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Whisper Numbers: Ready Player One starts Easter $$$ hunt

Moviegoers will find plenty of Easter eggs at the weekend box office with the start of Ready Player One [RDYP1] based on the hit novel. Directed by Steven Spielberg [SSPIE], the PG-13 rated sci-fi film is filled with pop culture references, mostly from the 1980s. Tye Sheridan [TSHER] stars as a gamer fighting to save a beloved VR world called OASIS. Warner Bros.’ marketing campaign began with lackbuster trailers, but has since picked up after the film premiered to rave reviews at the SXSW festival. Positive buzz has been building and looks to broaden the audience beyond the geek crowd. Ready Player One took in $3.75 million during its Wednesday night preview as it officially opens Thursday to get a head start on the holiday weekend. Starting in 4234 theaters, Ready Player One could score $47 million over the 3-day weekend and approach $60 million through Sunday.

Taraji P. Henson [TPHEN] teams up with filmmaker Tyler Perry [TPERR] for the thriller Acrimony [SLMLF]. Liongate targets the same female, urban audience that flocked to Henson’s No Good Deed ($24.3 million opening in 2014), and Perry’s Temptation ($21.6 million debut in 2013). While those two were rated PG-13, Acrimony is rated R. Showing in 2006 theaters, Acrimony could tear up $14 million.

Pacific Rim: Uprising [PACR2] opened at 75% of the first Pacific Rim. A similar 57% drop-off in the second weekend would bring in $12 million.

Despite opening at less than half of Gnomeo & Juliet, Sherlock Gnomes [GNOM2] should benefit as the only family-friendly film over Easter weekend. The animated film could hold 60% for a sophomore take of $6.5 million.

Pure Flix targets Christians with the PG-rated God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness [GODN3]. While the first God’s Not Dead opened with $9.2 million in 2014, the sequel declined to $7.6 million in 2016. The audience attrition is likely to continue with A Light in Darkness only opening in 1688 theaters, just two-thirds of the previous installment. God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness may shine on $5.5 million.

That’s the whisper on the virtual trading floor.



Tag(s): RDYP1, SSPIE, TSHER, TPHEN, TPERR, SLMLF, PACR2, GNOM2, GODN3

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, March 29, 2018 @ 03:07 PM 970 views

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