Easter weekend isn’t exactly the promising box office bonanza that Thanksgiving break is but that shouldn’t downplay the potential for big movies to really break out over the three-day sprint. Indeed, Steven Spielberg‘s Ready Player One is already firmly at the front of the pack with a total of $27.2 million, culled from early showings and a Thursday opening; on Friday alone, it made some $15.2 million. As of right now, Spielberg’s latest is looking toward a $50 million weekend, if audiences continue to funnel in to see his adaptation of Ernest Cline‘s beloved novel.
While it’s somewhat endearing to see Spielberg on top again after The Post and The BFG struggled to find a stable, reliable fanbase, it’s unfortunate that it had to be this movie. No one could possibly throw stones at the film’s technical merits – the digital effects are beyond reproach and are responsible for the intermittent blips of wonder amongst the pop-culture wreckage that the director has orchestrated here. That being said, the overwhelming use of effects in the story not only renders much of the action weightless and no more affective than a cut scene from Overwatch but also makes the sequences with the real-life cast feel incidental. Some have suggested that buried in Ready Player One is Spielberg’s own criticisms of gaming, content addiction, and filmmaking but if that’s true, he’s purposefully buried it enough to be able to deny saying anything beyond “Hey, if you go outside rather than game alone, you might get laid!”
Still, even Spielberg’s latest mediocrity has several legs up on Acrimony or, apologies, Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, which continues the multi-hyphenate’s long-running string of toothless melodramas. Nevertheless, Perry has a dedicated fanbase and that’s enough to bring it into second place early on with $7.2 million, pulling ahead of Black Panther‘s $4 million take on Good Friday. Surprisingly, I Can Only Imagine is holding strong in fourth place with $3.6 million, keeping the other openly biased and pious Christian movie, God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, well at bay, while Pacific Rim Uprising plummeted from first place to fifth with $3.3 million. There’s a lot of room for these rankings to shift by tomorrow afternoon but Ready Player One will undoubtedly be the winner of the weekend. Whether that will hold true when it faces Blockers and A Quiet Place next weekend is another story altogether.
Here’s the top five at the box office for Friday:
|Title||Friday Domestic BO||Total Domestic BO|
|1. ‘Ready Player One’||$15,200,000||$27,205,000|
|2. ’Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’||$7,260,000||$7,260,000|
|3. ‘Black Panther’||$4,067,000||$643,503,634|
|4. ‘I Can Only Imagine’||$3,670,050||$48,495,387|
|5. ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’||$3,300,000||$39,765,820|