Not gonna lie, there was a small part of me that hoped Ready Player One would disappoint at the box office. Hey, I’m only human, and as the person who declared it to be everything wrong with geek culture, I do have a reputation to uphold. Besides, it seemed like the kind of thing that could equally appeal to everyone and no-one. But hey, Spielberg is Spielberg, and nostalgia is incessantly intoxicating, so of course it surpassed early estimates to take the top spot with a $41m opening weekend, and $53m over four days. That’s the largest opening for a Spielberg film since the last Indiana Jones movie. Now I’m just sadder that you all slept on Tintin and The BFG. Shockingly, 59% of Ready Player One viewers were male.
Debuting at number two is Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, which made $17.1m. That’s an average of about $8500 from just over 2000 screens. Perry’s an easy target — and for good reason on occasion — but you can’t deny his power with his target audience. Women made up a staggering 74% of that opening weekend audience.
Black Panther fell to number 3 with $11.2m, but it also soared past $650m domestically. The film is currently at number 11 on the list of the most profitable films ever made, only $13m behind Frozen. Believe me, this one is easily going to storm into at least the top 5 by the time it’s done. It’s already the fifth most profitable film in North America, bypassing The Avengers and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Another new release, God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness, fell short of expectations with a $2.6m opening weekend, placing it at number 12. That’s a solid $5m short of the previous film. I Can Only Imagine remains the big faith-based film of the moment, sitting comfortably at number 4 with $10m in its third week. Two big movies shed over 1000 theatres in the past week - Tomb Raider ($4.7m at number 8) and A Wrinkle in Time ($4.6m at number 9). The former’s made about $50m domestically so far; the latter $83m. Ouch.
I swear the first time I saw this, I thought it was an error on the part of Box Office Mojo, but apparently it’s true. Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane, as critically acclaimed as it was, fell from 11 to 25 in its second week, with a 96% drop in revenue! That’s an average of $75 per theatre. I guess it just didn’t click with audiences.
Numbers were good this weekend for The Death of Stalin, which increased its theatre run by 343 and brought in an extra $1.4m. I can’t imagine why a bleak political satire about incompetent sociopaths trying to scramble to power would resonate so heavily these days.
You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.
What films did you watch this weekend? Let us know in the comments.