John Boyega in 'Pacific Rim 2': How the first movie became a hit overseas

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' actor Boyega will star in the 'Pacific' sequel. The first movie became a success overseas.

Jonathan Short/Invision/AP
John Boyega poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA 2016 film awards at the Royal Opera House in London in 2016.

“Star Wars” actor John Boyega will star in a sequel to the 2013 monster movie “Pacific Rim.” 

The “Pacific” films take place in a world in which creatures known as Kaiju are attacking Earth’s cities. Pilots use large robots to fight the Kaiju and attempt to keep citizens safe.

The first film stars Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and Idris Elba. It is directed by Guillermo del Toro of “Crimson Peak” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

Mr. Boyega is most likely best known to moviegoers for his role as former stormtrooper Finn in the massive 2015 hit film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Boyega will reportedly portray the son of Mr. Elba’s character, Stacker Pentecost, who was in charge of pilots Raleigh (Mr. Hunnam) and Mako (Ms. Kikuchi) and was himself a former pilot.

“Pacific Rim” was viewed as having done less well financially than it could have in the US, but the movie did much better internationally than it did at home, with its international gross far outperforming its domestic box office.

International box office is now of course an important part of the equation in Hollywood, with big-budget films often opening in other countries before they even arrive in the US. This year’s “Captain America: Civil War,” for example, one of this summer’s most high-profile blockbusters, premiered in Los Angeles but then opened in countries including Belgium, Colombia, and China before it arrived in America.

But there can also be a difference in what movies hit in the US and internationally, as seen with “Pacific.” Another case is seen with Boyega’s recent hit film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “Force” is now the highest-grossing film of all time in America without adjusting for inflation, but internationally, it never caught up to hit films “Avatar” and “Titanic.” These stories appealed more to international audiences than “Force.”

This was also seen this year with, for example, the J.J. Abrams-produced “10 Cloverfield Lane,” which was a follow-up to the 2008 movie “Cloverfield.” In America, this movie is currently the tenth-highest-grossing movie of the year so far. But abroad, 2016 movies such as “Gods of Egypt” and “The 5th  Wave,” films that were viewed as financial disappointments in America, outperformed “10 Cloverfield Lane."

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