Long Range Tracking: ‘Ready Player One’
This week’s report closes out the first quarter of 2018 with a look at how Easter weekend’s four wide releases are currently tracking. You can find our initial forecasts for Paul, Apostle of Christ, Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, and God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness in the chart below.
With that said, here’s a preliminary analysis of key factors driving the potential performance of Steven Spielberg and Ernest Cline’s big adaptation:
Ready Player One
Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment
- Steven Spielberg taking on Steven Spielberg. He remains arguably the most recognized filmmaker among today’s audiences, and the meta-like homages to his own past work should fuel nostalgic appeal that has dominated various film and television hits in recent years.
- One of the strength’s of Ernest Cline’s best-selling novel is the fact that it culls from a deep library of pop culture references rooted in the Spielberg-dominated 1980s era of film and television. The combination of those multiple fandoms could be a potent advantage for the film at the box office with potential appeal to adults as well as millennials and younger audiences..
- Opening nearly one month after A Wrinkle In Time, the film has a wide open market to itself with no other apparent blockbusters on the calendar until May’s Avengers: Infinity War. If strong word of mouth backs this widely anticipated adaptation, staying power could be very strong heading into late spring and early summer.
- Initial reactions to the teaser trailer last year were somewhat muted, primarily due to some criticism that the effects didn’t look up to par with what is expected from the beloved source material or an event-level Spielberg film. That being said, the post-production team has had plenty of time to up their game in that department, and more recent clips from the film have begun to alleviate some of that concern.
- Spielberg’s ventures back into the big-budget movie arena have trended downward at the box office in recent years, unfortunately. While he has continued to garner critical and commercial acclaim with prestige films like Lincoln, The Post, Bridge of Spies, and War Horse, large scale and FX-driven releases like The BFG and Tintin were relative under-performers in North America.
This Week’s Other Notes:
- Black Panther continues to search for its ceiling as strong buzz out of the premiere and news that it’s become Fandango’s best-selling superhero film of all-time drive expectations even higher. Interest and intent-to-see metrics — combined with very impressive social media activity — continue to suggest the film’s four-day opening could hit or exceed the $150-160 million range. With reviews expected to be strong, at this point, there’s little reason to doubt that the film is primed to become a cultural blockbuster milestone.
- Early forecasts for Every Day and The Hurricane Heist have been added.
Current 8-Week Tracking:
|Release Date||Title||3-Day Wide Opening||% Chg from Last Week||Domestic Total||% Chg from Last Week||Estimated Location Count||Distributor|
|2/9/2018||The 15:17 to Paris||$15,000,000||$47,000,000||2,950||Warner Bros.|
|2/9/2018||Fifty Shades Freed||$40,000,000||$98,000,000||-2%||3,700||Universal|
|2/9/2018||Peter Rabbit||$19,000,000||$73,000,000||-6%||3,700||Sony / Columbia|
|2/16/2018||Early Man||$5,000,000||$25,000,000||2,200||Lionsgate / Summit|
|2/23/2018||Game Night||$16,000,000||-6%||$55,000,000||Warner Bros.|
|3/2/2018||Death Wish||$13,500,000||$34,000,000||Annapurna / MGM|
|3/9/2018||The Hurricane Heist||$6,000,000||NEW||$15,000,000||NEW||Entertainment Studios|
|3/9/2018||Strangers: Prey at Night||$4,000,000||$8,500,000||Aviron|
|3/9/2018||A Wrinkle In Time||$52,000,000||$154,000,000||Disney|
|3/16/2018||Tomb Raider||$22,000,000||$55,000,000||Warner Bros.|
|3/16/2018||Untitled A24 Horror||n/a||n/a||A24|
|3/23/2018||Midnight Sun||$6,000,000||$15,000,000||Open Road|
|3/23/2018||Pacific Rim Uprising||$20,000,000||$49,000,000||Universal|
|3/28/2018||Paul, Apostle of Christ||$13,000,000||NEW||$51,000,000||NEW||Sony / Columbia|
|3/29/2018||Ready Player One||$54,000,000||NEW||$180,000,000||NEW||Warner Bros.|
|3/30/2018||God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness||$6,000,000||NEW||$15,400,000||NEW||Pure Flix|
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