2013 Summer Movie Pool

9/3/13

Final Top 10:

                   

Box Office Mojo finally updated their Actual figures from this weekend, and the 2013 Summer Movie Pool is now officially over. Last year we knew for a month that Sponge had won the pool thanks to his perfect selections, so this year I held out as long as I could from calculating the Deviation Score for the 4 players that had 8 correct picks. But a couple weeks ago I finally caved and bust out some #s, and nothing new has developed since that original reveal. Here is the official breakdown for those 4 players, including their Deviation Scores, selections and quick analysis:

Ally - 25 (1,7,2,0,1,3,0,0,2,9) - 3 perfect picks and 2 1's. Even that 7 for Despicable Me and 9 for Hangover couldn't prevent her from finishing on top.
Mario - 29 (0,4,0,1,2,4,2,2,4,10) - 2 perfect picks and 3 2's kept him close. But several 4's and that 10 for Hangover kept him just far enough away.
Keeley - 29 (1,6,2,0,1,3,1,1,5,9) - A perfect pick and 4 1's nearly kept pace. But that 6 for Despicable Me and 9 for Hangover left her 4 behind.
Curt - 39 (0,6,0,1,2,4,3,5,5,13) - 2 out of the top 3 were perfect picks. But that whopping 13 on Lone Ranger was the killer. A definite shame to be the odd man out of the tiebreaker.

Based on this data, Ally Mauro with 25 pts is now our official 2013 SMP winner in only her 2nd year! Last year was pretty good for you other than that awesome ALVH selection (I still say it was fun!), and you evidently were a quick learner as you managed to avoid the clunker this year. Enjoy your $340.00 for 1st Place. Next time you're in town YOU'RE buying lunch :) Congrats!!

So with a tiebreaker in effect for 1st Place, it only stands to reason that our 2nd and 3rd Places would be the runner-ups in Deviation Score. And this year we had a tie for 2nd Place with 29 pts between Mario Nelson and Keeley Brooks. This was Mario's 8th summer pool, and it just happens to be the first time he's won any kind of prize. Please don't say I jinxed you just before my Boston trip! As for Keeley, this is only her 2nd summer with us, and it's even more special as she had a baby boy back in May. Yeah, we pretty much know where YOUR winnings are headed. Because of the tie, the 2nd ($70) and 3rd Place ($30) prizes have been combined and split, with each of you winning $50. Well done!

And of course we have our 2013 Bonehead Award winner. Ok, this one was a no-brainer from the get-go as we all knew Hammer of the Gods would be the winner as soon as it was selected. The only real drama was whether it was actually going to be released in theaters or not. And luckily for Samuel Nelson it played in 2 theaters for a grand total of $641. TWO theaters. 641 dollars. That would officially be our worst (winning) performace ever. And it got you that prized $10. Congrats for the new low.

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

1st Place - $340.00 - Ally Mauro
2nd Place (tied) - $50.00 each - Mario Nelson and Keeley Brooks
Bonehead Award - $10.00 - Samuel Nelson



Some observations from this summer:

1) Comic book superheroes are ONCE AGAIN king. After last summer's super impressive performances, we still got $408M for #1 Iron Man 3 and $290M for #3 Man of Steel. Ok, so Wolverine surprised nearly everyone by MISSING the Top 10 completely (only just barely) after a decent start, and that could be attributed to franchise-fatigue. Or late-summer burnout. Your choice. But it still finished a respectable #12.

2) Animated films still REALLY sell. Just like last year's animated successes, we got $353M for #2 Despicable Me 2 and $262M for #4 Monsters University. Pause for a moment on that, as they are now both #5 and #10 on the all-time animated list. Even the sleeper Epic got in on the fun with $107M. They didn't all experience success, however, as Turbo, Planes and even Smurfs 2 checked out at under $80M. No surprise that none of those 3 had Rotten Tomatoes scores higher than 66%.

3) Referencing Box Office Mojo, Summer 2013 set a new record with an insane $4.76 BILLION total gross. The previous record was $4.11B in 2011. And if you want to take dollars completely out of the mix, 2013 had 583 million tickets sold... the most since 2007. Evidently, the months of May, June and August set all-time monthly records as well.

4) 70 movies grossed $1M+ this summer. In 2012 there were only 59 movies earning that amount.

5a) The biggest feel-good surprises of the summer? In my opinion that's easy. Tops was The Conjuring coming completely out of nowhere to finish #10 on our list with $133M. It was a mid-July movie with limited time to succeed, and possibly get lost in the throng of major releases (including a weekend of 4 openings). No one picked it. No early prohections had it earning more than $40M. But then came that shocking 88% rating by the Top Critics on RT... whch led to a $41M opening and great word-of-mouth for successive weeks. It amazingly managed to hold off both Grown Ups 2 and Wolverine to make the cut.

5b) The other feel-good surprise? How about the VERY MUCH maligned World War Z, whose $200M+ budget (if you actually believe it was that low) was supposed to make it one of the biggest busts in recent movie history. The stories of the star and director no longer speaking with each other on set, as well as the numerous writers brought aboard late in the game to rewrite that third act, were widely documented. But then the reviews came in... and they were pretty good (71% by the Top Critics on RT). And then came the $66M opening... followed by great word of mouth. And next thing you know, we have a $200M picture finishing at #7.

6a) How about the surprise bombs? #1 would have to be The Hangover Part III, which was originally projected to make as much as $200M. Everyone but one person picked it. But those horrible reviews (22% on RT) doomed it to just a $63M opening over the five-day holiday weekend... and ending with only $112M. Ouch.

