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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Weekend Estimates by Not So Ready Player Klady

Wknd Est Corr 2018-04-01 at 11.51.35 AM

What was WB expecting from Ready Player One? Not G.I. Joe: Retaliation. But that is what they got. We can dress it up as Spielberg’s best opening in a decade, but bet dollars to donuts that its second weekend won’t outgross Lincoln‘s second weekend in wide release ($25.7m on half as many screens). They surely weren’t expecting to get Batman v Superman numbers… but not Clash of the Titans numbers? And when is a Tyler Perry movie not a Tyler Perry movie? When Tyler Perry isn’t in it. Also opening, God’s Not Dead 3: One Too Many. And Isle of Dogs expands to 165 screens… to strong, but not quite Wes-tacular numbers.

[Correction: Ready Player One estimates: $53.6 million.]

38 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Not So Ready Player Klady”

  1. Geoff says:

    I think WB is probably gonna get Kong Skull Island numbers at the end of the day which isn’t mind-blowing but they’ll take it – every other wannabe blockbuster besides Black Panther has fallen on its face so far this year….and this is STILL the second biggest domestic opening of the year so far which seems crazy. Still no clue why they thought it was a good idea to open Tomb Raider, this, and Rampage in almost rapid succession.

  2. JS Partisan says:

    I am going to go back to what I stated about Pacific Rim 2. What’s the story of Ready Player One? Easter eggs, money, and yadda yadda yadda. What’s it really about? You can’t get people into the theatres. If you aren’t explaining. Hell. Walking people through all of this, and giving them a solid reason to see the movie.

    The premise, is dumb as rocks. VR, is just annoying and pointless. There’s more 90s nostalgia in the world, than 80s, but guess what? There’s more 2000s nostalgia, and there’s your problem. You are nostalgic for a decade, in the 80s, that’s about to turn 40. Hard for any kid today to get excited for a movie, that’s full of references they simply do not know.

    You also have people like us. Who know the book, know it’s crap, and don’t exactly want to sit through a movie based on a crap book. It’s just a poorly thought out plan by Warners, but this is why Warners are a crap studio. I don’t care about their money. They are run by ineffectual executives, on every level, and this is another example of their ineptness.

    Geoff, because Infinity War, Deadpool, Solo, then the battlegrounds of June. Tomb Raider, seems to be about getting the film out in China. Rampage, is about getting the film out in China, and making as much as you can make before Avengers. RPO? It’s a good Spring Break date, and they probably hoped it could catch on.

  3. EtGuild2 says:

    Can’t believe DEATH OF STALIN is going to be IFC’s #4 all-timer. Love it and am happy for it.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    This is anecdotal but when I took my 10-year-old to see A Wrinkle in Time he lost his mind for the Ready Player One trailer. Asked to see it asap. I’ll take him soon.

    What’s with Christian audiences? They flock to I Can Only Imagine and then ignore Paul, Apostle of Christ and God’s Not Dead 3. Is it Dennis Quaid?

  5. movieman says:

    Good question, SB.
    Maybe the Christian “rock” band whose song inspired the movie is the Deplorable answer to Kanye West. No idea really.

  6. EtGuild2 says:

    Seems like historical epics are played out, and sequels in the faith-medium pretty much never do well.

    Hoping next weekend finally brings some good news for originals; BLOCKERS is looking at about $15 million and A QUIET PLACE at $20 million+ opening which would be Paramount’s first original to hit that level in years.

  7. Geoff says:

    JS, ’80’s and ’90’s nostalgia is played out?? :) Not as far as I can tell when we’re seeing TV reboots of Roseanne and Will & Grace….not when IT and Jurassic World are HUGE hits…..or even Beauty & the Beast last year if we’re being accurate.

  8. brack says:

    JS – see Ready Player One FIRST before making the claim that it’s just 80s nostalgia. It’s 70s-2010s at the very least. I’m sure I missed a lot of other references, but the movie isn’t about pop culture references.

    I agree that the marketing was confusing and some people probably thought movie was just going to be Family Guy Random Pop Culture References, the movie. It’s not, if you realize the references have everything with developing the story and many the characters. Maybe that’s not how it comes off.

    The movie is Willy Wonka meets Tron meets Elysium, not the hardest sell in the world, but not the easiest either, but I would have been a bit more specific with the plot. Some of the socioeconomic stuff was a bit brief and hard to understand exactly. The main villain was your typical corporate baddy, but overall a fun time at the movies.

