‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ dethrones ‘Black Panther’ at Box office

Written by on March 25, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) – It took six weeks, but Black Panther has finally been unseated as the top film at the North American box office. The monsters vs. robots science-fiction sequel Pacific Rim Uprising dethroned the superhero sensation with $28 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.

But the result for Pacific Rim Uprising, a Universal Pictures-Legendary Entertainment release that cost $150 million to make, was soft — at least domestically. Like the recently released Tomb Raider, its biggest business was in China, where Pacific Rim Uprising debuted with $65 million.

 

And even though Black Panther slid to second place with $16.7 million in its sixth weekend, Ryan Coogler’s film notched another box-office milestone. It’s now the highest-grossing superhero film ever in North America, not accounting for inflation. The film’s $631 million in domestic ticket sales has surpassed the $623 million of 2012’s The Avengers. Black Panther also becomes the fifth highest grossing film of all-time, rising above Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The record-breaking hit of Black Panther has been followed by a string of lackluster performers, including Tomb Raider (currently No. 5), A Wrinkle in Time (No. 6) and Red Sparrow. Pacific Rim Uprising may have taken down Black Panther, but a blockbuster heir still hasn’t been found. Next weekend, Steven Spielberg will try with his big-budget virtual-reality spectacle Ready Player One.

MGM and Paramount Pictures’ animated family sequel Sherlock Gnomes disappointed with a fourth-place $10.6 million debut. Forecasts had been higher for the sequel to Gnomeo & Juliet, which grossed $194 million worldwide in 2011.

The results were also modest for Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane, a psychological thriller starring Claire Foy (The Crown) that the director shot with iPhones. The Bleecker Street-Fingerprint Releasing film opened with $3.9 million in 2,023 theaters. Though both were inexpensively made, neither of Soderbergh’s first two films following his brief retirement from Hollywood has made much of a dent at the box office. Last year’s Logan Lucky, starring Channing Tatum, tapped out at $27.8 million domestically.

But there were also bright spots. The Christian drama I Can Only Imagine held especially strongly in its second weekend. The Lionsgate-Roadside Attractions release grossed $13.8 million, bringing its two-week total to $38.5 million and putting it in third place. I Can Only Imagine has emerged as the clear faith-based film of choice ahead of Easter, likely to the detriment of Paul: Apostle of Christ, which took in $5 million this weekend for Sony’s Affirm Films.

More: How did ‘I Can Only Imagine’ become the biggest Christian hit ever (and inspire a movie)?

And in limited release, Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs got off to a healthy start with $1.6 million in 27 theaters. Fox Searchlight, coming off its best-picture win at the Academy Awards for The Shape of Water, carefully selected the opening-weekend theaters to cater to Anderson’s die-hard fans.

“We just wanted to be out there to give his audience an opportunity to find the film,” said Frank Rodriguez, distribution head for Searchlight.

Final figures are expected Monday.

Jake Coyle, Associated Press


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