6b) Some would argue that The Lone Ranger was an even bigger bomb, as its budget circled $300M while it only grossed $88M. However, was it really a surprise to US when the majority did not pick it at all? It still managed to break my heart :(

7) For the 2nd year in a row, August was an awful final month for new releases. Sure, the month was record-setting thanks to late-July releases like Conjuring and Wolverine. We got a nice August surprise from We're the Millers ($104M), but of the 12 other major releases that month, none grossed higher than $76M (and that includes the much-hyped Elysium). Can't help but chalk it up (again) to summer burnout. Heh, last year I wrote "Hopefully August 2013 will be better with Red 2, the sequel to 300 and the Robocop remake." Looks like two of those studios were wise enough to move out of the congested summer altogether than suffer the same fate. I'll really be shocked if August 2014 isn't a hit with Fifty Shades of Grey, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, another Dracula, Michael Bay's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Expendables 3 and Sin City 2 all being released. Wow, what an ending to next summer.


Lastly, my favorite movies of Summer 2013, in terms of 'most enjoyable' experiences (not necessarily the 'best' films). I stepped it up this summer by seeing 11 movies. My favorites:
1) Man of Steel (Zack Snyder made a better movie than I ever expected, and it was ridiculously fun in IMAX 3D - the IMAX, not the 3D)
2) Star Trek Into Darkness (again, clearly meant to be seen in IMAX - but 3D was pointless)
3) Pacific Rim (IMAX 3D = holy crap, holy crap, holy crap, holy crap that was awesome!)
4) World War Z (I thought I had missed it once it quickly slipped into the smaller theaters... but the late one-week IMAX revival rescued the opportunity. Tense movie, and not just a stupid shoot-em-up.)
5) Iron Man 3 (Tough to remember it very well due to it being the first of many movies, but I do recall liking it quite a bit. Great way to start the summer. And Ben Kingsley was great.)

I really regret not seeing This Is the End, The Lone Ranger (yes I wanted to see it but it left the giant screens in a hurry), and The World's End. It just didn't work out for me. Hello, blu-ray!

I do hope everyone had a fun time with the pool this year. Glad to see the new record # of players, and always great to have another brand new winner :) 2014 will be another summer packed with blockbusters like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men - Days of Future Past, Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Transformers 4, Fast and Furious 7, Planet of the Apes 2, and Guardian of the Galaxies. Geez, that's nearly a full movie list right there. But of course we all know that that would be too easy. Our summers are way more difficult than that.

I'll have the Photo Gallery and Hall of Boneheads updated soon with this year's entries. See you all next year!!

9/2/13

Stilllllllll waiting on those Actuals to come out for Saturday, August 31. Right now everything is still showing 'Estimates'. Not that it'll make THAT much of a difference... but we want it to be fully accurate.

8/31/13

Such as sad day, as today is the very last day of the Summer Movie Pool. I should have the final Standings posted tomorrow (a slong as the offical Saturday numbers are released), followed by the Final recap shortly after. Stay tuned!

8/25/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Just six days left and I don't see the Top 10 standings changing a bit. The Wolverine is only earning as much as The Conjuring, and it simply won't be able to catch up. As for our four players with eight correct picks (Mario, Keeley, Clint and Ally), I've finally broken down their Deviation Scores. Sorry to break it to everyone so early, but barring any shocking changes in Wolverine's earnings it looks like our 2013 SMP winner will be Ally:

Ally - 25
Mario - 29
Keeley - 29
Clint - 39

Each of them got at least one movie in its exact spot for a quick dev score of 0, but Ally actually got THREE of them perfect. Yes, she had a 7 and a 9 for Hangover, but two 1's and two 2's kept her overall score low enough to seemingly win this thing (yes, I know... it's not over till it's over). Mario had two perfect scores plus several 2's and 4's, but that 10-spot for Hangover really did him in. Keeley had one perfect pick and four 1's, but a 5, 6, and that 9 for Hangover were crippling. Clint had two perfect scores, but two 5's, a 6 and that devistating 13 for Lone Ranger ruined his chance to win.

August ends this Saturday, so I'll have to wait for the actuals to come in on Sunday to be able to provide the final calculation, Standings and update. Stay tuned.

8/22/13

       

Four more movies... and $16M seems to be the limit this weekend. And that's a shame as only one of them bombed with the critics. Those are some fantastic reviews for all three Friday releases. Wednesday's release? Not so much.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Lee Daniels' The Butler - 16m (51m)
2) We're the Millers - 12.5m (90.7m)
3) The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones - 10.5m (16.5m)
4) You're Next - 9m (9m)
5) Planes - 8.9m (59.6m)
6) The World's End - 8.5m (8.5m)
7) Elysium - 7.2m (69.3m)
8) Kick-Ass 2 - 5.5m (23.9m)
9) Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters - 5m (48.2m)
10) Blue Jasmine - 4.9m (15.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones = 14% (13% by the Top Critics)
You're Next = 81% (82% by the Top Critics)
The World's End = 94% (90% by the Top Critics)
Blue Jasmine = 89% (86% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones = 3,118
You're Next = 2,435
The World's End = 1,548
Blue Jasmine = 1,237

8/19/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Finally getting to this update after a jam-packed weekend in Boston that included a near-missed flight, a Red Sox-Yankees game, a Harpoon Brewery tour, more beer drunk than that ridiculous weekend in Buffalo/Toronto, and 15 total hours slept in 3 nights. And I'd go back in a heartbeat!

