Most (if not all) of us love Guillermo Del Toro, both as a person and for the films he has given us. Because of this we are willing to overlook things like his domestic box office track record. Studios, however, are not. As much as we lament the loss of a project like At the Mountains of Madness, it is easy to see exactly why Universal brought the axe down when you look at the numbers. The simple fact of the matter is that of the ? GDT films that have been given a wide release here, only one has made a profit theatrically. Even with the powerhouse combo of James Cameron and Tom Cruise at his side on ATMOM, it’s not hard to see why they said “no”.
Luckily for us, Warner Brothers and the folks at Legendary Pictures have said “yes” to Guillermo on practically everything he has wanted for Pacific Rim. The sheer fact that someone handed Del Toro a $200 million budget to craft a Kaiju vs. Robot epic is nothing short of a miracle in this day and time. And giving him creative freedom to do as he pleases within that budget is almost unfathomable. But they did it. By all accounts, they handed him the keys and let him race off down the highway with no supervisor. But, being that this is Hollywood, there is always a catch.
Despite Guillermo’s previous (and public) reservations about this very thing, the decision has come down from Warner Brothers to post-convert Pacific Rim to 3D. A lot of outlets are bemoaning this and I really have no idea why. This isn’t a last minute decision. They have plenty of time to perfect both the SFX and the post-conversion process between now and July 2013. Does it suck that they’ve decided to do this against the filmmaker’s wishes? Of course. But that’s life. The fact that we are getting a mega-budget film of this sort from Del Toro in the first place is a tremendous gift and if this is the only concession that must be made, then by all means convert the ever-living shit out of it. Those who are vehemently against it will still be able to catch the film in 2D when it hits theaters. I’ve never come across a theater that didn’t show every 3D in 2D as well at some point during its run, be it right from the start or a few weeks later when the 3D-capable screens are given to something else. We will still be getting Guillermo’s vision no matter what, so why bitch and moan? Of all the battles to pick, why waste your time on this one?
What everyone SHOULD be worried about is if this will be successful in theaters. Guillermo Del Toro is talented and popular enough among fans and the industry that he will almost always be able to find work. How this and the next couple Hollywood projects he has lined up performs at the box office will determine in what capacity he works for the rest of his career. Will he be able to alternate between big and small projects as he sees fit off the success of this and others? Or will he be resigned to only making small independently-funded films after another series of flops? Vote with your wallet and encourage others to do so as well.
It has been said countless times before, but deserves mentioning yet again: you get way you pay for. When you skip quality projects (big or small) in favor of a vapid blockbuster or romcom, you are voting for the types of films that Hollywood will continue to make. Just like in any “real world” election, your votes matter. What you offer your support for now will affect the next few years. The studios are in this business for one thing only: MONEY. They produce anything that will make it for them and when said film type stops yielding results, they move on. You want GDT to have the freedom to do anything he wants, big or small? Then go see Pacific Rim next summer and encourage others to do so. If you continue to do this for the works of the directors that you admire, they will continue to thrive.
Source | Variety