Can 'Pacific Rim' Finally Stop 'Black Panther'?

The reign of Black Panther at the top of the box-office chart has to end sometime, right? It looks like that time is this weekend, when Pacific Rim: Uprising hits theaters. The sci-fi sequel about giant robots will almost certainly topple Black Panther after five weeks at number one.

Via The Hollywood Reporter.

A glut of films open at the pre-Easter box office this weekend, including Legendary and Universal's big-budget Pacific Rim Uprising, which should finally be the film to unseat blockbuster Black Panther.

Pacific Rim 2, playing in more than 3,700 theaters, is tracking to open to a modest $25 million or less in North America. The mega robots should have a much bigger footprint overseas, where the sequel should cross $100 million in its international debut. The $150 million film is opening day-and-date in most major markets, including China (Legendary East has sole distribution duties in the Middle Kingdom).

The first Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, earned a sizable $309.2 million overseas in 2013, including $111.9 million in China. Domestically, it topped out at $101.8 million after debuting to $37.3 million.

This time out, the human-piloted bots go up against otherworldly monsters of mass destruction. John Boyega leads the cast, with Steven S. DeKnight helming in his feature directorial debut. Legendary and Universal okayed the $150 million sequel prior to Legendary getting new leadership and a new infusion of funding.

In its sixth weekend, Black Panther is expected to earn $17 million-$18 million as it passes up fellow Marvel film The Avengers ($623 million) to become the top-grossing superhero film of all time in North America, unadjusted for inflation.

MGM and Paramount's new animated family film Sherlock Gnomes has a shot at at battling Black Panther for second place if it comes in on the high end of expectations. Paramount is predicting a debut in the low- to mid-teens from 3,500-plus theaters, but some tracking services show it coming in higher.

A sequel to Gnomeo and Juliet (2011), Sherlock Gnomes features the voices of returning cast members James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Stephen Merchant and Ozzy Osbourne, plus Johnny Depp as Sherlock Gnomes, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Watson and Mary J. Blige as Irene.

Get the rest of the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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