After five strong weeks atop the box office charts, the record-setting run of ‘Black Panther’ has finally been brought down. The panned ‘Pacific Rim’ sequel punched its way to the top with a so-so debut, while every other wide release struggled.
When the original, big-budget ‘Pacific Rim’ opened in summer 2013, its $37.2 million domestic debut was considered a disappointment. However, thanks to a very strong international performance, the film went on to become a success and ultimately warranted a sequel, which hit theaters this weekend. With a budget of $150 million, ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising‘ opened to $28 million – which would also seem like a failure, but considering how much international markets enjoy watching robots punch monsters, no one at Universal is concerned. Overseas, ‘Uprising’ opened to $122.5 million and is expected to fare well over the coming weeks.
Falling 38% in its sixth week, ‘Black Panther‘ dropped into second place. The $16.6 million return brings its domestic total to $630.9 million, landing the movie two new domestic records: highest gross for a comic book adaptation, and fifth-highest grossing release of all time. The MCU title has also made $606.4 million overseas. The $1.24 billion worldwide total ranks it at #12 on the worldwide highest-grossing movies of all time list.
Last weekend’s surprise star ‘I Can Only Imagine‘ retained its #3 spot thanks to a light 19% drop in attendance. The small $7 million faith-based film added another $13.8 million to its North American run, giving it a ten-day domestic total of $38.3 million. Its international expansion has yet to begin, but I wouldn’t expect a movie about country music to draw as many international moviegoers as it does in the United States.
Disney read the writing on the wall and did well to rid itself of the crappy ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’ property. Paramount, which acquired the rights, didn’t have that same foresight. While the original movie opened in 2011 to $25.3 million, the sequel ‘Sherlock Gnomes‘ only opened to $10.6 million this weekend. Over the last two weeks, the $59 million kids’ movie has grossed $4.6 million from 19 international markets. The movie will need a lot more magic to recoup the estimated $150 million required to get out of the red.
The ‘Tomb Raider‘ reboot had a tough second week at the North American box office. Rounding out the Top 5, it dropped 56% in attendance to $10.6 million. After ten days, the $94 million adventure flick has made $41.7 million domestically. The situation overseas is another story. Having already earned $170 million internationally, its worldwide total is up to $211.7 million. Like the ‘Pacific Rim’ movies, foreign ticket sales are bound to save this movie and franchise.
Faith-based newcomer ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’ had a so-so debut at #8 with $5 million, matching its production budget. With Easter seven days away, Sony’s Biblical drama is expected to play well over the next week. Its international release has yet to kick off, but that ought to generate a decent amount of revenue as well.
Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger’s teen romance ‘Midnight Sun‘ rounded out the Top 10 with $4.1 million. Playing at 2,173 locations, that averages out to a mere $1,896 per screen. There’s no word on the movie’s budget, but assuming it didn’t cost much to make, that slow start isn’t terrible.
Steven Soderbergh’s new iPhone-shot thriller ‘Unsane‘ debuted one slot outside the Top 10. From 2,023 locations, its per-screen average ($1,907) was almost identical to ‘Midnight Sun’. It collected $3.8 million domestically and another $805,086 from five international markets. Produced on a micro $1.5 million budget (that’s a lot of iPhones), with many more international markets to go, the $4.6 million worldwide opening is actually solid.
The biggest winner of the weekend was the limited platform release of Wes Anderson’s latest stop-motion animated movie, ‘Isle of Dogs‘. It made $1.5 million from 27 screens, averaging out to an impressive $58,148 per location. The film expands slightly over the new two weeks before opening wide.
1. ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ (Universal) – $28,003,000
2. ‘Black Panther’ (Buena Vista) – $16,658,000
3. ‘I Can Only Imagine’ (Roadside) – $13,837,495
4. ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ (Paramount) – $10,600,000
5. ‘Tomb Raider’ (Warner Bros.) – $10,430,000
6. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (Buena Vista) – $8,044,000
7. ‘Love, Simon’ (Fox) – $7,800,000
8. ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’ (Sony) – $5,000,000
9. Game Night’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,160,000
10. ‘Midnight Sun’ (Open Road) – $4,119,000