Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One rode a wave of geek culture nostalgia to a $3.8M opening in the first Wednesday night previews.
Variety reports that figure was generated out of the 3,500 theaters showing Ready Player One on Wednesday nights. With that start, the film is now projected to take in $45 million over the four-day Easter holiday weekend, in 4,200 locations.
Ready Player One is also expected to be carried by positive word of mouth, as the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. We here at Comicbook.com gave Ready Player One 5 out of 5 stars in our official review, citing the charm and fun of the film's celebration of geek culture as the dominating factor in its appeal. That of course doesn't mean it's perfect - there are still some cluttered story issues and such - but that won't be enough of a deterrent to crowds of geek culture fans around the world, who have been lured by references and cameos to everything from classic animated films (The Iron Giant), live-action films (Back to the Future), comic books (DC and Marvel), anime (Gundam) and video games.
It's been awhile since Steven Spielberg has released a film that connects with youth culture so directly. His 2016 adaptation of The BFG came and went pretty quickly and with little fanfare; and some fans are still hanging, waiting for a follow-up to 2011's Tintin adaptation. However, Ready Player One is tapping into the culture in an at once very broad, sweeping, and deeper-dive fashion, and it's impressive to see that Spielberg is managing to connect so strongly with today's audiences.
Competition at the box office this week will be seriously heavy in the geek culture genre: behind Ready Player One are Pacific Rim: Uprising and Black Panther, which have held the top spots for one week and five weeks, respectively. There could also be some surprise upsets form two new films opening on smaller scales this week: Tyler Perry is releasing his new film Acrimony with Taraji P. Henson (Empire), and a Christian film, God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, could pull in strong faith-based crowds, even in a more limited release.
Ready Player One is now in theaters. Be sure to watch our official review, above.