The narrative for Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robots spectacle “Pacific Rim” this summer was quite the roller coaster. Budgeted at over $200 million (not including marketing), the studio started to sweat when bad tracking reports hit a few weeks before release. Del Toro had to galvanize his base, spread the word and do everything he can to beat the awareness drum. And he did. While some were worried the movie would bomb, the story, as usual, was more complex. “Pacific Rim” only grossed slightly over $100 million in the U.S. which is a failure considering the cost. However, the film really rallied overseas, particularly in China and its international grosses rallied the film to $407 million worldwide. Some championed that as a major victory—it is currently the 10th highest grossing film of the year worldwide. But doing the Hollywood math (tacking on some $60 million for promotion and advertising and then subtracting the deep cuts that theaters take, etc.), “Pacific Rim” is hardly a film that’s broke even.
This is perhaps why a sequel still hasn’t been green lit. But that’s not stopping the principals. Del Toro and writer Travis Beacham have apparently started work on the sequel regardless. “No, we are writing the sequel. Travis Beacham and I are writing, so that is active,” he told IGN this week. “The decision to green light or not, that’s definitely above my pay rate. To me, what was beautiful and flattering was how people saw the movie not once or twice but three, four times or more. People that love it, love it with great passion. So I would love to continue telling stories about that world.”
What about his long-gestating “Frankenstein” and “Pinocchio” films? He was less convincing about the former and hopeful about the latter. “You know, I hope [Frankenstein] does, in the right way and the right moment,” he said. “Every time I get with Universal, we talk about doing it, and then for whatever reason something else takes over. Right now, I’m busy for the next two years, between finishing ‘The Strain’ and doing ‘Crimson Peak.’ So it just happens like that. Your life leapfrogs a couple of years, if not more, when you’re a filmmaker. When you’re a filmmaker that generates his own projects, for sure.”
Considering other Frankenstein films are in the works and are going to make it to the screen sooner, we’re not sure we’d hold out a ton of hope unless it’s development is long after the upcoming crop of Dr. Frankenstein movies. “We have a large part of the financing in place,” he said regarding “Pinnochio.” “One of the partners we had simply stopped making films. We are looking for a new partner, and hopefully it will happen. It’s always serendipity, which project happens and which one doesn’t.”
Back to “Pacific Rim.” Maybe Blu-Ray and DVD sales will push it into the black enough for a sequel (not that that’s ever stopped a studio either way). Would you like to see a “Pacific Rim” sequel? Sound off below and check out the new, rather hilarious “Pacific Rim” honest trailer which points out a lot of the movie’s flaws (though we articulated lots of those problems in our Good, Bad & Ugly feature about “Pacific Rim” and an old podcast).