We look at the critical and box-office success of the first movie and ask- is Guillermo Del Toro doing the right thing?
With a slew of epic monster movies hitting cinema screens in recent years it seems there is a genuine renaissance in the sub-genre of disaster movie that bestowed upon the world the likes of Godzilla and King Kong. Pacific Rim, drawn from the imagination of Guillermo Del Toro, is a thoroughly contemporary take on the monster movie blueprint- awash with a myriad of spectacular CGI that resembled nothing short of a visual banquet.
Del Toro's Pacific Rim was a huge international hit but underperformed in the US.
The epic nature of the film posited a grand departure for Del Toro, who made his name through taut and often fantastical horror flicks including the Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth. Del Toro has recently revealed that a second film was being developed even before the release of the first, yet it has still to be officially given the go ahead by the film’s developers, Legendary Pictures. As such, it seems that Pacific Rim is heading in the direction of most blockbuster films that have hit the cinema as of late and being dragged out into a franchise.
Despite mostly favourable reviews from critics and a decent box-office turnout, the film performed only modestly in the US, drawing $100 million from US audiences by the end of its theatrical run. To put that in context, a Hollywood film traditionally has to gross around three times its budget before any semblance of profit can be ascertained. However, international audiences were fervently more susceptible to the film and it managed to draw over $300 million, including $100 million from China alone. Therefore, surely a second film would not amount to a huge gamble by the studios as the action spectacular straddled the line between loss and profit. In a recent interview, Del Toro appeared optimistic that the sequel film would pan out- “I don’t have the money, but I’m proceeding like it is happening.”
The Jaegers gear up for battle in Pacific Rim
Shunning speculation that a second film would amount to a prequel, Del Toro has stated that the second film would contain even more elements of spectacle and excess of effects than the first. Elsewhere, there is the feeling that disaster movies are once again becoming ubiquitous and the market is saturated with a barrage of films that lean all too heavily on big-budget effects to wow audiences.
Would a second Pacific Rim film bring anything new to the table? Del Toro certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt, the magical idiosyncrasies of his previous work affording him greater artistic intent than the likes of disaster movie specialists such as Roland Emmerich. If Del Toro can imbue the sequel with a notion of charm that was so prevalent from his earlier work, than by all means, a second Pacific Rim film is a viable project.
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