Box Office Predictions: March 30-April 1

Three new films try to fill their box office Easter baskets with dollars this weekend as Steven Spielberg’s futuristic sci-fi adventure Ready Player One, Tyler Perry’s thriller Acrimony with Taraji P. Henson, and faith-based threequel God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness all open. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

Ready Player should have no trouble being number one out of the gate. The big budget and well-reviewed pic opens wide on Thursday (a bit odd for a roll out), meaning it will have Wednesday night previews as well. I’ve got it slated for a mid 30s debut over the traditional Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend with a $50 million haul when factoring in the extra day. I will note that my projection has steadily risen since last week and we’ll see if I revise it up again before Wednesday evening.

The battle for #2 could be more interesting. Similar genre themed entries as Acrimony have grossed anywhere between low teens and mid 20s. I’ve got Acrimony on the lower end of that spectrum and that should still give it the runner-up spot in my view.

That’s because I’m anticipating a hefty sophomore weekend drop for Pacific Rim Uprising, the current #1. Its 2013 predecessor suffered a 57% dip in its second frame and I expect this to follow suit.

Percentage drop-offs should be much smaller for both Black Panther and I Can Only Imagine. I’m anticipating a photo finish between numbers 3-5.

My $5.1 million estimate for God’s Not Dead leaves it well outside the top 5.

And with that, here’s my top five Easter predictions:

1. Ready Player One

Predicted Gross: $36.7 million (Friday to Sunday), $50.8 million (Thursday to Sunday)

2. Acrimony

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

3. Pacific Rim Uprising

Predicted Gross: $11.7 million

4. Black Panther 

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million

5. I Can Only Imagine

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

Box Office Results (March 23-25)

Pacific Rim Uprising nabbed the top spot over the weekend with $28.1 million, above my $23.4 million prediction. While my estimate was low, its debut was quite a bit less than the $37 million achieved by its 2013 Guillermo del Toro directed predecessor. Look for it to see a big dip this weekend.

After five weeks perched at #1, Black Panther finally fell to second with $17 million (I said $17.9 million). Marvel is surely celebrating, however, as Panther is now the highest grossing Marvel Cinematic Universe film of all time with a total of $631 million – surpassing the $623 million made by 2012’s The Avengers. 

I Could Only Imagine continued its highly impressive run in third place with $13.6 million (I was close at $13 million) to bring its two-week tally to $38 million. I look for it to experience a small decline over the Easter holiday.

Animated sequel Sherlock Gnomes had trouble detecting a solid family audience, opening in 4th place with a weak $10.6 million compared my $13.7 million projection. The seven-year gap between its predecessor Gnomeo and Juliet and this probably didn’t help.

Tomb Raider rounded out the top five in its disappointing run with $10.1 million (I was a touch higher at $11.2 million) for a ten-day tally of just $41 million.

Biblical drama Paul, Apostle of Christ failed to reach its intended audience in an 8th place opening at $5.1 million, on pace with my $5.5 million prediction.

YA romance Midnight Sun had a lackluster start with $4.1 million in 10th place, on target with my $4 million take.

Finally, the Steven Soderbergh iPhone shot thriller Unsane debuted in 11th place with $3.7 million, in line with my $3.9 million estimate.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

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