Friday Box Office Analysis

By Kim Hollis

March 31, 2018

My heroine.

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It's Easter weekend, which means that March is headed out (like a lamb, presumably), while April arrives on Sunday complete with both April Fool's Day and Easter. Along with the religious celebration, people also perform the pagan ritual of searching for Easter eggs. So, what better weekend than this one for the release of Ready Player One, a game where the characters in the story are searching for the ultimate Easter egg?

After opening on Thursday with $12 million (including $3.75 million from Wednesday night previews), Ready Player One, the Steven Spielberg-directed Gen-X pop culture extravaganza earned $15.2 million on Friday. That puts it a little bit ahead of tracking, which has to be a relief for Warner Bros. Originally, it was looking like RP1 would earn in the range of $35-40 million for the four-day total. Instead, it should come in with about $41 million for Friday-to-Sunday and then a four-day total of $53 million.

The good news for the studio is that Spielberg movies tend to have long legs. This one has both great reviews (76% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) and audience reaction (A- Cinemascore), so my suspicion is that it's going to be a grower, especially as April is a pretty crap month for new releases (although we do have the extremely well reviewed horror film A Quiet Place, the Rock's Rampage, and the *16* years later sequel to Super Troopers waiting in the wings) until we hit that massive juggernaut known as Avengers: Infinity War. RP1 is a great family choice, too, as it hearkens back to the kind of stories Spielberg told in the '80s. Even if the kids don't appreciate the pop culture references, they can enjoy the shiny, shiny, fun movie.

Although Tyler Perry's more serious films don't always perform that well, put him together with Taraji P. Henson and you've got a surprise debut in second place. Acrimony earned $7.3 million yesterday, which means it's already a third of the way to making its budget back. Look for a three-day total of $19 million before it falls off as all of Perry's films tend to do in weekend number two.


Sure, Black Panther has been around forever now, but it's now less than $10 million from passing Jurassic World for fourth place all-time on the domestic chart and is on its way to getting past Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on the worldwide chart. Damn. With a grand total of $12 million this weekend, it continues to just blow us all away.

A pair of faith-based new releases were also in theaters this weekend. The better performing of the two was Paul, Apostle of Christ, which earned $1.2 million as it finished in second place. It should have a weekend total of $3.6 million. The other film, God's Not Dead 3, tallied $1.1 million, getting just past Isle of Dogs, which is on more than 1,500 fewer screens. This audience still has I Can Only Imagine available, so they're all just siphoning audience from one another. (Also, the consensus seems to be that I Can Only Imagine is the film of choice here.) God's Not Dead 3 should earn $3.3 million.



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