Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film Ready Player One is off to strong start overseas, particularly in China where the movie has been screening in theaters since Thursday.
Ready Player One, which stars X-Men: Apocalypse star Tye Sheridan in the lead role, has earned $14.6 million in China alone, Variety reported. Outside of China, the fantasy film has grossed $13.7 million. Its top markets include United Kingdom, Russia, and Mexico. In the domestic box office, Ready Player One is set to top $53.3 million during its four-day opening, according to Deadline.
Expectations are running high for the film, which is based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling young adult novel. The overall production cost for the film was around $175 million and upwards of $100 million to market and distribute.
Ready Player One takes place in a dystopian future where people escape reality by going into an elaborate world of virtual reality called the OASIS. Its creator, James Halliday, portrayed by Mark Rylance, reveals that there’s an Easter egg hidden in this virtual realm, and whoever finds it will inherit a great fortune. Sheridan plays Wade Watts, a young player trying to find the Easter egg before evil competitor Nolan Sorrento, played by Ben Mendelsohn, gets his hands on it.
Reviews for the film have been glowing, with Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a “certified fresh” rating. PostTrak’s survey indicates that the film was given a 4.5 out of 5 score and an 83 percent overall positive rating.
One of the many charms of Ready Player One is its ode to 80’s nostalgia. The film is filled with 80’s cultural references, including a giant King Kong that leaps from the Empire State Building inside OASIS.
Although Spielberg previously said that he didn’t want any references to his other films in Ready Player One, some bits and pieces managed to make their way in. For instance, James’ bedroom is decorated with an Indiana Jones movie poster from 1981. In one race scene, a giant T-rex can also be seen, an implied reference to Jurassic Park.
Ready Player One also stars Olivia Cooke, T.J. Miller, and Simon Pegg.