The first reactions to Ready Player One have hit the Internet following the film’s surprise premiere at SXSW 2018. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, the newest genre picture from legendary director Steven Spielberg tells the story of youngster Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), who spends his days living in the virtual reality of the OASIS. After OASIS founder James Donovan Halliday (Mark Rylance) passes away, Wade is one of several to embark on a quest to find a hidden Easter egg within the OASIS in an effort to inherit Halliday’s immense fortune. The villainous Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) is also hot on the egg’s trail for his own interests.

In the months leading up to its release, Ready Player One has (perhaps unfairly) amassed a considerable amount of controversy, with both the source material and marketing campaign drawing heavy criticism for its over-reliance on pop culture references (which are a key component of the story). Still, with Spielberg calling the shots, many hoped he would be able to deliver another great piece of escapism. Warner Bros. launching it at SXSW was seen as a vote of confidence in the product, and now the first reactions are in.

Related: Ready Player One’s Marketing Has Been All Wrong

After a problematic screening plagued by technical difficulties, viewers are sharing their thoughts about Ready Player One. Check out some tweets below:

Not everyone was enamored with Spielberg’s latest, but the general consensus seems to be quite positive. Many are in agreement the master hasn’t lost his touch for grand Hollywood spectacle, injecting Ready Player One with a sense of undeniable fun and adventure. It appears Spielberg was able to transcend whatever flaws were present in the source material (a major sticking point for pre-release critics during the marketing campaign) and delivered an emotional and heartfelt love letter to geek culture. Since Spielberg’s next film is Indiana Jones 5 for Lucasfilm, it’s encouraging to hear he can still knock out a crowd-pleasing genre picture in the latter stages of his career. Over the past few years, he’s primarily been known for Oscar contending historical dramas.

It will be interesting to see if this word-of-mouth has any positive effect on the box office prospects. Ready Player One is projected to open between $45-55 million over its 4-day opening weekend, but those estimates came out before the SXSW premiere. Now that the conversation surrounding the film is much more positive than it was just a few days ago, perhaps tracking will improve. Nobody should expect Ready Player One to break records like some of Spielberg’s classics, but its commercial haul may end up being better than expected now that the buzz is starting to spread.

MORE: Ready Player One Didn’t Deserve The Pre-release Hate

Source: Various (see links)

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