JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — It took six weeks but "Black Panther" has finally been unseated as the top film at the North American box office. The monsters vs. robots science-fiction sequel "Pacific Rim: Uprising" dethroned the superhero sensation with $28 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday.
But the result for "Pacific Rim: Uprising," a Universal Pictures-Legendary Entertainment release that cost $150 million to make, was soft — at least domestically. Like the recently released "Tomb Raider," its biggest business was in China, where "Pacific Rim: Uprising" debuted with $65 million for Legendary, which the Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group acquired in 2016.
And even though "Black Panther" slid to second place with $16.7 million in its sixth weekend, Ryan Coogler's film notched another box-office milestone. It's now the highest-grossing superhero film ever in North America, not accounting for inflation. The film's $631 million in domestic ticket sales has surpassed the $623 million of 2012's "The Avengers." ''Black Panther" also becomes the fifth highest grossing film of all-time, rising above "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
And there were also bright spots. The Christian drama "I Can Only Imagine" held especially strongly in its second weekend. The Lionsgate-Roadside Attractions release grossed $13.8 million, bringing its two-week total to $38.5 million. "I Can Only Imagine" has emerged as the clear faith-based film of choice ahead of Easter, likely to the detriment of "Paul: Apostle of Christ," which took in $5 million this weekend for Sony's Affirm Films.
And in limited release, Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated "Isle of Dogs" got off to a healthy start with $1.6 million in 27 theaters.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final three-day domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Pacific Rim: Uprising," $28 million ($122.5 million international).
2. "Black Panther," $16.7 million ($12.9 million international).
3. "I Can Only Imagine," $13.8 million.
4. "Sherlock Gnomes," $10.6 million.
5. "Tomb Raider," $10.4 million.