Ready Player One Nabs High Score

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Ready Player One

The movie’s all about the quest for an elusive, and extraordinarily important, video game Easter egg. It was released on Easter weekend. So maybe it’s only fitting that Ready Player One rolled to victory in the box office’s own Easter-egg hunt.

Steven Spielberg’s return to flat-out popcorn fare proved to be all sunny-side up this weekend. Released a day early, Ready Player One has already earned $53.2 million during its first four days of box-office life, and it scored an estimated $41.2 million of that during the traditional three-day weekend. That’s the highest North American gross for a Spielberg movie since the director last handed Harrison Ford a fedora and whip (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) in 2008.

And as healthy as the numbers are stateside, that’s nothing compared to how Ready Player One is performing overseas, where it’s already earned $128 million. Game over? Not by a longshot. Looks like the film could be coasting toward an extra life.

Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, another newcomer, finished a distant second to Ready Player One. It overcame some middling reviews to clear about $17.1 million. (We didn’t get an advance screening for Acrimony, but we’ll be posting our review late today or early tomorrow.)

Black Panther may not be No. 1 anymore, but it still continues to rake in the cash. The highest-grossing superhero movie in history made another $11.3 million, bringing its overall North American earnings mark to a staggering $650.7 million. That’s the fifth highest domestic gross in history, and puts Panther less than $2 million behind Jurassic World for fourth.

I Can Only Imagine continues to impress as well, albeit on a different scale. It’s still loitering around the box office’s top five, collecting around $10.8 million to finish fourth. Its overall haul now stands at $55.6 million—not Black Panther-like numbers, obviously, but given the film just cost $7 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo, not too shabby.

By the way, God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness, didn’t fare nearly so well. Maybe the Christian movie audience was just all movied out. The third Christian flick to roll wide in three weeks, God’s Not Dead 3 managed to bank just $2.6 million to finish 12th, way off the pace of its predecessors. (The original God’s Not Dead, released in 2014, earned $9.2 million in its first weekend en route to a $60.8 million overall gross.) The other Christian film in wide release, Paul, Apostle of Christ, finished 10th with $3.5 million.

Pacific Rim Uprising, last weekend’s champ, tumbled all the way down to fifth place. It pocketed $9.2 million—a lot for you and me, maybe, but not so much for gigantic nuclear-powered robots and their massive commensurate supporting staff. Why, that’s barely enough to pay for the paperwork alone.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Rhoda Cormier More than 1 year ago
I'm really interested in seeing "I Can Only Imagine." I love the song and always found it to be an inspirational and awesome testimony.:) Have to say, although "God's Not Dead" can be a good witnessing tool and is at least family friendly, I know speaking for myself I always found them to be more aimed at the Christian audience...I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, but if the Christian movie people want to reach a bigger audience then maybe should think about having it be more like "I Can Only Imagine." For example, I hear it does really good in not just showing faith department, but in acting, directing, and storytelling as well. I agree with the one of the commentators that sometimes the "God's Not Dead" feels a little like Christian's against the world vibe, which although in some aspects is biblical, can also go to the extreme where we think that we have to argue, pound, and basically make everyone dogmatically agree with us instead of just letting God do the work. God's the only one who can truly change someone- we just plant the seed and show them his love and truth- the rest is then up to Him....
Andrew Gilbertson More than 1 year ago
I wish that Paul: Apostle of Christ was doing stronger; I thought it was excellent.
PolishBear More than 1 year ago
"I Can Only Imagine" is clocking in at 70% "Fresh" at Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, 70% of movie reviewers think positively of the film. That's pretty respectable for a "faith-based" film. And 94% of the paying audience likes it.

Contrast that with only 15% "Fresh" for "God's Not Dead 3." And of paying audience members, which no doubt would be biased in favor of another film in that franchise, only 55% said they liked it. That alone is pretty telling.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That, or God's Not Dead is a truly terrible film series and people just realized that after watching a few actually good Christian movies like Apostle of Christ and I Can Only Imagine.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saving Christmas was an abysmal movie and Kirk Cameron has a raging ego, there's no denying either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Can Only Imagine is not a prosperity gospel movie.  It is about finding freedom and worth in Christ and understanding forgiveness.  In it, we see why Christian art should glorify God rather than trying to prove to other people that you've made it.
I can see why it's still popular and I think it gives a certain amount of freedom to all of us who were told not to be artists because we should be spending time doing more "Christian" things.  
I became a nurse instead of majoring in art or science because my mom told me it was the most Christian and responsible thing to do.  I don't regret the salary and that I'm helping people but I feel that I'm forcing myself to turn into a different person than who I was supposed to be.
This movie is important, both to people who have dreams and their parents.
It takes the Hollywood message of "follow your heart" and shows how to look at it from a Christian standpoint.
I am really glad they made it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We were namely talking about the Kendrick Brothers movies being prosperity gospel, not I Can Only Imagine. Glad to see that it's a somewhat decent, non-toxic Christian movie that's doing somewhat well and touching people in so many ways. It doesn't look like my cup of tea, but I'm glad to see that other people are getting stuff out of it. Maybe I'll check it out via Netflix or something in a bit.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is about a virtual world that includes characters from past TV shows, movies, games, books, etc... It is not a movie about glorifying past movies but rather about using those characters to make the world seem more realistic. The whole movie is based around of VR world with pop culture characters in it, if it didn't include them, the movie would have made no sense. Also, it's based on the 2011 book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, so to change the entire premise to remove all the pop culture characters would completely change the story. Just because it includes past characters doesn't mean all creative is gone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do you keep commenting on stuff to say you're not interested in the subject matter? Not hating, just curious.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Saw Ready Player One this past weekend and I thought it was a really, really good! The action was fantastic, the character arcs were well thought out, and the movie’s moral was pretty thoughtful too. All in all, a very great film.

I’ll definitely be seeing it again if and when I can afford it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good to see that Christians have finally realized that they want GOOD Christian movies instead of schlock like the God's Not Dead franchise. That, and it was a really bad idea for everyone to release their Christian movies around Easter, meaningful release date or not, you over saturated the market.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Christians" need to realize a lot of things
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Don't generalize"... "The rest of us..." You tell him not to generalize, and then turn around and generalize yourself! Speak for yourself, and not "the rest of us"!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uh, well, I'm a Christian, and I agree with Anonymous there. I'm tired of the God's Not Dead franchise. I don't like the way it makes me all defensive and wanting to "win" arguments about Christianity. It should be about sharing the Gospel, not "winning". I do admit though I haven't seen the second and third ones so maybe they changed their tune?

-Viper
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

To be honest, I think the only directors who should make Christian movies are the Kendrick brothers and the Erwin brothers. With a few exceptions, all other Christian movies are just plain bad.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I think the Kendrick brothers are pretty bad. Seriously, all their movies are just prosperity gospel 101. (Go back and watch them.)