2012 Summer Movie Pool

9/5/12

Final Top 10:

          

FINALLY Box Office Mojo posted the actual #s for Friday, August 31st, and we have our final results (and recap) for the summer. Yes, we've known for a month that Sponge is our 2012 Summer Movie Pool champion. Most impressive is that in just his 6th summer playing he became the third person ever to go a perfect 10-for-10. And unlike 2008, Sponge had this year's perfection all to himself. The difference in his selections and yours? Faith in Ted, Amazing Spider-Man AND Madagascar 3. His prize? $300 for 1st Place Big congrats!

Another year and another 2nd Place tiebreaker, as 11 players had nine correct selections. However, four players (including yours truly) were instantly eliminated from the race as soon as it was announced in May that G.I. Joe 2 was pushed out of the summer and into next spring. WTF?! That decision forced Joe into very last place at #60. So once the Deviation Score method was applied, Curt barelyyyyyy edged out Justin for 2nd Place by just 1 point (15 vs. 16). This is actually Curt's 2nd runner-up performance in the past three years. Justin may have also been wise enough to pick Ted, but he inexplicably ignored Madagascar, which Curt did not do. In fact, all 10 of Curt's selections earned either a 1 or 2-pt score. Damnnn. Justin did have three scores of 0... but he also had a 5-pointer in there to wreck his total. Their prizes? Curt wins $60 for 2nd Place and Justin wins $30 for 3rd Place.

Here are the 11 players that tied with 9 correct selections, as listed by their Deviation Scores (and quick analysis):

Curt - 15 (5 1's and 5 2's. Great job!)
Justin - 16 (3 perfect picks, but 5 pts from Prometheus hurt)
Catie - 18 (7 different 1-pointers, but 7 pts from Battleship sunk her chances. A real shame, as that's twice now she's barely lost the tiebreaker for 2nd.)
Chapman - 20 (6 1-pointers, but was a bit high on Ice Age and Prometheus)
David - 26 (2 perfect picks and 2 1-pointers. But ouch... 9 on Battleshit.)
Todd - 21 (3 straight perfect picks to start... but a 15-pointer on What To Expect When You're Expecting to end. Hahaha! I'm actually laughing as I type this.)
Boyd - 34 (2 straight perfect picks... then the numbers get bigger... and then a 14-pointer on Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Still, nice job in your first year.)
Steve - 65 (goddamn G.I. Joe! That 51-pointer wrecked 2 perfect scores and 3 1's.)
Mario - 69 (3 straight perfect picks... and a 52-pointer)
George - 70 (1 perfect pick, 3 1-pointers, a few crooked numbers, and a 50-pointer)
Haydee - 71 (4 1-pointers, a few more crooked numbers, and a 51-pointer)

And let's not forget this summer's Bonehead Award. It wasn't much of a competition this year, as Gretchen ran away with the prize thanks to just $7 million for Seeking a Friend For the End of the World. I once read an article about the coorelation between films with long titles and their lack of monetary success. Typically, the highly successful films have very short and direct titles. 'The -blank-'. 'The -blank- of the -blank-'. Or often, just '-blank-'. Even when looking at the Top 100 grossing films of all time I don't see many aberrations other than the Harry Potters and other franchise films with segmented titles. Interesting. Still, congrats on your $10!

To recap, this year's payouts are as follows:

1st Place - $300.00 - Sponge (Andrew Franklin)
2nd Place - $60.00 - Curt Perone
3rd Place - $30.00 - Justin Klein
Bonehead Award - $10.00 - Gretchen Hinton


Some observations from this summer:

1) Comic book superheroes are again king. $618M for Avengers. $426M for The Dark Knight Rises. $258M for The Amazing Spider-Man. Those were our top three movies. And thankfully the studios stopped at just three releases (perhaps still one too many imho).
2) Animated films still sell. $230M for Brave. $214M for Madagascar 3. $154M for Ice Age 4. No surprise that the higher the Rotten Tomatoes score, the better the film performed.
3) Say what you will about Seth MacFarlane, but with already two hit animated shows on Fox he now gets to write his own check in Hollywood after the truly surprising success of Ted. I've always been a fan of his quick-edit animation and pop culture references. Apparently a lot of Americans agree with me. Of course, we could be singing a different tune had Ted remained in its original post-Dark Knight weekend slot... and sharing the weekend with another comedy in The Watch.
4) Will Smith's star is fading. MIB3 was actually a good movie. Really fun to watch and a nice story. But it was also tired (evidenced by Tommy Lee Jones sleepwalking through the film). And after a four-year hiatus I expected a bit more than $178M from a Memorial Day release. Things don't look much better for Willy, as next summer he stars in M. Night Shyamalan's latest. Umm, good luck with that.
5) It might not have made Top 10, but it was damn close. The ladies (and Kurt) got their eye candy this summer in the form of Magic Mike, which astonishingly surpassed $100M and finished in 11th Place (just $13M out of 10th).
6) Adam Sandler badly needs the calendar to turn to July 2013, as right now he is pretty much dead to moviegoers. In fact, That's My Boy doesn't deserve any more of my words. Moving on...
7) Universal gets what it deserves with only $90M for The Bourne Legacy. Trying to trick us by slapping the word 'Bourne' on the title? Bunch of jerks.
8) What an awful final month for movies. The summer started off with a lot of promise thanks to the 3rd highest-grossing movie of all time (Avengers actually would have finished #2 if not for the April re-release of Titanic that padded its lead). I don't know if it was the shadow that Dark Knight Rises created, or the tragic shooting in Colorado, or just the quality of the August films themselves, but that had to have been the most uneventful final month we've ever experienced. Hopefully August 2013 will be better with Red 2, the sequel to 300 and the Robocop remake.
9) Paramount sucks with their poor handling of G.I. Joe!!!! I will stand by my earlier comment that had Joe stayed in that June 29th release date, it would have been a definite lock for Top 10. I mean, you'd have the sequel to a movie that (as corny as it was) made $150M. Subtract a hack director and then add The Rock in his only movie of the summer + Bruce Willis + Channing Tatum and you have GOLD!! Plus there was zero competition from the previous two weekends' releases. Ugh.

Lastly, my favorite movies of the summer, in terms of 'most enjoyable' experiences (not necessarily the 'best' films). I only saw seven movies this summer (mostly due to AMC yanking their "Monday through Thursday $5 any show-any time" deal), so the Abraham Lincoln biography doesn't make the list :(

1) Prometheus (the IMAX 3D was really fantastic... despite the numerous plotholes)
2) The Avengers (the poorest use of 3D)
3) The Dark Knight Rises (I still blame the theatrical presentation for it being this low)
4) The Amazing Spider-Man
5) MIB3 (like I said, it was a nice story)

I hope everyone had a good time with the pool this year, even if the winner was pretty much known for the last month. Glad to so many players return, all the newcomers from Chapman's work join up, and especially happy to once again see a brand new winner. Hope to see all of you in 2013, as it will be another summer packed with blockbusters (I count at least 15 legit hits already, including sequels like Iron Man 3, Star Trek 2, Fast and Furious 6, Hangover 3, Superman 2, Monsters, Inc. 2 and Wolverine 2). More tiebreakers! I'll have the Photo Gallery and Hall of Boneheads updated soon with this year's entries. See you all next summer!!

I'll end this year with an example of how NOT to make your picks. Justin wanted to share with everyone his own personal misery, with evidence of how he outsmarted himself back in May... costing him another perfect 10-for-10. Tip to all: go with your gut!

8/26/12

Current Top 10:

          

Back from Atlanta... and I am just exhausted. But thankfully it was more like a 5hr drive each way. As always, it was great to hang with movie pool vets Chapman and Kurt over the weekend (sad to say that Todd couldn't swing it this year). But a bonus! We got to hang with Gretchen for dinner one night. And what a perfect time to give her the $10 prize for the Bonehead Award! It was well deserved.

So other than some major movement by a couple bottom-tier films, nothing changed that would have dramatically altered our rankings. We already know that Sponge will be our winner. However, with only five full days remaining (August 31st is this Friday), I don't want to spend any time guessing the 2nd and 3rd place winners just yet. I'll need to wait until Friday actuals are in first... and then I'll post our final recap of 2012. Stay tuned!

8/24/12

   
 

The final weekend of the 2012 Summer Movie Pool... and Chapman, Kurt and I will be celebrating it in style! Well, maybe not so much style, as it could get pretty ugly (Todd can attest to that). We'll be in Atlanta this weekend if any of you are able to make the trip. And I promise that no pictures will be posted.

