‘Pacific Rim’ is Highest Grossing Live-Action Original Movie of the Year… So Far

Published 2 years ago by

Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba in Pacific Rim Pacific Rim is Highest Grossing Live Action Original Movie of the Year... So Far

At the moment it’s not looking altogether likely that Guillermo Del Toro’s mecha-vs-monsters movie Pacific Rim is going to get a sequel – in fact, it might be argued that it doesn’t really need one. Nonetheless, it’s worth trying to ascertain whether or not Pacific Rim could be considered a financial success, since this could have implications for whether or not future new IPs receive a green light.

First of all, let’s take a look at the broader picture. Pacific Rim currently occupies a pretty respectably tenth place in the list of highest-grossing movies of 2013 worldwide. The top four movies – Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Fast and Furious 6 and Monsters University, respectively – are all sequels or prequels while the fifth, Man of Steel, is a reboot. The highest-ranking film based on a new IP is The Croods, coming in at sixth place, followed by novel adaptation World War Z in seventh place, Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful in eighth place and another sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, in ninth place.

It can sometimes be a little wearying to see theaters flooded with sequels, reboots and remakes, but if this list tells us anything it’s that these kinds of movies do tend to make a lot of money. When audiences are familiar with the property and the characters, their likelihood of going to see another movie within a particular franchise increases. This certainly isn’t universally true – the two highest-grossing movies are Avatar and Titanic, neither of which were sequels or reboots, and there have been plenty of sequels that did badly at the box office – but it does give studios a little pause for thought when it comes to greenlighting a movie like Pacific Rim.

Kaiju skeleton in Pacific Rim Pacific Rim is Highest Grossing Live Action Original Movie of the Year... So Far

Del Toro’s film has a lot of international appeal, thanks to the inclusion of Jaeger operators from all over the globe and cast members like Japanese actor Rinko Kikuchi and Brits like Idris Elba and Robert Kazinsky. The largest chunk of the box office take came from China, where the current gross is nearly $112 million, but that’s followed closely by its domestic gross of over $101 million. The total take is over $407 million worldwide, a respectable profit considering Pacific Rim‘s $190 million budget and certainly enough to justify a sequel if Legendary Pictures and Del Toro decide to go ahead with one.

As CBM has observed, this makes Pacific Rim the highest-grossing live-action movie based on a new IP of 2013 so far. That might be a little too long a title to fit on a trophy, but it’s nonetheless a decent accomplishment considering that the movie had some worthy competition. Other movies that were beaten out for this title include Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi Oblivion, which starred Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman, stage magician mystery Now You See Me, twin action flicks Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, and Neill Blomkamp’s recent release Elysium.

With all that in mind, it’s pretty safe to call Pacific Rim a success for Del Toro. We already quizzed Screen Rant readers on the subject of whether they want to see more of the Kaiju and Jaegers in a Pacific Rim sequel, but now it’s time for a more fundamental question: when you go to the theater, are you more likely to pick an interesting new IP or a sequel within a franchise that you already like?

[poll id="639"]


Pacific Rim is out on DVD and Blu-ray from October 15th, 2013.

Source: Box Office Mojo (via CBM)

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  1. Well, considering Pacific Rim is (in my opinion) the best movie of 2013 so far, I’m not surprised it stands out amongst the remakes, reboots and sequels.

    Just a shame Americans didn’t go see it because they complain there aren’t any good movies out but then when a good movie releases, they avoid it and choose to see “Generic Adam Sandler Comedy #583″ instead.

    • HAHA @ Dazz, always speaking out of the wrong end with out any facts. Where are you from? England? You know, where Grown Ups 2 beat Pacific Rim at the box office.

      Seriously, I’m from Canada but you factless American bashing I probably the most annoying thing on this site.

      Good day speculator.

      • What do you mean no facts? Pacific rim was beaten by Grown Ups 2 by $30 Million in the US (and Canada), and that’s the market where the highest percentage of the return from tickets sales comes for studios.

        • He inferred that North America was the only place GU2 beat PR… not true.

