International Box Office: Pacific Rim takes on The Smurfs 2

pacific rim film 2013 ImageIt took a single trailer to know that Pacific Rim would be huge in Asia, but just how big is huge? Now thanks to the film’s $44.4 million Chinese opening, we know what huge means (and so does Warner Bros).

It must feel weird for Hollywood to have a film open higher in another foreign country then on its own turf. Pacific Rim was always expected to do great business in Asia but I don’t think even Warner Bros. or Legendary expected it to perform this well. $44.4 million is a new record for them in China and the 5th biggest opening ever for a Hollywood film. So because of that massive debut, Pacific Rim is now back on top of the international box office with $53 million. After a month on the big screen the sci-fi flick sits at $200.4 million internationally for a worldwide total of $294.6 million. With at least $40 million more from China, Japan still left to open (good for $30-50 million or more) and a few more millions from here and there, Pacific Rim is looking at over $400 million worldwide by the time it leaves theaters. Maybe it came a bit short of some expectations, particularly in North America, but at the end of the day everybody involved can happily go back home knowing that this won’t lose them money (unlike some other blockbusters, looking at you The Lone Ranger). In the hands of Legendary, Pacific Rim 2 looks a lot more likely now.

These days, particularly when 3D is part of the equation, sequels almost always outperform their predecessors internationally. With so many rising markets, it’s really no wonder. Unfortunately for Sony their lackluster 2013 streak continued with The Smurfs 2, debuting at only $49.4 million from 43 markets. That’s actually down from the 2011 original yet it still looks like it will end up being the biggest earner of the year for Sony, at least internationally.

the wolverine review ImageThe Wolverine is now at $160.1 million internationally after a 2nd weekend of $37.4 million. Already ahead of X-Men ($139 million), The Wolverine will easily become the highest grosser of the series outside North America, a title currently sitting in the hands of X-Men: The Last Stand ($225 million). Worldwide the superhero has amassed $260.2 million, more than doubling its $120 million budget after less than 2 weeks in theaters.

Having learned of it very recently (like a few hours ago), Snowpiercer is a bit of a mystery to me. Apparently this South Korean, American and French co-production brought an estimated $18 million over the weekend. That’s a lot of money coming just from South Korea, so I’m interested to see where this ends up in the near future. Having cost $40 million to produce, this is not your average foreign flick. A trailer can be seen here (and yeah, it’s mostly in English and stars Chris Evans among others). According to Wikipedia The Weinstein Company will distribute Snowpiercer in North America, although a date has not yet been set.

Despicable Me 2 rounds out the top 5 with $13.7 million which brings the animation’s international total to $387 million. Add a a massive $329.7 million from North America and Despicable Me 2 is at $716.7 million worldwide.

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  • Dillon

    Finally Pacific Rim is getting the publicity it deserves. I can’t believe it hasn’t made 150+ Million in the USA. So annoying that my own country is more interested in Adam Sandler films. Thank God it’s making a lot of money in China and will make more cash in Japan. When all is over and done with I think a sequel should happen. Would be awesome if Del Toro brought back Crimson Typhoon as a thank you for the big opening in China lol.

    • myothercareer

      I had so much fun when I saw the flick. Good to see the creators at least make their money back on it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly a good time. I hate it when any movie “bombs,” that’s never good for the industry.

      • Dillon

        Yea I agree. The characters were a little hollow, not really having any depth. I wish there were more fights too. There was a long phase in the movie where there wasn’t any action. Hopefully they will fix some of those problems if there is a sequel. I hope there’s more daytime fights too lol

  • Vance Cooley

    The fact that a movie that gets a 10 percent rating on rotten tomatoes earns over 100m, says much about the people in our country. Pacific Rim is a great movie whose creators have shown a lot of love for. Check out Travis Beachman’s Tumbler account to see that love.

  • Brent Snyder

    Pacific Rim is such a great movie. After it’s poor showing in the US, I was pretty sure that it would do better in China, and it may even eclipse the final US tally. Glad that happened, since all the news from Del Toro is that the plans for the sequel are amazing.