Why 'Pacific Rim Uprising' Won at the Box Office but Bombed with Critics

People love giant robots. 

'Pacific Rim Uprising'

Pacific Rim Uprising had the dubious task of taking on the five-weekend champion Black Panther, which is now the top superhero movie in North America. It seems that a sequel featuring giant robots was enough to take down the king of Wakanda even though the film isn’t getting much praise from critics.

Uprising took the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend with $28 million from 2,850 theaters, as reported by Hollywood Reporter. Film critics panned the movie, as indicated with a 46 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while viewers were only slightly more positive about the movie with a 58 percent score. International critics are a different story, as Uprising is on track to rake in $122.5 million, which puts the movie at $150.5 million worldwide. China alone came through with $65 million in ticket sales.

As the sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim, Uprising takes place 10 years after the original. Jack Pentecost (John Boyega) is the son of one of the heroes from the previous movie, Stacker Penteocost. Jake finds himself back with the Pan Pacific Defense Corps to learn more about a rogue Jaeger and a fleet of remote-controlled drone Jaegers. For the sequel, Guillermo del Toro handed over the directing chair to Steven S. Deknight, who is best known for directing the TV shows Daredevil, Smallville, and Angel.

Coming in third behind Uprising and Black Panther was the surprisingly popular independent religious film, I Can Only Imagine, at $14 million for the weekend. The movie is the true story of the Christian band MercyMe and how they came up with their hit song of the same name as the movie. Fourth place was the debut of Sherlock Gnomes, the sequel to 2011’s Gnomeo and Juliet, at $10.6 million. Falling to fifth was Tomb Raider, which took in $10.4 million.

Even though Uprising rose to the challenge to overthrow Wakanda, next week it’ll face off against another mighty foe called Ready Player One. The Steven Spielberg film is based on the Ernest Cline novel of the same name and has a huge buzz, which makes it poised to start breaking records.

Still, the giant mechs have already earned more than their budget of $150 million. While Pacific Rim Uprising could lose the domestic box office war next weekend, the film should continue to rake in super-sized audiences overseas.

Media via Universal Pictures