          • I don’t think he inferred that at all. The fact of the matter is that the North American box office is generally where most of the focus is placed by studios, so it would make sense to refer to the film’s performance in that market.

            And plenty of remarks were made about Grown Ups 2 beating Pacific Rim on opening weekend, especially on this site when the box office results for that weekend were released.

            Also, not trying to mini mod but your comment borders on personal attack, which isn’t allowed on this site.

            • “Just a shame Americans didn’t go see it because they complain there aren’t any good movies out but then when a good movie releases, they avoid it and choose to see “Generic Adam Sandler Comedy #583″ instead.”

              See direct quote above, you’re right he didn’t infer, he basically said it. Also, if a real mod says something then fine, but you’re not one, mini or other, so your opinion doesn’t matter to me regarding “personal attacks”.

              thanks though

    • Yeah, the problem was that it was “Generic Robots Fighting Actioner #584″ – and I’m a HUGE Del Toro fan. It just wasn’t very good. Great spectacle – but ZERO story, ZERO characters to root for and AWFUL dialogue. It might as well have been directed by Michael Bay.

    • Generic Adam Sandler-lol
      How true that dude hasn’t had a good movie since wedding singer

  2. Couldn’t agree more.

  3. It’s stuff like this that gives me hope that one day someone like del Torro, who is extremely creative and has a real appreciation for these types genres, will do a good DBZ movie, or develop Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, or other stuff like that.

  4. It’s a shame that studios are more worried on how much money can a movie make instead of focusing on the quality of a film/story. Movies like Alien, the Terminator or Robocop were films that made a big impression on people. Del Toro cannot carry out the project of At the Mountains of Madness due to the rating it would get from the MPAA.

  5. My Opinion still stands that Pacific Rim delivered to me what I expected to get out of it. This movie was the top of my list of best movies of this year, and I preordered the $64.00 Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Amazon the other day. Most of Guillermo Del Toro’s movies never make a splash at the box office, but become cult classics like ‘Pan’s labyrinth’, and both ‘Hellboy’s.’ I wish Warner brothers would have marketed Pacific Rim better, my friends and family only knew of it because of my word of mouth. I hope a sequel gets made, I would love to see the Kaiju’s plan a all out attack on us, and we actually have a army of Jaeger’s fighting back.

  6. Also, sorry to complain but I can’t comment with the “flow player” adds as it glitches up the test box, happening to anyone else?

  7. One of the few movies where i could easily forgive the script; because i knew that a lotta love when into this movie in other areas. I got to witness something i had never seen before; a rarity in Hollywood these days. The movie doesn’t need a sequel, but i would be excited for it. MAybe in 4 years the technology will be even better and they can do the movie for cheaper.

    • I agree I would love to see a Neon Genesis movie sometime in the future, I really liked Pacific Rim because it reminded me of the anime

  8. P.S. ‘Pacific Rim’ was my favorite movie of this past summer,and so far its my favorite movie of the year.

  9. “The total take is over $407 million worldwide, a respectable profit considering Pacific Rim‘s $190 million budget”
    That isn’t profit; it is gross. The movie has yet to make a profit. The total returned to the studio is, most likely, no more than $170 million, if not less. Maybe it will recoup via ancilliary markets, but so far PR is looking like a permanent money loser.

    • With a $407 gross takeing into account marketing,theaters cuts and other things PR will be in profit but not a conisderable profit I would think.

    • Pacific Rim WILL make a profit (if it has’nt already),though a smaller profit than Warner Bros/Legendary might have hope for,but it will make a profit never the less,especially when PR goes on sale on Blu-ray,Oct 15th and the money starts rolling in from those sales,I for one have already pre-ordered the 3D Blu-ray collecters edition.

  10. There should be different categories of movies. This is by no means an oscar worthy movie. But I went to see Pacific Rim in IMAX 3D, and it honestly felt like I was on one of those dark rides at Universal, but it was 2 hours long instead of 5 minutes. It was fun to watch and you could feel the theater shaking. From that standpoint, this is a 4-star movie – FUN.

  11. I just wish the movie wasnt so boring. A lot of CGI, but boring.