Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Gears Up for $42 Million in Four-Day Opening Weekend

Ready Player One” looks to come out victorious at the box office over the Easter holiday weekend.

Steven Spielberg’s latest film is eyeing $38 million to $42 million over its four-day opening weekend. Given a light weekend of new releases, that number would likely be enough for “Ready Player One” to dominate the domestic box office.

Warner Bros.’ nostalgic fantasy adventure, which currently holds an 82% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, gets an early start on Easter weekend by debuting with Wednesday night previews at 3,500 locations. Starting Thursday, it then expands to 4,200 locations, while launching day and date internationally in 62 markets. Tracking on the film, with a reported budget between $150 million and $175 million, is down slightly from initial estimates of $45 million to $55 million over its four-day opening.

Based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel, “Ready Player One” is set in an elaborate virtual reality world full of pop culture totems from the ’80s. The film, written by Cline and Zak Penn, stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. In the year 2045, virtual reality software OASIS is used to engage in work and play. Sheridan’s character, Wade Watts, discovers clues to a hidden game within the program that promises the winner full ownership of the OASIS.

Spielberg most recently helmed political drama “The Post,” which made $165 million worldwide and landed a best picture nod at this year’s Oscars.

Meanwhile, the second weekend of Universal and Legendary’s “Pacific Rim Uprising” will once again battle the tenacious “Black Panther,” as both tentpoles are aiming for $10 million and $15 million at the domestic box office.

Universal and Legendary’s “Pacific Rim Uprising” landed a modest $28 million opening domestically and a much healthier $122.5 million internationally for a worldwide total of $150 million. That’s not to say the seventh weekend of “Black Panther” won’t put up a fair fight. The Marvel film has taken in $631 million to date, making it the fifth highest-grossing movie ever in the U.S. ahead of “The Avengers,” as well as the highest-grossing superhero movie in the U.S., not adjusted for inflation.

Also launching this weekend is Lionsgate’s “Tyler Perry’s Acrimony,” looking to make $7-$11 million in around 2,000 locations. The psychological thriller, produced, written, and directed by Perry, follows Taraji P. Henson as a wife who takes revenge on her unfaithful husband (Lyriq Bent).

The third installment of the “God’s Not Dead” series — “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” — is estimated to gross around $5 million at 1,675 locations in its opening weekend. David A. R. White, John Corbett, Shane Harper, Ted McGinley, and Tatum O’Neal make up the ensemble cast portraying a congregation displaced after their church burns down. Easter is always a fertile period for faith-based movies, and the past two weeks saw two recent faith-based films, “I Can Only Imagine” and “Paul, Apostle of Christ.”

In its second weekend, Roadside Attraction and Lionsgate’s “I Can Only Imagine” has been a surprisingly strong performer, earning $38 million. Affirm Films’ “Paul, Apostle of Christ” opened last weekend in line with estimates at $5 million.

Three films — “Baaghi 2,” “Finding Your Feet” and “Gemini” — will have a limited release.

“Baaghi 2,” an Indian action thriller, will open in 125 theaters. The film, featuring Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani, is a remake of 2016’s Telugu movie “Kshanam.” Aimed at the same mature audience that turned out for films like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” Roadside Attractions and Entertainment One’s “Finding Your Feet” stars Imelda Staunton, who seeks refuge in London with her sister when she discovers that her husband of 40 years (John Sessions) is having an affair with her best friend (Josie Lawrence). Neon’s “Gemini” was written and directed by Aaron Katz. The mystery thriller sees Lola Kirke as the assistant of a Hollywood starlet Heather Anderson, played by Zoe Kravitz.

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