  9. palmtree says:

    I agree 80s and 90s are still pretty strong (Thor 3, Jumanji 2, Stranger Things, San Junipero from Black Mirror, Kung Fury, the list goes on). And with the way it’s transforming into new genres like Vaporwave that era will never completely go away.

  10. Pete B says:

    Maybe Christian audiences are wondering why they have a glut of films right now when pickings are sparse most times of the year.

    Really, nobody thought it might not be the best idea to have I Can Only Imagine; Paul, Apostle of Christ; and God’s Not Dead 3 in theaters all at the same time?

  11. Triple Option says:

    If I were to guess or judge by a superficial quick examination, I’d say I Can Only Imagine would be a popcorn, light flick while Paul the Apostle would be the heavy, slow Merchant/Ivy type flick. Without seeing marketing for it, if someone told me that a movie about the Apostle Paul was being made I’d expect to see some Close Encounters spectacular light show on the road to Damascus, a shipwreck or two, him getting stoned, a demon cast out and him facing off against the Roman Empire. 3 Hour Epic! But the trailer I saw, he’s got that same sorta middle ages speak/animatronic cadence, an uneventful jail scene, the same color palate you see with other pieces set in that period. It’s like been there, done that.

  12. Hcat says:

    It’s possible that I can only imagine might have a modicum of thought and effort put into it. It might actually be an attempt to play on its audiences positive feelings rather than its grievances like the Gods not Dead films do. By appealing to for lack of a better phrase the better Angels of its audience it is gathering strong word of mouth. 100 mil is now a far outside chance for this one, complete surprise.

  13. KrazyEyes says:

    My 10-year-old begged me to take him opening weekend — which is a rarity. I had previously read and not liked the book so this wasn’t really on my radar until my kids started talking it up.

    I was surprised at how much of the 80s and other pop culture references he got and enjoyed — especially the whole Shining section which he was anticipating with a mixture of excitement and dread. He generally doesn’t like horror films (but he loves scary books) but somehow managed to know most of the particulars from the Kubrick film, such as the spooky twins, blood elevator, and Room 237.

    He loved it. I was fine with it and thought it was a huge improvement over the book. I think a $50 mil opening weekend is great. Anyone expecting more than that is either delusional or an idiot.

  14. EtGuild2 says:

    “It’s possible that I can only imagine might have a modicum of thought and effort put into it. ”

    Unfortunately, it’s really bad, but it at least has an interesting idea. Like WAR ROOM, this genre can stink as long as it has an interesting premise in theory.

    Watching it, I was reminded of THE IDENTICAL, a movie with a drab premise that was executed with such batshit pizazz and rat’s maze of nonsensical twists that one wondered whether the director hadn’t recently escaped from an asylum. Throw that movie and this one together and I would have had a good time.

  15. Ray Pride says:

    How many of these releases are still motored by advance group sales?

  16. movieman says:

    The Apostle Paul movie had substantive church group sales at a local Cinemark theater, but that wasn’t enough to withstand the tsunami of…”I Can Only Imagine.”
    Perhaps the Fundamentalist niche is even nich-ier than some would like to admit.
    In the same period that “Imagine” tore it up (relatively speaking), “Samson,” “God’s Not Dead 3″ and “Paul” all pretty much tanked.

  17. Hcat says:

    Happy 50th to 2001.

    I know the seventies are always heralded as the greatest film decade, but I actually prefer the sixties and 2001 and the other Kubricks make up a large part of why.

  18. Mike says:

    Does The Apartment count as the ’60s? That’s one of my all-time favorites.

  19. Hcat says:

    Yup, 1960 counts. Apartment, Spartacus etc.

    Wilder and Ford delivering their last masterpieces, Lean and Kubrick working with equal precision in different directions. Bond was better, Newman was better, musicals were better, westerns were better. I still love the seventies but something about the passing of the baton, the intersection of old and new, Sound of Music and Midnight Cowboy existing just a few years apart, gives the decade the edge over the others.

  20. EtGuild2 says:

    BLACK PANTHER both became the #4 domestic grosser and #10 worldwide grosser yesterday. Will climb one more spot on the domestic chart….I still think catching LAST JEDI worldwide is unlikely but it’ll be damn close.

