Legendary-Universal’s “Pacific Rim Uprising” isn’t likely to open as high as the original monster battle movie, but robot-loving international territories could help power it to a solid box office total after its opening on March 23.
Recent tracking on the sequel, which stars John Boyega of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has been in a wide range of $20 million to $30 million at around 3,700 locations. That should be finally enough to top the sixth weekend of Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” — though the sequel is unlikely to match the original Guillermo del Toro movie’s $37 million mid-July opening weekend.
The original “Pacific Rim” starred Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam, and Robert Kazinsky. Released in 2013, it was set in the near future with Earth at war with the Kaiju, monsters that emerged from an inter-dimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. It grossed a solid $411 million at the worldwide box office — led by $112 million in China, $11 million more than the U.S. at a time before the Chinese market had started to boom.
“Pacific Rim: Uprising,” with a reported $150 million budget, will likely need a big boost from the international market to recoup. Most markets, including China, are opening day-and-date with North America. Steven S. DeKnight directs from a script he co-wrote with Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin from a story by del Toro. The cast includes Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian, Cailee Spaeny, Rinko Kikuchi, Burn Gorman, Adria Arjona, and Charlie Day.
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Producers are del Toro, Jon Jashni, Femi Oguns, Mary Parent, and Thomas Tull. The film is set a decade after the original, which took place in 2025. Boyega is playing the son of Idris Elba’s character, who sacrificed his life in the first film.
“Pacific Rim: Uprising” is largely financed by Legendary, which greenlit the movie after the company was bought by Dalian Wanda in early 2016. DeKnight began shooting in Australia late that year and completed shooting in China last March. Attorney Joshua Grode became the new CEO of Legendary in December, nearly a year after the departure of founder Thomas Tull.