A lil shakeup at the bottom of the Top 10 as Grown Ups finally (and thankfully) fell out. Taking its place at #10 is our biggest surprise of the summer: The Conjuring. The little horror movie with a $20M budget that no one picked is already at $127M and not stopping. After four weekends The Wolverine is still $7M behind and has unfortunately slipped behind its weekly pace. So what you see now is how the Top Ten will finish. I still haven't calculated the Differential Score mainly to give hope to the 4 players still alive, but I'm already hearing rumbing from those that have added it up for themselves.

Next weekend: Surprise! 4 more movies add to the long list as we get the young adult novel adaptation The Mortal Instruments - City of Bones on Wednesday, followed by the expanding Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine, the horror film You're Next and the third Wright/Pegg/Frost collaboration The World's End (I've been really looking forward to this one!). The very good news is that while Mortal Instruments hasn't yet been reviewed, the other 3 all have Rotten Tomatoes ratings greater than 85% positive. Wow!

8/15/13

       

ANOTHER four-movie weekend... and nothing is expected to top $25M. Ugh, this is painful. I mean look at the schlock that they're rolling into theaters. 0% rating for Paranoia? What a waste of Amber Heard. I really wanted to see Kick-Ass 2 but it now looks like it's blu-ray for me. The Butler at least brings some respectability to the weekend. On the positive side, I'll be heading to Boston in the morning to hit the pubs hard and catch a Red Sox game this weekend. That's wicked awesome!! See you all Monday.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Kick-Ass 2 - 24m (24m)
2) Lee Daniels' The Butler - 22.5m (22.5m)
3) We're the Millers - 16m (68m)
4) Elysium - 14m (56.8m)
5) Planes - 12.5m (44.8m)
6) Jobs - 10m (10m)
7) Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters - 7.7m (38.8m)
8) The Smurfs 2 - 6.2m (59.1m)
9) Paranoia - 6m (6m)
10) 2 Guns - 5.8m (59.6m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Kick-Ass 2 = 27% (15% by the Top Critics)
Lee Daniels' The Butler = 73% (81% by the Top Critics)
Jobs = 25% (15% by the Top Critics)
Paranoia = 4% (0% by the Top Critics - LOL!)

Theater count:
Kick-Ass 2 = 2,940
Lee Daniels' The Butler = 2,933
Jobs = 2,381
Paranoia = 2,459

8/11/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Just 2 2/3 weekends remain (August ends on a Saturday, so $$$ for Sunday, Sept 1 does not count) and that #10 spot is still in the air. Of the three movies in contention, Grown Ups 2 ($3.7M earned for $123.8M total) is slipping fast while The Conjuring ($6.7M/$120.7M) and The Wolverine ($8.0M/$112.0M) are quickly catching up. Unfortunately for Wolverine fans, it barely outearned Conjuring this past weekend... and it's still over $8M behind. At this point in the game it's the weekend 'hold' that matters, and Conjuring has held at better than 50% each weekend (51.4%, 56.7% and 53.1% for the past three) while Wolverine has seen only 37.5% and 40.1%. Maybe the fact that Wolverine is hemorrhaging theaters each week has something to do with it (-1,057 this weekend alone). Ouch. It's a shame that even with a 69% Rotten Tomatoes rating Wolverine likely isn't going to make it. Sucks to be the last big action film to the party.

Well wait, that title actually goes to Elysium, which had a (declared) budget of $115M. It's prize? Just a $30M opening weekend. Not that Percy Jackson ($23M) or Planes ($22M) did any better. We're the Millers actually did with $38M, but it doesn't have a chance. And this all is good news for Clint who stays alive in the Race For Eight.

Next weekend: We're all done with selected movies for the summer, as everyone wisely avoided the mid-to-late August releases. In actuality we have our THIRD weekend of the summer with four releases: The Butler, Jobs, Kick-Ass 2 (yes!) and Paranoia. That's right, Hollywood. Keep 'em comin'.

8/8/13

       

The 2nd weekend of August... where once-hyped movies go to die. This time we have four of them, and no movie should open to greater than $35M. Neither Wednesday openings nor Thursday evening starts can save them. The original Percy Jackson opened to $31M in February 2010, and Sea of Monsters (picked solely by Sam) will need five days just to match that amount. We're the Millers is actually getting some good laughs these first couple days, so that will definitely be the surprise of the weekend. The long-awaited Elysium (picked by two people) was supposed to be released this past March, but the bump back to mid-August didn't do it any favors. There's simply too much competition. Interestingly it's only 97 minutes long. And then we have the once-straight-to-DVD-but-now-theatrical-release Planes (picked by our buddy Lafaro). Can you say "cash grab"? I don't see much $$$ leftover for the SIXTH animated movie of the summer.

Keep an eye on the race for 10th Place, as Grown Ups 2 is trying to fend off both The Conjuring and The Wolverine. And that doesn't mean 10th Place is the only spot to watch, as with two more weekends to go I believe that Gatsby's 9th Place hold of $144M might be threatened as well. Mario and Ally would definitely be fans of THAT.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Elysium - 34.5m (34.5m)
2) We're the Millers - 21.5m (32m)
3) Planes - 21m (21m)
4) Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters - 19.5m (31m)
5) 2 Guns - 12.8m (51m)
6) The Wolverine - 11m (115.8m)
7) The Smurfs 2 - 9.3m (46m)
8) The Conjuring - 7.5m (121.9m)
9) Despicable Me 2 - 6m (338.5m)
10) Grown Ups 2 - 4.8m (125.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters = 33% (44% by the Top Critics)
We're the Millers = 40% (27% by the Top Critics)
Elysium = 71% (74% by the Top Critics)
Planes = 27% (20% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters = 3,031
We're the Millers = 3,260
Elysium = 3,284
Planes = 3,702

