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Ryan Coogler's Black Panther spent more than a month at the top of the box office - but we always knew this weekend would come. The Marvel film managed to best many competitors, but the move to the number two slot was inevitable. Now we have a brand new box office champion, and its name is Pacific Rim Uprising. Check out the totals for it and the rest of the field in the chart below, and join me for analysis after!
|1.||Pacific Rim Uprising*||$28,003,000||Total: $28,003,000||
|2.||Black Panther||$16,658,000||Total: $630,916,236||
|3.||I Can Only Imagine||$13,837,495||Total: $38,316,986||
|4.||Sherlock Gnomes*||$10,600,000||Total: $10,600,000||
|5.||Tomb Raider||$10,430,000||Total: $41,748,108||
|6.||A Wrinkle in Time||$8,044,000||Total: $73,886,607||
|7.||Love, Simon||$7,800,000||Total: $23,695,601||
|8.||Paul, Apostle of Christ*||$5,000,000||Total: $5,000,000||
|9.||Game Night||$4,160,000||Total: $60,813,535||
|10.||Midnight Sun*||$4,119,000||Total: $4,119,000||
As you can see, Black Panther experienced another soft drop, but it was enough to allow Pacific Rim Uprising to be the first new title to hold the top of the weekend box office since February 16th. Unfortunately, that's really the best way that the news can be framed, as the numbers aren't exactly spectacular. The movie was given a $150 million budget by the teams at Legendary Pictures and Universal, and $28 million can't be the number they were hoping to see after three days. Both critics and audiences appear to be divided on the film, and it's left it in a nebulous zone. At this point, it's hard to say if the film will ultimately be deemed successful on the domestic front.
Of course, at this point it should be recognized that this is basically exactly what happened with the first Pacific Rim back in the summer of 2013. That movie also didn't open spectacularly ($37.2 million), and by the end of its run only pulled in a little over $100 million. The reason why we got a sequel is because the international market absolutely fell in love with the Gullermo del Toro creation, and brought the global grosses up over $400 million. Pacific Rim Uprising has already made north of $120 million in foreign markets, and they will likely end up making the blockbuster a win from a financial standpoint.
Pacific Rim Uprising was certainly the most high-profile new release this past weekend, but you'll notice that three other fresh titles managed to make it on to the chart as well. Sherlock Gnomes - arriving a full seven years after Gnomeo & Juliet - performed the best of the trio, and at the very least made it into double digits... but it still made less than half of what the original did (possibly something to do with the lack of marketing). Meanwhile, Paul, Apostle of Christ made its entire budget back, and the tear-jerker Midnight Sun squeaked by Steven Soderbergh's Unsane to make it on to the chart. You probably shouldn't expect to hear anything more about these titles as we make our way into April.
I would also be remiss if I didn't use this platform to recognize the most recent awesome achievement made by Black Panther this weekend. Thanks to its $16.6 million take, the domestic total has been pushed up to $630.9 million, making it the most successful comic book movie in the history of the domestic box office. On the all-time charts here in the states it has passed Joss Whedon's The Avengers to become the fifth most successful release of all time, and next has Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World ($652 million) in its sights. It remains a bit lower on the worldwide rankings - specifically at number 12 - but it's still not entirely clear where it will end up by the time it leaves theaters.