American box office this week on an estimated $38.3m. By most standards this would be a decent opening haul for the latest Guillermo del Toro movie. However in these days of engorged budgets and the close attention of a frantic US trade press desperate for headlines on a Sunday, it is simply not good enough.
Pacific Rim reportedly cost around $190m and that is a lot of lolly to recoup, especially when you add as much as $100m in global marketing spend on top of that. This was a big weekend at the box office and the potency of Del Toro’s film will have been neutered somewhat byDespicable Me 2 and the No 2 title Grown Ups 2 starring Adam Sandler.
Both the No 1 and No 2 movies are sequels boasting household names. Pacific Rim is neither: it’s hard to launch a new property with little brand awareness and a lack of A-list talent. Despite the opinion of some who say the effects are the real stars these days, you can never underestimate the allure of a celebrity.
Pacific Rim lacks one, with all respect to Charlie Hunnam, who will be familiar to US TV viewers through Sons of Anarchy, and the mesmerisingIdris Elba, a renowned TV actor on both sides of the Atlantic who you get the sense could be on the cusp of movie stardom. Maybe his lead role in the upcoming Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, will unlock the vault.Harvey Weinstein has the movie in the US and if he believes Elba has a crack at an Oscar, the British actor could not wish for a more influential advocate.
Still, the numbers are the only story the studios care about. On that note, it’s worth considering the movie’s international performance. Pacific Rim ventured into its first territories outside North America and the results were highly encouraging. Del Toro’s tentpole came within a hair’s breadth of kicking Despicable Me 2 off its perch, grossing an estimated $53m from a relatively light footprint of 38 markets, compared to the second weekend heroics of Despicable Me 2 on $55.5m.
Top brass at Warner Bros and their outgoing financing and production partner Legendary Entertainment will take heart from this. Legendary financed most of the movie so we’re not talking about a hit to the studio that will be anything like as severe as the one Disney is preparing itself for with The Lone Ranger. It’s possible Pacific Rim will become an international hit.
The 72% approval rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes could bode well for North America too if word of mouth gets out and the movie sticks around for a few weeks.
The aforementioned Harvey Weinstein released the acclaimed dramaFruitvale Station in seven US theatres at the weekend and it grossed an excellent $377,000. Weinstein snapped up the movie following its world premiere at Sundance last January and by eerie coincidence its themes echo those of the Trayvon Martin case that has gripped the US in recent weeks and concluded on Saturday. That could not have been Weinstein’s plan when he plotted the release date months ago, but the zeitgeist could fuel further admissions. This quietly devastating movie will play a part in awards season.
1. Despicable Me 2, $44.8m. Total: $229.2m
2. Grown Ups 2, $42.5m
3. Pacific Rim, $38.3m
4. The Heat, $14m. Total: $112.4m
5. The Lone Ranger, $11.1m. Total: $71.1m
6. Monsters University, $10.6m. Total: $237.8m
7. World War Z, $9.4m. Total: $177.1m
8. White House Down, $6.2m. Total: $62.9m
9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain, $5m. Total: $26.4m
10. Man Of Steel, $4.8m. Total: $280.9m
Things are not looking good.
By Todd Cunningham | The Wrap – 10 hours ago
“Despicable Me 2” edged the Adam Sandler comedy “Grown Ups 2” at the domestic box office this weekend, while the surge some predicted for Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” never quite materialized — making it the latest big-budget beast to come crashing down this summer.
A big Saturday turnout lifted the animated kids film from Universal and Illumination Entertainment to an estimated $44.7 million in its second week. It passed the $200 million mark Saturday at the domestic box office, just the fourth animated film to do it in that timeframe, and its global haul is now nearly $475 million.
“Grown Ups 2” had led the pack after a terrific $16.5 million opening day Friday, but the family crowd began turning the tide for the minions of “Despicable Me 2” on Saturday — and Sony’s PG-13-rated comedy wound up at $42.5 million. That’s better than the 2010 debut’s $40 million open, and that film went on to take in $270 million worldwide, best-ever for a Sandler movie.
Del Toro’s giant robots-vs.-monsters 3D epic was running second after Friday but lost some steam and finished the weekend with an estimated $38.3 million. That just under where the analysts had the $180 million tentpole movie landing, after weeks of soft pre-release tracking.
Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. had hoped the film’s “A-” CinemaScore and strong reviews — it was at 72 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes — would drive word-of-mouth so that it could play beyond its core audience of young boys and Del Toro fans. But Saturday’s haul was about 13 percent down from Friday’s, which were swelled by $3.6 million.
The fanboys turned out in force, particularly for 3D showings and at Imax, which accounted for a whopping 19 percent of the grosses. The crowd was predictably young (67 percent under 35) and male 61 percent).
“Three weeks ago we were looking at $25 million-$30 million, so we’ve come a long way and this gives us something to build on,” said Warner Bros. head of distribution Dan Fellman. “We have great reviews, a strong CinemaScore and strong word of mouth. Our job now is to take that and expand it beyond that fanboy base over the next weeks.”
Warner Bros is counting on a big international performance from “Pacific Rim,” which should get a boost from Del Toro’s significant international following. It’s off to a decent start with $53 million in 38 markets this weekend.
“Pacific Rim” is the third box-office misfire for a big-budget tentpole in as many weeks, coming on the heels of last weekend’s disappointing debut of Disney’s $225 million “Lone Ranger” and Sony’s “White House Down” the week before that.
A big part of that is the intense competition this summer, which is filled with $100 million-plus would-be blockbusters. The overall box office remains healthy — summer is running about 13 percent ahead of 2012 — and the weekend’s numbers continued that trend. Overall business was up nearly 30 percent over last year’s comparable weekend, when “Ice Age: Continental Drift” opened to $46 million.
Critics loathed “Grown Ups 2” – it has a 7 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes – but
moviegoers gave it a “B” CinemaScore and the solid debut underscored the disconnect between reviewers and Sandler fans.
The audiences were young, with 54% under 25, and surprisingly female at 53 percent, suggesting it was drawing families.
The strong showing — particularly since it was competing with the R-rated Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock comedy “The Heat” — signals a box-office turnaround for Sandler.
He voiced Dracula in Sony’s surprising animated hit “Hotel Transylvania,” but his last two live-action efforts – “Jack and Jill” and “That’s My Boy” – have disappointed. The latter film was R-rated and a bid by Sandler to broaden his youthful base, but it came up short. Reteamed with Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade, the PG-13-rated sequel — made for $80 million — was right in his wheelhouse.
1. Despicable Me 2 $44,754,000 $229,237,000
2. Grown Ups 2 $42,500,000 $42,500,000
3. Pacific Rim $38,300,000 $38,300,000
4. The Heat $14,000,000 $112,363,000
5. The Lone Ranger $11,140,000 $71,101,000
6. Monsters University $10,621,000 $237,760,000
7. World War Z $9,430,000 $177,087,000
8. White House Down $6,150,000 $62,963,000
9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain $5,000,000 $26,378,000
10.Man of Steel $4,825,000 $280,995,000
Per Entertainment Weekly:
There isn’t much entertainment out there for ladies of the geek persuasion — or to be more accurate, geek ladies and geek gentlemen attracted to other gentlemen. Well, at least there isn’t much marketed directly to us. But we all know the dirty little secret of being a geek lady in a predominately geek man’s world — there are a lot of hot guys in sci-fi movies. Pacific Rim, which opened yesterday, is no exception. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!
Pacific Rim is in no way a perfect movie. It’s plagued with corny dialogue, underdeveloped characters, and a predictable, anticlimactic ending. And like most sci-fi movies, it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test, named after cartoonist Alison Bechdel, requires a movie to include at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something besides a man. There are two named women in Pacific Rim — Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) and Lt. Sasha Kaidanovsky (Heather Doerksen). However, Doerksen has a small role, says a few lines (most of which are directed toward her husband and copilot), and dies in the middle of the movie. Kikuchi’s Mako is a central character with a dynamic story arc though she’s less active than her male counterparts. Unlike many ladies in sci-fi, she is not objectified or criticized solely on the basis of her gender — a conscious decision made by director Guillermo del Toro.