8/4/13

Current Top 10:

                   

We've got some more Top 10 shakeup this week as The Heat jumped The Great Gatsby into the #8 spot, as well as a new addition in Grown Ups 2 at #10. It was a good run for Now You See Me, but the dream is over. Heat and Gatsby are both sitting pretty at #s 8 and 9 with $144M+, but that #10 spot appears to be totally up for grabs. Grown Ups took in another $8M to bring its total to $116M, but both The Conjuring ($108M) and The Wolverine ($95M) outearned it this past weekend. All three films have a legit shot at #10, and the race is going to start coming down to weekend holds. We saw just a 30% drop for Grown Ups in weekend #4, while Conjuring only suffered a 38% drop in weekend #3 and Wolverine suffered a big 59% drop in weekend #2. Will Wolverine's $53M opening be enough to overtake the other two? All we know is that Clint is pulling for both Adam Sandler and the horror flick to finish with 8 correct picks.

Next weekend: Another heavy dose of new releases as we get another FOUR major flicks: Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters (taken by 1 person) and We're the Millers (none) open on Wednesday, while Elysium (2 people) and Planes (1 person) open Friday. The only movie of bearing to our pool is Elysium, as Daniel needs it to get that precious 8th correct pick. The trailers look kinda cool, but I'm afraid we have already seen all there is to see from the 500 friggin' trailers and commericals that Sony Pictures has pumped out repeatedly. I hope I'm wrong. Daniel does too.

8/2/13

Get ready for some Halloween movie magic! So for those who don't already know, Chapman, Todd and I will be in New Orleans this Halloween with some friends as the classic Universal movie monsters. I just spent last weekend in Atlanta working again on my Mummy costume with Chapman, and this thing is gonna look AMAZING when we're done! He makes it... I wear it. I can't wait to see Todd's Wolfman and Mike's Creature From the Black Lagoon. Brilliant work :)

     
       

8/2/13

   

Welcome to August... a month full of leftovers. The Smurfs 2 may have gotten a two day head start, but it's already tracking worse than expected with only a projected $16M weekend + $10M Wed and Thurs. And those reviews are hideous. 2 Guns looks like it could be kind of fun, and Denzel really doesn't make a bad movie. But do we really want ANOTHER action film this summer?? Silly Hollywood.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) 2 Guns - 34m (34m)
2) The Smurfs 2 - 23m (34m)
3) The Wolverine - 21.5m (95m)
4) The Conjuring - 12.8m (107.5m)
5) Despicable Me 2 - 9.8m (325.8m)
6) Turbo - 7.8m (71.1m)
7) Grown Ups 2 - 6.5m (114.5m)
8) Red 2 - 5.3m (44.7m)
9) The Heat - 5m (149.8m)
10) Pacific Rim - 3.5m (91.9m)
11) R.I.P.D. - 3.3m (31.4m)
12) Fruitvale Station - 3.2m (11.5m)
13) The Way, Way Back - 3m (13.7m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Smurfs 2 = 13% (13% by the Top Critics)
2 Guns = 57% (44% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Smurfs 2 = 3,866
2 Guns = 3,025

7/30/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Ooooooooo... more drama as The Wolverine greatly underachieved (projected in the 70s) with just $53M in actual earnings. I guess people are a little bit burned out on the whole X-Men phemonenon. That doesn't exactly make it a lock to gross $143M... and it now brings Clint back into the fold. The key will definitely be its 2nd weekend hold. It did get an A- CinemaScore (2nd straight weekend we've seen that rarity), so clearly the word-of-mouth is good. But once again there's a ton of competition action-wise... only made worse by the newest action film coming out on Friday.

Next weekend: Starts early as we get The Smurfs 2 (picked by 2 people) on Wednesday. If Smurfs could somehow sneak into the #10 spot we'd add Todd and Anthony to the Tiebreaker with 8 correct picks. I'd love to laugh at Todd for this pick... but I do remember how we all ridiculed him for taking Spy Kids 3D back in '03 only to see it barely make the cut. Just awful. And while nobody took 2 Guns this weekend, it should steal enough $$$ from Wolverine to really make things interesting.

7/26/13

     

Just one major release this weekend... and just the way it should be. I'd say 25-50% of movies released so far shouldn't have even come out during the summer. Pink slips galore! The consensus gross for The Wolverine has now shifted into the 70's, so we should definitely be looking at a lock.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Wolverine - 72m (72m)
2) The Conjuring - 23m (84.5m)
3) Despicable Me 2 - 16.5m (307.5m)
4) Turbo - 13m (56m)
5) Grown Ups 2 - 12.3m (102.7m)
6) Red 2 - 8.8m (34.7m)
7) Pacific Rim - 8.3m (84.8m)
8) The Heat - 6.5m (140.9m)
9) Fruitvale Station - 6.3m (7.9m)
10) R.I.P.D. - 5.5m (24m)
11) The Way, Way Back - 3.8m (9.4m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Wolverine = 67% (60% by the Top Critics)
Fruitvale Station = 93% (93% by the Top Critics)
The Way, Way Back = 83% (86% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Wolverine = 3,924
Fruitvale Station = 1,064
The Way, Way Back = 886

7/22/13

Current Top 10:

                   

A double-jump for Despicable Me 2, and it's going to supplant Man of Steel as #2 by about... Tuesday this week. The Heat is also locked in as it should finish at #8. Even with The Conjuring coming out of nowhere to lead the weekend with $41M, none of the FOUR newcomers should be a threat to crack the list. That spells doom for those who trusted Turbo (just $31M in 5 days) and Red 2 ($18M).

