In recent years, Steven Spielberg has struggled to bring in mass audiences for the opening weekends of his films, but Ready Player One has done a nice job stopping that unfortunate streak in its path. The new movie not only took the top spot for the last three days, but is Spielberg's biggest three day opener in a decade. Check out the figures as well as the rest of the top 10 in the chart below, and join me for analysis after!
Steven Spielberg has certainly made some interesting and great films in the last 10 years, but none of them have really carried need-to-see buzz with them into theaters. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull remains the only title on the filmmaker's resume to hit nine figures - and that was back in 2008. Since then there's been The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, The BFG, and The Post, and none of them cracked $30 million when put into wide release (Lincoln came closest with $25 million). That makes Ready Player One's numbers significant - even though $41.2 million in three days isn't really spectacular by modern blockbuster standards.
Perhaps the best news of all is that Ready Player One could wind up having some good legs as we move through April. Professional critics have been mostly positive about the movie, ultimately landing it with a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the "A-" posted on CinemaScore suggests that audiences are digging it as well. When you factor in foreign territories - where its already pulled in $128 million - and the boost it got from opening a few days early (explaining the difference between weekend gross and total gross), the film might wind up with a total global pull that actually justifies the enormous $175 million reported budget.
Unlike Spielberg, Tyler Perry has consistently proven in recent years that he can bring in crowds, and Acrimony can definitely be called a success. In comparison to Ready Player One's $41.2 million, the new movie's $17.1 million may not look like much, but then you have to factor in the theater count. Acrimony was shown in nearly half the number of cinemas as its chief competitor, and still managed an impressive $8,524.42 per theater average (Ready Player One made $9,733.11 per screen). It's not exactly Madea Goes To Jail, which actually made $41 million on 2,032 theaters in 2009, but it's not too shabby for a film that wasn't screened in advance for critics.
Clearly Ryan Coogler's Black Panther is continuing to kick ass as well, but deserving special mention is Andrew and Jon Erwin's I Can Only Imagine. A faith-based movie based on the song of the same name by the band MercyMe, the feature opened three weeks ago, and has done a nice job staying in the Top 5. It fell behind Tomb Raider when it first came out, starting in third place, but both that film and Pacific Rim Uprising have now fallen behind it on the charts (Pacific Rim Uprising taking a brutal fall to fifth place with a 67 percent drop in its second week). The movie isn't getting any play in foreign markets, but making $55 million domestically so far with a $7 million budget is nothing to shake a stick at.
The box office landscape will completely change at the end of the month with the release of The Avengers: Infinity War, but we're not quite there yet. That said, this week will see a new foursome debut in theaters, including the raunchy comedy Blockers; the period drama Chappaquiddick; the inspirational true story-based The Miracle Season, and the horrifying A Quiet Place. Come back next Sunday to see the refreshed Top 10!