Steven Spielberg is back with another blockbuster movie. Ready Player One hits theaters around the nation tonight (approximately 4,200 theaters to be exact) and the film expects to take the top spot at the box fice. Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow dropped an estimated $175 million to produce the movie before marketing costs were factored in, so as you can imagine the studios are pushing to make this a commercial success.
Wednesday night previews the film in 3,500 North American theaters brought in $3.8 million. For the studio to even contemplate breaking even in the long run, Ready Player One must break the $45 million-$50 million mark over the holiday weekend. The film is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel, and is set in a dystopian Columbus, Ohio, 27 years into the future. Society is hooked into a virtual reality world called Oasis to escape reality. Tye Sheridan stars as Wade Watts, a player who attempts to gain full control the Oasis.
The second weekend Pacific Rim Uprising and the seventh weekend Black Panther will be fighting for second place in the box fice, unless either film experiences a miracle bump in sales that pushes Spielberg’s blockbuster out its project first place.