Box Office: ‘Despicable Me,’ ‘Grown Ups’ Sequels Stunt ‘Pacific Rim’ Stateside

"Despicable Me 2"

Warner-Legendary pic does better o'seas with $53 mil, while 'Grown Ups 2' grosses $42.5 mil domestically

Another weekend, another big-budget box office disappointment. This time it’s Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures’ $185 million-budgeted “Pacific Rim,” which collected just $38.3 million domestically. But the film saw better results overseas, earning $53 million from 38 territories.

As “Pacific Rim” floundered domestically, the battle for No. 1 came down to a pair of sequels: Universal’s toon holdover, “Despicable Me 2,” estimated $44.8 million in its second frame, down 46%, while “Grown Ups 2” earned $42.5 million. So far Stateside, “Despicable Me 2” has grossed an outstanding $229 million, with $472.4 million worldwide.

Globally, it was a close race for top ranking this weekend between “Despicable Me 2,” which collected $100.3 million worldwide, and “Pacific Rim’s” $91.3 million global weekend tally.

SEE MORE: Film Review: ‘Pacific Rim’

Even though “Pac Rim” — the monster mash-up from visionary director Guillermo del Toro — disappointed Stateside, the overall box office was up more than 20% over the same frame last year, continuing the summer’s record-setting pace.

There were few surprises this weekend, as the top three films landed in line with pre-weekend tracking estimates — though a last-minute barrage of advanced ticket sales for “Pacific Rim” had the media buzzing about a potential overperformance. Still, the fanboy-driven film was front loaded by Imax, which contributed 19% of the pic’s domestic opening with just 331 locations.

Dan Fellman, Warner’s domestic distribution prexy, said he was encouraged by the performance in Imax, which the film has for four weeks. “We’re just going to leg this thing out, and hopefully we can bring in more than just fanboys,” Fellman added.

Audience reaction to “Pacific Rim” was mostly positive, with best responses from men. However, according to CinemaScore, women also rated the film an ‘A-‘.

SEE MORE: Inside ‘Pacific Rim’ With Guillermo del Toro

Meanwhile, “Grown Ups 2,” which scored a lukewarm ‘B’ rating, showcased the reliability of the franchise, as well as stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James, since the film has been skewered critically. Pic scored just 7% on RottenTomatoes. But more than half of the PG-13-rated film’s debut came from auds under 25, a demo less prone to reading reviews than adults.

“With so much competition in the market, to do as well as we did certainly speaks to the DNA of this film,” said Sony worldwide distribution prexy Rory Bruer, who said he expects the sequel to match, at least, its predecessor’s $265 million worldwide cume.

The Weinstein Co.’s limited release of Sundance pick-up “Fruitvale Station” scored the weekend’s highest per-theater average, with nearly $54,000 per location. The film bowed at seven theaters in New York, L.A. and San Francisco, where it totaled an estimated $377,285.

3D ‘Pacific’ tours abroad

While the domestic prospects for “Pacific Rim” appear limited, the pic’s overseas box office could surpass $300 million, according to pundits. That’s partly based on strong opening grosses from markets like Russia and South Korea, where “Pac Rim” earned north of $9 million in each territory, as well as prospects in on-deck markets including France, Germany China and Japan.

That said, a $400 million worldwide take won’t be enough for Legendary and Warner to recoup their total financial investment when adding in marketing costs. (Legendary financed 75% of the pic’s budget; Warner is on the hook for the rest.)

The film’s 3D and Imax presentations will boost international playability.

Russia led the 3D charge, with the format contributing 70% of the local opening, followed by Australia and the U.K., with 47% and 42%, respectively. In the U.S. and Canada alone, “Pacific Rim” earned 50% of its opening from 3D, the highest share for the format this summer Stateside.

Other English-speaking territories including Australia and the U.K. similarly were apathetic toward the genre film. In Oz, “Pac Rim” ranked third behind “The Heat” and “Despicable Me 2,” with $2.6 million, while Blighty contributed $3.2 million second to “Monsters University” locally.

Danger: ‘Ranger’ Drop-off

The disappointing domestic opening for “Pacific Rim” comes just a week after Disney’s ‘Lone Ranger” debacle. And digging in the spurs a bit deeper this weekend, “Ranger” — which cost upwards of $250 million to produce — fell a steep 62% for a Stateside cume surpassing $70 million. “Lone Ranger,” which bowed Friday in Brazil earning $1.2 million, has totaled nearly $120 million worldwide.

Disney has launched the Johnny Depp starrer in only 33 overseas territories, representing just 35% of the international market place. By comparison, “Pac Rim” debuted day-and-date in roughly half.

And speaking of summer B.O. duds, Sony’s “After Earth” bowed decently in China this weekend, earning $11.6 million (roughly 25% bigger than “Oblivion”) and pushing the pic’s overseas tally to $155.4 million. The film crossed the $200 million mark this weekend, though it’s done expanding overseas.


Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Locations; Per-theater average; Cume*; Percentage change

  1. Despicable Me 2 (2): $44.8; 4,003; $11,180; $229.2; -46%
  2. Grown Ups 2 (1): $42.5; 3,491; $12,174; $42.5; —
  3. Pacific Rim (1): $38.3; 3,275; $11,695; $38.3; —
  4. The Heat (3): $14.0; 3,128; $4,476; $112.4; -44%
  5. The Lone Ranger (2): $11.1; 3,904; $2,843; $71.1; -62%
  6. Monsters University (4): $10.6; 3,142; $3,374; $237.8; -46%
  7. World War Z (4): $9.4; 3,003; $3,140; $177.1; -49%
  8. White House Down (3): $6.2; 2,566; $2,397; $63.0; -54%
  9. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (2): $5.0; 892; $5,605; $26.4; -50%
  10. Man of Steel (5): $4.8; 2,150; $2,244; $281.0; -58%


Film (Weeks in release): 3-day gross*; Territories; Screens; Int’l cume*; Global cume*; Percentage change

  1. Despicable Me 2 (4): $55.5; 50; 7,900; $243.2; $472.4; -38%
  2. Pacific Rim (1): $53.0; 38; 9,800; $53.0; $91.3; —
  3. Monsters University (4): $30.2; 45; n/a; $236.4; $474.2; +2%
  4. World War Z (4): $22.4; 59; 8,051; $246.0; $423.1; -50%
  5. After Earth (6): $13.7; 59; 7,300; $155.4; $214.5; +270%

*in millions of $

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Pacific Rim could have been awesome…if it was the first installment of the ROBOTECH japanamation saga – C’mon, its the same technology and you have a built in fan base, get the rights and make it happen – this ain’t brain surgery to see what is selling on the big screen right now

  2. Chris says:

    No – Pacific Rim stunted itself by existing. I still can’t believe del Toro left THE HOBBIT to takes on pieces of rubbish like this.

  3. thisFanBoyLovesPacificRim says:

    “Another weekend, another big-budget box office disappointment. This time it’s Warner Bros.-Legendary Pictures’ $185 million-budgeted “Pacific Rim,” which collected just $38.3 million domestically. But the film saw better results overseas, earning $53 million from 38 territories.”

    it over performs estimates Thursday, opens #1 in foreign markets, and does almost 3.5 million over your crappy “predictions” here in NA yet it is still a disappointment. By what standards then are you basing this movie on? A sliding scale of “hate” when it does better than you expect in EVERY WAY possible?

  4. Tim Nasson says:

    Guillermo Del Toro is completely overrated. Thank God he will now fade into obscurity. How anyone can have ever called him a genius is mind boggling. His movies are, at best, art house fare, and hardly Oscar material. Not one of his movies had ever surpassed $83 million. IF Pacific Rim does, it is from inflated ticket prices and 3D tickets.

    Movie box office dollars need to stop being reported. Movie box office #s from 1984 and 2014 are quite different, in comparison, to number of tickets sold.

    It is insulting to non-retarded people’s intelligence. THE END.

    • Michael Epps says:

      Guillermo is an amazingly creative and visionary filmmaker. He’s been nominated for an Oscar once, and I have no doubt he will gain, and probably win one day. Huge box office does not mean a film is great. It just means a lot of people saw it in the theater. Quality lasts forever.

  5. Shogun Warrior says:

    Americans are so hypocritical when it comes to movies. They say they want more originality and less sequels, reboots, remakes yet what do they do they go spend their money on sequels, reboots, and remakes. No wonder people pirate movies.

  6. The Kingslayer says:

    It’s disgusting that so many American’s went to see Grown Up’s 2.

  7. thomas wayne says:

    Variety is to be blamed for the poor performance of pacific rim. They have been bad marketing it ever since the movie was announced. Its 100000 times better than grown ups 2 and the best movie this summer. Variety is a just a big fan of adam sandler.

  8. Michael Epps says:

    Pacific Rim is a flop. The fanboys can whine and spin all they want, but 38 million domestic opening weekend is a disaster. It’s worldwide gross is decent, but nothing to celebrate. With the bloated budget and marketing, this one might barely break even, but that’s about it.

    • Brian says:

      Don’t be silly. How could it possibly be a flop when it has been out three days? Now, if you ad said that domestically it seems to be performing beneath expectations, that would be closer to accurate.

      As things stand, you’re confusing what you want, with the reality of the situation, which is that Pacific Rim has earned just over $91 million dollars worldwide. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

      “Bloated budget…” Have you seen it? It’s gorgeous, and you can see all that $180 million dollars on screen, so I have no complaints with that.

    • Michael Epps says:

      Yeah, Variety stopped the american public from making Pacific Rim a huge smash. Lol!

    • Priss says:

      It’s cute that you keep spouting “fanboys” around.

  9. It didn’t “tank”! It came in behind two films that anybody would have expected it to. Two sequels to big films; how this is a shock to anyone I don’t know? Also Pac Rim has always been about the worldwide take; with strong reviews (especially for the type) and great word of mouth, it is a long time until we can call this one either way.

    • Jack Sprout says:

      The movie is toast, Everton. Seriously, take your blinders off and deal with it. Overseas isn’t going to help matters.

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