I could see Grown Ups 2 eventually surpassing Now You See Me, but does it really matter when we have.....

Next weekend: Our last truly major release of the summer, as 30 people took The Wolverine. Recent projections have it opening to mid-to-high 60's, and I don't see how it fails to reach $145M in 6 weekends. We still have 4 leaders with 8 correct picks (Mario, Keeley, Clint and Ally), and if Wolverine is a hit we should end up with Mario, Keely and Ally all tying with 9. Tiebreaker!!!

7/18/13

       

Middle July... and Hollywood crams FOUR movies into one weekend? None of these deserve to make Top 10, as none of them are projected to gross higher than the mid-30's. Even Turbo (which gets 2 extra days) isn't expected to top $30M. That's a double-whammy for Ryan Reynolds, whose two films COMBINED will barely hit $40M. Ouch. At least The Conjuring is geting some killer reviews. See what I did there? Zing!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Conjuring - 34m (34m)
2) Despicable Me 2 - 23m (274.2m)
3) Red 2 - 19.5m (19.5m)
4) Turbo - 19m (28m)
5) Grown Ups 2 - 18m (77m)
6) Pacific Rim - 16.5m (68.7m)
7) R.I.P.D. - 13m (13m)
8) The Heat - 8.3m (128.1m)
9) Monsters University - 5.7m (249.8m)
10) The Lone Ranger - 5.1m (82.1m)
11) World War Z - 4.5m (186.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Turbo = 66% (75% by the Top Critics)
The Conjuring = 84% (88% by the Top Critics)
Red 2 = 38% (30% by the Top Critics)
R.I.P.D. = no reviews - uh oh

Theater count:
Turbo = 3,491
The Conjuring = 2,903
Red 2 = 3,016
R.I.P.D. = 2,852

7/14/13

Current Top 10:

                   

13 hearts just broke as Pacific Rim started hot Thursday night... but then faded over the course of the weekend to finish with just $38M. For a movie that already proved as being very frontloaded, it can surely be written it off now. Grown Ups 2 may not have done much better with $42M, but America is dumb and people may still go out to see this crapfest despite its 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. SEVEN.

The latest update now shows The Heat in and The Hangover Part III out (good riddance), and that leaves us with four players with 8 correct selections: Mario, Keeley, Clint and Ally. Unfortunately for Clint, the other three still have The Wolverine and he's all done. The Top 10 had some additional shakeup as the big animated films crept a little higher while Star Trek slid a little further.

Next weekend: It'll be a busy weekend with four new major releases, two of which were selected: Turbo (taken by 6 players) gets an early start on Wednesday while Red 2 (taken by 2 others) opens on Friday. Turbo will be our 4th animated release of the summer, and this one is Fox's turn. Interestingly it'll be Ryan Reynolds' 2nd Fox animated picture of the year following March's The Croods, which earned $185M. What's curious, however, is that Turbo opens against another Reynolds picture (which no one selected), R.I.P.D.. The studios probably could have planned that a little better.

7/12/13

   

The summer has been pretty hectic thus far with the large number of major releases resulting in so many $100M performers (by Monday we'll already have 12!). And even if the next two weekends's releases weren't picked by many, at least three of those films have a pretty good shot at cracking the Top 10. The expected cutoff is set pretty high with Great Gatsby at $142M, but this weekend's Pacific Rim (taken by 13 people) and Grown Ups 2 (taken by 2 others) are both already on pace for openings in the mid-40's. With so much competition they'll need some good word-of-mouth to have a shot... but Rotten Tomatoes says one of them is in serious trouble.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Grown Ups 2 - 47m (47m)
2) Despicable Me 2 - 46m (231m)
3) Pacific Rim - 41m (41m)
4) The Heat - 15m (113.3m)
5) The Lone Ranger - 13m (73m)
6) Monsters University - 12.5m (239.7m)
7) World War Z - 10m (177.7m)
8) White House Down - 7.2m (64.1m)
9) Man of Steel - 5.8m (282m)
10) Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain - 5m (26.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Grown Ups 2 = 7% (9% by the Top Critics - no, not making those #s up)
Pacific Rim = 72% (67% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Grown Ups 2 = 3,491
Pacific Rim = 3,275

7/8/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Ok, so sometimes I'm wrong. And lordy I was wayyyyyy wrong this year. Missing out on White House Down was pretty bad enough. I should have known better. But to see The Lone Ranger bomb as completely badly as it did? Unfathomable. I get it that people didn't pick it because they thought it'd finish just outside the Top 10. I was on the fence for a bit as well. But when early projections went from $100M over the 5-day holiday... then down to $80M... then all the way down to the last-minute projection of just $47M... I thought that was complete nonsense. Certainly not with the triumverate of Bruckheimer, Verbinski and Depp, right?. Oops. Turns out that Box Office.com was dead on with their lowball projection. And my summer is now toast. At least I didn't put it #1 ;) I'm still looking forward to seeing it, and I'll post my thoughts later this week. Anyone here already see it?

Now if one movie didn't make any money over the July 4th weekend, it only stands to reason that the other film should have killed it. And behold! $142m for Despicable Me 2! Those 5 days alone opened it in 7th Place on the list, and by next Monday it could already be #4. I do see it finishing up at #3 as Man of Steel is now pushing $300M.

And look at this... Hammer of the Gods DID in fact make some money this weekend. $164 to be exact... from just 2 theaters (I wonder if that was all Sam and his family). So we now have our Bonehead Winner. Not sure if you legitimately picked it to be Top 10 or not... but congrats. You win.

