Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

March 25, 2018

That thing looks dangerous.

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Black Panther’s ridiculous run at the top is over, but not before it continues to make some history, as it moves into the all-time top five.

We finally have a new release at number one, but mostly due to exhaustion rather than an actual breakout. Pacific Rim: Uprising is the top movie for the weekend, with an estimated $28 million. Uprising is a sequel to the first Pacific Rim from July 2013, which opened with $37.2 million and topped out at $101.7 million domestically, but made $300 million overseas. So, now we know why this exists.

The decline from the original film’s (directed by newly minted Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro, handing producing duties here) opening weekend is unsurprising given that it’s kind of hard to find anybody who loved the first one. You wouldn’t think giant robots vs monsters would be a hard thing to mess up, but Pacific Rim: Uprising managed only 46% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. It also carried a price tag of $150 million, which at least they scaled back a little bit from the first film’s $190 million. While Uprising is headed for a disappointing domestic total, it has already matched its production costs when you include international grosses, as it has come up with $151 million worldwide, with China leading the way. I expect Pacific Rim: Uprising to be forgotten fairly quickly, but it will always live on as the answer to a trivia question, seeing how Black Panther is only the second movie this century to manage five or more weekends at the top of the box office chart.

Speaking of Black Panther, it does fall to second place with a sixth weekend of $16.6 million (down 37%) and a total of $630.9 million. With Saturday’s box office, Black Panther passes Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Avengers to take over fifth place all-time domestically. It’s now Marvel’s biggest movie ever, and the biggest superhero movie of all time. In two more weekends at its current pace, Black Panther should surpass both Jurassic World ($652.2 million) and Titanic ($659.3 million) to take over third place all-time. Then there’s a $100 million gap between Black Panther and Avatar ($760.5 million), so that’s a safe lead. By that point, we’ll all have moved on to Infinity War anyway. Still, this is a remarkable and ridiculous performance for a character most people weren’t aware of two years ago (since Captain America: Civil War wasn’t out yet).

We have some more good news in third place, as in the face of four new releases (one of which is literally direct competition, a sort of rarity for the genre), last weekend’s surprise opener I Can Only Imagine has the best hold in the top ten, dropping just 19% to $13.8 million, and a total of $38.3 million in two weekends. The story about MercyMe lead singer Bart Millard’s inspiration behind the Christian band’s signature song, the weekend hold is odds-defying, as faith-based films that open strongly tend to not show much in the way of legs, due to organized viewings by church groups and the like. I Can Only Imagine may have garnered some mainstream audiences from its opening weekend performance, and thus led to the low weekend drop. It’s headed to at least $65 million total, on just a budget of $7 million.


Our second opener is in fourth place, as Sherlock Gnomes lands with $10.6 million. The sequel to 2011’s(!) Gnomeo and Juliet that we were all waiting for, Sherlock Gnomes doesn’t even come close to the opening weekend of that film, which started with $25.3 million on its way to $99.8 million and almost $200 million worldwide. With a reported $59 million budget, Sherlock Gnomes wasn’t screened for critics, and I can’t remember the last time that happened with a kids movie. It did kneecap Peter Rabbit out of the top ten this weekend, and next weekend is a holiday weekend so by default it will probably have a pretty decent hold, but Paramount probably isn’t thrilled with this weekend performance.

Tomb Raider has the biggest decline in the top ten, taking a second weekend tumble to $10.4 million, down 56% from last weekend. It has earned a disappointing $41.7 million in two weekends. This isn’t what Warner Bros. was hoping for out of the reboot, but once again international grosses are carrying the day here (it has earned $110 million overseas), so I’d expect a sequel in a couple of years, albeit with a lower budget.

A Wrinkle in Time drops to sixth place with $8 million, down 51% from last weekend, giving it $73.8 million after three weekends. It’s not looking like there’s enough left in the tank here to get it to $100 million (its production budget as well) with back-to-back 50% declines. A Wrinkle In Time is going down as an ambitious (box office) disappointment, but I hope it doesn’t stop anyone from wanting to give Ava DuVernay high profile directing gigs.

Love, Simon holds fairly well in its second weekend, dropping just 34% from last weekend to $7.8 million and giving it $23.6 million to date. That puts it in the black, so it’s a win for 20th Century Fox. It’s also a milestone in terms of a mainstream film depicting a gay lead character, which means its success is notable for future films.

Paul, Apostle of Christ takes eighth place on the weekend with $5 million. Just in time for Easter, this one comes from a major studio (Sony) as opposed to I Can Only Imagine, which comes from indie distributor Roadside Attractions. In only 1,473 theaters, $5 million is fine for what’s a straight retelling of a biblical story. I’d actually expect it to hold fairly well over Easter weekend, and it only had a reported $5 million budget, so everyone will be happy with this one in the end.

Game Night drops to ninth place with $4.1 million, down 26% from last weekend. It has earned a respectable $60.8 million to date. Word-of-mouth saved this one after it’s middling opening weekend, and I expect it to be extremely popular once it hits DVD/Netflix.

Our fourth opener in the top ten, Midnight Sun, places tenth with $4.1 million. Based on a young adult novel, it’s Nicholas Sparks for teenagers, and this weekend performance is weaker than expected. Mostly notable for starring Patrick Schwarzenegger (yes, Arnold’s son), it’s long gone after this weekend and can expect about $10 million total.

Outside the top ten, Steven Soderbergh’s shot-with-iPhones Unsane finishes in 11th with $3.8 million and Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs opens in just 27 theaters but earned $1.5 million for the weekend. The latter will expand to wide release in two weekends.

Your top 12 films this weekend earned $114.9 million, still no match for last year’s $195 million when the second weekend of Beauty and the Beast earned $90.4 million while Power Rangers opened with $40.3 million.

Next weekend brings us Ready Player One, in what’s likely to be one of the most polarizing films of the year.

Top Ten for Weekend of March 23-25, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 Pacific Rim: Uprising Universal 28.0 New 28.0
2 Black Panther Walt Disney 16.6 -37% 630.9
3 I Can Only Imagine Roadside Attractions 13.8 -19% 38.3
4 Sherlock Gnomes Paramount 10.6 New 10.6
5 Tomb Raider Warner Bros. 10.4 -56% 41.7
6 A Wrinkle In Time Walt Disney 8.0 -51% 73.8
7 Love, Simon 20th Century Fox 7.8 -34% 23.6
8 Paul, Apostle of Christ Sony 5.0 New 5.0
9 Game Night Warner Bros. 4.1 -26% 60.8
10 Midnight Sun Open Road 4.1 New 4.1
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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