Producer Thomas Tull has the interwebs to thank for the escalation of excitement surrounding his first major solo product, Pacific Rim. The $180 million film features a solid lineup of sea creatures, fighting robots, and monsters, but real life humans are actually the ones responsible for stirring up the majority of the movie’s buzz, elevating box-office predictions and psyching up movie-goers for the action-packed film that debuted in theaters on Friday.
Tull is also the man responsible for the successful Dark Knight series; however, Pacific Rim is a distinctly special product for him because it marks his first movie disconnected from Time Warner Inc.’s (NYSE:TWX) Warner Bros. According to Bloomberg, the producer announced this week that his Legendary Entertainment LLC will no longer be connected with Time Warner at the year’s end, and instead will enter into a partnership with Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal Pictures in the future.
While this new venture includes a five-year deal that affords Tull movie and TV production benefits as well as possible theme-park ties with Universal Studios, Pacific Rim is all Tull’s individual doing, and reflects his desire to construct an entire studio based on its own cast of monsters and heros. The genius producer hopes that Pacific Rim’s robots and enemies — Jaegers vs. the Kaiju — can kick off that cast, but only time will tell whether the film delivers on the $400 million that certain analysts expect worldwide sales to come to.
And if all goes according to plan, Tull might need to send a thank-you note to Kanye West, of all people. The iconic rapper tweeted about the film, calling it “one of my favorite movies of all time,” effectively adding to the wider audience’s greater anticipation and contributing to raising the film’s opening and weekend forecasts — as high as $41 million for one analyst with Boxoffice.com.
New York Post writer, Lou Lumenick, along with Hideo Kojima, creator of the “Metal Gear” video games at Konami Corp, also seemed to agree, the latter calling the movie “the future of entertainment.” In addition, Rottentomatoes.com, a highly visited site that accumulates reviews but is also notoriously critical, gave the film a 72 percent positive rating — a solid score which even surpasses World War Z’s rating of 67 percent.
But while things are looking optimistic for Pacific Rim, the high cost film will need to see success overseas if it wants to effectively earn a profit. Jeff Gomez, chief executive offer of Starlight Runner Entertainment, explains that big summer movies’ ad budgets can account for 40 to 50 percent of production costs. Tull’s Legendary was responsible for 75 percent of the production budget, while Warner paid the rest.
So Tull is hoping that his giant robots appeal to both his domestic and overseas followers. Humans control these robots as they take on sea invaders — dramatic battle scenes that are amplified by 3-D effects — and luckily for the producer, he has a good track record for putting out good movies, and many consumers are confident he’ll be able to succeed in doing it again.