Now that we've reached July 4th I'm listing the current Top 10 count for every player above their initials. Clint currently leads with 9 selections, but he's likely going to lose Hangover next weekend as it will get passed by Now You See Me and quite possibly The Heat (only dropped 36% from opening weekend). David keeps touting Keeley's name on the tagboard as our likely winner (currently 8 selections), but I also see some serious threats in Chapman, Mario, Sponge, Ally and Mike Walters, as they all took Heat and thus have a shot at hitting 9 with their remaining selections. Good stuff!

Next weekend: Is there room for one more over-the-top mind-numbing action flick? Because we're getting it big time in Pacific Rim. Picked by 13 people, this is the film that could keep 11 of them in contention. I'm already out of it... but I'm still pulling for it to do well. And while I didn't really enjoy the 2nd and 3rd previews due to them looking way too much like Transformers 2, when I saw the latest in IMAX I was blown away. THAT'S how this movie should be seen! We also have Grown Ups 2 which was picked by 2 people. Heyyy, Adam Sandler finally gets some love after last year's shutout. Let's not forget that the original surprised everyone with $162M in 2010. But again... that was a pretty screwed up summer. We shall see.

7/4/13

     

The long Fourth of July weekend is upon us, and the fireworks have already begun exploding at Illumination and Universal. Leading up to Wednesday the projected take for Despicable Me 2 was $130M including $50M from Wednesday and Thursday. But then on Wednesday (not even the actual holiday) DM2 scored $35M. That's already the 7th biggest Wednesday opening ever! DM2 is simply going to destroy the competition this weekend thanks to its 'A' CinemaScore. It'll certainly own The Lone Ranger which didn't impress the critics at all (just 11% for the Top Critics on RT). All that bad pub led to just a $10M Wednesday. Ouch! But on the flipside there's that 'B+' CinemaScore that could (hopefully for me) save it long-term. I'll honestly be shocked if it doesn't pull in at least $60M over 5 days. The 129 minute running time won't help. Nor will criticisms that it is essentially a "pounding headache". And neither will the continuous reports that this PG-13 film is VIOLENT for a Disney release. Heh, sounds good to me! Then there's the wide release of Kevin Hart's concert pic Let Me Explain. I'm now seeing weekend estimates as high as $18M for a movie that is playing in only 876 theaters. Crazy!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this 5-day weekend:
1) Despicable Me 2 - 80m (130m)
2) The Lone Ranger - 29m (47m)
3) Monsters University - 23.5m (220.2m)
4) The Heat - 22.5m (80.5m)
5) World War Z - 16m (156.3m)
6) Man of Steel - 12.5m (272.8m)
7) White House Down - 12.3m (48.2m)
8) Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain - 8.5m (13m)
9) This Is the End - 5.7m (86.2m)
10) Now You See Me - 4m (112.5m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Despicable Me 2 = 74% (82% by the Top Critics)
The Lone Ranger = 23% (11% by the Top Critics - holy crap!)
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain = 76% (67% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Despicable Me 2 = 3,997
The Lone Ranger = 3,504
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain = 876

Everyone have a happy AND SAFE Fourth of July holiday!!

7/2/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Another late recap. I've gotta cut back on the fun!

Two major releases last weekend... and only one of them was a hit. Let's start with the failure that was White House Down. What the hell was I thinking? I always seem to get suckered into watching Roland Emmerich's films only to walk away frustrated that he got me once again. The guy has just one recipe with some good action, great destruction, cheesy one-liners, eye-rolling cliches and forced sappiness... and I seem to keep buying it. I saw it this weekend and I can see why this $150M production bombed with just a $25M opening. Basically a Die Hard reluctant-hero ripoff straight down to the dirty tank top. Sad. But the joke's on ol' Roland as I didn't pay for it. Ha!

Now on a positive note, The Heat exceeded pretty much all expectations with a $40M opening. I guess the ladies knew what they wanted to see this weekend... and it wasn't Channing Tatum. There aren't any other 'female' films the rest of the summer so there's really no telling how high this one will go. With the holiday this week I could see it hitting $90M by the end of the weekend. And that would give it a strong shot at the cutoff.

Some observations so far: Man of Steel shot up to #2 just as I expected. Give it a couple more weeks and Monsters University will leap over both FF6 and Star Trek into #3. WWZ held especially well in its 2nd weekend and is now a lock. And after looking up all previous years' grids we've never before had 10 movies hit $100M this early in the summer. Ever.

Next weekend: The holiday weekend starts early as both Despicable Me 2 (picked by all but 7 people) and The Lone Ranger (picked by 23 people - including one at #1!) open this Wednesday. Despicable already has a 74% rating on RT... but there's my final summer hope in Ranger at just 25%. Bah! But don't think that the weekend stops there, as Sam hits us with Hammer of the Gods on Friday. We'll be keeping a close eye on it to see if it makes any cash. Right now it's listed with no theaters on Box Office Mojo. STV, anyone? Just remember that it has to earn at least $1 to qualify for the Bonehead.

