That will easily be enough to top the Easter box office.
The film is painstakingly produced, with huge CG vistas, animated characters in the real world and real actors at play in digital landscapes.
As niche as these references and characters might sound to some people, there is no denying that pop culture has formed or shaped your imagination in one way or another.
Set in the year 2045, an orphaned 18-year-old named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) creates an aspirational avatar, Parzival, and ventures into the OASIS-an immersive virtual universe where everyone escapes reality.
Among the independent treasure hunters is Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenager living in a dystopian trailer park, who spends most of his time strapping on a headset and immersing himself in the OASIS. No seriously, that's his only special quality.
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It's a video game sort of plot, but it's a video game sort of movie. Rolling in the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, wielding crowd-pleasing weaponry, like Monty Python's holy hand grenade, and fighting alongside horror movie legend, Chucky, Parzival and friends take on IOI's respawning army of employees. Many, many more. Nothing is as insufferable as anything the book does, but that's down more to differences in media than actual quality.
"I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it".
The screenplay, co-written by Cline and Zak Penn (Last Action Hero, various superhero movies), pares down the lengthy and-then-THIS-happens narrative of the book. The action sequences these characters appear in zoom by as Spielberg zigs, zags and caroms through one challenge after another, passing or running into one familiar icon after another. Their treatment of Halliday extrapolates the cult of Steve Jobs into full-on religion - children weep at news of his death, and Wade even falls to his knees upon meeting his avatar. But all in all, Spielberg would do well to return to the real world. Given the reward would make the victor the richest and quite possibly the most powerful person in the world, everyone is bent on finding and winning the challenges, but none show themselves as committed to it from the very start as much as Art3mis, called the "Sixer Fixer" and the IOI, run by a former intern of Halliday, a relatively competent villain in Nolan Sorrento and his army of employees called "Sixers". The real world of Ready Player One, at least as we are shown, is a husk, an economic and environmental wasteland, and people would rather be in The Oasis than anywhere.
Ready Player One is also going day and date this weekend in 62 offshore markets including China, but with Japan and Germany coming later.
It helps a LOT if you've seen "The Shining". That's why we go to the movies anyway, right? It's just a fun setpiece. Still, word of mouth is sure to be what really drives interest in Ready Player One considering it's certified fresh with an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. The way the movie ends, however, changes the way the main theme of reconnecting with reality and valuing personal relationships over technology is relayed to Wade (and therefore the audience). If you own an HTC Vive, you can find the Ready Player One games in Viveport.
Not your spirit - that sense of adventure and sense of wonder from your movies of 20, 30 and 40 years ago is alive and well in the work of many filmmakers who were influenced by close encounters, Indiana Jones and velociraptors. The small absurdities are the bugs in the system, not features.
Find the list of arcades where you can experience Ready Player One in VR below.