Spielberg is back! Well, at least at the box office he is. The so-called “King of Entertainment” raked in a $53 million opening weekend in the worldwide markets with “Ready Player One,” on a reported $175 million budget. With $41 million of that gross stemming from the domestic box office, Spielberg seems to have returned to form as far as commercially with the fifth highest opening weekend of his career. Though the film may be lacking in the quality we “Spielbergians” desired to see, "Ready Player One" seems to have the positive buzz you would expect. With an A- Cinemascore and a 75% Rotten Tomatoes score, “Ready Player One” may have the legs and the word of mouth to carry itself to a prominent gross.
In Spielberg filmography this is expected in which his opening weekends are not the metric of his success. Most of Spielberg’s commercial films open less than satisfactory and gross over time with great word of mouth and critical response assisting the film’s gross. Opening on par with that of “A.I.” and “Catch Me if You Can” when adjusting for inflation, “Ready Player One” can either sputter out like that of “A.I” or continue to gross like “Catch Me if You Can.” It seems to have a genuine audience response but will have to wait and see if Spielberg can illustrate the return of the proverbial king of the box office.
“Ready Player One” was not the only movie to open over the weekend though, as Tyler Perry’s “Acrimony” found itself with a $17 million gross on a reported budget of $20 million. As one of the most successful indie filmmaker of all-time, Tyler Perry consistently exhibits his ability to speak to his audience and provide them with films that they love. Though critics, like myself, do not welcome his movies with high praise, we as film enthusiasts have to respect Perry’s ability to speak to the section of the audience that has followed his films for years now.
He’s part of an elite class in that of the world of Cinemascores in which Perry has never averaged less than an A- score from the audience. He’s part of an elite class that has never received less than an A- rating from the audience with that of George Lucas (Star Wars), David Yates (Harry Potter), Joss Whedon (Avengers), and James Cameron (Terminator) being alongside him. He may not be a filmmaker that is going to earn any critical praise or awards any time soon, but his audience is returning to his films and leaving satisfied, which begs the question is the commercial success or critical success more significant as a filmmaker?
That’s a question will have to answer some other time, as “Black Panther: found itself in third place at the top five at the box office. Dropping one spot at the top five-weekend box office rankings, “Black Panther” continues to make history by surpassing the $650 million domestic barrier, and is on track to become the third highest domestic grossing film of all-time.
Another film that continues to surprise like that of “Black Panther,” is that of “I Can Only Imagine” which only dropped by a mere 20% over the Easter weekend. Surpassing a $50 million gross on an A+ Cinemascore, “I Can Only Imagine” seems to be one of the most successful faith-based films since “God’s Not Dead.” With a satisfying critical response, “I Can Only Imagine” may have enough gas in the tank to continue trucking along and gross a bit more money.
“Pacific Rim: Uprising” dropped by more than 60% over the weekend and the domestic market continues to refute the franchise of robots and monsters. Now completely relying on the foreign markets with 79.7% of the gross coming from overseas, “Pacific Rim: Uprising” is still struggling to gain the same footing as the first film and the sequel isn’t necessarily a flop but hasn’t earned nearly enough to become a success either.
The top 10 box office worldwide is seeing a lot of shifts, but we’re all waiting to see the enormous impact that “Avengers: Infinity War” will have on the box office. This weekend though, we will see the worldwide releases of “Blockers,” “A Quiet Place,” and “Isle of Dogs.”
“A Quiet Place” has a lot of buzz backing it, and has become a highly anticipated film for myself that could rake in a substantial amount in its opening weekend. “Blockers” has gained some buzz as well an 89% Rotten Tomatoes score and seems to be on track to have a more than satisfying opening weekend. The low budget “Isle of Dogs” has been praised by critics, but will audiences love it as much as those hardcore film enthusiasts? We’ll have to wait and see as “Ready Player One” seems to have some stiff competition this weekend as it's time to see if Spielberg has indeed returned to his blockbuster ways.