Ready Player One

Weekend Box Office: Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Welcome to April, the month that’s quickly turning into a premature kick-off for the summer blockbuster season. Steven Spielberg’s latest opened in the last days of March, but fits into that same mold and yielded nice returns. It wasn’t the only title to draw audiences this Easter weekend.

Moviegoers showed that they were ready for Spielberg’s big-screen adaptation of ‘Ready Player One‘. The ‘Avatar’-like spectacle easily took the top spot at the box office with $41.2 million. Opening on Thursday, it grossed $53.2 million domestically over its first four days, making it Spielberg’s highest opening since 2008’s ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’. Foreign ticket sales were even stronger. Overseas, the film debuted to $128 million from 62 markets, giving it a hearty $181.2 million debut. With a rumored combined production and marketing cost of $325 million (I actually expected that number to be higher), the movie is on its way to profitability. However, I suspect that the geek/nostalgia factor will not help it hold over well in the long run.

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony‘ drew solid numbers. The Madea-less thriller landed in second place with $17.1 million. With a production budget estimated at $20 million, it has some work to do. Predicted to bow high in the $30 million range, Lionsgate is likely pleased with the turnout.

Seven weeks in, ‘Black Panther‘ is still declining lightly each week. Falling just 34%, it added another $11.2 million to its domestic earnings. To date, the film has made $650.6 million in North America and $623.2 million internationally. Within the next several days, it will become the third biggest domestic release of all time and the tenth biggest worldwide release of all time.

Faith-based ‘I Can Only Imagine‘ continued to thrive over Easter weekend. The $7 million drama collected $10.7 million over its third week, boosting its domestic 17-day total up to $55.5 million and making it Roadside Attractions’ highest grossing title.

Pacific Rim: Uprising‘ rounded out the Top 5, but took an even harder hit over its third week. The $150 million action movie dropped 67% in attendance. Grossing $9.2 million, its 17-day total is at $45.6 million. Overseas, through, it has made $186.2 million, giving it a worldwide total of $231.9 million.

With two faith-based movies in the Top 10 (‘I Can Only Imagine’ and ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’), there wasn’t much room for ‘God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness‘. It opened at #12 with $2.8 million, a fraction of what the last two ‘God’s Not Dead’ movies earned. The original movie debuted to $9.2 million and the sequel opened to $7.6 million. Although produced on a presumably tiny budget, the decline has to be a letdown for distributor PureFlix.

Top 10:

1. ‘Ready Player One’ (Warner Bros.) – $41,210,000

2. ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’ (Lionsgate) – $17,100,000

3. ‘Black Panther’ (Buena Vista) – $11,263,000

4. ‘I Can Only Imagine’ (Roadside) – $10,750,000

5. ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ (Universal) – $9,205,000

6. ‘Sherlock Gnomes’ (Paramount) – $7,000,000

7. ‘Love, Simon’ (Fox) – $4,800,000

8. ‘Tomb Raider’ (Warner Bros.) – $4,700,000

9. ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (Buena Vista) – $4,694,000

10. ‘Paul, Apostle of Christ’ (Sony) – $3,500,000


  1. theHDphantom

    Isle of Dogs had a terrific weekend as well coming in at #11, making $2.8 million from 165 theaters for a $17,000 average per screen. VERY impressive numbers.

  2. I have such little interest in ‘Ready Player One’. I never read the book, but like all adaptations, I imagine the movie will be disappointing in comparison, and much of the hype is due to people enjoying the book in the first place.

    I love nostalgia. I love VR. But when I want nostalgia, I play some classic games like Snatcher or Flashback. When I want VR, I play VR.

    What’s the draw to go to the movies to see ‘Ready Player One’ then?

    • Ready Player One is nostalgia porn. That’s what really matters. The story was changed a bit, but they kept all the important parts: Idealistic teenagers, evil corporation, and a hunt for keys and easter eggs.

    • Elizabeth

      I’ve never read the book and I was excited to see it. It was a fun ride and I enjoyed seeing the Iron Giant in action. And the puzzle quest for the second key was a pretty amazing sequence. I’ve read the plot synopsis of the novel on Wikipedia and the movie seems far better than the novel. Plus, numerous sections of the novel would have been dreadfully dull on film (which the author acknowledges).

      I was a child of the 80’s so it’s always fun to see it on screen like in Stranger Things or Wreck It Ralph. Plus, it was a Spielberg movie steeped in the 80’s which was arguably his most fun period as a filmmaker. I mean you could probably watch this film dozens of times and still be finding new 80’s references.

      It probably doesn’t help that based on the games you listed, you seem to have a very different definition of a classic game. They didn’t ring any sort of bell for me, and even looking them up only Flashback seemed vaguely familiar.

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