Not much to say, as this is always a horrible time of the year for good flicks. No time for posting new movie posters, as I have a 6 hour drive ahead of me. Will do that when I return.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Expendables 2 - 14M (53.2M)
2) The Bourne Legacy - 9.3M (85.7M)
3) Premium Rush - 9M (9M)
4) ParaNorman - 8.5M (28.3M)
5) The Campaign - 8M (65.3M)
6) The Dark Knight Rises - 7.3M (422.3M)
7) The Odd Life of Timothy Green - 7.2M (27.4M)
8) Hit and Run - 7M (10M)
9) Hope Springs - 6.5M (45.6M)
10) 2016: Obama's America - 5.8M (8.7M)
11) Sparkle - 5.3M (20.1M)
12) The Apparition - 2.5M (2.5M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Hit and Run = 45% (57% by the Top Critics)
Premium Rush = 72% (78% by the Top Critics)
2016: Obama's America = N/A% (N/A% by the Top Critics)
The Apparition = 0% (0% by the Top Critics) Zilch!

Theater count:
Hit and Run = 2,870
Premium Rush = 2,255
2016: Obama's America = 1,090
The Apparition = 810

8/20/12

Current Top 10:

          

Another bump for Ted, as it just crawled past Madagascar 3 into the #5 spot for the summer. $213 million. That's just insane. We will likely see one more change next weekend and that should be it. This past weekend clarified for us that Bourne will NOT be a Top 10 film. It should, however, finish at #12 like I expected... playing out perfectly for Justin and Curt. Chapman seems to think that he still has a shot at 2nd Place. Too bad for him that they pulled the plug completely on Dark Shadows this past week. Wa wahhhhhhhh! And lastly, we finally got confirmation on our Bonehead winner. Congrats, Gretchen! :)

Next weekend: Nothing special at all for our final weekend of the pool, as three end-of-summer fillers were avoided completely by everyone. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

8/18/12

   
 

Another throwaway weekend, and I suppose the only drama left is whether Bourne finishes high enough to help Justin or Curt to take 2nd Place (it's tracking worse than expected), and if Sparkle flames out badly enough for Kristen to steal the Bonehead Award from Gretchen. Manwhile, a bomb threat was called in today to Carmike Cinemas' corporate office in Georgia that was meant to impact its theaters that were playing The Expendables 2, and the FBI is already involved. Just ridiculous. Another reason for people to be afraid of going to the theater.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Expendables 2 - 40M (40M)
2) The Odd Life of Timothy Green - 15.5M (22.5M)
3) The Bourne Legacy - 15M (67.5M)
4) Sparkle - 13.5M (13.5M)
5) ParaNorman - 13M (13M)
6) The Campaign - 12M (50.2M)
7) The Dark Knight Rises - 10.5M (409.5M)
8) Hope Springs - 9.5M (35.5M)
9) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - 4.2M (39.3M)
10) Ice Age: Continental Drift - 3.7M (151M)
11) Total Recall - 3.3M (51.5M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Odd Life of Timothy Green = 41% (40% by the Top Critics)
The Expendables 2 = 64% (67% by the Top Critics)
ParaNorman = 86% (81% by the Top Critics)
Sparkle = 55% (60% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Odd Life of Timothy Green = 2,598
The Expendables 2 = 3,316
ParaNorman = 3,429
Sparkle = 2,244

8/12/12

Current Top 10:

          

No changes to the current Top 10, and not sure if Bourne Legacy will actually be a threat to #10. Original projections were in the mid-30's, but by Friday evening Deadline was thinking as high as upper-40's based on the afternoon and early evening turnout. As the weekend progressed it slid back down to the low-40's... and ended with an even $40M. That puts it in a posiiton needing to be monitored throughout the rest of August, as it now needs to more than triple it's opening weekend take in just 3 weeks. This upcoming weekend's major release won't help matters, however.

Next weekend: Not that it has a chance at the Top 10 as a mid-August release, but The Expendables 2 (which no one picked) should put a quick end to any hopes for Bourne. Dark Knight Rises... Total Recall... Bourne Legacy... and now Expendables 2. All four films being released withing a five-week span, and all fighting for the same demographic. The original earned a surprising $34M back in August 2010, and the early projection by Boxoffice.com for the sequel is at $40M. I see a greater than 50% drop for Bourne in weekend #2. We also have our last selected movie of the summer, as three players believe that two weeks is all that's necessary for the final film in Whitney Houston's career: Sparkle. Of course, for it to actually make the cut it will need to pull in a minimum of $65M. Good luck with that!

8/10/12

  
 

We're down to the last real chance for a movie to sneak into the Top 10, but Bourne Legacy isn't doing itself (or the 11 of you who picked it) any favors with mediocre reviews and lower-than-anticipated projections. $30s and $40s just won't cut it, as it only has 3 weekends to make $126M. If it doesn't pull in $55M+ this thing is officially over. Hope Springs got an early start on Wednesday, but the one person who picked it shouldn't get too excited as it only pulled in $2M that day. And no one wanted to touch The Campaign either. Unfortunately for all three openers, the final weekend of a pretty enjoyable Olympics will definitely put a dent in their earnings.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Bourne Legacy - 34M (34M)
2) The Campaign - 26M (26M)
3) The Dark Knight Rises - 20M (391M)
4) Hope Springs - 14M (19M)
5) Total Recall - 11.5M (48M)
6) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - 7.5M (29.8M)
7) Ice Age: Continental Drift - 5.3M (142.5M)
8) Ted - 3.7M (210.4M)
9) The Watch - 3.2M (32.5M)
10) Step Up Revolution - 3.1M (30.5M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Hope Springs = 79% (77% by the Top Critics)
The Bourne Legacy = 60% (62% by the Top Critics)
The Campaign = 66% (60% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Hope Springs = 2,361
The Bourne Legacy = 3,746
The Campaign = 3,205

8/5/12

Current Top 10:

          

Another weekend of poor performances, and Sponge's grip on First Place grows tighter. This was the weekend where we would have expected one final threat to the standings, but instead we get just a whimper as the Total Recall remake could only muster up $26M, while the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid had the worst opening of the trilogy at just $14M. Looks like the wrong movie stayed in that opening-August slot. The current Top Ten now appears to be a lock... unless of course you still believe we'll get a BIG surprise next weekend. Ice Age 4 finally crept up into 9th place, and we might see it finish in 8th. We also may get Ted climbing one more spot to 5th by summer's end. Regardless, I just don't see any chance that Sponge doesn't go a perfect 10-for-10.

Now if Sponge is looking like a lock as our First Place winner, that means we should start speculating as to who will be our 2nd and 3rd Place winners. And with 11 people (including yours truly) sitting on 9 correct picks, that means it's time for... the Deviation Method!!! First off, since we're looking at just 2nd and 3rd Places, I'm not even going to bother with any of the 11 who took that cursed G.I. Joe as they're all currently looking at a 42-point hit just for that one flick (sadly, that would again include yours truly along with three others). Move along. This leaves us with only the following: Chapman, Todd, Curt, Justin, David L., Catie and Boyd. Now for this very early breakdown we'll assume that The Bourne Legacy only makes $100M and finishes 12th (it just doesn't have alot of time to make the cut), and Wimpy Kid finishes with around $38M. Looking at the Standings that leaves us with the following preliminary Scores:

Justin - 15
Curt - 16
Catie - 18
Chapman - 21
Todd - 24 (What To Expect was brutal)
David - 26
Boyd - 32 (Diary totally killed your score)

Of course, if Bourne totally tanks then these scores are kaput.

Next weekend: This really is it, as Bourne offers that last real shot at breaking up perfection for Sponge. And for that to happen, with only three full weekends remaining plus an extra Friday, it'll need to score about $55M AND hold at 50% for the remaining weekends. Unfortunately, the very early numbers have it opening at just $35M, so Curt and Justin might want to rent a bus and force all of their friends to go see it. Twice.

