Filmmaker Steven Spielberg has pushed the release date of his movie “Ready Player One” to March 30, 2018 so that it avoids a box-office clash with “Star Wars: Episode VIII” on December 25, 2017.
“Ready Player One” is the director’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s best-selling fantasy novel.
The shift happened after Disney announced it was moving the “Star Wars” sequel from May 2017 to December 15 of that year, the date where “Ready Player One” was situated.
The new date of “Ready Player One” coincides with Easter, and there are no major movies scheduled to open in April 2018, save for an animated film from Laika, giving the movie a wide berth.
It also comes between the conclusion of the Winter Olympics and the start of the World Cup, two events that can erode the movie-going audience. It is a sign of just how monumental a phenomenon “Star Wars” has become.
Spielberg’s name above the title virtually guarantees a film will find an audience, but “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was a box office success with few equals. The seventh film in the series is now the third highest grossing movie in history, behind only “Titanic” and “Avatar”.
“Ready Player One” unfolds in a virtual reality universe called the Oasis, a fake utopia that human beings come to prefer to the real world. Ben Mendelsohn and Olivia Cooke head the cast, and Zak Penn (‘The Avengers’) wrote the screenplay.