Arama They Didn't

8:07 am - 08/19/2013

‘Pacific Rim’ Fails to Wow Japanese Audiences

TOKYO — In what was supposed to be one of its friendliest foreign markets, Japan, “Pacific Rim” ended its opening weekend, August 10-11, with a so-so sixth rank on the box office chart.

The Guillermo del Toro robots-versus-monsters epic, inspired by Japanese kaiju (monster) pics, scored $3.04 million from 134,506 admissions.

Meanwhile the other big Hollywood opener, “World War Z,” earned $3.38 million for the number two slot, selling 236,910 tickets.

The Hayao Miyazaki-directed toon “The Wind Rises” won its fourth weekend in a row, boosting its total to $57 million. For the year to date, this is second only to “Monsters University,” with a total of $68 million on 4.5 million admissions.

Prior to the opening of “World War Z,” both Brad Pitt and partner Angelina Jolie made the PR rounds in Japan. “Pacific Rim” helmer Guillermo del Toro and star Rinko Kikuchi also appeared before the fans, but local coverage centered on the charming nine-year-old Mana Ashida, who has a supporting role in the pic.

But neither Ashida nor Kikuchi have the star power of Pitt. Also, their pic lacked the sort of franchise branding that powered the many knock-offs and spin-offs of the original “Godzilla” (1954) to B.O. heights in Japan, until the series finally began to flag.

The last “Godzilla” pic, “Godzilla: Final Wars”(2004) finished with a mediocre $13 million at the Japanese BO and producer Toho has no immediate plans to make another, though it is distribbing the Hollywood “Godzilla” reboot that Gareth Edwards is helming and Warner and Legendary Pictures are producing. Release is skedded for May, 2014.

The okay performance of “Pacific Rim” in Japan stands in contrast to its powerful showing in China. There it held on to its number one spot for the second week, taking $33.9 million despite strong competition from local franchise movie “Tiny Times 2.0.” That lifted its cumulative total to $79.5 million.

Budgeted at nearly $200 million, “Pacific Rim” has earned $344 million worldwide.

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45s 19th-Aug-2013 04:09 am (UTC)
I wouldn't expect a foreign kaiju-esque film to do well in the country that invented it... Plus, they are still making Godzilla movies in 2k13. This lukewarm reception was expected.

Also wwz was awful lol. Oof
circe89 19th-Aug-2013 09:06 am (UTC)
America is still making Godzilla movies, Japan's sick of them.
eevaleena 19th-Aug-2013 04:26 am (UTC)
Dang. I post the wrong comment at the wrong place ^^; Sorry. But anyways, I'm not surprised that the movie didn't do well in Japan. It's expected.
nyankee 19th-Aug-2013 04:36 am (UTC)
Japanese audiences are not overly fond of Rinko, so I didn't really expect it to do phenomenally.

I loved Pacific Rim, though, so thank goodness for its box office success in China. I'm glad it's making money.
vanillasalt 22nd-Aug-2013 10:32 am (UTC)
Japanese audiences are not overly fond of Rinko

aw, they're not? how come?
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
circe89 19th-Aug-2013 09:08 am (UTC)
Hasn't Mana disappeared from the spotlight for awhile anyway? Last year she was everywhere, this year I've barely heard about her.
vickyblueeyez 19th-Aug-2013 04:47 am (UTC)
I really loved this film. :(
katzsong 19th-Aug-2013 04:56 am (UTC)
Well, like someone said earlier, Japan already has tons of Kaijus/Monsters vs Mecha or tokusatsu's movie. So, for them it's no big deal. And probably wrong strategy of promotion (as I've heard here and there). I mean, Japan's actually missed out a big thing. Pacific Rim could be a good reference for Japan's movie maker if any of them want to make any live action from mecha's anime/manga. The special effects and CGI are magnificent, the Jaeger and Kaiju's looked so real, the movement's are fluid and believable. I'm sure Japanese film maker could make something in that quality, if they put their mind into it.

