'Ready Player One' Aims for Strong Easter Weekend

Ready Player One is almost certainly going to be the top movie this weekend, but will it earn enough to be a financial success. The Spielberg film is likely to take in a bit more than $50 million, but it's also saddled with a big production budget. It has to do better than that for an extended period of time to get into the black, and that's far from a done deal at this point.

Via The Hollywood Reporter.

Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One has kicked off its box-office run with $3.8 million in Wednesday night previews and has a shot at crossing a pleasing $50 million in its U.S. debut, according to early Thursday returns.

The big-budget film is opening everywhere on Thursday in order to get a jump on Easter weekend and is on course to earn $13 million-plus for the day.

Ready Player One will easily be Spielberg's biggest opening since the last Indiana Jones movie, which launched to $100.1 million in summer 2008. Warner Bros. continues to project a $45 million-$50 million domestic debut for Ready Player One; others think the sci-fi adventure could approach $54 million to $55 million, but caution that it is tough to make a definitive call at such an early stage (the big question is how frontloaded the audience will be).

Ready Player One — which marks Spielberg's return to popcorn fare — is a big gamble, considering it cost Warners and Village Roadshow an estimated $175 million to produce before marketing. It also launches in numerous major foreign markets timed to its U.S. bow, including China. On Wednesday, the pic took in $2.9 million in its first handful of markets, led by South Korea ($980,000) and France ($794,000). Its foreign total is $3.2 million, including Tuesday previews.

The movie, based on Ernest Cline's pop-culture-soaked novel about a teen's quest to win control over a virtual universe, will need to do sizable business over the course of its run to land in the black.

Get the rest of the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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