LOS ANGELES, March 25, (Variety.com) – After weeks of speculating which film could slow “” impressive roll, “ ” took the top spot at the domestic box office.
Universal and Legendary’s “Pacific Rim Uprising” landed a respectable $28 million opening weekend at 3,708 locations. The monster battle movie has garnered mixed critical response, with a current 46 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Though it opened with a softer debut than‘s predecessor “ ,” which saw $37 million in July 2013, the sequel was enough to dethrone “Black Panther” in the superhero tentpole’s sixth weekend.
co-wrote and directed “Pacific Rim Uprising” with a reported $150 million budget. The original, which starred , , , , and , went on to gross $411 million at the worldwide box office, thanks to a strong international showing, especially in China, where it made $112 million compared to the U.S.’ $101.8 million.
The sequel is set 10 years after the Battle of the Breach with a new generation of Jaeger pilots ready to combat the evolving Kaiju monsters and prevent humanity’s extinction.plays Jake Pentecost, the son of Elba’s character Stacker Pentecost, who sacrificed his life in the first film. , , , Kikuchi, , , and Day also star.
Still, in its sixth weekend “Black Panther” continues to be a powerhouse, nabbing the No. 2 spot with $17 million at 3,370 sites. That number lands “Black Panther” one of the seven highest sixth weekends in history. To date, the Marvel film has taken in $631 million, making it the fifth-highest all-time domestic grosses ahead of “.”
“It had to happen at some point, and Universal’s ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ now holds the distinction of being the film that took over ‘Black Panther’s’ long-standing position as king of the weekend box office mountain,” Paul Dergarabedian, a box office analyst at comScore, said. “The latest Disney superhero film has been an absolute marvel, holding onto the top spot for a whopping five weeks, while sprinting its way up the all-time charts and now stands as the fifth highest grossing film of all-time in North America and ranks twelfth globally after just 38 days in theaters.
Meanwhile, Roadside Attraction and Lionsgate’s faith-based” remains a force in its second weekend with $13 million from 2,253 sites. Based on the story behind the best-selling Christian song, “I Can Only Imagine” earned a surprisingly strong $17.1 million at the domestic box office, bringing its total up to $38 million.
Following “I Can Only Imagine’s” success, biblical drama “” opened in line with estimates with $5 million at 1,473 sites over Palm Sunday weekend. The story follows as Saint Paul in his last days awaiting execution by Emperor Nero in Rome. Directed by , the film also stars , , , and John Lynch.
Also opening this weekend was Paramount Pictures and MGM’s animated comedy “,” which saw $10 million at 3,662 locations. That’s significantly lower than initial tracking estimates between $13 million to $18 million. The sequel to 2011’s “ ,” which reeled in $194 million worldwide, sees the petite pair recruiting detective Sherlock Gnomes and his sidekick, Gnome Watson, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden gnomes. Directed by and executive produced by Elton John, it features the voices of , , , Mary J. Blige, and .
The second weekend of‘s “ ” landed $10 million from 3,854 locations, bringing its grosses up to $41 million, while the second weekend of “Love, Simon” took in $7 million with $23 million to date.
Two smaller releases — Global Road Entertainment’s “” and Bleecker Street and Fingerprint Releasing’s “ ” — debuted with $4 million and $3.6 million respectively.
Young adult romantic drama “Midnight Sun” starsas a teen who has been sheltered at home since childhood due to a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight. Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller “Unsane” sees as a troubled woman stalked by her ex. , , , Aimee Mullins, and round out the cast.
Rounding out the weekend,‘s “ ” opened with $1.5 million in limited release, with a screen average of over $58 thousand in 27 theaters. The stop-motion animated film boasts a star-studded ensemble voice cast that includes , , , , Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, and . Set in a dystopian futuristic Japan, dogs have been quarantined on a remote island due to a canine flu. A boy, Atari, ventures to the island to find his dog, Spots.