It looks like Pacific Rim Uprising will be the film to knock Black Panther off the top position on the box office charts this weekend. Ever since Ryan Coogler's entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe premiered a month ago, it's dominated the marketplace thanks to its strong word-of-mouth and weak competition. Eclipsing even the rosiest expectations, Black Panther is one of the highest-grossing films of all-time and became the first movie since James Cameron's Avatar to maintain the #1 spot for five consecutive weekends. Simply put, it's been a phenomenon.
Sooner or later, however, T'Challa's time as box office king was going to come to an end. Both A Wrinkle in Time and Tomb Raider came up short in dethroning it, which means the challenge now falls to Pacific Rim Uprising. Though the sequel has generated a mixed critical response and is arriving with muted fanfare, it's poised to come out on top when it's all said and done.
Per Box Office Pro, Pacific Rim Uprising is projected to earn $25 million over its first three days. That would place it well above Black Panther, which is estimated to gross $15.7 million. Based on the tracking, Black Panther is expected to have a domestic total of $629.7 million by Sunday, a figure that would make it the fifth highest-grossing film ever in the U.S. It's only days away from passing The Avengers as the MCU's top earner.
This development has more to do with Black Panther being six weeks old than anything else. By now, the Marvel blockbuster has done most of its business, and it's slowing down now that the hype is starting to die down. Pacific Rim Uprising isn't a juggernaut in the making. The 2013 original (which grossed a modest $101.8 million domestically) debuted with $37,2 million, so it's clear there's a diminished interest in the property - at least in America. Despite John Boyega's performance and action-packed battles, many feel Uprising is an uninspired followup, which will hurt its commercial appeal. Universal will have to depend heavily on the international box office in order to break even on the $150 million production budget.
The weekend's top five looks to be rounded out by animated comedy Sherlock Gnomes ($14.5 million), action vehicle Tomb Raider ($10.3 million), and faith-based film I Can Only Imagine ($9.6 million). A couple of other new releases, Unsane and Midnight Sun, should end up in the top 10, but aren't expected to make much of an impact due to limited buzz. They're projected to make just $3.8 million and $4.4 million, respectively, in their first three days.
Source: Box Office Pro
- Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) release date: Mar 23, 2018