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Guillermo del Toro announces 'Pacific Rim 2'

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Pacific Rim wasn’t necessarily the box-office leviathan that Legendary and Universal had hoped, but it grossed a healthy $411 million around the globe. In particular, it made $111.9 million in China alone—more than it made in the U.S.—so it was no shock when the two movie companies announced that Pacific Rim 2 is officially in the works and will arrive in theaters on April 7, 2017.

In a YouTube video, director Guillermo del Toro said that “we’re going to develop a new animated series for Pacific Rim, continue the comic-book series that we started with Year Zero, and most importantly, create a sequel for the film. I’m working on this with Zak Penn and Travis Beacham, and we are very happy to be bringing you more Kaijus, more Jaegers, kicking each other’s butt.”

Beacham co-wrote the first Pacific Rim, and Penn scripted X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk.

Watch the announcement below.

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China's box office soared 27 percent in 2013

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The Chinese box office continued its remarkable evolution in 2013 — and it thrived thanks to Chinese-made pictures, not just Hollywood films. According to Chinese market researcher Ent Group, the country’s box office revenues reached $3.6 billion last year, up 27 percent from 2012’s $2.7 billion mark. China, which passed Japan in 2012 to become the second-largest movie market in the world, is now poised to surpass the U.S. by 2020 as the most lucrative film market on Earth.

Domestically produced pictures made up the majority of China’s revenues, accounting for approximately 59 percent of grosses. Action comedy Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons was the top-performing film of the year, grossing $207 million total. Only three Hollywood films finished in the Top 10: Iron Man 3 ($121 million), Pacific Rim ($115 million), and Gravity ($73 milion). Notably, all three spectacles made a special point of incorporating Chinese elements into their plots — whether by shooting additional action scenes in China, letting a Chinese fighter-robot punch a slimy kaiju, or by having Sandra Bullock reach a Chinese space station.
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China boosts 'Pacific Rim' chances for sequel, points to Hollywood's future

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

Box office report: 'Despicable Me 2' wins with $44.8 million, trumps 'Grown Ups 2' and 'Pacific Rim'

In a close race that saw each of the top three films swap places between Friday and Sunday, animated smash Despicable Me 2 once again won the weekend at the box office. The $76 million family film from Universal and Illumination Entertainment fell 46 percent from its debut weekend to $44.8 million, pushing its total all the way to $229.2 million after only 12 days.

Despicable Me 2 has easily asserted its dominance over Disney’s Monsters University in the last two weekends. Though Monsters has been in theaters twice as long (it opened June 21), its $237.8 million domestic total is only $8.6 million more than Despicable Me 2. Universal’s minion-filled comedy should easily overtake its rival release sometime this week. Worldwide, Despicable Me is about to surpass Monsters University as well, as the films have earned $472.4 million and $474.2 million, respectively.

In second place, Adam Sandler’s first-ever sequel, Grown Ups 2, opened to a great $42.5 million. The $80 million Sony comedy started off slightly better than its 2010 predecessor, Grown Ups, which debuted with $40.5 million on the way to a $162 million domestic finish. If estimates hold up, Grown Ups 2 will stand as Sandler’s second-best opening ever behind 2005’s The Longest Yard, which debuted to $47.6 million. READ FULL STORY

'Pacific Rim': Why don't they just shoot missiles at the kaiju?

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(Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.) Listen, I liked Pacific Rim. All those robot-monster beatdowns are good, goofy summer fun. And I am aware that, if we can get all technical for a second, the movie would be classified as a work of “fiction,” since it’s mostly about giant humanoid robots fighting giant sea monsters. This is not The Fighter. I get it.

But here’s what I don’t get. Most of the kaiju (monster things) have some kind of long-range weapon capability. They spit lasers, or they shoot electromagnetic pulses from their backs, or whatever. And every Jaeger (robot thing) has a whole bat-belt worth of toys, like missiles and swords (seriously, swords?) and some kind of blue-glowing plasma hand-cannon that seems to do the trick of bringing down kaiju pretty well.  READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'Grown Ups 2' earns $16.3 million, beats 'Pacific Rim' on Friday

Following back-to-back misfires Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy, Adam Sandler needed a hit to re-establish his box office viability — and it looks he’s got one with Grown Ups 2, which topped Friday with $16.3 million. If the $80 million Sony comedy can hold off Pacific Rim and Despicable Me 2 through Sunday night, it could finish the weekend in first place with a robust $45 million, but it’s going to be a close race.

Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro’s $190 million robots vs. monsters adventure, took in $14.6 million on Friday, which could lead to a weekend in the $35-40 million range. (It looks like tracking — not online buzz — was right this time.) With an “A-” CinemaScore grade, Pacific Rim could have strong enough word of mouth to reach the higher end of that range and overcome the tendency of many geek-oriented titles to overperform on opening night and lose momentum through the weekend.  READ FULL STORY

Box office preview: Will 'Pacific Rim' sink or swim?

