CinemaCon: Will Audiences Buy Into Guillermo del Toro’s Childhood Fantasies?

"Pacific Rim" is one impressive monsters versus robots film, but will it play?

Guillermo del Toro told theater owners on Tuesday during CinemaCon in Vegas that making ‘Pacific Rim’ changed his life, permitting him to indulge his wildest childhood fantasies.

The film reminded del Toro of being a 12-year old boy dreaming of monsters, while permitting him to think like “the guy who sees a giant robot and has a good day.”

The 48-year old "Hellboy" and "Pan's Labyrinth" director said that "Pacific Rim," which features arresting sequences of giant robots battling massive sea monsters, allowed him to work on "a scope and a palate" that he had never attempted before. Clearly, no expense has been spared and Warner Bros., which is distributing the film, said it thinks it will play.

"We predict that it's going to be a big, big hit worldwide," Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said.

Indeed, foreign audiences have proven to be hospitable to the kind of pyrotechnics on display in the footage the studio brought this week to CinemaCon, the annual exhibition trade show.

Though audiences at ComicCon last summer greeted footage rapturously, the film enters this summer as a puzzle. With studios foisting 17 sequels and other pre-branded films on most audiences, this stands as one the most expensive original attempts to launch a new franchise in recent memory.

Give Warner Bros. credit for taking a big gamble and betting on an outsize talent like del Toro at a time when studios are increasingly risk-averse. 

Legendary Pictures which developed the project and brought in del Toro, has already hired a writer to pen a sequel, so clearly it thinks it won't just be comic book lovers who are enraptured by del Toro's otherworldly dreams.