"Pacific Rim" jazzed up the so-called "fanboy" crowd before it was even filmed. But as it rolls into theaters, will that enthusiasm propel the monsters vs. robots tale to "Man of Steel"-sized grosses, or is it the next "Scott Pilgrim"?
For box-office watchers, it's an exciting weekend, with no clear projected victor as of Friday (July 12) morning.
Early footage from filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro's "Pacific Rim" had one of the loudest reactions ever at least year's San Diego Comic-Con, where Del Toro unleashed some big action sequences on the Hall H crowd. Now, as this year's Comic-Com looms and critics have seen the finished film, genre-loving sites like Badass Digest and Hitfix have heaped praise upon it, while some more mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal and TheWrap.com were not as kind.
Nevertheless, "Man of Steel" was "rotten" by the time it opened, whereas "Pacific Rim" is opening with a 73 percent "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes. "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" was a massive favorite at Comic-Con and with comic-book lovers online, but that early buzz did not translate into big box-office grosses for Universal. Del Toro has already spoken about a potential sequel with MTV News, Kanye West liked the movie and "Sons of Anarchy" showrunner Kurt Sutter tweeted out his (admittedly biased) approval of "Pacific Rim" star Charlie Hunnam (aka "Jax" Teller).
PACIFIC RIM is AMAZING. Guillermo is a masterful storyteller and visualist. Charlie & Idris are badass brilliant. Seriously, u must see.— kurt sutter (@sutterink) July 10, 2013
"Despicable Me 2" broke records last weekend and there's also ensemble comedy "Grown Ups 2," which reunites Adam Sandler and his regular stable of comedian pals, to contend with. Both of them will offer stiff competition to "Pacific Rim," with the #1 spot harder to determine than most weekends. The $200 million "Pacific Rim" should debut between $30 million (said The Hollywood Reporter) and $45 million (said BoxOfficeMojo.com), either of which will certainly be better than big-budget non-sequels like "After Earth" and "The Lone Ranger."
However, "Despicable Me 2" is forecasted to be within that same range during its second weekend, with the debut of "Grown Ups 2" potentially upending both pictures for #1. Like its predecessor, "Grown Ups 2" suffered from horrible reviews. Its 7 percent Tomatometer score is particularly awful. "Punch Drunk Love" remains Sandler's best reviewed movie (at 79 percent), while the Sandler affiliated "Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star" generated a shocking 0 percent.