It’s August, the time of the summer movie season when blockbuster fatigue sets in after months of various monsters, aliens, robots, and comic-book heroes pounding audiences into numbing submission. This particular summer has been notable for several box-office disappointments — like The Lone Ranger, After Earth, Pacific Rim — that arrived with high price tags, high expectations, and big-name stars or directors. Each was conceived as a new franchise that could fill studio coffers for the next decade and each failed to live up to the hype for one reason or another.
Increasingly, though, American audiences don’t get the final say on whether these characters live to fight another day. The international market now represents nearly 70 percent of the global box-office, so if China, Russia, and Brazil team up to decide that Pacific Rim — which reportedly cost about $190 million but has only grossed $87 million domestic — gets a second round, it will be done. Yesterday, Guillermo Del Toro’s robots-versus-monsters spectacle opened to packed houses in China, earning an impressive $9 million in its first day in theaters there, according to Deadline. That raises the global box office for Rim to $227 million (if Warner Bros. and Legendary can get the Chinese Film Group to pay up), with the movie still slated to open in Japan, Spain, and Brazil. Should Rim finish in the the high-$300 million neighborhood — not an unreasonable goal — Del Toro should get an opportunity to bring his sequel ideas to life. READ FULL STORY