6/28/13

   

The BO.com predictions pretty sum up this weekend, as neither newcomer should finish #1. The late Thursday and early Friday numbers already project The Heat in the high-30's and White House Down in the high-20's. And that really sucks for me as my whole summer hinged on WHD. Boooooooooo!! We can instead expect solid 2nd weekends and excellent holds for Monsters U and WWZ.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Monsters University - 44m (167.5m)
2) White House Down - 35m (35m)
3) The Heat - 34m (34m)
4) World War Z - 29m (122.7m)
5) Man of Steel - 20.5m (248.3m)
6) This Is the End - 9m (75m)
7) Now You See Me - 5.8m (105m)
8) Fast & Furious 6 - 2.8m (233.7m)
9) Star Trek Into Darkness - 1.9m (220.3m)
10) The Purge - 1.7m (63.2m)
11) The Internship - 1.6m (41.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Heat = 64% (73% by the Top Critics)
White House Down = 50% (53% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Heat = 3,181
White House Down = 3,222

6/23/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Ok, we all pretty much knew that another Pixar meant another Top 10 finish. But as the 2nd highest Pixar opening ever?? That's exactly what Monster's University did, scaring up $82M over the weekend. As a comparison, Brave 'only' opened to $66M on its way to $237M. This could get reallllly big for MU. But the surprises didn't stop there as World War Z eclipsed every projection with an amazing $66M. There's no way I personally saw this coming... not with the turmoil reported during production and the movie's great departure from the source material. But I guess America loves their zombies, hmm?

At this point of the summer we appear to have seven movies with a legit shot at Top 10, as Gatsby for now sets the cutoff at $145M (WWZ shouldn't have a problem hitting that mark with its very strong opening and decent work-of-mouth). We can go ahead and cross off Hangover III, Epic and Now You See Me from the current list, as none of those will even hit $125M. And still remaining I see two near-locks plus four others with a very serious chance. Exciting!

Next weekend: Things get interesting here as we have two new movies that were selected by the minority... but some early projections have them earning anywhere from high-30's to low-50's, making them serious contenders. 14 took The Heat, and it's been quite a while since we had a movie geared toward the female audience. And then 9 of us took White House Down. It's gotta make it, right? I mean, it's got Channing Tatum doing his best Bruce Willis Die Hard impersonation, dammit!

6/20/13

   

The bounce-back continues as we have two big hits upon us: Monsters University and World War Z. Throw in weekend #2 for Man of Steel and we very well could have the first weekend ever with THREE $50M movies. And I need to do some serious catchup at the theater next week after taking a week off.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Monsters University - 78m (78m)
2) Man of Steel - 52m (223.5m)
3) World War Z - 45m (45m)
4) This Is the End - 12.7m (58m)
5) Now You See Me - 6.7m (93.7m)
6) Fast & Furious 6 - 4.5m (228.3m)
7) The Internship - 3.5m (38.5m)
8) Star Trek Into Darkness - 2.9m (216.6m)
9) The Purge - 2.8m (58.9m)
10) Epic - 2.7m (102.3m)
11) The Bling Ring - 2.6m (2.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Monsters University = 76% (74% by the Top Critics)
World War Z = 68% (71% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Monsters University = 4,004
World War Z = 3,607

6/18/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Update time! Anyone here ever till and re-sod their lawn? Yeah, DON'T!! Pay someone else to do it. I only did a 200-300 sq. ft section... in June... in Florida... in the daytime... for a couple days... and it about killed me. Thus the delay in the weekend recap.

Now THAT'S a bounceback weekend! $116M for the 3-day weekend for Man of Steel + another $12M in early Thursday ticket sales by Wal-mart (huh?) = a fast $128M to already launch into 5th Place on our list. It also broke the June opening record, eclipsing Toy Story 3's $110M back in 2010. And for comparison's sake, Superman Returns earned 'only' $84M through the first five days (opened on a Wednesday). I guess Warners' decision to reboot actually paid off (I was secretly hoping it wouldn't - stupid reboots). Now the news is that a sequel will appear before a Justice League movie. Shocker. Let's just see a completely new villain for Superman first. It'll be interesting to see how the upcoming weeks play out for final placement, as we have a 55% Rotten Tomatoes rating vs. an A- CinemaScore rating from great word-of-mouth. I still say it'll end up #2.

We also got the highly-rated This Is the End (85% on RT), which unfortunately opened to only $33M through five days. I've been told it's hilarious and I really can't wait to see it. Unfortunately the selection didn't pay off for the four of you who selected it. Bummer.

Next weekend: The big hits continue as we'll get the newest Pixar in Monsters University. But for some reason two people don't know that you ALWAYS pick Pixar. Always. It's perhaps the biggest no-brainer in the SMP, and this year the early projections have it in the 80's. And then we have one of the most tumultuous productions in recent movie history: World War Z. Apparently by the end of production Brad Pitt and his hand-picked director (Marc Forster - same guy that did Quantum of Solace) weren't even on speaking terms due to creative differences during shooting. And that there wasn't even an ending in place by the time shooting started. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's really good, as it's got an early 77% rating on RT from 43 reviews. That, and the fact that I adore anything zombie-related. 14 of us are believers (though I am not), with one of you having it as high as #2. Good luck.

