Much as we like to bemoan the dearth of original ideas in Hollywood, it’s clear why the studios prefer to bet big on existing properties. The 2013 box office has been dominated so far by sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, and adaptations — as was the 2012 box office, the 2011 box office, and so on.
Still, a handful of truly new films manage to break through each year, and this year none has broken through harder than Pacific Rim. While the Guillermo del Toro-directed sci-fi failed to make much of an impression domestically, its worldwide tally is the highest of any live-action movie released in 2013 based on an original idea. Hit the jump to read more about its box office ascendancy.
Since opening two months ago, Pacific Rim has pulled in just $101 million at the U.S. box office. It’s fared much better abroad, however, grossing another $305 million to date for a worldwide total of $407 million. That makes Pacific Rim the tenth biggest film of the year at the global box office, and the one of only two films in the top 10 based on an original idea. (Animated family pic The Croods is the other.)
Interestingly, China was Pacific Rim‘s biggest fan, accounting for $111 million of that total alone. Iron Man 3 has been the only 2013 Hollywood film to do better, with $121 million, and that was actually a Chinese co-production. Given how desperate the major studios have been to break into the Chinese market, Warner Bros. would be foolish not to capitalize on that affection by green-lighting a sequel.
We should, however, should point out that those numbers are slightly less impressive when we consider that Pacific Rim cost $190 million to make. Given the added costs of promoting and marketing a film, Pacific Rim probably barely broke even when it crossed the $400 million mark. In comparison, Iron Man 3 cost $200 million but has made $1.2 billion to date.