clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pacific Rim 2 may finally happen thanks to this major studio acquisition

It only took a $3.5 billion sale for Guillermo del Toro to get his wish

Studio acquisitions and mergers happen all the time, but there's something special about China's Wanda buying Legendary Entertainment — the studio behind Pacific Rim, Godzilla and Man of Steel — for $3.5 billion.

Most interesting is Wanda's commitment to developing new IPs for the company and supporting successful franchises that Legendary has already built, according to Variety.

What does that mean? Well, for one thing, it means Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim sequel is more than likely going to happen.

Despite Legendary's disappointment with Pacific Rim's domestic gross (the film pulled in approximately $100 million), the film was a massive hit abroad, especially in the Asian market. The film made another $305 million overseas, and the largest portion of that profit came from China and Japan.

This seems like the answers to his prayers.

Wanda chairman Wang Jialin told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday that the main point of the acquisition was to make money and help those already working at Legendary to create films people want to see. Especially, Jialin said, with Asian audiences.

Now that Wanda owns the majority shares of Legendary and can cast a major vote in what gets made and what doesn't, it only makes sense that films like Pacific Rim and Godzilla would receive far more financial support than before.

While the team behind Godzilla had already been given the go ahead on developing a sequel, as part of Legendary's collaboration with Universal to produce an entirely new monster franchise, Pacific Rim's future has been up in the air for months.

Despite del Toro's adamant reaffirmation that the movie would somehow get made, Legendary seemed to go out of its way to ensure that wouldn't happen. Recently, the studio announced that the project was "off the table indefinitely" and confirmed that with the sequel essentially cancelled, del Toro would have a long list of new projects he could take on.

Still, that didn't stop del Toro from promising fans on Twitter that somehow Pacific Rim 2 would be made.

This seems like the answers to his prayers.

Never mind that Pacific Rim is a guaranteed profit producer in European and Asian markets, the film already has a massive following surrounding it. Wanda wouldn't have to spend too much on marketing and it would help to cultivate an active movie going audience in its Asian regions.

Developing a bigger movie-going audience in Eastern markets by creating more original content specifically for their interests will also play a big role in Wanda's acquisition, Jialin said.

Legendary has already started this process, opening up Legendary East in China and working on its first film targeted specifically for the Asian market.

"We have much to learn," Jianlin said. "The Chinese film industry is 30-50 years behind that of the U.S."

Jianlin's sentiments about expanding Legendary's global audience were echoed by the studio's CEO, Thomas Tull, who added that there is a demand for better quality entertainment in countries like China and Japan.

"We will combine our respective strengths to bring an even better entertainment experience to the world's audiences," Tull said.

All of which amounts to Wanda throwing money at franchises that are guaranteed to make a killing, like Pacific Rim, future Batman movies and Godzilla, so that Legendary can create new franchises specifically for the Eastern market and increase worldwide profit.

For a company whose sole purpose in acquiring Legendary Entertainment was to make money, the decision to resurrect Pacific Rim and bring it out as soon as possible is a no-brainer.