8/3/12

 
 

Here comes the late summer crap! I don't think we have anything to worry about this weekend, as both movies (Total Recall - taken by 5 people, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - taken by 3) are each expected to do under $30M. And you can be certain that's due to very poor reviews. But I don't care... I still want to see Recall! Now just imagine if it were Recall that bailed out of this weekend and left Bourne all by itself. We'd still have some drama as to whether Sponge could go perfect this year or not. Instead we just get to watch Ted surpass $200M. Ugh.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Dark Knight Rises - 37.5M (355.5M)
2) Total Recall - 23M (23M)
3) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - 21M (21M)
4) Ice Age: Continental Drift - 8.8M (132.5M)
5) The Watch - 6M (25M)
6) Step Up Revolution - 5.5M (23.3M)
7) Ted - 5.3M (203.2M)
8) The Amazing Spider-Man - 4.3M (250.6M)
9) Brave - 3M (223.3M)
10) Magic Mike - 1.6M (111.1M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Total Recall = 28% (17% by the Top Critics)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days = 39% (36% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Total Recall = 3,601
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days = 3,392

7/30/12

Current Top 10:

          

After three months of major frustration (pushbacks of G.I. Joe and Bourne) and shock ($200M+ for Ted?!), we're finally heading into the big question mark that is called August. In nearly every summer there is an August movie that makes the cut, and typically it's been a movie that was released in the first weekend. Any weekend after that and you're taking a serious risk. This summer the Top 10 cutoff will be around $126M (Ice Age will leapfrog Prometheus by next Monday). So for any movie to make $126M+, the basic rule of 50% dictates that it would have to earn at least $50M just to make the necessary amount in a limited # of weeks. And even then it'll be very close. The only problem with this summer is that we not only have TDKR still raking in serious cash, but for three consecutive weekends in August there will be a major action film released... all fighting for the exact same demographic. And with the overall box office in a mini-slump (perhaps still due to the Colorado shooting), I personaly wouldn't want to have my hopes pinned on any upcoming film. Of course, I'm already eliminated so that is just frustration talking :) Seriously though, I'd be concerned.

Next weekend: Thanks to Universal's decision to bump back Bourne by one week (and effectively crushing the dreams of many of our participants), Total Recall gets to see what it can do against The Bat. I know five of you will be anxiously awaiting the results. I personally have been looking forward to this slicker version of the now-borderline unwatchable Arnold version. Be honest. It's only good for it's campiness. And an early Sharon Stone. Oh, and if you're Chapman, the three-boobed prostitute. And for families who don't like three-boobed prostitutes, there's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. The previous two installments opened in the low 20's, but those were both in March. Three of you will be hoping that the summer equates to more cashola. Good luck!

7/26/12

 
 

Another throwaway weekend, as no one picked either of the two new releases. And look how bad they're rated. Just 10% overall for The Watch? That's pretty sad when the 4th in a franchise of dance movies gets better reviews.

After the dust settles, expect TDKR to vault up to #2... Ice Age to finally climb into the Top 10... and Magic Mike to drop out for good. There shouldn't be any surprises this last weekend of July, but with TDKR now expected to continually underperform it'll be interesting to see if any of the three big action movies of August can sneak their way in.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Dark Knight Rises - 66M (290M)
2) The Watch - 21M (21M)
3) Step Up Revolution - 14M (14M)
4) Ice Age: Continental Drift - 13M (114.5M)
5) The Amazing Spider-Man - 6.8M (242.3M)
6) Ted - 6.5M (192.8M)
7) Brave - 4M (217M)
8) Magic Mike - 2.6M (107.6M)
9) Savages - 2.1M (44.2M)
10) Moonrise Kingdom - 1.4M (38.6M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Watch = 10% (17% by the Top Critics) - holy crap that's horrible!
Step Up Revolution = 28% (21% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Watch = 3,168
Step Up Revolution = 2,567

7/23/12

Current Top 10:

          

While The Dark Knight Rises still ended up with the #3 biggest-opening of all time (also the #1 2D picture ever), it truly suffered from what transpired in Aurora, Colorado. Projections were as high as the low-200's leading into Thursday night, but by Friday morning all of the excitement from anticipation of the trilogy's finale was replaced with concern, fear and mourning. Friday afternoon appeared to be business as usual for TDKR, especially after earning $30M from midnight showings, and Hollywood still believed that it could finish in the 180's. But it then suffered a 40% drop from Friday to Saturday (13th biggest drop all time) on its way to 'just' $160M. That instantly put it at #7 on our list, and it should jump all the way to #2 by next Sunday. We did have a bit of juggling inside the Top 10, and Dark Shadows finally bit the dust :)

Next weekend: Another weekend where everyone stayed away, as no one wanted to touch Ben Stiller's latest, The Watch. It'll be interesting to finally see how America reacts to the film that actually had to change its title (formerly Neighborhood Watch) due to the tragedy in Sanford, Florida earlier this year.

7/22/12

"Out of respect for the victims and their families", Warner Brothers will not report box office numbers from the weekend. There will be an update to the site Monday/Tuesday.

7/19/12


 

We very well may be looking at the mother of all box office openings this weekend, as the most recent projections for The Dark Knight Rises are showing $211-$214M... which would amazingly shatter The Avengers' record of $207.4M from just a couple months ago. Deadline.com is already reporting midnight numbers higher than Avengers' $18.7M. And to no surprise, Warner Brothers has it playing in the 2nd largest amount of theaters ever (4,408), as well as a record number of IMAX screens (332). As for the movie itself, with 180+ reviews already in the bank on Rotten Tomatoes, the ratings slipped a little bit from Monday, down to 87%/78%. For reference, The Dark Knight did 94%/91%.

So are those lesser ratings justified? Well, Jaime and I just happened to luck out and see the movie this afternoon, and while I will NOT agree with an overall negative review of the film as some RT critics have provided, I could see why a critic might want to drop it a notch or two. I refuse to reveal anything in the film... but I will say that a) It definitely feels long at 165 minutes, b) The pace is a bit slow, and c) If you're not watching/hearing it in an IMAX presentation, good luck deciphering Bane's words. Maybe it was just my showing, but there was a lot of missed dialogue. Still, the story is tense, the acting is really superb, and thank God we don't get any long drawn-out speeches in that terrible 'Christian Bale as Batman' voice. Oh, and Anne Hathaway looks stunning :) Perhaps my short review was influenced by a presentation that was not up to my usual standards (we were at AMC, but instead of it properly being shown in IMAX, it was in a smaller theater resulting in mediocre picture quality... and the audio actually dropped out completely at the very beginning of the film - fail!), but I give the film a 7.5/10 (it had been just a 7, but I've had several hours to let it sink in). It simply couldn't compare to the excitement I experienced when watching The Dark Knight. This, however, is still a must-see. Oh, and there's no bonus scene during or after the credits. I will definitely watch it again in the intended format.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Dark Knight Rises - 198M (198M)
2) Ice Age: Continental Drift - 23M (92M)
3) The Amazing Spider-Man - 16M (234.5M)
4) Ted - 12.5M (183.3M)
5) Brave - 6.2M (208.5M)
6) Magic Mike - 5M (102.8M)
7) Savages - 4.8M (41.7M)
8) Moonrise Kingdom - 2.8M (37.2M)
9) Madea's Witness Protection - 2.7M (60.8M)
10) Madagascar 3 - 1.9M (208.2M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Dark Knight Rises = 87% (78% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Dark Knight Rises = 4,404

7/16/12

Current Top 10:

          

Some cause for concern, as Ice Age 4 didn't perform nearly as well as projected. $46M isn't THAT bad... especially not for an animated film that should still be able to rake in all the kiddie money through the rest of the summer. But when you consider that it had the entire weekend to itself and still couldn't break 50M, yeah I know Sponge is sweating this one out. So where did all the money go this weekend? Well, Spidey 4 enjoyed a very nice 2nd weekend of $35M, thanks to an impressive 44% drop. That shot it past $200M total and up to #3 on our list. $15M combined went to the other animated films from earlier this summer. And of course another $22M went to Ted, which is now at #6. But the best guess is that it stayed in people's pockets to prepare for.....

Next weekend: Truly the weekend everyone's been waiting for. If it wasn't for that mind-boggling $207M opening weekend performance from Avengers, we'd be touting this upcoming weekend as potentially the biggest ever. Alas, with no 3D to boost its numbers The Dark Knight Rises will likely have to settle for the #2 opening all time with something around $190M. The early RT reviews are impressive (91%/86%)... but not everyone is on board. We did have one person here decide that three movies is one too many for the Dark Knight. Oops. I'm just hoping that the finale to Christopher Nolan's trilogy is able to meet the unreal expectations that were set by the (then) #2 movie of all time. I'm also hoping that Christian Bale takes a drink of water and clears his throat before speaking as Batman. Ugh. Speaking of Batman, did you hear who will be doing his voice in 2014's Lego: The Piece of Resistance? (Yes, that is a real CGI/live action movie.) The perfect gravelly choice... Will Arnett! (Chris Pratt will be doing Superman.)

