After a nearly five-year wait, fans of the 2013 monster movie Pacific Rim will finally get a sequel when Pacific Rim Uprising hits theaters on March 23. The sequel boasts some new faces like John Boyega as Jake Pentecost and some returning cast members like Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, but, if the first box office projections are accurate, this movie could come in far below its predecessor, which wasn't a blockbuster itself at the domestic box office. The first long-range projections for Pacific Rim: Uprising put its opening weekend at just $20 million, with a projected domestic total of $49 million, less than half of the original Pacific Rim's haul five years ago.
This long-range projection lists the casting of John Boyega as Jake Pentecost, as one of the "pros" for this movie, since the actor is coming off of his blockbuster turns in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and last year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This projection reveals that social media buzz among die-hard fans is strong, and there doesn't expect to be any negative backlash for Steven S. DeKnight taking over as director after original Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro backed out. Here's what the Pro Box Office staff had to say in their "Cons" section, detailing why the movie may not fare so well.
"The original Pacific Rim was a modest box office player in North America, and the nearly five-year wait may prove too long for Uprising to fully capitalize on the heat from that film's fan support. Opening in between Tomb Raider and Ready Player One will likewise cut into its target audience, but this is ultimately a sequel made more for overseas audiences, where the original film was a sizable hit, particularly in China."
While the projection notes that this sequel does fall between two high-profile projects like Tomb Raider and Ready Player One, it was pushed to this 2018 release date in August, since it was originally slated to debut a month earlier on February 23, falling just one week after Marvel's highly-anticipated Black Panther. We reported yesterday that Black Panther was projected to open between $100 million and $120 million, although Pro Box Office's projections are even higher, at $133 million, so this release date shift was necessary. Still, dropping this movie into the very competitive month of March may not have been so wise either. Regardless, Legendary is already thinking big, with a cinematic universe being mapped out.
The cast of Pacific Rim: Uprising also includes Scott Eastwood as Jake Pentecost's rival Jaeger pilot Nate Lambert, Charlie Day returning as Newton Geiszler, Tian Jing as Liwen Shao, Adria Arjona as Jules Reyes, and Burn Gorman returning as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb. Even if Pacific Rim: Uprising does tank in the U.S., it could be "saved," so to speak, by the Chinese box office. The original Pacific Rim earned $101.8 million at the domestic box office and $111.9 million in China, over a third of its $309.2 million international haul. While we continue the countdown towards Pacific Rim: Uprising's release, take a look at the long-range projections from Pro.BoxOffice.com.