March has been pretty horrible at the box office, and who could have imagined that it would take Steven Spielberg and his adaptation of a popular recent book to save it? The Easter weekend started with a nice moviegoing bump on Good Friday yesterday, and we’ll have to see how the movies hold up over the rest of the holiday weekend.
Ready Player One opened on Thursday with $12 million including $3.8 million on Wednesday, which would seem to point to some frontloading, but it added an est. $15.2 million on Friday, which is pointing to a three-day weekend of close to $40 million and over $50 million in its first four days.
If Ready Player One does indeed hit the $40 million mark for the weekend, it will be the only movie other than Black Panther to gross $40 million in a single weekend this year. It’s true. Go back and look. The only other movie to come close to that amount was Fifty Shades Freed. That right there is proof that the first quarter of 2018 is down drastically from previous years even with the success of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.
Second place went to Tyler Perry’s Acrimony from Lionsgate, which grossed $7.3 million on Friday, outperforming expectations and projections as most Tyler Perry movies tend to do. That should be good for $17 to 18 million over the Easter weekend.
Black Panther took third place with a little over $4 million, while the faith-based hit I Can Only Imagine took fourth place with around $3.6 million. Pacific Rim: Uprising dive-bombed in its second weekend, making just $3.2 million on Good Friday, which means the best it can do is fifth place with around $8 to 9 million.
Pure Flix’s God’s Not Dead: Light in the Darkness bombed with just $1.1 million on Friday, and it’s looking at a $2.7 million opening, probably outside the top 10.
Incidentally, all three new movies received an “A-” by CinemaScore, which is pretty decent considering how many “Bs” and “Cs” we’ve seen this year.
Check back on Monday for the full box office report.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor