The top-grossing superhero picture has finally been toppled.
Universal Pictures’ “Pacific Rim Uprising” opened as the No. 1 movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters, dislodging “ Black Panther” from a five-week run atop the box office and outdrawing four other new releases.
The sci-fi sequel generated $28 million in North America, ComScore Inc. estimated Sunday in an email, beating analysts’ forecasts of as much as $25 million. Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel movie, “Black Panther,’’ earned $16.7 million and has become the top-grossing superhero film of all-time in the U.S.
With five new releases competing for fans, “Pacific Rim Uprising” delivered a smaller domestic debut than the original, while sales for “Black Panther” finally trailed off enough to let a new picture slip in. Overall, weekend sales were unlikely to exceed a year ago, when “Beauty and the Beast” and “ Get Out” drew moviegoers in droves.
“Uprising” split critics, with some citing a lack of originality and just 47 percent offering positive reviews at Rottentomatoes.com. The new installment, coming five years after the first, features “Star Wars” actor John Boyega as son of the doomed leader from the original film. He and other pilots face a new fight against machines and monsters.
The last film didn’t fare well in the U.S. but made up for it overseas to draw $411 million worldwide, a sum split with theaters. Producers expect the new episode, made for $150 million, to have similar international appeal.
Of the other new wide releases, Paramount Pictures’ animated feature “Sherlock Gnomes” fared best, placing fourth with $10.6 million. It missed the $14.5 million projected by Box Office Pro. Even with a cast of voices including Johnny Depp, Michael Caine and Maggie Smith, the mystery about garden gnomes that have gone missing across London was savaged by critics.
Two of the best reviewed movies of the weekend were the Steven Soderbergh thriller “Unsane” featuring Claire Foy from the Netflix hit “The Crown,” and the limited release animated feature “Isle of Dogs” from Wes Anderson. Neither cracked the top 10.
They were beaten by Sony Pictures’ faith film “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” which raked in $5 million, placing eighth, and the romantic drama “Midnight Sun” from Open Road Pictures, which garnered $4.1 million to rank 10th.