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Weekend Predictions: Is Player One Ready to Dominate the Box Office? (With Preview Numbers)

March 29th, 2018

Ready Player One

March comes to a close with three wide releases. Of these, only Ready Player One is expected to be even a midlevel hit. In fact, it will likely earn more over its four-day weekend than the other two films earn in total. Acrimony should open in the mid to low teens, while God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness will barely make the top ten. This weekend last year, The Boss Baby opened with just over $50 million. Maybe Ready Player One will make that much over four days. Even if it does, 2017’s impressive depth means there’s almost no chance 2018 will win in the year-over-year comparison.

Ready Player One is March’s last chance to have a $100 million hit. The film’s reviews are nearly 80% positive, while the average score is 7 out of 10. That’s pretty good for a mainstream release like this, so its word-of-mouth should be a real asset over the weekend. It is also getting off to an early start with a Thursday debut. Finally, it is by far the biggest movie currently in theaters and the next potential monster hit, Rampage, doesn’t come out for a couple of weeks, so its pre-release buzz won’t interfere with this film. On the high end, the film could earn $50 million over four days. I’m going with $35 million / $45 million over the three / four-day weekend.

Last Minute Update: Warner Bros. announced Ready Player One earned $3.75 million during its previews on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, there are simply not enough films that debut on Thursday to use this figure to make solid predictions. G.I. Joe: Retaliation managed $2.6 million back in 2013, but that’s not a good comparison, because it was a sequel. It also earned terrible reviews and opened during the more early days of regular previews. I do think our original prediction is on the low end, so $45 million / $56 million is more likely.

Acrimony is the latest from Tyler Perry, but it is not a Medea comedy. Perry’s non-Medea films tend to not do as well at the box office. There are still no reviews, which is further bad news for the film’s box office chances. On the other hand, there’s not a lot of competition and no real direct competition, so it should still earn second place with about $12 million. This isn’t a bad start for a film that cost $20 million.

There should be a three-way tie for third place between Pacific Rim: Uprising, Black Panther, and I Can Only Imagine, each of which should earn between $11 million and $10 million. Uprising has the advantage, but only because it opened in first place last weekend, while I Can Only Imagine will have the best hold, but could still sink to fifth place.

God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness is the third film in the God’s Not Dead franchise. I didn’t think the film would be as good as the first at the box office, but I really thought it would do better than the second. There are still no reviews and the buzz is almost non-existent. Add in a sub-2,000 opening weekend theater count and the film will struggle to find a spot in the top ten. I think it will get there with $5 million, but anything significantly less than $4 million will leave it on the outside looking in.

- Ready Player One Comparisons
- Acrimony Comparisons
- God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

Filed under: Weekend Preview, Black Panther, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Ready Player One, God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, Acrimony, I Can Only Imagine, Madea, God's Not Dead, Tyler Perry
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