‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ Takes Lead at Box Office While ‘Black Panther’ Nears Marvel Record

“Black Panther” will become the highest grossing superhero film on the domestic charts this weekend

Last Updated: March 24, 2018 @ 10:19 AM

“Black Panther” will finally cede the top spot on the box office charts this weekend, as Universal/Legendary’s “Pacific Rim: Uprising” takes the lead with an estimated $25.3 million from 3,708 screens. That total hits pre-weekend projections, with $10.3 million made on Friday.

With a production budget of $150 million, that’s not going to be enough for this sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 robot vs. monster popcorn flick. But like the first “Pacific Rim,” which made $411 million worldwide, “Uprising” is a film that is expected to play to a global audience. The film opens worldwide this weekend, so we will have a better picture of its box office outlook tomorrow.

Directed by Steven DeKnight, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” has had a mixed critical reception, holding a 59 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a B on CinemaScore.

As for “Black Panther,” finishing second this weekend with $16.5 million pushes it past “The Avengers” to put it in the top five highest grossing domestic films ever and the top superhero film on that list.

Ryan Coogler’s Marvel film should reach that mark today, having made $4.4 million on its sixth Friday to bring its total to $618.6 million and its global total over $1.2 billion. This also means that “Black Panther” will have eclipsed the domestic total of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” as that film made $619.8 million this winter.

Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate’s “I Can Only Imagine” continues to hold on in third place this weekend thanks to its Christian audience. Current estimates see the film dropping only 23 percent from its surprising $17 million opening, giving it a second weekend total of around $13 million.

Trying to carve a niche for itself in the face of “I Can Only Imagine” is Sony/Affirm’s “Paul, Apostle of Christ.” Starring Jim Caviezel of “Passion of the Christ” fame, it is opening outside the top five with $5 million from 1,473 screens. It has a 32 percent RT score.

In an underperforming fourth place is Paramount/MGM’s “Sherlock Gnomes,” the sequel to the 2011 film “Gnomeo and Juliet” and a title greenlit before the arrival of current CEO Jim Gianopulos. Sporting a 19 percent RT score and a B+ on CinemaScore — a grade considered below the mark for family animated films — “Sherlock Gnomes” is looking at an opening of just $10.5 million against a $59 million budget. Another MGM production, WB’s “Tomb Raider,” completes the top five with an estimated $9.7 million.

Two other wide releases join “Paul, Apostle of Christ” outside the top five this weekend. Currently in ninth is Global Road’s romance “Midnight Sun,” which is looking at a $4.4 million opening from 2,173 screens. In 11th is Bleecker Street’s “Unsane,” a psychological thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring “The Crown” star Claire Foy. While it’s only looking at an opening of $3.5-4 million, Soderbergh, who has been experimenting with budgets and distribution deals recently, made the film on a production budget of just $1.5 million.

“Midnight Sun” has an RT score of just 21 percent, but was a hit with audiences with an A- on CinemaScore. Conversely, “Unsane” has done well with critics with a 79 percent RT score, but left audiences tepid with a B- on CS.