And I've seen Pacific Rim 6 times. or 7. Who's counting? XD
cuizy 19th-Aug-2013 06:18 am (UTC)
yeah I really liked the special effects and CGI.... it's kind of weird to me Japanese ppl aren't interested tho..... it's like a foreign take on what they invented.... aren't they curious (and of course hollywood effects)
eishastan 19th-Aug-2013 05:23 am (UTC)
But it flopped everywhere right? correct me if i'm wrong.

I wanna watch it tho.
kisschuu 19th-Aug-2013 06:20 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it only flopped in the US
exdream1999 19th-Aug-2013 05:41 am (UTC)
One thing not mentioned is that WWZ showed in more theaters than Pacific Rim did.

When I went to see it though on opening day, the theaters was packed (While when I went to see NazoDi on opening day it was only half-full), and after the movie there was a huge line to buy goods.

I'm pretty sure that if it had the same number of theaters as WWZ, it would have done better.

tilmon 19th-Aug-2013 06:16 am (UTC)
So that's what it is. It would be really useful if movie reports would give information about number of theaters, but I suppose that if they did that, it would make it harder to insist on the pre-existing "truth" about how well any given film is doing. You can't compare a film that opens on a 1000 screens to one that opens on 500.

In any case, I expect that Pacific Rim will make enough on the merchandise alone to justify itself.
cuizy 19th-Aug-2013 06:20 am (UTC)
hmmm.... it's funny that it's so popular in China.... and not in the country that the director dedicated it to. Oh well.... guess the next movie will have more of the Chinese pilots and jaeger
kisschuu 19th-Aug-2013 06:21 am (UTC)
Aww. I really like this movie. :(
raatkerani 19th-Aug-2013 06:36 am (UTC)
I watched Pacific Rim in a full theater a week after its release in Japan, and from what I heard from the audience comments was that it was "tanoshikatta" and other positive remarks. Of course one sample out many screenings will not do justice in comparison to the official number.

Not so surprised to see that it pales in comparison with Kaze Tachinu. The anime is great. I hope it gets international screening.</p>

Personally, I think Ashida Mana's few minutes in the movie beats of other performances.

exdream1999 19th-Aug-2013 06:50 am (UTC)
For real, the viewer's reviews for Pacific Rim are much higher than WWZ's, it just had a wider release and a bigger name attached to it.

I really want to go see it again on Ladies Day sometime.
digitalqueen 19th-Aug-2013 07:01 am (UTC)
Apparently it wasnt promoted too much, I've read some articles about it saying WB had yet to spend about 70% of the marketing budget.
kisschuu 19th-Aug-2013 09:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, the promo for Pacific Rim was really bad lol. The only reason I knew about was because I live in NYC and everything is heavily promoted here :p Meanwhile, a lot of people didn't even know about it until after it came out.
circe89 19th-Aug-2013 09:06 am (UTC)
When the Batman movies flopped over there, I read that Japan doesn't really care for 'dark' super hero films. Maybe Pacific Rim was too dark for their taste?
myharu 19th-Aug-2013 05:57 pm (UTC)
nah it had a brighter tone than the Gantz movies imo, and I could actually see what was going on too
helsings 19th-Aug-2013 10:40 am (UTC)
That's a shame. I really loved the movie myself. I was really disappointed it flopped in the US too :/
peachpastiche 19th-Aug-2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
I honestly felt like it was barely promoted here. I saw ads for WWZ literally *everywhere*, but I never saw a single one for Pacific Rim. The showing I went to opening weekend was totally packed, but it didn't have as many showings country-wide.

It's not just lower number of screens but also that theaters were showing it less often than movies like WWZ and many only had the dubbed version.

Edited at 2013-08-19 12:36 pm (UTC)
exdream1999 19th-Aug-2013 01:02 pm (UTC)
I first learned about Pacific Rim because ZIP! reported it back when it was still filming, and NTV/ZIP! has been promoting it heavily, I saw more CMs for Pacific Rim then for WWZ.

Plus: My theater is only showing WWZ 4 times a day, while it's showing Pacifc Rim 7 times, and only 2 of those are the dub.

Really, it depends on where you are/what you watch when it comes to Hollywood films.
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