7/12/12


 

The forecasts are starting to slip for Ice Age: Continental Drift, as we're now looking at low-50's as the consensus take this weekend (just recently people were thinking mid-60's). Even Fox is starting to lowball their own expectations with results in the high-30's. Ouch. That's pretty damn low, but then again so are the ratings thus far. Maybe everybody is just saving their pennies for the following weekend?

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) Ice Age: Continental Drift - 54m (54m)
2) The Amazing Spider-Man - 32m (198.5m)
3) Ted - 20.5m (157.8m)
4) Brave - 10.3m (195.3m)
5) Magic Mike - 8.5m (90.8m)
6) Savages - 7.8m (30.5m)
7) Madea's Witness Protection - 4.5m (54.5m)
8) Madagascar 3 - 4.2m (204.5m)
9) Moonrise Kingdom - 3.8m (32.5m)
10) Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D - 3.7m (18.5m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Ice Age: Continental Drift = 44% (44% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Ice Age: Continental Drift = 3,800

7/10/12

Current Top 10:

          

Update tiiiiiiiiime! Ok, for starters there are three new entries into the Top 10, as Battleship and Dictator (the only movies anyone took) are no more. Instead, we now have The Amazing Spider-Man at #6 after only six days with $140M! (Really no excuse for those of you who skipped it. That was as much of a gimme as you'll ever see.) We also have last week's surprises in Ted and Magic Mike, but only one of them will truly remain. The ladies can at least enjoy the poster on the list for another week or so. Ted pulled in another $32M over the holiday week, bringing its total already to $120M. Yeah, safe to say it's a definite lock. I'd also say that Dark Shadows has about one more week before it drops out completely. And that makes me very happy. If I can't win, I certainly don't want Chapman to win :)

So now I'm thinking how anyone else other than Sponge (Andrew to those who don't know him personally) can possibly win this thing. Going into the month of August he'll be 10-for-10. That is certain. I think it's also certain that Ice Age will pull in $150M+. And I won't even mention the potential for Dark Knight Rises. So IF we were to get any August surprises (Total Recall being the best bet), they'd at least have to do better than Prometheus, which should wind up as our #10 movie at around $130M. And if Prometheus doesn't make the list, we could have another crazy tiebreaker on our hands. August actually ends on a Friday this year, so there's even less time than normal for a late release to get it done.

Next weekend: Our final CG-animated film of the summer in a weekend all to itself. Ice Age: Continental Drift was taken by all but 4 people (a bit surprised to see Jaime pass on it), ranging all the way from #1 to #10 on people's lists. Historically, this franchise has been huge, as it's predecessors each scored $46M ($176M total), $68M ($195M) and $41M ($196M). Competing head-to-head with a two-week old Brave could be a concern, and this is the last chance for any movie to make a serious run before the following weekend unleashes hell on all other studios.

7/3/12

  
 

It's an early start for this holiday week, as The Amazing Spider-Man kicked off at midnight on Monday, and then goes full force on Tuesday. Most predictions I've seen are in the $120-150M range over the 6-day holiday. I suppose we should expect more from a Spider-Man film, but was a reboot really needed just five years after SM3? They should have just sequel-ized it and simply made it a continuation of the story with a new cast. I'd buy that. Did anyone really want to hear the word 'reboot' with an 'untold story'? Lame. But of course I'll still go see it (waiting on word if IMAX 3D is really worth it). Katy Perry: Part of Me follows on Thursday, and then Savages on Friday. So far, the early reviews look good for Oliver Stone's latest. (7/5 update - and just a couple days later they now suck.)

It's early, so I'll update the data below as it comes in.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) The Amazing Spider-Man - 60m (127m)
2) Ted - 30m (121m)
3) Brave - 20m (175m)
4) Magic Mike - 17m (77.5m)
5) Savages - 14m (14m)
6) Madea's Witness Protection - 9.5m (44m)
7) Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D - 9m (12.5m)
8) Madagascar 3 - 6.7m (195m)
9) Moonrise Kingdom - 3.7m (25.3m)
10) To Rome With Love - 3.5m (5.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Amazing Spider-Man = 72% (75% by the Top Critics)
Katy Perry: Part of Me = 77% (85% by the Top Critics - Seriously?)
Savages = 57% (65% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Amazing Spider-Man = 4,318
Katy Perry: Part of Me = 2,730
Savages = 2,627

Hope everyone has a kickass Fourth of July holiday! Stay safe.

7/2/12

Current Top 10:

          

I have no problem saying I was dead wrong in my projections for this past weeked. And you know why? So was every other expert out there! Wow, I don't know what got into America, but people absolutely flocked to see Ted ($54M) and Magic Mike ($39M). Both movies benefitted from $2M+ midnight showings on Thursday, and both earned $19M+ on Friday. However, while Ted was able to keep up the pace over the course of the weekend, Mike dropped an incredible 41.5% from Friday to Saturday (the 11th biggest 1-day drop in movie history)... and then another 26% from Saturday to Sunday. I guess Friday night was Ladies Night. Ohhh yeahhhhhhhhh. Ted had the 8th best opening for an R-rated movie ever, and Box Office Mojo calls it the #1 opening in the 'Slacker/Stoner' genre. Interesting.

So now the question is whether Ted can sustain that precious sub-50% drop from Week 1 to Week 2. You know who'll be sweating this out? Sponge, who is right now looking pretty good with a very strong chance at 10-for-10. Think about it. By next weekend Spider-Man 4 will likely jump into 6th Place... sliding Prometheus to 7th... and Ted should be able to leapfrog 3 films into 8th Place. And how many legit movies remain? I count two in Ice Age 4 and Dark Knight Rises. You think Total Recall or Bourne 4 have a chance? Well, they better open to $60M+ because time definitely isn't on their side.

It was a valiant effort by John and Jen with their selection of Mike, and going into Saturday morning it truly was a total toss-up as to what would be the #1 movie of the weekend. But apparently the rest of the weekend became a hangover after Friday night's festivities. In fact, there's a lil poll question out there for seeing Magic Mike. Don't be shy. The rest of us would like to know. And hey, Box Office Mojo has it as the #1 'Dance' genre opening of all time. Move over Save the Last Dance!

Next weekend: The weekend gets an early start as Spider-Man 4 opens on Wednesday, which just happens to be the Fourth of July! Will there be box office fireworks? Well, I can't possibly see it NOT making the cut... but domestic projections began slipping this past week, turning this sequel into another MIB3 situation where America's reaction became 'meh'. But then the news broke yesterday that Spider-Man grossed an estimated $50.2 million in 13 overseas markets in Asia this past weekend. And in some markets, it even eclipsed the opening of Avengers. Whoa. Could that be a sign for what to expect here? People love their Spidey! Well, most of us do, as 3 people decided that they don't like their superheroes in tights. Even my own dad gave it a pass. Seriously?! Dad, you may have been the smartest when it came to Terminator: Salvation, but that movie didn't have... The Lizard! The early reviews are in (78 thus far on Rotten Tomatoes), and the Top Critics have it at 86% freshhhhhh. Nice!! We also have Savages, which was taken solely by Clint. It's limited release (less than 3,000 theaters) will hurt the numbers, but I'm totally digging the ad campaign. It's a must-see for me.

6/29/12

    
 

Five... count 'em... FIVE movies go wide release this weekend (Moonrise Kingdom just went Wide after five weeks of Limited release). Yet we've only got two of them covered, as Magic Mike was taken by two people and Ted was taken by three. June has certainly been an interesting month with the iffy releases. And this whole weekend is up in the air as the box office projections for Ted, Mike and Madea from numerous sources are literally all over the place. But the big one to watch is Ted, as if it's a huge success it could mean a possible 10-for-10 for Sponge. Yes, that's right... he's hit all six major successes thus far, and still has the big three remaining. Watch out, Justin.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) Brave - 33m (131m)
2) Magic Mike - 29m (29m)
3) Ted - 26m (26m)
4) Madea's Witness Protection - 24m (24m)
5) Madagascar 3 - 11.5m (180.7m)
6) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - 6.5m (29.8m)
7) Prometheus - 5m (118.5m)
8) People Like Us - 4.5m (4.5m)
9) The Avengers - 4.3m (606.5m)
10) Moonrise Kingdom - 4.2m (17.7m)
11) Snow White and the Huntsman - 4.1m (145.6m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Ted = 66% (65% by the Top Critics)
Magic Mike = 82% (88% by the Top Critics - Whoa!)
Madea's Witness Protection = N/A - Interesting.
People Like Us = 61% (62% by the Top Critics)
Moonrise Kingdom = 94% (98% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Ted = 3,239
Magic Mike = 2,930
Madea's Witness Protection = 2,161
People Like Us = 2,055
Moonrise Kingdom = 854

6/27/12

Burnnnnnnnnn!

