Box Office: ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ to Unseat ‘Black Panther’ With Modest $23 Million

Pacific Rim Uprising” will knock “Black Panther” off its box office perch this weekend after a rare five-week rule.

The sci-fi tentpole “Pacific Rim Uprising” is heading toward a moderate $23 million debut at 3,708 locations — enough to top “Black Panther” by as much as $8 million. According to early Friday estimates, “Black Panther” is set for the $16 million range, which would leave the Disney-Marvel title with one of the top seven sixth weekends of all time. It will wind up the frame with $630 million at the domestic box office, surpassing “The Avengers” as the fifth-highest domestic grosser of all time, and trailing only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Avatar,” “Titanic,” and “Jurassic World.”

Universal-Legendary’s “Pacific Rim Uprising” is expected to earn as $10 million on its first day Friday, including $2.4 million from Thursday night previews. The movie, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 “Pacific Rim,” had been forecast to score between $22 million and $29 million.

The original “Pacific Rim” — set in the near future and starring Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Charlie Hunnam — opened to $37 million domestically. It went on to gross $411 million at the worldwide box office, led by $112 million in China.

“Pacific Rim Uprising” has scored mixed reviews from critics, with a current 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is also opening this weekend in most international markets, including China.

The launch of Paramount Pictures and MGM’s animated comedy “Sherlock Gnomes” is battling three holdovers for third place, coming in at the low end of forecasts in the $12 million range at 3,662 theaters. The family-friendly pic is a sequel to 2011’s “Gnomeo & Juliet.”

The second weekends of Alicia Vikander’s “Tomb Raider” and the faith-based drama “I Can Only Imagine” are both anticipated to make slightly less than “Sherlock Gnomes” in the $10 million to $11 million range. Fox’s second weekend of the gay coming-of-age romantic drama “Love, Simon” is holding nicely between $8 million and $10 million.

Three other new films are also opening nationwide this weekend with middling prospects. Sony-Affirm’s biblical drama “Paul, Apostle of Christ” looks likely to finish in the $5 million to $6 million range in 1,431 theaters over Palm Sunday weekend. The story follows James Faulkner as Saint Paul in his last days awaiting execution by Emperor Nero in Rome.

New indie distributor Global Road Entertainment, the successor to Open Road Films, is launching “Midnight Sun” with initial estimates for the young adult romantic drama between $3 million and $5 million at 2,173 theaters. Bella Thorne stars as a teen who has been sheltered at home since childhood due to a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight.

Steven Soderbergh’s thriller “Unsane” is also expected to earn between $3 million and $5 million from 2,023 sites with Bleecker Street and Fingerprint handling the release. Claire Foy stars as a troubled woman stalked by her ex.

With no other films breaking out this year except for “Black Panther” and Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” the overall domestic box office is now lagging 2017. As of March 21, this year’s total was off 1.4% at $2.54 billion, according to Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with comScore. He noted that the trend will continue downward this weekend, since the same 2017 weekend included the second frame of “Beauty and the Beast” with $90 million and “Power Rangers” launching with $40 million.

“With the upcoming weekend a year ago generating $201.5 million, this will be another big ‘down’ weekend and by the end of the weekend, the year to date could be down by an even greater margin,” he said. “At only 12 weekends into the year, the box office ecosystem is relatively small and any change to the bottom line can cause a major pendulum swing in the other direction.”

Dergarbedian noted that “Black Panther” has accounted for 24% of the total year-to-date box office in North America this year. “We needed more films to help carry the weight and until the next big 2018 blockbuster comes along, this rollercoaster will be at the bottom arc of the revenue curve,” he added.


More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content