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 ChristTyler Perry’s Acrimonyand 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

PROS:

  • 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.

CONS:

  • 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 LincolnThe PostBridge 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 Black Panther $139,000,000 +5% $400,000,000 +8% 4,000 Disney
2/16/2018 Early Man $5,000,000 $25,000,000 2,200 Lionsgate / Summit
2/16/2018 Samson $3,500,000 $13,000,000 1,000 Pure Flix
2/23/2018 Annihilation $14,000,000 -7% $50,000,000 Paramount
2/23/2018 Every Day $3,000,000 NEW $7,500,000 NEW Orion
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
3/2/2018 Red Sparrow $26,000,000 $84,000,000 Fox
3/9/2018 Gringo $3,000,000 $7,500,000 STXfilms
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 Love, Simon $13,000,000 $40,000,000 Fox
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
3/23/2018 Sherlock Gnomes $12,000,000 $45,000,000 Paramount
3/23/2018 Unsane n/a n/a Bleecker Street
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
3/30/2018 Acrimony $19,000,000 NEW $46,000,000 NEW Lionsgate

Follow Boxoffice on Twitter for future tracking updates.

Boxoffice Staff

11 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Revan Isra Paris February 02, 2018

    I believe that Ready Player One will be the biggest flop of the year, in my opinion. It looks entertaining enough, but not enough hype to make up for the budget. $230-$280 Million worldwide.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      ManOfBronze February 05, 2018

      I hope its not in this day of superhero bloat.
      I do think this will do much better overseas.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Prasi April 03, 2018

      Oh Revan, it does indeed pull off a $180 million opening weekend worldwide.

      Reply
  2. Avatar
    J February 02, 2018

    WAY too high on Ready Player One. I’m predicting a $30-$35 million opening with a $120 million total.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    cooly February 03, 2018

    There is not much social awareness or interest in Ready Player One at this point , so an opening around $30M and total gross around $90-110M would be apt

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Junior February 03, 2018

    You’re all wrong,Ready Player One’s going to be a big hit,it’s going to make more than $200 domestically.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      vmpndrk (VampInTheDark) March 12, 2018

      I hope you are right.

      Reply
  5. Avatar
    John Johnson February 05, 2018

    What about the christian film I Can Only Imagine. Trailer #1 has over 40 million views and trailer #2 has over 20 million views?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Peter February 07, 2018

      Where are you getting those numbers? Certainly not from YouTube, where they’re in the thousands, not millions.

      Reply
  6. Avatar
    Mayank March 06, 2018

    Ready player one can go over 500 million domestically Ang can gross over 1 billion worldwide easily

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    vmpndrk (VampInTheDark) March 12, 2018

    I am so excited for this movie! I absolutely love the book the film is based on by Ernest Cline. I feel and hope that this film will be bringing Spielberg back to his 80’s (The decade not age) prime. Nostalgia, Imagination, child-like wonder,enchantment ,Adventure, and Action. With all that goin for it I still predict a 50 to 60 million opening. Tha’s makes me sad, becase if it is amazing and makes buckets of money we will likely get more in the future. If it under performs and no buckets we’ll likeley get less lie it.

    Reply

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