So what is there for a geeky woman to enjoy in Pacific Rim? Well, there’s plenty of male eye candy. Charlie Hunnam plays Raleigh Becket, who returns from a five-year hiatus to help fight alien kaijus. Without his flesh-toned beard and biker hair from Sons of Anarchy, Hunnam can’t hide his striking features from the audience — or his costars. Mako practically screams “I’m the audience’s surrogate!” as she looks through a peephole at Raleigh’s shirtless torso, marked with tattoo-like scars from his previous battles. The multiple voyeuristic peephole shots recalls Psycho, but the fact that a guy is the object of the peeping offers a clever role reversal.
While Mako and Raleigh don’t so much as kiss on screen, their connection is undeniable. Raleigh and Mako’s sparring match is quite sensual, which, of course, discomfits her adoptive father, Marshall Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). Speaking of Elba, he proves that the tailoring of a quality suit can do wonders for the male form. With precise military haircut, expressive eyes, and an authoritative but ultimately loving demeanor, Elba proves to be a no-nonsense leader of the jaeger fighters battling the kaiju. Plus, he gets many of the film’s best lines, all delivered in his smooth, booming British accent.
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True Blood‘s new addition Rob Kazinsky, as the inexplicably douchey jaeger fighter Chuck Hansen, might have been unwatchable if he wasn’t so hot. It’s never clear why Chuck is such an egotistical jerk — maybe he’s secretly in love with Raleigh. (If the film isn’t going to show any other reason for his brusque manner, then I’m going to make up my own.) I just wish I could have cared more about his tearful goodbye scene with his father and dog. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that his dad is played by Max Martini — I still miss Martini’s stony, almost too loyal bodyguard Frank Stevens on Revenge.
There’s a guy for just about everyone’s taste in Pacific Rim. For fans of the traditionally handsome, Homeland‘s Diego Klattenhoff briefly pops up as Raleigh’s brother, Yancy (as if to confirm that Morena Baccarin’s Jessica Brody should never have broken things off with good guy Mike). If you go for wise-cracking, goofy hipsters, there’s Charlie Day of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There’s even Burn Gorman if you’re drawn to Type-A, hunchbacked-from-too-many-hours-online scientists.
Regardless of the politics of objectification and gender representation, Pacific Rim is a fun spectacle — giant mechas, grotesque monsters, epic sound design, and attractive men galore. I’m still holding out for a sci-fi movie in which women aren’t mere tokens, but for now I’ll take what I can get.
BY JOANNA CRAWLEY ON JULY 13, 2013
Thursday night previews score better than expected
It looks like Guillermo del Toro’s new film is living up to the hype as ticket sales in the US for Thursday night’s preview screenings of Pacific Rim reach an impressive $3.6 million.
The late night screening sales result match the performance of Brad Pitt’s box office surprise hit World War Z, Variety report.
The figures are thought to be better than Warner Bros. and Legendary were predicting but there’s a note of caution as the preview numbers don’t traditionally give an accurate prediction for how sales will continue.
Traditionally dominated by “fanboys” most potential punters will hold off seeing a sci-fil blockbuster such as del Toro’s until the official opening weekend.
Vareity point out though that heading into this weekend’s opening, Pacific Rim is tracked to make just under $35 million. Overseas, the opening numbers were mixed though, taking in a hefty $200 million-plus in Korea but just $604,000 in Australia.
Idris Elba stars in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (Warner Bros/Legendary)
Meanwhile del Toro has hinted that his aliens versus monsters sci-fi, starring Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam, could spawn a sequel.
Referring to just one of the many gigantic robots in the film, del Toro confirmed the Gipsy would definitely be making a return. “I’ll tell you a couple of things. We will have Gipsy 2.0 for sure,” del Toro told MTV News. “Second thing is you’re gonna see a merging of Kaiju and Jaeger. And that is quite special.”
Just in case you’re not quite keeping up with all the jargon, the movie follows the plight of human soldiers who use giant robots, jaegers, to fight against undersea monsters called Kaiju. An underwater battle takes place as the soldier’s fight to complete their task to close a portal between their world and the one from which the monsters come from. Del Toro also added another fact to considered for the sequel: ”
Just think about it for a second, we sent Gipsy to the other side, right? It exploded, but whatever remains stays there.”
Pacific Rim is now playing at UK and US cinemas.
Commentary from the mind of the artist
A Story Begins