    Meaningless but fun… Catching THE DARK KNIGHT as #2 adjusted for inflation superhero movies looks doable. And catching THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS for #5 superhero movie internationally will happen within a week or so.

  21. Hcat says:

    Panther also pulled half of its worldwide gross from domestic, second highest percentage for films that topped a billion behind Dark Knight. The rest of the Marvel Universe seems to have a more uniform split between domestic and international, was the domestic response just so robust or is there still some gas in the international tank?

  22. EtGuild2 says:

    I know that DP wants to have a conversation about the difference between BLACK PANTHER’s international performance and that race will (rightly) be heavily involved in terms of domestic outperforming international, but we need some qualifiers.

    Of the 30 other movies to hit $1B in first-run release, only 9 weren’t direct sequels/prequels. International always sees bigger performances from continuations. That’s why we got RESIDENT EVIL 4-6, PACIFIC RIM 2, etc. It’s just the way it is…sequels routinely drop-off here, while that isn’t the case overseas. Sequels tend to build or at least come close. MCU spinoffs have performed better over time, it should be noted, but not like the explosion BLACK PANTHER had overseas from DR. STRANGE or ANT-MAN in gross dollars. For PANTHER to perform like those did percentage split-wise, it would need to be the 3rd biggest movie of all-time offshore.

    So of those 9, three were singular spectaculars, the two James Camerons and AVENGERS 1. No one had seen anything like it. For the three cartoons in the mix, two struck in single markets with hurricane like force (ZOOTOPIA in China and FROZEN in Japan, where I believe it’s the national religion now) while the other, MINIONS, was a spin-off to the biggest animated franchise in history.

    ALICE IN WONDERLAND, I’ve long maintained, owes its level of success to AVATAR. It came out three months later, and was part of a desired new genre of 3D eye-poppers. The fact it sucked still allowed for the 60%+ drop-off from AVATAR to get to $1 billion.

    The other two are ROGUE ONE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. ROGUE’s domestic/international split is similar to BLACK PANTHER and it had the benefit of following the all-time #2 worldwide grosser.

    BEAUTY is less explainable to me, but Disney has slowly built a stable of live-action remakes that have become a weird tradition….JUNGLE BOOK got close to $1B and more and more followers hooked in as the remakes gained steam, maybe to a level (we’ll see) that surpasses Marvel.

    So BLACK PANTHER would have been an outlier in many ways if it had done better internationally. The synergy of Kendrick Lamar’s smash soundtrack album, for instance, isn’t something that translates overseas. Race is definitely a factor, but to me, we’re the outlier in the worldwide performance, not international. We are ZOOTOPIA/China and FROZEN/Japan.

  23. Stella's Boy says:

    I really did not care for Ready Player One. I think my 10-year-old would love it and might sit through it again so that I can take him, but I found it pretty damn dull. I felt like I was watching someone else play a video game for 140 minutes. Didn’t care about any of the characters. Real-world stakes aren’t convincing. I was bored through most of it.

  24. palmtree says:

    READY PLAYER ONE took all the air out of the novel, which in some cases improved upon the book, but consequently also took away the stakes and the social commentary and the darkness and the ennui. Fincher or Nolan would have been better suited to capture that aspect. Instead, we get a light romp, which at times is really fun, but which ultimately doesn’t do anything unexpected. The fact that the movie will live on as a way into geek culture for 10-year olds today is a fascinating prospect.

  25. brack says:

    A $5.2 m Monday and a $5.3m Tuesday gross bodes well for Ready Player One. I think it can coexist with A Quiet Place for a decent 2nd weekend. Doing well overseas. I know I had more fun with Ready Player One than Black Panther (which I liked, but this was just fun), and plan to see it again with MoviePass after seeing it last weekend at a Dolby Cinema, who even Spielberg stated is the best way to see the film.

    This film was riddled with flaws, but comparing a book to a film is a fool’s errand. I’ll ready the book eventually, as I can tell the movie glossed like how their socioeconomic society exactly worked, and I’m sure it was darker, but I’m not sure how cinematic those elements would have been given this is Spielberg, who did so much right by not blasting us with references, but allowing them to be the co-stars of the film.

  26. palmtree says:

    Comparing a book to its film isn’t a fool’s errand; often it can be fun to figure out why changes were made or which versions of different elements you prefer. Usually you like the version you got into first, but here I’ll easily acknowledge Spielberg does manage to improve this by getting rid of the tedium of all the explanations and making some references cooler. However, the later scenes where some more development would have been welcome, the movie kinda barrels through, missing out on a bigger emotional payoff.

