Ready Player One Is An International Smash
With that $175 million price tag in mind, the general rule of thumb (production budget x 2 = break even point) dictates Ready Player One needed to earn about $350 million worldwide in order to make all of its money back. It has far exceeded that figure, grossing $521.5 million globally as of this writing. This means its profit based on box office numbers alone is in the $171.5 million range, and that will only increase as its time in theaters comes to a close and the film becomes available on home media. In fact, unadjusted for inflation, Ready Player One is Spielberg's sixth-largest moneymaker of all-time, and it could pass War of the Worlds ($591.7 million) for fifth when it's all said and done.
Where Ready Player One did monster business was in China. To date, the movie has grossed $193 million in the Middle Kingdom, making it WB's most successful release in the country ever. Spielberg hasn't been much of a draw in China, so Ready Player One's performance there was quite surprising. It was a welcome one, however, as the Chinese box office is truly what made the film the noteworthy success it is. If Ready Player One was not released in China, its foreign total would currently be $202.4 million. When you add that to the $126.1 million domestic total, the worldwide sum only $328.5 million - well below the previously established $350 million benchmark for profit.
Most impressively, Ready Player One was able to post these numbers in China while playing directly against Pacific Rim Uprising. Its no secret the sequel was green lit primarily because of the 2013 original's $411 million worldwide total - $111.9 million of which came from China. When you also factor in Uprising production company Legendary Pictures is a subsidiary of the China-based Wanda Group, it seemed likely Pacific Rim would be a major franchise in the territory. That turned out to be far from the case, however. Uprising has made only $100.4 million in the Middle Kingdom, and overall the film performed far worse than its predecessor. Given that both movies were competing for the same demographic, one was always going to lose the battle, and Ready Player One came through with a surprise upset. Perhaps the positive reviews had something to do with it, as Uprising was widely panned.
Warner Bros. has to be delighted things turned out this way and Ready Player One emerged as a viable option in a barren landscape. As many know by now, Avengers: Infinity War is about to make its way into theaters, where it will annihilate everything in its path. It's not exactly groundbreaking to say a Marvel movie will do well, but even by their standards, Infinity War is going to be an enormous event that may break the all-time opening weekend record. Now comes the time where Ready Player One and the rest of its fellow holdovers will have to compete for whatever scraps are left, but Spielberg's film isn't in a do-or-die situation. It's already proven its worth before the more high-profile movies (Deadpool 2 and Solo are just weeks away) get the summer season rolling and there's a new tentpole every week.
WB had a mostly fruitful 2017 thanks to hits like Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, and IT, but last fall, the studio had a rough go at it. Despite widespread acclaim, Blade Runner 2049 followed the footsteps of its predecessor as a box office disappointment, and the Justice League story has been well-documented by now. Unlike Paramount, Warner Bros. wasn't in a place where they were desperate for a blockbuster, but it's always nice to have a winner under your belt. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, and Ocean's 8, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald, and Aquaman can also be successes.
Source: Box Office Mojo