By Agence France-Presse
Smash-’em up blockbuster “Pacific Rim: Uprising” sent shockwaves through the North American box office this weekend, claiming the top spot with takings of $28 million, industry estimates showed Sunday.
The action-packed sequel knocked “Black Panther” from number one after five straight weeks, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations, but the film attracted mixed reviews and fell short of “Pacific Rim’s” $37.3 million debut in 2013.
Set 10 years after “Pacific Rim,” “Uprising” follows a new generation of pilots of the first film’s giant “Jaeger” military mechanoids — fending off enormous Kaiju monsters aiming to end humanity.
The movie, from Universal, centers on “Star Wars” sensation John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, son of Idris Elba’s character Stacker, who died to save the world in the first film.
London-born Boyega also took a producing role alongside Guillermo del Toro, the first film’s director.
While the film rose to prominence, it was time for Wakanda’s King T’Challa to surrender his box office crown. “Black Panther” dropped into second place with earnings of $16.7 million.
The Marvel smash hit, starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o has earned $631 million in the US and Canada — making it the highest-grossing superhero film in the US according to industry tracker Box Office Mojo, overtaking “The Avengers” (2012).
Thanks to an impressive box office reign, it is also the first film since “Avatar” (2009) to chalk up five consecutive top spots.
In at third for a second week was low-budget, faith-based drama “I Can Only Imagine,” which amassed $13.8 million.
Made for a modest $7 million, the movie stars J. Michael Finley as the lead singer of a popular Christian band. Dennis Quaid and Cloris Leachman also star.
Fourth place went to newly-released “Sherlock Gnomes,” taking $10.6 million.
A sequel to 2011’s “Gnomeo and Juliet” the Paramount animation features big names including James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. The Shakespearean pair call upon Sherlock (Johnny Depp) to get to the bottom of a string of garden gnome disappearances.
Falling from second last week to fifth this was “Tomb Raider,” a Warner Bros. adventure reboot starring Swedish actress Alicia Vikander as the fearless and ferocious Lara Croft.
The movie, also starring Dominic West and Kristin Scott Thomas, netted an estimated $10.4 million for total earnings of $41.7 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
“A Wrinkle In Time” ($8 million)
“Love, Simon” ($7.8 million)
“Paul, Apostle of Christ” ($5 million)
“Game Night” ($4.2 million)
“Midnight Sun” ($4.1 million)