    If it were darker, it could play more Blade Runner-esque and we’d be loving that version too. Pacing-wise 2049 was super slow, but it was always cinematic.

    As is, I’m a fan of READY PLAYER ONE, but I can also see how it’s abridged and shrunk down for the kids. Still I appreciate that it exists and can be a beacon for geeks of a certain age and the cool kids of today.

  27. brack says:

    You’re more open-minded than most book lovers I’ve encountered online. So many are “purists” that need to not watch their beloved books turned into movies imo.

    And you’re right, it depends on how well you can separate a given film with a book, respecting them as art forms and how much of an attachment you have to said source material. I personally will never read a book if I know a movie is coming out well within of a year from release. I tend to compare and contrast too much with both and can’t enjoy the movie I’m watching. If I see the movie then read a book, it’s usually not an issue. I don’t have the problem of assigning film actors from the screen into my imagination, but others may though. So yeah, my apologies for being too hasty and not explaining my stance well enough.

  28. Amblinman says:

    A Quiet Place is excellent. A wee tiny bit overhyped but I get it. Krasinski manages to jack it up to Aliens-level tension at points. That in and of itself is a huge win. There’s a couple of nits to pick but whatever. Movie has the goods.

  29. Stella's Boy says:

    I went to Ready Player One with someone who read the book (I have not), and he didn’t like the movie either and also said it’s vastly superior to the book. Among friends who’ve read it there is a wide array of opinions about it.

    Can’t wait to see A Quiet Place. Never imagined that John Krasinski would make a good horror film. But apparently he has. That he isn’t a fan of the genre and has seen few horror films seems to be a big plus.

  30. amblinman says:

    “Never imagined that John Krasinski would make a good horror film. But apparently he has. That he isn’t a fan of the genre and has seen few horror films seems to be a big plus.”

    He’s clearly a gifted story teller. It reminds me of why Spielberg is who he is (no, I”m not comparing Krasinski to Spielberg). Spielberg is a consummate storyteller. It’s why he’s been so successful in virtually every genre. Genre doesn’t matter to him, he just tells the shit out of a story.

  31. Hcat says:

    Quiet Place did 4.3 million on Thursday night, that must have made a lot of peoples afternoon, its a strong start that almost guarantees profitability.

    Is this the project that went to Netflix in foreign territories?

  32. Dr Wally Rises says:

    No HCat, it was Annihilation that went straight to Netflix overseas, much to Alex Garland’s apparent displeasure. March (Wrinkle, Tomb Raider, Pacific Rim 2) was a bust, however between Ready Player One, A Quiet Place and Rampage (which should do at least San Andreas numbers), and some Marvel movie at the end of the month, this should comfortably be the biggest April ever.

  33. Hcat says:

    I wouldn’t count on that Marvel one, the market is oversaturated, this train wasn’t going to run forever :)

  34. Bulldog says:

    You slayed me Hcat. :-)
    But seriously, even though I think there is no way that Infinity War crashes, but could it pull a Justice League, albeit not to that degree, and open under and end up less than Black Panther, the way Justice League did with Wonder Woman?

  35. Hcat says:

    I would not be surprised at all if it did spectacular business but not the megaspectacular Panther business. It would be a reach to declare that a negative trend especially if it outgrosses (and I think it will easily) Age of Ultron.

  36. Triple Option says:

    A Quiet Place looks badass. Way scary. I was surprised that it’s PG-13. I thought even if a film isn’t that bloody they’ll still bump it up to R if the scary tension level exceeds what would be suitable for kids?

  37. Bulldog68 says:

    Of course depending on how the year goes, do any of you that have seen A Quiet Place think it’s good enough for Oscar noms the way Get Out did? It’s quite the critical darling.

  38. brack says:

    No way Infinity War underperforms. It’s a five-quadrant movie. Yes, I know there’s no such thing, but if there ever was once, Infinity War will be it. Never underestimate Marvel until they start to actually blow it. They really haven’t, and based on all these beloved characters taking on nothing of the likes they’ve seen in the past, expect this to be ginormous. Record presales better than Black Panther. Black Panther stoked the fire. Could it be a disappointment? Of course, but highly unlikely given history and the evidence to the contrary.

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