Weekend Wrap-Up

by Tim Briody

April 1, 2018


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One of the most anticipated novel to film adaptations in years arrived over Easter weekend as Ready Player One uses up our entire reserve of 80s and 90s nostalgia in one shot.

Ready Player One was easily the top film of the weekend, but it’s not exactly setting the high score here. Released on Thursday (with some Wednesday night previews) due to the holiday weekend, the Ernest Cline adaptation from Steven Spielberg had a weekend of $41.2 million, and a four day total of $53.2 million. That’s okay, but it feels like some money was left on the table here. Perhaps it’s the divisive nature of the book, perhaps it’s the reviews, which were mostly positive (76% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) but not completely glowing.

To be fair, Spielberg isn’t generally known for big box office anymore, preferring to helm more prestigious films such as The Post ($81.6 million), Bridge of Spies ($55.5 million) and War Horse ($79.8 million), but he has been able to combine box office success with critical acclaim, as Lincoln did earn $182.2 million. But as a supposed seminal event for anyone who grew up with 80’s and 90’s pop culture, this opening feels like it could have been much higher. With a $175 million budget, it’s going to be extremely hard pressed to top that domestically. International grosses have, of course, already sent it over that, but add in marketing costs and the breakeven point is considerably higher.

What’s in its favor is above average word of mouth (those who loved it *really* loved it) which can help convince those on the fence, and also a generally weak April slate of new releases as we begin the ramp up to Avengers: Infinity War at the end of the month. Ready Player One effectively has the next weekends to itself, with the only speed bump in between is Rampage, starring The Rock.

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony by Tyler Perry is a mild surprise in second place this weekend, earning $17.1 million. Perry seemingly had decided to take the easy route and just keep making the extremely profitable Madea movies on the cheap, but in his first dramatic offering since 2014’s The Single Moms Club (which finished with $16 million total), he finds a hit. Starring Taraji P. Henson, and taking more of a thriller route than Perry’s non-Madea movies are two things that may have contributed a few dollars to the box office opening here, and Acrimony only cost $20 million to make. Like him or not, Perry has been both prolific and successful since the 2006 debut of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. His films tend to not hold well, but this is his best non-Madea opening weekend in years.


Black Panther drops to third as in its seventh weekend it inches closer to becoming the third biggest movie of all time. It added $11.2 million this weekend (down 34%) and has now earned $650.6 million to date. Based on the weekday earnings, it’s going to cross Jurassic World ($652.2 million) with Monday’s box office and it will be close but by next Friday at the latest, will have matched Titanic ($659.3 million) to become #3 all time. After that, we’re looking to see when and if Black Panther can reach $700 million. That’s probably three more weekends away, just in time for Infinity War.

I Can Only Imagine again has the lowest decline in the top ten and is becoming one of the best box office stories of 2018 that’s not Black Panther. Earning $10.7 million in its third weekend, down just 21%, it’s earned $55.5 million to date, even with two other faith based films released in theaters over the last two weekends. Costing only $7 million, it’s easily one of the most profitable films of the year (and for those interested in this sort of thing, has sent a 17 year old song back to #1 on the Christian airplay charts).

Falling all the way from first to fifth, Pacific Rim: Uprising collapses 67% from last weekend to $9.2 million and $45.6 million after two weekends. I think we all saw this one coming, no?

Sherlock Gnomes takes sixth place with $7 million and $22.8 million after two weekends. That’s a 34% drop from last weekend, which you think could have been a little better over a holiday weekend. The seven years too late sequel has still managed to underperform especially with a reported $59 million budget.

Love, Simon adds another $4.8 million, down 37% from last weekend and has earned a very respectable $32.1 million in three weekends, and only cost Fox $17 million.

The Tomb Raider reboot drops 53% in its third weekend to $4.7 million and $50.5 million to date. This has been pretty much worst case scenario domestically for the Warner Bros. reboot, as it’s looking like it might not match the $65.6 million earned by the Jolie sequel The Cradle of Life which killed the franchise 15 years ago.

A Wrinkle in Time hangs onto ninth place with $4.6 million (down 43%) and $83.2 million in four weekends. The fantasy adaptation is creeping closer and closer to that $100 million budget but it’s going to land just short of that domestically, and it’s not a big overseas earner.

Paul, Apostle of Christ gets a second weekend in the top ten as the biblical story only drops 32% from last weekend to earn $3.5 million and a total of $11.5 million to date. Probably fueled by Easter weekend, it’ll vanish quickly from here, as the faith-based audiences are still choosing I Can Only Imagine.

The top 12 films this weekend earned $127.5 million, way down from last year’s $164.4 million when The Boss Baby opened to $50.1 million and Beauty and the Beast still added $45.4 million in its third weekend.

Next weekend we have a wide expansion of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs (placing 11th this weekend with $2.8 million in 165 theaters) as well as the thriller A Quiet Place (currently 100% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) and John Cena sex comedy (just in time for WrestleMania weekend) Blockers.

Top Ten for Weekend of March 30-April 1, 2018
Gross ($)
Weekly Change
Gross ($)
1 Ready Player One Warner Bros. 41.2 New 53.2
2 Tyler Perry's Acrimony Lionsgate 17.1 New 17.1
3 Black Panther Walt Disney 11.2 -34% 650.6
4 I Can Only Imagine Roadside Attractions 10.7 -21% 55.5
5 Pacific Rim: Uprising Universal 9.2 -67% 45.6
6 Sherlock Gnomes Paramount 7.0 -34% 22.8
7 Love, Simon 20th Century Fox 4.8 -37% 32.1
8 Tomb Raider Warner Bros. 4.7 -53% 50.5
9 A Wrinkle In Time Walt Disney 4.6 -43% 83.2
10 Paul, Apostle of Christ Sony 3.5 -32% 11.5
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations



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