|Film||Weekend||Opening Weekend||Current Gross|
|Ready Player One (Warner Bros.)||$41.8m||$41.8m||$53.7m|
|Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (Lionsgate)||$17.2m||$17.2m||$17.2m|
|Black Panther (Marvel Studios/Disney)||$11.5m||$202m||$650.9m|
|I Can Only Imagine (Roadside Attractions)||$10.4m||$17.1m||$55.3m|
|Pacific Rim: Uprising (Legendary/Universal)||$9.4m||$28.1m||$45.8m|
(Note: All the numbers above and below have been updated with actual box office.)
It was a great Easter weekend for filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who had one of his best openings in almost a decade as his adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One scored big both in the United States and abroad.
The sci-fi adventure starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance and Lena Waithe opened in 4,234 theaters on Thursday to get an early start on the holiday weekend. After making $3.8 million in Weds. night previews, Ready Player One grossed $12 million on Thursday and then had a nice Good Friday bump to $15.1 million. Over the weekend, the Spielberg film grossed $41.8 million for a four-day opening of $53.7 million.
That’s Spielberg’s biggest opening since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull back in 2008, although a few of his recent Oscar films like Lincoln and The Post opened in limited release. That’s also the first film in 2018 other than Black Panther to gross more than $40 million in a single weekend, which is pretty bad when you think about all the big hits from the first quarter in past years. We’ll have to see if we see anything else make that amount before Avengers: Infinity War opens in the last week of April.
Overseas, Spielberg’s movie grossed $128 million in 62 markets including China where it grossed a whopping $61.7 million on 18,200 screens, which actually is less than what Pacific Rim: Uprising made in China last weekend. Even so, the international gross, which included $8.1 million in Korea and $7.3 million in the UK, helped Spielberg’s latest gross $181.2 million globally. $19 million of that amount came from 1,216 IMAX screens worldwide with $6.6 million from 405 domestic IMAX screens. Ready Player One is the fourth major movie in a row to get the IMAX treatment after last week’s Pacific Rim: Uprising, Tomb Raider one week earlier, and Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time before that.
The well-reviewed film also received an “A-” CinemaScore, showing that audiences liked it as much as the critics. We’ll have to see how it holds up against the releases over the coming weeks which seem generally stronger than the March offerings.
Tyler Perry’s thriller Tyler Perry’s Acrimony did decently in just 2,006 theaters, as Lionsgate gave it the typical focused release as Perry’s other movies. Starring Taraji P. Henson from Empire, the thriller grossed an est. $17.2 million over the weekend ($8,560 per theater) for 2nd place after making $7.3 million on Good Friday (including $1 million in Thurs. previews). That’s on the lower side for Perry’s movies but not the lowest opening, and Acrimony also received an “A-” CinemaScore.
Marvel Studios’ latest superhero blockbuster Black Panther continued its incredible run with a third place showing of $11.5 million in its seventh week. It has grossed $650.9 million domestically, already having claimed the milestone of becoming the top-grossing superhero film ever. It’s less than $2 million behind 2015’s Jurassic World and less than $10 million behind James Cameron’s Titanic, so expect Black Panther to become the third highest-grossing movie of all time sometime this week.
I Can Only Imagine has surpassed the 2016 release Manchester by the Sea to become the highest-grossing movie released by Roadside Attractions, as it added another $10.4 million (down 21%) to its impressive take in its third weekend. The faith-based drama has grossed $55.3 million so far, and it should move into the top 10 for Christian films sometime this week.
As expected, Universal and Legendary Pictures’ Pacific Rim: Uprising was hit hardest by the release of Spielberg’s latest, dropping a horrible 67% to fifth place with $9.4 million over the weekend and $45.8 million grossed so far. The only reason this isn’t disastrous is because it added another $22.2 million overseas in 63 markets to bring its international total to $96.6 million in two weeks.
Paramount’s animated Sherlock Gnomes took sixth place with $7 million, down 34% from its opening weekend, followed by Tomb Raider, A Wrinkle in Time and Love, Simon all with $4.7 and $5 million, despite the first two of those losing over 1,000 theaters on Friday.
Sherlock Gnomes has grossed $22.8 million in ten days while Love, Simon has made $32.1 million so far. Tomb Raider just hit $50 million, while A Wrinkle in Time is stalling out at $83.4 million and might also struggle to hit $100 million.
Pure Flix went back to its faith-based well with God’s Not Dead: Light in the Darkness, opening it in 1,693 theaters. With I Can Only Imagine and Paul, Apostle of Christ still drawing audiences over the Christian holiday, it bombed with just $2.7 million or $1,589 per theater, and that’s probably the last we see of that franchise despite the third chapter’s “A-” CinemaScore.
God’s Not Dead actually ended up lower than Wes Anderson’s animated Isle of Dogs, which Fox Searchlight expanded into just 165 theaters, where it was able to gross $2.9 million in its second weekend. So far, Anderson’s film has grossed $6 million, and we’ll have to see how it fares with further expansion before going nationwide on April 13.
Other specialty releases of note include Roadside Attractions’ Brit-Com Finding Your Feet, which grossed $60.1k in 14 theaters or $4,295 per venue.
Released by Neon, Aaron Katz’s modern-day noir Gemini grossed $32.9k in four theaters in New York and L.A., while Lynn Shelton’s Outside In grossed $14.1k in nine theaters. Gemini‘s $8,245per theater isn’t bad compared to Outside In‘s $1,571 per theater.
Sadly, Burt Reynolds’ return to theaters with The Last Movie Star was met with a similar ennui as Lynn Shelton’s latest film, averaging $1,775 in two theaters, one in New York and one in L.A.
(Source: boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent estimated numbers at time of writing, and they may change.)
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor