How the Hell did PACIFIC RIM Bomb At The Box Office?

It’s been universally agreed upon by critics and most people with sanity and/or common sense that Grown Ups 2, the sequel to the barely watchable first film by Adam Sandler and whatever director he’s currently bribing, is one of the worst films of 2013. This is not a surprising fact, because most movies Adam Sandler has made over the years have been pretty damn awful. Whether it’s comedy or drama, his post 1990s movies have been almost universally reviled. But somehow, this godawful sequel somehow beat Pacific Rim, the only hope of original science fiction movies everywhere.

Pacific Rim, according to critics, wasn’t nearly as good as people thought it was going to be. It currently sits on a decent 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But even so, it was by all accounts a decent and original sci-fi movie. As we all know, this is something that we desperately need. Without films like Pacific Rim, as underwhelming as it apparently is, we’re going to get more crap like The Lone Ranger (another disclaimer: I didn’t see that one either).

What doesn’t make sense here is how a movie everyone has universally hated somehow made more money than a decent science fiction film that most people liked. You’d think that a movie about giant battles between mechs and monsters (I’m not calling them Jaegers or Kaijus) would be a more popular sell to the crucial kids-teens-young adults market than a lame brained comedy about middle aged guys farting. And let’s face it, who here still likes Adam Sandler or Kevin James or Chris Rock or David Spade? Anyone who isn’t completely brain dead? The complete bombing of That’s My Boy, a Sandler comedy glorifying child rape and incest, was a sign of hope that Sandler and his crew of idiots had finally been buried, never to return. That we would no longer have to suffer, year after year, of Sandler making a lazy comedy that no one with any kind of rationality would watch. And while I’m sure that Grown Ups 2 is better than That’s My Boy and cross-dressing flick Jack And Jill by miles, that’s still not enough. Not enough to beat a movie by Del Toro. And I’m not even a fan of the Pan’s Labyrinth director!

Another disclaimer: I was unfortunate enough to have actually seen That’s My Boy. If you enjoy teenage boys being raped on camera and a sex scene involving two characters that are brother and sister, I’d recommend this one. If you don’t like either one of these things, don’t watch it. It’s cinematic trash. I’m really ashamed that Adam Sandler is Jewish, because he’s making my people look bad.

The one silver lining here is that Grown Ups 2 hasn’t made enough money as of right now to warrant a third entry. And I really don’t think it will. Maybe the corporate executives will get the hint and retire Happy Gilmore forever. Maybe we’ll get some new comedians, ones who can actually make people laugh. I heard This Is The End is pretty good. And there’s a new Edgar Wright movie coming out next month! And that guy’s never made a bad movie!

Ladies and gentlemen, much like you, I’m deeply heartbroken by this state of affairs. Pacific Rim wasn’t the monster movie we wanted, but it was the monster movie we deserved. Simply by existing, it was better than most other tentpole summer movies. It was probably better than Man Of Steel (but not Iron Man 3). Del Toro may not be a perfect director, but right now he’s all we got in the war against crappy sequels. At least the man’s willing to do something different, which is more than what we can ask from a bunch of cookie cutter directors throwing the same gritty crap at us over and over (*cough hack wheeze* Zack Snyder!). The battle will be long and difficult, but one day we’ll get the quality entertainment that the world needs. We’ll get superhero movies made by people who actually like the character, and not take away his underwear and make him a clone of Batman. We’ll get science fiction films that respect its audience, and actually make its money back. The night is darkest before the dawn, and I’m stealing another Christopher Nolan quote.

While a lot of this is me subtly complaining about how very disappointed I was in the new Superman movie, we really do have a problem here. Until we get to the days where the Adam Sandlers and Zack Snyders of the world are no more, where people treat their movie watching experience as just that and not a casual spending of ten bucks, we’re gonna be stuck in this rut. I think it’s probably up to us to make sure a disaster of this proportion never happens again.

S#!T Talking Central

  • filmfan

    edgar wright IS directing The worlds end. One and the same

  • jah p

    I was sick to my stomach when I found out that my worse fear had come to reality, when on sunday night I saw that Pacific Rim had come in 3rd place this weekend..but as I watched this movie 3 times this weekend, I noticed that all of the theaters only showed PR only once/spaced out every 3 hours or so, while meaningless films like Grownups 2 or Despicable Me were being shown every hour!!and that’s not including the IMAX screenings or 3-D showings. So I was and still am very disappointed in the masses not supporting this great film.
    I guess Godzilla will probably be the last giant monster/kaiju film we’ll see in the near future as I’m sure the in development Gaiking movie, Voltron, and Monsterpocalypse in which Dreamworks and Tim Burton was supposed to be doing the same time as Pacific Rim was being filmed, will never be made now every summer, we’re gonna be overwhelmed once again with comic book superheroes and old tv show remakes! Sad indeed..I feel bad for Del Toro, with PR doing bad so far, he probably won’t get to make In the Mountain of Madness either…

  • Michael Moore

    I think it’s down to the average movie goer being brainless.

  • TomB

    The trailers for Pacific Rim left me with the same feeling as the trailers for Grownups 2: No way in hell I would watch either.

  • indianapeach

    Well done here sir. To answer your question: it’s political. Legendary spun off from Warner Brothers and there was a contractual relationship that existed whereby Warner Brothers was in charge of the marketing. There is bad blood at high levels between Warners and Legendary executives. It’s probably something really arbitrary involving big egos. But the average moviegoer was caught in the crossfire as the marketing for Pacific Rim was shuttled off to a cut-rate group of uneducated advertisers. Hence, the trailers for Man of Steel were amazing (Warners put their best on it) whereas the ENTIRE campaign for Pacific Rim was a flaccid mess. There are other factors to consider: Legendary has its guns trained on Asia – in fact it’s where a large slice of their projected revenue will be coming (even on PR) whereas Warners has been doing deals and spending bank on ventures with a heavy emphasis on asian receipts as well. In this war for China, basically the American consumer got screwed. It’s Hollywood, the consumer always get screwed. It’s allowed to not work efficiently because it’s such a powerful beast. I think there may be other factors as well but that’s my sense of things. The Warner Brothers marketing team on Pacific Rim should either be executed or given a medal for a successful behind-the-lines demolition. I like your blog. Keep it up I’ll keep coming back. Oh yeah and Pacific Rim rocks hard. Rocks the the nuts right out of a squirrel’s hands.

  • OriginalBryGuy

    I can explain this although many don’t like to admit it. Even this review shows part of the problem.

    “But even so, it was by all accounts a decent and original sci-fi movie.”

    That’s the problem. Pacific Rim, while entertaining, is NOT original. Robots vs. Aliens isn’t a new concept. Most of the characters and conventions were blatantly ripped off from other films, from Charlie Hunnam’s Tom Cruise/Top Gun character to the lame ‘dueling scientist’ sub plots..a lot like Jurassic Parks Grant/Malcom debates. The characters were all shallow and all the fight scenes happen in the dark, in the rain, or underwater. They try to promote a ‘two brain’ dinosaur theory that was proved a myth a long time ago, and the ending is a total rip off of Avengers. Nuke goes into rift.

    To the 10-15 year old crowd…they aren’t going to see all of that. This movie will be the dream of manga in 200 million dollar cgi form. That’s a representation of the money the movie is making. The money that is ISNT making is from all of us who are older who think it looks cool, but we aren’t nearly as impressed, and we know its not original. I saw it in 3D and payed 13.50. Sorry, it’s not worth 13.50. It could have been so much better. It’s many things, but it’s not original…this is why it its failing.

    So why did everyone turn out for Grown Ups 2? Because as much as everyone hates to admit it, there IS an Adam Sandler movie somewhere that people liked. Usually Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore. But people show up hoping each time that the next Sandler movie will be ‘that’ kind of funny. Grown Ups 2 sucked. That’s pretty obvious, but people want to laugh, and Sandler provides a better shot at entertainment then mindless robot/alien hand to hand combat.

    Seriously, the Jeagers don’t even have rail guns or laser weapons? Why didn’t they all have swords? Way too many problems. I rest my case. The box office tally by the weekend will explain the rest.

  • Rjd123

    Pacific Rim was not underwhelming at all. It was the best movie of the summer. That is the nature of movies right now…Sad

    • MakingTheFilm

      Pacific Rim sucked. It was terrible on all levels. I couldn’t even see what was going on in the fight scenes. I was so excited to see the movie.

  • althotos

    I am, with no shame, a big fan of Guillermo Del Toro. I thought Pan’s Labryinth was beautifully sad and tragic movie. I’m a fan of Hellboy and a lot of his other, international movies. They are all well made movies and not the cookie cutter trash we see mostly in the theaters these days. Like one of the commentators below, I wish he could have had the opportunity to make “The Mountains of Madness”. Now that, would have been an awesome flick. Let’s keep supporting good Science Fiction.