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Summer has not even officially started yet, but there are already some huge movies out that are worth keeping an eye on. One example came last month with the release of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, and Warner Bros. continued that streak into April with the early release of Rampage. However, while Rampage won the box office in its opening weekend, the shift away from the film's original April 20 release date back one week to April 13th seems to have had the effect of cutting into Ready Player One's bottom line.
Spacing out the releases of blockbuster movies has become a science in Hollywood, and that science was put to the test when Marvel Studios shifted Avengers: Infinity War from May 4 to April 27. In a move seemingly meant to compensate for Disney's shift, Warner Bros. moved Rampage ahead one week to debut on April 13, which effectively kept the gap between the Dwayne Johnson starrer and the next Marvel movie the same length. However, as an unintended result, because of this change, Rampage has been forced to compete with Ready Player One a whole week earlier than expected, and this past week Spielberg's ode to 1980s pop culture dropped 55% to take in $11.2 million in its third weekend. Rampage has most certainly gone on to become a box office win for Warner Bros. this weekend, but the victory may have also come at the cost of another WB project.
Avengers: Infinity War's move clearly put Rampage in a tight spot, but there's still a clear case to be made that Warner Bros. made the right call debuting the film earlier. If the studio had chosen to hold Rampage for after Infinity War's release, the sheer number of competing projects on the horizon would've made it tough to fit Rampage in any time after Infinity War on the crowded summer schedule. In fact, ever the busy actor, The Rock even has another blockbuster set to hit theaters in July with the release of Universal's Skyscraper, and Johnson's schedule to promote movies in between his other projects is tight. So, debuting Rampage closer to films like Ready Player One and Tomb Raider became the best option. Now, as a result of the close release proximity, both Ready Player One and Rampage could potentially make less money than they would've managed with a broader gap separating their respective release dates.
Ready Player One is not the only movie to get cannibalized by another film from the same studio. In addition Forbes also noted that Blockers may have also been adversely affected by the strong showing of Truth or Dare. Both films are Universal projects (albeit from wildly different genres), but Truth or Dare's move from April 27 to April 13 arguably shortened Blockers' window by two full weeks.
Now we will just have to wait and see how Rampage and Ready Player One do as other big blockbusters start to debut and join the competition. CinemaBlend will bring you more of the latest box office news as new information is made available to us. For now, if you are looking for more up-to-date details on all of this year's biggest film debuts, head over to our movie premiere guide!