 

6/25/12

Current Top 10:

          

So before I go into the weekend recap, did everyone hear last Friday's news about the latest movie to get bumped this summer? Yeah, that's right. Universal got a lil nervous and decided to distance Bourne Legacy from both Dark Knight Rises and Total Recall, sliding it back one weekend. Now while that may be good for Universal's bottom line, it was a disastrous move for the 11 players who took it, as it now only has three weekends to make the cut. All of a sudden the hopes for the five people who took Recall just got a lil better! And now it's me that can do the pointing and laughing.

No real surprises as Brave did exactly what all previous Pixar movies had done when released... become the #1 movie of the weekend. That $66M opening assured it of being in the Top 10 (sucks for the nine of you that ignored it). Assuming that Prometheus hits $130M (it's certainly on pace to do so), that leaves us with just 4 spots remaining. Two movies that won't be making the list? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ($16M) and Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (just $3M). Ouch.

Next weekend: Another potentially quiet weekend with four major releases... but only two that were selected (barely). For Kurt and the ladies we have Magic Mike, which was selected by just two people. John had previously skipped Madagascar for Battleship, so this where he can jump back into the race. I'll have you know that John was very proud of that selection when originally submitted. And while Jen's been a popular girl lately with much focus on her recent picks, maybe this will help make up for Rock. There's also Ted, which was selected by only three people (Justin, Sponge and Kui). Justin and Kui badly need it to hit, as each already has a ding on their list. Sponge, on the other hand, would certainly be in the driver's seat if Ted were to somehow make it, as he avoided both delayed films plus any other mediocre crap thus far. You'll at least get my $5 for Ted (unless I make that one the freebie two-fer selection).

6/21/12

  
 

With Pixar's latest being the 15th-widest release of all time, we should have a nice bounce-back after last weekend's debacle. This weekend's predictions seem to be a bit top heavy, as it's Brave... followed by a big drop to a holdover from last week. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter may have nearly twice as many theaters as Seeking a Friend For the End of the World, but the R-rated flick is expected to perform about the same. It's going to be fantastically awful, and I can't wait to see it! And Avengers is soooooooo close to eclipsing $600M. Joy!

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) Brave - 59m (59m)
2) Madagascar 3 - 16.5m (153.2m)
3) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - 14m (14m)
4) Prometheus - 10.7m (109.1m)
5) Seeking a Friend For the End of the World - 8.5m (8.5m)
6) Rock of Ages - 8.3m (29m)
7) That's My Boy - 7m (27.3m)
8) The Avengers - 6.7m (597.8m)
9) Men In Black 3 - 6.5m (164m)
Looks like they forgot about #10 this week

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Brave = 68% (69% by the Top Critics)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter = 32% (18% by the Top Critics) - Screenings weren't made available to critics until today. Doh!
Seeking a Friend For the End of the World = 54% (62% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Brave = 4,164
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter = 3,106
Seeking a Friend For the End of the World = 1,618

6/17/12

Current Top 10:

          

Wowwwww was that a crappy weekend! The highest-grossing new release (Rock of Ages) only did...... $15M? And That's My Bomb err... Boy was even worse with $13M. How awful for Adam Sandler. I'm certain he's putting extra effort into the production of Grown Ups 2 right this moment (yes, that is a legit movie coming out next summer). And you think Andy Samberg is regretting quitting SNL about now? It's a shame no one took TMB, as I was looking for a good laugh. As for Ages, where was the demand for a film adaptation? Did anyone other than Jaime and the Glee fanatics really want to see it? No, not you, Jamie Hartle (even though you picked it)... I mean Jaime McGauley, the musical lover. As it is we'll have to settle with the possibility of a split Bonehead Award for Ed, Jamie and Jen. Exciting!

So we have Avengers about to hit $600M in the next couple weeks, Madagascar taking first place for the 2nd weekend in a row, and... Prometheus in trouble? Well, with a 60% drop it kinda looks that way. I saw an interesting comparison this weekend where the first 10 days for Prometheus were eerily similar to those of Green Lantern. Like seriously, on a day-to-day basis the numbers are almost exact. And that's not a good thing. Lantern also was a June release last summer... also opened in the low $50's... also suffered a 2nd weekend % drop in the 60's... also benefitted from a 4th of July weekend... and it finished with only $116M. I don't think Prometheus will do quite that poorly, but it's low enough to be concerned.

But enough of the negatives. Let's talk about future releases! Does anyone else here enjoy keeping up with movie news and release dates? Well here's some of the latest info (yes this is all very real). Enjoy!

- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (produced by Michael Bay) was pushed back from Christmas Day 2013 to May 2014.
- Lone Ranger (reuniting Gore Verbinski with Johnny Depp as Tonto) was not only bumped back from Memorial Day weekend 2014 to 4th of July weekend, but is now suffering budget issues for the second time.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gets a May 2014 release (get your poster ready, Justin).
- The sequel to X-Men: First Class gets a July 2014 release.
- Independence Day will not only be re-released in July 2013, but will also get the 3D treatment. Doh! I hated it the first time. Of course, I'm not surprised considering we're already getting Jurassic Park 3D next summer.
- Steven Spielberg's mega-budget release Robopocalypse just got pushed back from July 4th weekend 2013 to...... April 25th, 2014. What?! First it's Fast Five in the last week of April in 2011, then it's Tom Cruise's sci-fi movie Oblivion in the last week of April in 2013, and now it's Robopocalypse in the last week of April in 2014. We might have to seriously consider bumping up the start of the movie pool, as this seems to be a new Hollywood trend that's not going away anytime soon. I sense a poll question in the near future.

Next weekend: We have an expected lock in Pixar's Brave, and I'm seeing opening weekend forecasts in the mid-60's. Not quite sure how 9 people could completely ignore it (it's PIXAR!), but there you have it. We also have my dad's soon-to-be favorite movie of all time in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (you all know it's a documentary, right?), which was taken by Clint, Ally and Jay. I'm itching to see it, but only deem it worthy of a two-fer. And we have Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (taken solely by Gretchen). I thought the preview looked great, but I did learn that it'll only be playing in 1,400 theaters. Ouch.

6/15/12

 
 

Ugh, what a disastrous weekend we have lined up. Such a prime summer weekend wasted by garbage releases. Don't believe me? Just look at the ratings and projections. No surprise that a holdover like Madagascar 3 is projected to finish #1. My advice to you? Go see Prometheus in IMAX 3D. Do it. Do it.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) Madagascar 3 - 35m (121m)
2) Rock of Ages - 30.5m (30.5m)
3) That's My Boy - 28m (28m)
4) Prometheus - 23.5m (92.8m)
5) Snow White and the Huntsman - 13m (122.1m)
6) Men In Black 3 - 9.3m (152.1m)
7) The Avengers - 9m (587.1m)
8) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 2.5m (35.5m)
9) Moonrise Kingdom - 1.9m (6.5m)
10) What To Expect When You're Expecting - 1.8m (39.3m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Rock of Ages = 44% (52% by the Top Critics)
That's My Boy = 16% (6% by the Top Critics - Yes, that's a single digit.)

Theater count:
Rock of Ages = 3,450
That's My Boy = 3,030

6/10/12

Current Top 10:

          

NOW we're back on track. After a $50M+ performance last weekend from Snow White, we get two more this weekend from Madagascar 3 ($60M) and Prometheus ($50M)... to the enjoyment of all who took them both. The weekend actually started incredibly well for Prometheus as it pulled in $3.5M in Thursday midnight showings, then $17.9M on Friday, and then $16.4M on Saturday. But as we could pretty much expect from most any sci-fi film (particularly one that is R-rated), it was quite front-loaded as it slipped to only $11.7M on Sunday. Here's hoping that it still retains 50% next weekend. As for Madagascar, it held pretty strong all weekend long with daily amounts of $20.4/$22.0/$17.2. Of course, what would you expect from a highly-anticipated CGI animated film. Quick, someone pass that tip on to Justin!

