Ready Player One presses start with $53 million 4-day take

How the team behind 'Ready Player One' wrangled a bonanza of pop culture references into a single film

The Iron Giant heads into battle in a scene from director Steven Spielberg's sci-fi adventure film"Ready Player One

Warner had initially scheduled "Ready Player One" for release in December but moved it to a safer spot after Disney unexpectedly dropped "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" on the same winter date. The director's retrofuturistic sci-fi adventure Ready Player One is on track to debut with about $41.2 million from 4,234 theaters in the USA and Canada from Friday to Sunday, easily outpacing fellow new release Acrimony and holdovers including Pacific Rim Uprising and Black Panther.

In contrast, "Ready Player One" drew the most positive audience response for any fantasy or science-fiction movie directed by Spielberg since "Minority Report" in 2005, according to Rotten Tomatoes, which boils down reviews from critics and ticket buyers into "fresh" or "rotten" scores. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance.

"Tyler Perry's Acrimony"-Tyler Perry's 19th collaboration with Lionsgate-secured second place with $17 million in 2,006 locations".

The third installment in the God's Not Dead series centers on a pastor (David A.R. White) and his congregation who are displaced when their church burns down and then battle the state university that owns the land while attempting to rebuild.

Speaking of Black Panther, the popular Marvel film is still making a lot of money at the Box Office despite being a film released back in February. After ten days of release, the film has made a domestic total of $45.7 million.

Rounding out the top five are Roadside Attractions' faith-based drama I Can Only Imagine, with an estimated $10.75 million, and Universal and Legendary's robots-vs. -monsters flick Pacific Rim Uprising, with an estimated $9.2 million. It was on track to gross $650.7 million through Sunday evening domestically. Internationally, Pacific Rim Uprising has earned $122.4 million to take its global total to $168 million.

That makes it Spielberg's biggest movie (and biggest domestic opening) since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull took in an opening $100.1 million more than a decade ago.

Without accounting for advertising costs, Ready Player One had a production budget of $175 million, so the movie will have to continue to perform well in the weeks ahead to be considered a success.

In total, the box office is down 21.2 per cent compared to the same weekend past year, while the 2018 North American box office is down 3.8 per cent from 2017.

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