A three-way battle for box office supremacy is brewing between Pacific Rim, Grown Ups 2, and Despicable Me 2 — all of which could potentially earn grosses in the mid-$40 million range this weekend and continue the film industry’s winning streak. The biggest question mark stomping into theaters is undoubtedly Warner Bros.’ ultra-expensive robot adventure Pacific Rim, whose earning potential has proven notoriously difficult to predict. But predict, I must! So without further ado, here’s how I think the box office might look this weekend:

1. Pacific Rim – $52 million
Look, people. I know that tracking for this $190 million Guillermo del Toro-directed tentpole has been woefully weak — down in the $25 million to $35 million range. I know Warner Bros. has repeatedly said it only expects $30 million for it this weekend. I know that everyone on the Internet has already declared Pacific Rim a bomb. But I just don’t believe it. Fandango reports that over 60 percent of daily sales are for Pacific Rim and that the film is outselling World War Z, which opened with $66.4 million, at the same point in its pre-release cycle. Of course, Pacific Rim‘s core demographic of male geeks is exactly the type that would purchase online tickets en masse — but even so, those sorts of pre-sales do not suggest an embarrassing opening.

Pacific Rim has surged on social media this week, which makes sense, since Warner Bros. saved most of its marketing budget for the release phase, and awareness is rising quickly. Plus, the film has earned strong reviews overall, which should lead to solid word-of-mouth. Though there are no bona fide movie stars in Pacific Rim‘s cast (the film has been advertised mostly with robots and monsters), the appeal of Del Toro may connect with film buffs. With 3-D and IMAX prices factored in — plus the groundswell of excitement for an original story — I think Pacific Rim could earn $52 million out of 3,275 theaters this weekend. I’m very aware that might be too high, but really, who knows where this film ends up?
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'Pacific Rim' premiere: Guillermo del Toro and monster-mashing cast pick their favorite feature creatures

Director Guillermo del Toro freely admits he’s a geek for all things sci-fi and supernatural, so he wholeheartedly jumped at the chance to smush two of his favorite Japanese sub-genres — mecha (huge robots, machines or human-piloted suits of armor) and kaiju (giant monsters) — into one super-sized summer blockbuster hopeful: Pacific Rim.

“No one has done it before and that was what first attracted me because I’m a big fan of both these very traditional [Eastern] genres,” Del Toro told EW on the black carpet at the film’s U.S. premiere Tuesday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “This movie represents as much of me as a small adult movie like Pan’s Labyrinth does. They represent two sides of me, but they are both absolutely sincere and full of love. [Robots] and [monsters] are like vanilla and chocolate. You can’t pick which is better. I had a chance to do a giant poem to both of them, so win-win for me.”

The film’s stars also found it impossible to definitively decide whether the menagerie of dino-like aliens or the fleet of epic war machines called Jaegers were cooler. “The movie is way more fun than you can even imagine, because these monsters are formidable and these robots are like a World Cup team,” frequent Del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman explained. “Just when you think you understand [the monsters’] skill set in terms of how dangerous they are, they adapt and reinvent themselves. They are a nightmare of an enemy. But then Guillermo made the team of Jaegers that are kind of like the 1927 Yankees. Each of them has their own personality and swagger and none of them tolerate losing.”

The cast all marveled at the seemingly endless array of badass beasts dreamt up for the Warner Bros. film that now join the annals of movie monster history. It seemed like the perfect time to ask who gets their vote for greatest movie monster of all time.
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Guillermo del Toro talks status of his 'Slaughterhouse-Five' adaptation

According to one of the higher-level theories of quantum mechanics, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is at any given moment working on every single film project in Hollywood, along with a variable number of TV shows, books, cartoons, and videogames. (He may even be co-writing this blog post.)

So when The Telegraph broke the news that Del Toro hoped to make an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, one had to maintain a healthy amount of skepticism. That sounds awesome, but so did At the Mountains of Madness (sniff) and so does the highly unlikely Hellboy 3 (sniff sniff). READ FULL STORY

Mondo reveals 'Pacific Rim' Comic-Con posters -- EXCLUSIVE

In a match made in geek heaven, four new Mondo prints glory in the monster-crushing spectacle of Pacific Rim, the new Guillermo del Toro science fiction movie that pounds into movie theaters this Friday. The posters will be available for sale at the Mondo booth at Comic-Con from Wednesday, July 17 to  Sunday, July 21. EW debuts them here exclusively.

“Mondo has always been instrumental in cementing world creation in pop culture — these posters by Ash Thorp and Kevin Tong and Vania Zouravliov capture perfectly the wild, gleeful spirit of Pacific Rim – here’s to a mad world of Mecha and Kaiju!!” said del Toro in a statement. READ FULL STORY

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