Next weekend: A rather clunky one that will stink up the middle of June, as we get two completely unwatchable films in Rock of Ages (taken by just 3 people) and That's My Boy (zilch). To select Rock, Ed passed on Snow White, Jamie passed on Prometheus, and Jen... well she has her own plan this summer ;) Maybe it'll pay off for them. Before you totally dismiss it let's not forget how musicals have performed in recent summers, as Mamma Mia! ABBA'd its way to $144M in '08, and Hairspray camped it up with $118M in '07. I'm not saying Rock is going to bomb. There's clearly an audience out there that loves Glee-ish musicals (*cough* Jaime *cough*). I'm just saying it's going to suckkkkkkkkkkk.

6/8/12

 
 

Early estimates are all over the place for both of these movies, but I haven't seen any lower than $49 million for either. Not surprising due to their pretty good RT ratings. And check out Madagascar 3 as the 11th widest release of all time. Prometheus should be most interesting considering its 'R' rating, plus the fact that it's showing in fewer than 3,400 theaters.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) Prometheus - 51m (51m)
2) Madagascar 3 - 49m (49m)
3) Snow White and the Huntsman - 26m (101.7m)
4) Men In Black 3 - 14m (136m)
5) The Avengers - 11m (572m)
6) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 3m (30.8m)
7) What To Expect When You're Expecting - 2.4m (35.4m)
8) Battleship - 2.3m (55.3m)
9) The Dictator - 2.2m (55.3m)
10) Moonrise Kingdom - 1.7m (3.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Prometheus = 73% (72% by the Top Critics)
Madagascar 3 = 76% (60% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Madagascar 3 = 4,258
Prometheus = 3,394

6/3/12

Current Top 10:

          

Finally, after three disappointing weekends of movies failing to live up to expectations, we get a movie that greatly exceeds even those of its own parent company. Snow White and the Huntsman raked in $56 mil this weekend, eclipsing the low-40's that pretty much every forecaster projected. That 3-day opening was actually the 4th highest of any 2012 movie. Despite mediocre critic reviews (46%/62% on Rotten Tomatoes), the word of mouth apparently must have been pretty good. So barring a total collapse in weekend #2 we should be able to safely call it a lock. Of course, we do have two heavy hitters coming up.

After a quick glance of the Standings, I really only see a few players who have a clear advantage over the rest of us. Those would be the wise ones who have only selected Avengers, MIB3 and Snow White thus far... and did NOT select G.I. Joe. I only count 5 of them: Curt, Justin, Sponge, Jen and Boyd. Justin has been chirping a bit on the tagboard about some kind of 10/10 nonsense. But for that to hapen he'll need one of the upcoming movies to fail miserably.

Next weekend: A BIG weekend in our pool, as we have not one, but two major movies opening up (with 22 people selecting both of them). Madagascar 3 was taken by 34 people (one of them as high as #2, and none of them named Justin), and it has the benefit of being the first of three CGI animated films this summer. The first two Madagascars grossed $193M in May and $180M in November, and families have been starving for animation since The Lorax in early March. It'll pretty much lock up all family $$$ for the next 2 weekends until the newest Pixar release. We also have Prometheus, which was taken by 26 people (one of them at #2). One of the most anticipated films of the year by many (me especially), it's early 79% rating on Rotten Tomatoes makes us very happy.

6/1/12

Tribute to the Poll: Office Space
From the Desk of David Logan

5/31/12


 

Only $42 million projected for a movie with the weekend all to itself? That's rather disappointing. Even Universal is tempering their own expectations by forecasting only mid-30's. Ouch. But hey, at least Avengers will eclipse $550 mil this weekend.

Boxoffice.com's predictions:
1) Snow White and the Huntsman - 42m (42m)
2) Men In Black 3 - 27.5m (111m)
3) The Avengers - 23m (555.8m)
4) Battleship - 5m (55.2m)
5) The Dictator - 4.8m (51.1m)
6) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 4.6m (25.5m)
7) What To Expect When You're Expecting - 4m (30.3m)
8) Dark Shadows - 3.8m (70.8m)
9) Chernobyl Diaries - 2.7m (14m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Snow White and the Huntsman = 49% (64% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Snow White and the Huntsman = 3,772

5/31/12

Tribute to the Poll: Airplane
From the Desk of David Logan

5/28/12

Current Top 10:

         

After 3 weekends we finally had a new #1 in Men In Black 3... but at $70 mil through the entire 4-day weekend it wasn't nearly the comeback for Will Smith that most everyone had hoped for (Sony recently projected it to open at $95 mil). The good thing going for it, however, are the decent reviews and apparent positive word-of-mouth. Those of us that took it now have our 2nd lock.

As expected, Avengers leapt into 4th Place on the all-time box office gross charts thanks to being the fastest movie to hit $500 mil (23 days). The previous record? Avatar in 32 days. Avengers now holds the record for being the fastest to every possible $50 mil increment ($100M, $150M, $200M...).

Next weekend: Another wildcard in a summer full of them, as 27 people took Snow White and the Huntsman. 3 of you, in fact, have it as high as #4 on your lists. Here's a lil trivia: This movie was originally slated for December 2012 until Universal decided to bump it up to Summer go toe-to-toe with that other Snow White film starring Julia Roberts (originally 6/29/12). But Relativity blinked first... not only moving their version all the way up to March, but also changing the title AND tone of their film. Fail. And in further movement, Rock of Ages slid back 2 weekends to 6/15/12 to distance itself completely from what could be a dominant weekend for Huntsman. I personally hope so, as it's now got this wekend all to itself.

5/25/12

 
 

Sorry for the delay. I'm still grieving over the news that G.I. Joe 2 got CANCELLED for the summer and was pushed to next March :( Friggin 3D!!! Paramount only did this so that they could do a 'proper' 3D just to maximize their international profits. I hope it tanks here! I saw Avengers in 3D (was forced to just to be able to see it in IMAX) and while the 3D wasn't horribly done, it was still irrelevant. It added nothing to the film, and because of how busy the action was, it was a bit distracting. You're forced to watch the main focal point of each scene and your eyes simply cannot wander around the background. Dumbbbbbb! But as long as morons continue to pay for the 3D showings vs. 2D, it'll be here to stay. And we very well may run into something like this again in the future. For the 18 of us who took Joe, we're screwed. No chance at 10-for-10, and we're dead in any tiebreaker since we're looking at a Deviation Score hit of 50ish for it. The only hope we have is to fall into a tiebreaker with only others who took it. I still have my fingers crossed.

We have a 4-day Memorial Day weekend coming up, but from everything I've read it's still not going to help Men In Black 3 that much. It should still make Top 10, but won't be the dynamic film people expected several months ago. This will also be the weekend that Avengers hits $500 million.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this 4-day weekend:
1) Men In Black 3 - 73m (73m)
2) The Avengers - 46m (522.2m)
3) Battleship - 17m (50.5m)
4) The Dictator - 13.5m (45.6m)
5) Chernobyl Diaries - 13m (13m)
6) Dark Shadows - 8.8m (64.1m)
7) What To Expect When You're Expecting - 7.8m (22.7m)
8) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 7.3m (17.5m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Men In Black 3 = 67% (70% by the Top Critics)
Chernobyl Diaries = 36% (N/A by the Top Critics - not good)

Theater count:
Men In Black 3 = 4,248
Chernobyl Diaries = 2,433

Have a fun (and safe) holiday weekend!!

5/20/12

Current Top 10:

       

3 more releases swallowed up by Avengers, as it is now the #6 movie ALL TIME. By this time next week it'll be at #4... and #3 will likely fall the week after. While we'll have to see if it has the legs to finish #1 (presently Avatar with $760M), we do know that Avengers became the fastest movie to hit $450M (in only 17 days). The next fastest was Dark Knight at 27 days. To quote Joey Lawrence, "Whoa!".

Now, as for those 3 new releases... what a stinkfest! Battleship may have been the 'best' of the crapola this weekend, but a $25M opening for a movie that cost $209M to make? And I've read reports of that budget actually ballooning to $250M! Lucky for Universal that it pulled in $220M internationally prior to opening up here in the States, 'cause it's toast here. How'd you like to be Taylor Kitsch starring in 2 of the biggest bombs in movie history? (John Carter, anyone?) At least Savages looks pretty cool.

