3/26/2018 by Pamela McClintock
The month’s last hope at the U.S. box office is Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One,’ which opens Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend.
With less than a week to go, Hollywood’s major March releases have failed to bloom at the North American box office, triggering the worst year-over-year decline for the month in recent memory.
March revenue through Sunday was an estimated $722.5 million, a 28 percent decline from the same time period last year ($997.3 million), according to comScore.
The last hope for redemption is Steven Spielberg’s pricey Ready Player One, which Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment open in theaters Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend.
….While this year’s crop of March titles are still in the heart of their runs, they won’t match those [previous year’s March] numbers, considering not one title has come close to hitting $100 million.
And without carryover revenue from February’s Black Panther — as in $200 million-plus — the situation would be even worse.
March offerings that have disappointed in 2018 include Legendary and Universal’s Pacific Rim Uprising, which debuted over the weekend to $28 million in North America against a $155 million budget. The weekend before, Warner Bros. and MGM’s Tomb Raider opened to an even worse $23 million domestically. Both films are doing far better overseas, but that doesn’t erase the blemish of a lackluster domestic run.
Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, which opened March 9, also has underwhelmed in a major way. The Ava DuVernay-directed family film has earned $73.9 million to date domestically, and could have trouble getting to $100 million.
…The March slump has resulted in 2018 box-office revenue running behind that of last year by 2.7 percent, according to comScore.