What could be better than watching giant robots fight giant monsters? Well, for U.S. audiences, a lot, it turns out. Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” opened at number three at the box office in July 2013, selling just over $37M in tickets. Over the next few months, it went on to gross nearly $102 million domestically. Returns were far lower than hoped, especially given the sci-fi flick’s reportedly $190 million budget.
So why, given the not quite mega-blockbuster haul of “Pacific Rim,” was del Toro talking to Collider about not just “Pacific Rim 2” but “Pacific Rim 3”? Because, though American audiences didn’t turn out in droves to watch the epic battles, international moviegoers did. “Pacific Rim” pulled in over $300 million abroad, which was more than enough to propel the franchise forward. And forward is indeed the direction it’s headed.
Del Toro discussed the status of the second installment of the franchise. “We got the first draft of the movie now, and we are going to spend another 4-5 months on the screenplay before we start pre-production,” he said. “We start pre-production next year in August-September and start shooting November-December next year.”
What changes might be in store for the sequel? “Some of your favorite characters come back, some others don’t because we have decided that we’re going to shoot ambitiously and say ‘Let’s hope we have three movies,’ so some characters come in at the end of the second, hoping that it will ramp up on the third one.”
Sounds like the director and co-writer of the series is eyeing at least a trilogy for the robot army, with events in “2” leading directly into “3.”
“Pacific Rim 2” is set to open April 7, 2017. Perhaps pulling it out of an historically competitive summer will give the films the sea legs they never quite found last time.