So we now have only 1 real Top 10 movie out of the first 5 major releases. And only 12 people were wise enough to just pick Avengers thus far. The rest of you now have to root against a perfect score... although 10 of you are already sitting with 2 bombs in your list. I'd never say that your summers are already over, as we've had years where 8 was the winning count. But 1 more slip-up and you'll be done.

Next weekend: Our 2nd 'big' weekend will be interesting with 38 of 40 people picking Men In Black III. The projected #s of this movie have dropped and dropped over the past couple weeks based on the continued success of Avengers. But I wouldn't be so worried to think that it'd slip completely from Top-10 status. Plus it also has a 4-day weekend to rack up extra $$$. It should become our 2nd lock.

5/17/12

  
 

3 new movies come out this weekend, but only 24 combined selections among them. Interestingly, David G., Clint and Gretchen have each selected 2 of the 3. Best of luck to you, as Avengers looks to dominate once again.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Avengers - 56.5m (459.2m)
2) Battleship - 47m (47m)
3) The Dictator - 18.5m (28.5m)
4) What To Expect When You're Expecting - 15m (15m)
5) Dark Shadows - 14m (52.5m)
6) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 4.3m (9.3m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Battleship = 37% (36% by the Top Critics)
The Dictator = 62% (59% by the Top Critics)
What To Expect When You're Expecting = 26% (33% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Battleship = 3,690
The Dictator = 3,008
What To Expect When You're Expecting = 3,021

5/16/12

A double-whammy by Chapman!

 

5/15/12

I'm back! And a big thanks to David for taking care of the Pool while I was living it up Euro-style. What's that? You want to see some pics? I created a big FB photo album... so go there to see. I'll prob post a couple here, you know, since I can. In the meantime, let's enjoy 2012's first movie poster from Chapman:

 

5/13/12

From the Desk of David Logan

Current Top 10:

 
 

The Avengers continued to roll this weekend and had no trouble at all extending its stranglehold on the box office. Marvel's superhero team-up fell 50 percent to an estimated $103.2 million, which is by-far the best second weekend ever ahead of Avatar's $75.6 million. It also topped The Dark Knight for best second weekend hold for a movie that opened to more than $120 million. Other new records include fastest movie to $300 million and $350 million, and highest eight-day, nine-day, and ten-day grosses. Through Sunday, The Avengers is estimated to have earned $373.2 million, which ranks 18th on the all-time domestic chart. It's now inevitable that the movie will finish above $500 million, and it should also claim third place on the all-time chart ahead of The Dark Knight ($533.3 million).

Oh yeah ... Dark Shadows released this weekend too! I don't think anyone noticed though and it is a shame. Even though everyone knew Dark Shadows wouldn't compete with The Avengers, its estimated $28.8 million opening is still a bit of a disappointment.

It's underwhelming debut can be attributed to a handful of factors, not the least of which was the tough release date. The second weekend of May is a notoriously difficult time to open a movie, as Warner Bros. experienced with Poseidon, in 2006 ($22.2 million) and Speed Racer in 2008 ($18.6 million).

Next weekend: Three of the top long shots of the summer! With only 4 people taking The Dictator, 14 people taking Battleship, and only 6 people taking What to Expect When You're Expecting, it should be a defining moment for the summer.

5/11/12

From the Desk of David Logan


 

Dark Shadows is our first long shot of the summer considering only 14 of you took it. It looks like a funny movie but it is not projecting well. It will not be easy having to go up against The Avengers.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Avengers - 111m (257m)
2) Dark Shadows - 33m (33m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Dark Shadows = 41% (39% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Avengers = 4,349
Dark Shadows = 3,755

5/6/12

From the Desk of David Logan

Current Top 10:


 

The Avengers kicked off the Summer movie season making $200 million in its first weekend! I would say that was a pretty successful opening considering it had a budget of $200 million. That is a record by the way. It knocked off Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 which had an opening weekend of $169 million. It also had the seventh widest opening ever at 4,349 locations.

Next weekend: Dark Shadows. Out of the 41 overall picks, only 14 of you picked it.

5/4/12

Where's The Date Movie, Where's the Comedy?
From the Desk of David Logan

Us old veterans know it ... we feel it in our gut. We just know we have missed it. There is that voice in the back of our brain speaking to us, "Where is the date movie? Where is the hilarious comedy?". I know I am worried.

This is clearly a year of surprises. Can we really expect all of these action movies to make it? Every year it proves true that the hidden comedy or date movie will ALWAYS emerge and screw it up for everyone. The Proposal, Monster In Law, Bridesmaids, Grown Up's, The Hangover, Knocked Up, The Devil Wears Prada, Wedding Crashers, and Dodgeball. Each of these movies crushed our dreams.

I think this year may once again show the winners will be to the right of the grid. The rookies ... the unconventional one's. I don't know what movie it will be ... but rest assured, a date movie or a comedy will screw it up for most of us. That is why I love this thing called the Summer Movie Pool. Plan and prepare all you want ... only two people have ever gotten all 10 picks correct. Good luck everyone and I look forward to anothe great summer of movies!

5/4/12

Everyone please take a moment to verify your selections on both the Picks and Current Standings pages. There have been a couple edits made already due to errors on my part ("Bad Steve!"), and those have been fixed (now no one took Neighborhood Watch). And the best part is that this server is so jacked, I can't even fix them myself. More work for David! :)

5/4/12


 

No surprise here as all 40 of us took The Avengers. I'm curious when everyone plans on seeing it. I know Matt took his kids to see it at midnight. What a trooper!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Avengers - 170m (170m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Avengers = 92% (85% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Avengers = 4,349

Next weekend: The 'wildcard' movie of the summer, with 14 people taking Dark Shadows. It has the clout to be a Top 10 movie... but is the interest really there? Kurt's got it #4 on his list, so it MUST be good, right?

5/3/12

Finally got the Picks and Grid posted (no thanks to Kurt), and the 2012 Summer Movie Pool is now LOCKED. Game on! I'm proud of myself that I've been able to come up with this analysis in the midst of packing for tomorrow's flight. My wife on the other hand......

To start, we lost about 12 people from 2011, but happened to gain 9 newcomers. Welcome!! That makes it 40 entries this year (you'll notice entry #41 on the Grid in honor of our friend, Stephen Butters). For you newbies, you've already done the hard part: making your selections. Once again we've experienced a summer where Hollywood felt the need to crammmmm all of their big event films into a small window. Some will perform big time. Others? Let's just say that jobs will be lost once their films get swallowed up due to poor release strategery. And all of that has forced us to pick just 10 movies out of what I consider to be a list of 15-20 legit box office draws. So now for the next 4 months you get to sit back and enjoy the summer while we (I'm including David in this who will be making posts in my absence) make weekly updates for your entertainment.

When looking at the Grid of everyone's selections I was pleased to see that even with fewer people playing, we actually had more movies selected than last year (26 vs. 21). Great to see people taking chances. Me? I played it safe, as I'm still feeling the sting of Dinner For Schmucks. The Grid is pretty much formatted with the most verteran players to the left... to the new folks on the right. However, Chapman requested that I group all you BioHorizons folks together for your own trash talk, so you're all the way to the right. It's actually interesting to see just how the movies were picked. It's a tighter group of selections on the left-hand side... and then it spreads out gradually as you get to the right (except for Kristen, who is counting on an unprecedented THREE August movies making the cut - good luck). The sad point is I'm afraid that those of us who have played for a long time are now starting to think too much alike in our selections. Now that doesn't mean any of the vets will win anything. Last year we had 3 newcomers take all 3 prize placements. And just look at the 2010 Final grid. Pretty ugly on the left-hand side. Crazy things can happen.

Here are the numbers that we should keep an eye on for each 'major' movie (10+ selections):

The Avengers
40 people / Avg placement = 1.9 / Highest placement = 1
A no-brainer, as everyone picked it. Top-2 movie for sure.

Dark Shadows
14 people / Avg placement = 7.9 / Highest placement = 4
IMO the biggest 'wildcard' movie of the summer. Personally, it was tough picking against Johnny Depp.

Battleship
14 people / Avg placement = 6.6 / Highest placement = 4
Check your brain in at the door.

Men In Black III
38 people / Avg placement = 4.9 / Highest placement = 1
The majority here believe Will Smith is still a major box office draw, despite being away for several years.

