Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim" debuted to a huge $3.6 million Thursday evening.
Box-office analysts are not expecting Guillermo del Toro's big monster movie "Pacific Rim" to do well in theaters this weekend.
Early estimates pegged the movie to debut to a paltry $25-35 million.
Instead, many think Adam Sandler's latest poorly reviewed film "Grown Ups 2" will beat out "Pacific Rim." While it may earn a predicted $40 million this weekend — don't be surprised if it falls short — it looks like people are highly underestimating the power of del Toro's flick.
Here's why we think the monsters will pack a punch.
Ticket sales / The film is already doing great at theaters.
Yesterday, "Pacific Rim" accounted for 60% of Fandango's advance ticket sales.
We were told Thursday the film was also outpacing Brad Pitt's big-budget "World War Z" at the same point pre-sales cycle.
The $3.6 million "Pacific Rim" took in last night is in line with what Pitt's film took in upon its Thursday evening debut.
After low box-office estimates, that film went on to earn $66.4 million opening weekend.
What's bringing people out to see the monster flick?
According to a Fandango survey of more than 1,000 "Pacific Rim" ticket buyers most — 86% —are heading out because of positive online and mobile buzz.
Fans of director Guillermo del Toro are flocking to see the film as well, with 64% saying they were fans.
As of today, "Pacific Rim" still held 31% of daily ticket sales on Fandango. However, "Despicable Me 2" and "Grown Ups 2" both saw 30% and 28% respectively.
After early poor press, the film is currently sitting at 73% on film site Rotten Tomatoes.
Word of mouth should help this film out.
While Sandler's sequel is currently poised to bring in $40 million — no doubt because that's what the first film opened to back in 2010 — the actor hasn't had a winning streak as of late at theaters.
This is the family to bring the kids to see.
Though del Toro's monster movie has a PG-13 rating, it doesn't have anywhere near as much gruesome violence as Disney's "The Lone Ranger."
In fact, the film offers a group of positive role models less grim than some of the D.C. and Marvel superheroes we've seen so far this year at theaters.
A nostalgic feel of anime characters brings thoughts of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" to mind. And that's a good thing.
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