Ready Player One, the latest film from legendary director Steven Spielberg, is projected to score the helmsman's largest box office opening in a decade. There was a point in time during the early part of his career when Spielberg was a perennial threat to break commercial records. The movies he built his reputation on, including Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Art, and E.T. were all monumental successes. E.T. even outgrossed the original Star Wars, indicating just how much of a draw Spielberg was.
In recent years, however, this has changed. With Spielberg focusing his energies more on Oscar-contending historical dramas, he's posted far more modest numbers at the box office (The Post, for instance, earned $81.6 million in the U.S.). Even his forays into genre pictures, like The Adventures of Tintin and The BFG, didn't leave much of an impact. Fortunately for Warner Bros. and the team behind Ready Player One, Spielberg is set to have a return to form this weekend.
According to THR, Ready Player One is estimated to gross between $45-50 million in its opening frame, which runs from Thursday, March 29 to Sunday, April 1. Even if it hits the lower-end of these predictions, the movie will have Spielberg's biggest opening weekend since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull debuted to the tune of $100.1 million back in 2008. Ready Player One should also have the second-highest start of 2018, behind the behemoth that is Black Panther.
This is just the latest instance of the conversation surrounding Ready Player One trending in a much more positive direction than before. In the months leading up to its premiere, the movie was hit with some (arguably unfair) backlash from those who were critical of Ernest Cline's novel. The tide started to turn after the film's surprise screening at SXSW earlier this month, as several of the reactions out of the festival were positive. The social media responses set the stage for the full written reviews, and Ready Player One is now officially Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It appears the word-of-mouth has some influence on the box office, and more people are interested in seeing the film now that they know it's good.
There are two other wide releases premiering this weekend, but neither are believed to be much of a draw. Tyler Perry's new film Acrimony is projected to make $10 million in its first three days, which would be one of the lowest openings of the director's career. Faith-based film A Light in the Darkness is expected to have an uphill climb due to competition in its target demographic from I Can Only Imagine and Paul, Apostle of Christ. Estimates have it pegged for just $5 million for the weekend.
- Ready Player One (2018) release date: Mar 29, 2018