Black Panther is the movie that keeps on giving, but the superhero heavyweight is set to step down at the weekend box office. Pacific Rim is on its tail, and the Marvel film could lose its top spot to the mecha-friendly sequel.
This weekend, Universal and Legendary will see Pacific Rim Uprising enter theaters. The film is the long-awaited sequel to the first monster movie created by famed director Guillermo del Toro. Right now, the sequel is predicted to score $22-29 million at the domestic box office this weekend. The opening may be smaller than what the original banked back in the day, but the hefty sum is enough to make Black Panther sweat.
Still, it isn't like King T'Challa needs to be nervous. After all, Black Panther has been at the box office's top spot for five-weekends in a row (via Variety).
Pacific Rim Uprising's entry into the box office race will be a closely watched one by fans and industry forecasters. The kaiju franchise has a cult status here in the west, but Pacific Rim's reception abroad is no joke. Many critics have questioned whether its sequel was green-lit simply to bait foreign audiences in China, and that speculation was fueled by its first film's monstrous reception abroad.
When the first Pacific Rim film debuted in July 2013, it opened to a modest $37 million. Its total domestic run ratcheted up to nearly $112 million, but Pacific Rim broke $400 million worldwide thanks to its avid fanbase overseas. In China alone, the movie grossed over $112 million, and this sequel is hoping to make that magic happen once more.
Of course, it isn't hard to see why the Pacific Rim franchise has a foreign following in Asia. While the series doesn't explicitly adapt an anime or manga, it is heavily influenced by mecha titles within those spheres. Titles like Mobile Suit Gundam and Neon Genesis Evangelion are easy to spot in these robo-friendly blockbusters. The anime fandom adopted Pacific Rim because of its nods to the mecha genre, and Hollywood is hoping many of its members will check out its sequel this weekend.
Will you be checking out Pacific Rim Uprising when it hits theaters? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!