Box Office: READY PLAYER ONE opens with strong $53M on Easter weekend!

The extra day of release before Good Friday was enough to put READY PLAYER ONE both firmly in the top spot at the box office over the Easter weekend and overcome estimates that had it pegged at about a $50-million opening. Current estimates for the weekend currently have Steven Spielberg‘s latest coming up with $41.2 million but its cumulative box office looks to be over $53 million. Overseas, the VR-inspired blockbuster, based on Ernest Cline‘s popular novel, looks to have brought in some $128 million, suggesting that even when the domestic audiences start tapering off for READY PLAYER ONE, the foreign audiences could make the Warner Bros. adventure a massive hit, depending on the yet-to-be-disclosed budget for Spielberg’s latest.

READY PLAYER ONE certainly wasn’t feeling much heat from the other big releases. ACRIMONY, the latest outlandish melodrama from Tyler Perry, brought in some $17.1 million over the weekend to arrive in second place. BLACK PANTHER continued a very slow decline by landing in third with $11.2 million, pushing the Marvel leviathan past the $650 million mark domestically. By this time next week, Ryan Coogler‘s groundbreaker will have usurped JURASSIC WORLD as the fourth highest grossing movie in American history and it’s entirely possible that TITANIC will fall to BLACK PANTHER as well by the end of April.

Do not expect such spectacular heights for PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, which was in first place a week ago and now sits at fifth with a paltry $9.2 million, marking over a 67% drop in its second frame. Much like READY PLAYER ONE, the sequel will likely be saved from financial ruin by high turnout in China, Russia, and South Korea, but right now, it’s losing to I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, which landed in fourth place with $10.7 million and cost $7 million to make. By the end of today, the Christian film will have some $10 million up on PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING, which cost some $150 million to produce. Next week will bring two more promising and moderately budgeted genre films that could potentially do some business – BLOCKERS and A QUIET PLACE – but it’s not quite clear yet if their marketing has really hooked audiences. If not, READY PLAYER ONE might be able to hold onto the lead for one more weekend before Dwayne Johnson arrives with RAMPAGE on April 13th and wrecks the place.

Here’s your top five at the box office for Easter weekend:

1. ‘Ready Player One’ $53.21M
2. ’Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’ $17.1M
3. ‘Black Panther’ $11.26M
4. ‘I Can Only Imagine’ $10.75M
5. ‘Pacific Rim Uprising’ $9.2M

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