Once upon a time, in 2013, a movie called Pacific Rim was released. Back then when influencers were still in diapers and Facebook was still struggling to decide whether The Onion is real news or fake news, a trailer like this couldn’t get viral like what Avengers Infinity Wars did recently.
In fact, we thought Pacific Rim, just by the title, is some shipwreck movie. But word-of-mouth marketing somehow pushed people out of their comfy home to watch the movie, and the rest, like they said, is history.
Pacific Rim beat the odds despite having under-performing in the US, drawing mere USD$101.8 million locally while grossing over USD$300 million in other countries. That’s like 75% of its revenue is from other regions.
For comparison’s sake, Captain America: Civil War, known to many as Avengers 2.5, took USD$408 million in the US and Canada, and only USD$745 million in other countries, effectively meaning that only 64% of its revenue is from overseas.
Forbes even called it rare, but it’s okay: we love it nevertheless.
So, now that the sequel is here, what are the interesting tidbits about this movie?
What is it
If you’re new to Pacific Rim, here’s a brief context: it’s about giant robots, controlled by two humans, to fight aliens that comes from another dimension.
The two humans control the large robots by connecting their minds together, and they must be “drift compatible” to be able to control them, which are known as Jaegers.
In the first movie, they, well, closed the “hole” to the dimension so that the large aliens, which looks like oversize godzillas, cannot enter our world, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Pacific Rim Uprising takes place ten years later, when the “hole” is reopened and the Jaegers are back in action.
Yeah, pretty simple here. We all just love the robots and not the plot.
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Why the delay despite the success of first film
Despite the low box office in the US, the film is still considered a success since it’s profitable. Anything that is profitable means one thing:
But why does it take five years for the sequel to be out?
It’s all business.
You see, the film would be released by Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures. Legendary Pictures wants it to be done, but Universal couldn’t make a decision. And ta-da: they waited, quarreled, waited, quarreled and waited.
It was after the sale of Legendary to a China company that kick-started the production, because with the success of the first film in China, chances of it being produced became higher.
And truly, in February 2016, it was announced that they would be doing it.
Looking to become a franchise
What comes to your mind when you hear Star Wars? This.
And also 10 movies so far, 3 TV films, 6 animated series, many video games and whatnot.
And Star Trek?
13 movies, 7 TV series, lots of games and novels and unlimited number of fans.
Here’s the thing: Pacific Rim aims to be a franchise just like Star Wars and Star Trek, creating a universe and having lots of spins-off (and many lots of money).
If things go well, our grandchildren might be going for a Pacific Rim convention #justsaying
Reviews so far
Pacific Rim got an approval rate of 71% in Rotten Tomatos; not too bad considering that the US box office was considered a flop. Back then, people were attracted to the novel-yet-old-fashioned monster-vs-robot premise: I mean, where else can you find such a movie?
But people aren’t that forgiving for the new movie.
Currently, the approval rating is at 65%. IGN called the characters “half-baked”, and GameSpot thought it was “confusing” if one hasn’t watched the previous movie, and that it “simply can’t escape its predecessor’s massive shadow.”
If you’ve watched it, do you agree?
Mandarin (and Chinese elements) is used in the movie
Remember how the predecessor is a flop in the US, and it was “saved” by its overseas ticket sales?
Well, to be exact, China. And that’s why you’ll be thrilled to know that Mandarin is being used often in the film, together with Chinese elements.
In fact, Scott Eastwood, one of the lead characters, even spoke Mandarin to promote the movie in an Instagram post.
Main character (s) are different
If you’ve watched the first movie for the actors / actresses, you’re in for a surprise because this movie has an almost new cast altogether.
The only returning cast are Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Burn Gorman: everyone else is new.
The protagonist isn’t the same as well: John Boyega will be playing the lead character Jake Pentecost.
Charlie Hunnam, the main lead in Pacific Rim, could not make it due to conflicting schedules even when he had a contract to do so.
In fact, he admitted that he would love to do it, just that the schedule for the movie was changed (remember the delay mentioned earlier?) and he had to bow out.
The production company had to then let him out of the contract.
China could be its key market
As mentioned, 75% of the movie box office was from overseas, and China contributed to nearly 25% of the overall box office, bringing in over USD$111 million – more than the US.
(Just so you know, Singapore brought in USD$3.8 million – also a very reasonable number)
With such success, the film is betting on the China market again – just check out their trailer.
It’s still early to tell, but one woman might just help save this movie.
All about Jing Tian
She could turn the movie from a flop to a blockbuster:
Jing Tian, who played the female version of Tony Stark, plays the billionaire genius Liwen Shao.
The 29-year-old beauty is a rising star that is taking Hollywood by storm, with her roles in The Great Wall and Kong: Skull Island.
The actress, who is single (!!!), told The Straits Times in an exclusive interview last year that she had never had the intention to go to Hollywood: it just, erm, happened.
If you don’t like robots and monsters, you can watch for her #justsaying
Cost less to make
Pacific Rim cost USD$190 million to make in 2013, and if adjusted for inflation, that’s USD$206 million today.
Yet, Pacific Rim Uprising cost just USD$150 million to make. That’s like 25% less of the budget allocated.
Now, the question is, would that compromise the quality of the movie?
Pacific Rim Uprising will be cinemas on 22 March 2018.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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