Snow White and the Huntsman
27 people / Avg placement = 7.2 / Highest placement = 4
About what I expected.

Prometheus
26 people / Avg placement = 6.5 / Highest placement = 2
Let me say that I'm shocked that this was not more widely selected. I figured it to be a lock this summer. Of course, I've been wrong plenty.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
34 people / Avg placement = 7.1 / Highest placement = 2
Surprisingly low average placement for a major animated film.

Brave
31 people / Avg placement = 5.1 / Highest placement = 1
Wow. Not much love for Pixar this year.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
18 people / Avg placement = 7.6 / Highest placement = 2
Say what you will about the first one (I dug it)... but it didn't have The Rock or Bruce Willis in it. Cha-ching!

The Amazing Spider-Man
37 people / Avg placement = 4.0 / Highest placement = 1
Three people might be missing out big-time. But one of them is my dad... who also was the only one to not pick that 'lock' Terminator: Salvation... which happened to not make Top 10. Hmmmm.

Ice Age: Continental Drift
36 people / Avg placement = 6.2 / Highest placement = 1
3 is simply too many animated films in one summer.

The Dark Knight Rises
39 people / Avg placement = 1.9 / Highest placement = 1
Oops. 1 person forgot to pick what will be the other Top-2 movie.

The Bourne Legacy
11 people / Avg placement = 8.6 / Highest placement = 5
A Bourne movie without Bourne? AND opening the same August weekend as Total Recall (shooting for the same demographic)? I dunnoooooooo.

No real chick-flicks this summer. The ladies are simply gonna have to 'man up' this year (just like Kurt). And how about this? ZERO love for Adam Sandler. He just can't wash off that stink from Jack and Jill. I can't wait to see how well (or poorly) it does.

Just like last year, with all of these similar selections I'll be surprised if this summer doesn't end in a tiebreaker. I recall back then considering a Top-15 for this year. But then again, if we go 15 we'll probably see the SAME 15 chosen by the majority of us. Paring the list down to 10 is what makes this summer interesting I suppose. Now a Top-20... Hmmmmm.

So with 40 entries our payouts will be pretty close to last year. With $10.00 covering the cost of the website itself, we now have a pot of $390.00. And keeping in line with previous summers this year's payouts will be the following:

1st Place - $300.00
2nd Place - $60.00
3rd Place - $20.00
Bonehead Award - $10.00


This actually looks like an impressive summer. I may not have picked all of them, but these are the movies I really wanna see the most: Avengers (duh), Dark Shadows, MIB III, Snow White, Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (the true story of our 16th President), The Amazing Spider-Man (The Lizard!), Savages (that preview looked intense), Ted (the red band trailer sold me - green looked just Ok), Dark Knight Rises (duh) and Total Recall.

Thanks for all of the well-wishes for my trip. I'm super pumped for another Mediterranean Cruise (the EPIC, baby!), and this one has me hopping from Barcelona > Naples > Rome > Florence > Cannes > Monaco > Marseille > Barcelona. That last leg will be a new one for me. And I've been practicing my foreign language skills: "Franch... fries. Anddd, Franch... dressing. Anddd, Franch... bread. And to drink... tadaaa... Peru." Flying out tomorrow and I'll be back on the 15th. David will have things under control while I'm gone. But I'll still be checking in, as it's impossible for me to completely disconnect. I'm just disappointed that Avengers isn't opening until midnight tonight. Now I have to wait until I get back :( Talk to you all soon!

5/1/12

Deadline Day!! And boy the picks were rolling in fast today. I couldn't begin to guess how many total. Maybe 30ish right now? And there is still time, as I won't have the Picks and grid posted until sometime tomorrow. So just be patient and enjoy the talk on the tagboard. Oh and Chapman's latest banner too. What's that, a new banner? You bet, and I think it rocks! A fresh take on what we've rolled out in the past. I'll send an email to everyone once the entries are posted online. And those of you that have submitted but haven't yet paid... get it in fast. Talk to you all soon!

4/29/12

Took the time to do a lil' update to the website this evening. Added the old Index (Home Page) text files from 2005-2011 to the 'Previous Years' page. Now we can go back and read up on how events played out over the years. And also re-read Todd's sorta-annual rants of everyone's picks. We need that back, Todd! Don't be too concerned with the current format issues, as we'll work to fix the code.

4/27/12

With the start of the pool right around the corner.... here's an idea of what are NOT summer movies:

   
 

4/25/12

Six days left!!! The picks are starting to come in, so don't get left out. The deadline is critical, as I won't be able to add any stragglers if I'm already on a plane to Barcelona. That's right... I'm outta here on May 4th!! And I'll be quite busy on the 3rd packing and stufffffff. That means I should have everything posted to the website on the 2nd... including the banner (as long as Chapman gets off his butt and makes it). Otherwise we'll be looking at Eddie Van Chapman allllllllll summerrrrrrrr longgggggg :)

4/3/12

Welcome back everyone! Hopefully you've all received the e-mail invite and you're working on your picks. The tagboard is fresh and clean from spam, so David and I will do what we can to keep it that way. We're working on a new header banner for 2012 (looking at you, Chapman), but if you think that you can make one better... knock yourself out and send it my way. Here is the key info I sent in this year's email invite:

It's timeeeee! We are exactly 1 month out, and it's now time to start wrapping your brains around your possible selections for the 15th annual Summer Movie Pool!!!

2011 was a jump back up to 43 entries. And with that we saw Kelly Peterson win in her very first year playing with 9 correct picks. Most impressive! Kelly nearly pulled off another 10-for-10 in this pool, as she was one of the few who actually trusted Bridesmaids. But it was Rise of the Apes that snuck into #10 to botch the perfect bid. Still, she won $320 for the performance.

Then came the 2nd Place tie. With soooo many movie choices that were obvious hits to the majority of us, we actually had 23 people get 8 correct picks. And once the dust settled courtesy of the Deviation Method, thanks to 2 perfect picks and 4 other 1-pointers it was another first-timer that took the $60 2nd Place prize: Tim Haynes. 3rd Place ended up in a tie between Marinee Cabrera and myself, with each of us getting $15. And we cannot forget about the Bonehead Winner... Cindy Cozzi! Cindy actually tied for 2nd Place, but who knew that a Disney cartoon (Winnie the Pooh) would have been the worst-selected movie by any of us? That movie crushed any chance of her winning 2nd or 3rd... but it did net her $10.

2011 will be known as the summer of R-rated raunch, with Hangover 2, Bridesmaids, Horrible Bosses (hilarious) and Bad Teacher all earning $98+ million. It was the summer of too many superhero films, as Green Lantern (ouch) wasn't able to join the party. DC Comics still has much to learn with their other properties. And 2011 also introduced us to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Enough said :)

Here are our previous winners:

2011 - Kelly Peterson
2010 - Kurt Weierstall
2009 - Steve Berg
2008 - Justin Klein
2007 - Tim Driscoll
2006 - Steve Berg
2005 - Larry Pennington
2004 - Chic Meyers
2003 - Todd Fiore / Dave Logan / Jaime McGauley (tie)
2002 - Steve Berg
2001 - Steve Berg
2000 - Mike Chapman
1999 - Steve Berg
1998 - Steve Berg


Don't forget, your picks and $$$ are due by May 1st (the first movie of the summer actually opens on Friday, May 4th). In fact, this year I am going to be very strict about that deadline. I'll be leaving for a 10-day Eurotrip the first week of May, and I won't have time to screw around with late entries. Once I'm gone, I'm gone... and the pool will be locked for the summer (now looking at you, Kurt).

Have your picks submitted by May 1st!!!

I'll let you all know when the picks are posted.

As a final note, I'd like to inform everyone that 2012 will be a summer where one of our own will be sorely missed. Our good friend Stephen Butters, who has played with us for the past 5 years, sadly passed away several months ago. This time of the year was certainly one of Stephen's favorites, and I enjoyed his April e-mails planning out his movie selection strategy before the final submission. He had a huge passion for movies (particularly the Harry Potters), and he was always active on our message board. Stephen was simply one of the nicest guys I've ever known. We'll definitely miss you, buddy. But we'll still keep a spot for you in the Standings this year :)

2/28/12

We're Up and Running!
From the Desk of David Logan

Looks like the site has been transferred. Please let Steve or me know if you encounter any issues.

2/1/12

We're in the process of moving the website over to a new server, so bear with us while this transfer takes place. We'll see you all in a few months! - Steve