8:05am PT by Pamela McClintock
Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' Tracking for Sluggish $35M-Plus U.S. Debut
Steven Spielberg's sci-fi action adventure Ready Player One is tracking for a sluggish $35 million-plus debut at the North American box office over the three-day Easter weekend.
Ready Player One is getting a jump start on the weekend by rolling out on March 28, a Thursday.
Warner Bros. and Spielberg, who are hoping for at least $50 million, still have three weeks left to make their final marketing push. (Warners is particularly encouraged by strong interest among males.)
The film will have a major presence at SXSW — a screening is rumored, although nothing is official — and will get heavy placement on March Madness basketball games.
The studio partnered with Village Roadshow and Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment on the 1980s-themed movie.
Ready Player One, a future-set adaptation of Ernest Cline's cult novel, follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teen on a treasure hunt to become master of OASIS following the death of its creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance). But an evil corporation led by Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) is on the trail as well.