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Weekend Box Office: Pacific Rim: Uprising Dethrones Black Panther

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By Chris Kavan - 03/25/18 at 08:05 PM CT

While it was inevitable, it's still sad to see Black Panther lose its top spot after five weekends on top. Still, don't feel too bad as the superhero is still on a tear and is now the highest-grossing domestic superhero film of all time - and still has plenty left in the tank. While Pacific Rim: Uprising had a decent opening, none of the other new wide releases made much of an impact. Sherlock Gnomes barely made the top five, while Unsane couldn't even crack the top 10. But good news for fans of quirky, animated films, Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs had a stellar debut in limited release and looks to follow in the footsteps of the director's live action hits.


Despite the lack of Guillermo del Toro (which is never a good thing), Pacific Rim: Uprising topped the box office, displacing Black Panther, to the tune of $28 million. Now, that is below the $37 million opening for Pacific Rim, but I don't think anyone was expecting it to open better. With a cast that includes John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Charlie Day, Cailee Spaeny, Tian Jing and Rinko Kikuchi the sequel earned a decent "B" Cinemascore from an audience that was 68% male and 53% of which was 25 or older. Is still snagged a pretty good 2.77 weekend multiplier, which was better than the 2.55x Pacific Rim brought in. If its domestic total is a bit underwhelming, fear not, for it made an additional $122.5 million internationally, including $65 million from China alone. That is the second-best opening for a film in China behind only Black Panther. The film's domestic opening was the same as Edge of Tomorrow, though the film is likely going to fall short of the $100 million mark that film brought in. Instead, we're looking at a domestic total in the $75-$80 million range with an additional $300 million from international audiences (China alone should account for $125 million or more). It will be interesting to see if this will be enough to justify another Pacific Rim in the future, but with these results at least it's not going straight-to-streaming any time soon.


So what if Black Panther finally got knocked off its perch - it was inevitable. The $16.65 million it brought in raised its total to an eye-popping $630.9 million. That officially makes it the highest-grossing domestic superhero film of all time, topping The Avengers ($623.3 million) and it also moved up to fifth place domestic all time, topping Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($619 million) in the process as well. It sits just $21.3 million behind Jurassic World - which it will top as well. It has also earned $1.237 billion on the worldwide scale, making it the third-highest grossing superhero film of all time behind the two Avengers movies ($1.4 billion and $1.5 billion) as well as topping Fate of the Furious ($1.236 billion) to become the 12th best worldwide release of all time, as well as the highest-grossing film from a black director. It will soon pass Beauty and the Beast ($1.263 billion) and should wind up in the top 10 before too long. This is good news - especially for Marvel and Disney as it will only fuel the hype for Avengers: Infinity Wars, which is just over a month away from kicking off the summer movie season.


After an impressive opening weekend, the inspirational I Can Only Imagine added 624 theaters to its count, a great move, as the film remained in the third place position with $13.83 million (down just 19.1%) and a new total of $38.3 million. For the $7 million faith-based film, that is an excellent result. It is proven leggier than The Shack, God's Not Dead and Heaven is for Real. The big question is whether it can keep up this amazing run - if it can, it has a chance to surpass the total of War Room ($67.79 million) to become the second-best faith based film behind Heaven is for Real ($91.44 million) - barring those Narnia films and Passion of the Christ. It's going to be close, but $50 million is guaranteed - we'll see how far above that it gets, but no matter where it ends up, it's going to be a fantastic total.


The only other new wide release the reach the top five was the animated sequel Sherlock Gnomes. The film's $10.6 million opening was well below most weekend estimates, as well as under half the opening of Gnomeo and Juliet's $25.3 million. It did at least earn a "B+ Cinemascore. The studio is hoping spring break crowds will help this limp along, but I have a feeling it's going to wind up nowhere close to the $99 million the original film brought in - not even $50 million - I'm guessing $30 million is the ceiling and continues Johnny Depp's losing streak (outside anything related to Pirates of the Caribbean). I expect this to last through mid-April at best.


After opening up to second place, Tomb Raider took a rather hard tumble, shedding nearly 56% of its audience to land in fifth place with $10.43 million and new total of $41.74 million. While its domestic total is a bit underwhelming at this point, on the international front it is looking much better. With $170 million overseas (including $69 million in China alone), the $94 million picture should be able to wind up in the black. Its $211 million worldwide total already puts it ahead of Cradle of Life ($156 million) and it is within striking distance of the original Lara Croft ($274 million). In any case, the film should be able to top Assassin's Creed ($56 million and $244 million worldwide) in both domestic and worldwide totals, meaning Alicia Vikander has one-up on her husband Michael Fassbender.

Outside the top five: The new faith-based film Paul, Apostle of Christ didn't offer much of a challenge to I Can Only Imagine, opening in 8th place with $5 million. It earned an "A-" Cinemascore and joins God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness next weekend as all look to target Easter crowds.

Midnight Sun, the rather mopey teenage romance opened in 10th place with $4.11 million, also earning an "A-" from a largely female (80%) audience. Maybe it will capture attention and perform like Everything Everything or Forever My Girl but, more likely, it's going to fade fast.

Finally, Unsane, Steven Soderbergh's attempt at horror (on iPhone cameras no less) failed to drum up much attention landing in 11th place with a mere $3.85 million. The "B-" Cinemascore is actually pretty good for a horror film, but it won't lose any money no matter how low the grosses thanks to foreign pre-sales. I'll catch this at home some day and see if the experiment is worth it.

In limited release, Wes Anderson's latest film, the animated Isle of Dogs (his second following The Fantastic Mr. Fox) had a stellar opening of $1.57 million (15th place) from 27 theaters for a very nice $58,148 per-theater average. Anderson is no stranger to strong limited debuts, but this is a good sign that he film should hold appeal as it expands in the weeks to come.

Next week Steven Speilberg drops an Easter Egg-laden nostalgia bomb in the form of Ready Player One, God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness looks to court the faithful while Tyler Perry gives us Acrimony about a two-timing husband about to get his comeuppance.


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