Weekend Box Office: ‘Player’ Is the New Number One

Warner’s Ready Player One started its box office game on a good note over the Easter weekend. The Steven Spielberg virtual reality epic easily outpaced the debuts of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony and God’s’ Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness; the latter failing to even make it into the top ten.

Despite Player One’s quick start, it was another down weekend for the movie business. Without a Batman V Superman or Fast and Furious offering to be had, the top ten this holiday weekend was down a steep 29% in comparison to one year ago at this time. Despite the continued success of Black Panther, the overall box office for March 2018 was down 30% from 2017’s numbers. Business should continue to be on the quiet side for the next several weeks, until Avengers: Infinity War kicks off the summer movie season on April 27th.

Getting a jump on the holiday competition by opening on Thursday instead of Friday, Ready Player One jacked in to a solid $53.2 million in its first four days on 4,234 screens. For the three-day weekend frame, Player Onescored $41.2 million. The Speilberg sci-fi flick was a bigger hit overseas this weekend, where it scored a big $128 million. Of that amount, $62 million came from China alone.

Ready Player One’s startwas the largest opening for a Spielberg-directed feature since 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was also the fifth-largest opening for a film debuting over the Easter weekend. Feedback on the adaptation of the 2011 Ernest Cline novel was largely positive. Critics gave the film a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 64/100 from Metacritic and an “A-“ from ticket buyers on CinemaScore.

In second place with a $17.1 million gross from 2,006 screens was the latest from filmmaker Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry’s Acrimony. The R-rated Lionsgate feature starring Taraji P. Henson followed the usual routine for a Perry film: critics hated it – 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, 33/100 from Metacritic- his loyal fan base approved (giving it an “A-“ on CinemaScore) and it managed to quickly turn a profit due to its low production cost.

Nearing the end of its second month in the top three was Disney’s indestructible Black Panther, which dug its claws into third place in week seven with an estimated $11.3 million from 2,988 theaters. Down only 34%, Black Panther has pushed its domestic total up to $650.7 million with an additional $623.2 million from international markets. By Tuesday, Panther will pass Jurassic World to move up to fourth place on the all-time domestic grossers. It will pass Titanic by next Saturday.

In fourth place with a $10.7 million gross was the Roadside Attractions’ sleeper hit I Can Only Imagine. The faith-based musical biopic eased a mere 21% in its third round on 2,648 screens, which was the best hold of any film in the top ten. The new domestic total for the $7 million production stands at $55.5 million.

Rounding out the top five while dropping a massive 67% is Pacific Rim Uprising with $9.2 million from 3,708 screens. After ten days, the sci-fi epic has earned a mediocre $45.6 million. It should finish its North America run with a rusty $65 million. Maybe. International totals for Uprising were not available at time of publication.

  1.  Sherlock Gnomes (Paramount) $7 million (-34%); $23 million
  2.  Love, Simon (Fox) $4.8 million (-37%); $32 million
  3.  Tomb Raider (2018) $4.7 million (-54%); $50.5 million
  4.  A Wrinkle in Time (Disney) $4.7 million (-43%); $83.2 million
  5.  Paul, Apostle of Christ (Sony) $3.5 million (-32%); $11.5 million

Next weekend sees the arrival of Blockers, Chappaquiddick, The Miracle Seasonand the acclaimed John Krasinski/Emily Blunt thriller, A Quiet Place.

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