Oh, and the correct answer to the poll question is 'Gold'. Taken from Wiki: Pre-Crisis (1985-86 storyline), it permanently removes superpowers from Kryptonians, by destroying the ability of Kryptonian cells to process solar energy. Because it was said to be permanent, this variety was rarely used in Superman stories. Gold Kryptonite appears in The Flash (vol. 1) #175 and plays a key role in the 1982 limited series "The Phantom Zone," as well as the 1986 "imaginary story" Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

6/13/13

     

Get ready for the huge bounce-back weekend! Ok, so Man of Steel is really slipping in the reviews as its now dropped to a 57% score. Doesn't matter. The anticipation is crazy high. And I'll be doing the double-dip early next week to see both Steel and This is the End (check out that score). The End already has $7.8M in the bank from the early Wednesday opening.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Man of Steel - 115m (115m)
2) This Is the End - 25m (40m)
3) Now You See Me - 11m (80.8m)
4) Fast & Furious 6 - 10.2m (220.3m)
5) The Purge - 10m (53.7m)
6) The Internship - 8.2m (32m)
7) Epic - 7.3m (97m)
8) Star Trek Into Darkness - 6m (210.8m)
9) After Earth - 4m (54.5m)
10) Iron Man 3 - 3.3m (400m)
11) The Hangover Part III - 3.2m (108.5m)
12) Before Midnight - 2.7m (4.4m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
This Is the End = 83% (82% by the Top Critics)
Man of Steel = 57% (55% by the Top Critics)
Before Midnight = 97% (94% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
This Is the End = 3,055
Man of Steel = 4,207
Before Midnight = 891

6/10/13

I can't wait!!!

     
     

6/10/13

Current Top 10:

                   

Back to back weekends of clunkers. Awesome. Looks like I'll be avoiding the theater this week. As expected, The Internship failed miserably with only an $18M opening. Cross that one off the list. But the real surprise was seeing The Purge become the #1 movie of the weekend with $36M. How often will Ethan Hawke get a chance to say THAT??

This weekend also saw Fast 6 permanently leapfrog Star Trek. And if Hangover isn't careful it'll get passed over by both Epic AND Now You See Me. Ok, NYSM has a ways to go, but as I mentioned previously Epic has zero competition until June 21. That's a lot of time to rack up the kiddie $$$ (its last drop was only 28%).

Next weekend: One of the most anticipated movies of the summer is finally here, as (nearly) all of us picked Man of Steel. And not only did we pick it, but it's average ranking is 3.7 (the 3rd highest avg). I don't see any way how it won't become our 4th $200M movie of the summer. 25 people have it in their Top 3... 4 people have it as their #1... and we do have 1 person with kryptonite on the brain. Oops. But that's not the only movie this weekend generating excitement, as there is a ton of buzz surrounding This Is the End which opens on Wednesday (already at 84% on RT from 31 reviews, and a perfect 7-for-7 from the Top Critics). Only 4 people picked it, hoping for it to be this year's Ted. I personally am looking forward to it as the trailers looked HILARIOUS (particularly the red band) :D

6/6/13

   

Looks like another quiet and crappy weekend weekend before the Superman excitement really starts to blow up on on Monday. The lack of serious options will also help fuel Gatsby's improbable run.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Purge - 21m (21m)
2) Now You See Me - 18.4m (59.7m)
3) Fast & Furious 6 - 18.2m (200.9m)
4) The Internship - 15.6m (15.6m)
5) After Earth - 12.5m (47.7m)
6) Epic - 11.5m (82.8m)
7) Star Trek Into Darkness - 10m (198m)
8) The Hangover Part III - 9m (103.9m)
9) Iron Man 3 - 5m (393.2m)
10) The Great Gatsby - 4.2m (136m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Internship = 13% (24% by the Top Critics)
The Purge = 43% (26% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Internship = 3,365
The Purge = 2,536

6/5/13

Heh, Chapman's getting meta-conceptual.

 

6/3/13

Current Top 10:

                   

So how's that for a Will Smith stinker?? $27M just broke the hearts of Big Willie Style fans everywhere. It wasn't even the top opener this weekend, either, having lost out to a mediocre $28M from Now You See Me. And Jaime just can't seem to learn, can he? You got Shyamalaned!!

Looks like we can cross Hangover off our lists ($88M through two weekends) and for now replace it with Gatsby ($128M and counting). I told Champan beforehand that it wouldn't shock me to see Hangover miss the cut... but I didn't have the cojones to do it.

Next weekend: Ready to see another bomb?? In just four days we'll get one, as The Internship (picked solely by Lafaro) is tracking in just the mid-teens. Maybe that's because the average of Vince Vaughn's last five films is $77M. Combine that with an average of $90M for Owen Wilson and you get.....poop.

5/30/13

Bombs away!

 

5/30/13

   

What an awful weekend in terms of reviews. Just 12% for After Earth? 36% for Now You See Me? And the Top Critics were even harsher than that. Ugh. Expect another week with Fast & Furious on top.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this four-day weekend:
1) Fast & Furious 6 - 38.2m (174.5m)
2) After Earth - 36.4m (36.4m)
3) Now You See Me - 23m (23m)
4) Star Trek Into Darkness - 19.3m (184.2m)
5) Epic - 17.9m (66.5m)
6) The Hangover Part III - 15.2m (87.3m)
7) Iron Man 3 - 10.2m (387m)
8) The Great Gatsby - 7.2m (129.2m)
10) Frances Ha - 0.8m (1.8m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
After Earth = 12% (7% by the Top Critics)
Now You See Me = 36% (28% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
After Earth = 3,401
Now You See Me = 2,925

5/28/13

Current Top 10:

             

First off, I'd like to give a shout out to our friends Keeley Brooks and Tim Haynes (played in 2011) who just had a baby boy on Friday. Something tells me that Noah will become a big movie fan :) Big congrats from all of us!!

Well things just got very interesting this summer. Who'd have thunk that after FIVE days over the holiday weekend The Hangover Part III ($63M) would have wound up closer to Epic ($42M) than to Fast & Furious 6 ($120M)? It was only a month ago that the expectations for the four day weekend would have been $100M each for Hangover and Fast 6. But then Warner Brothers panicked and made a last minute decision to open on Thursday (that's twice in two weeks a studio got cold feet and released early)... hoping that their five day earning would at least match Fast 6's four. And then came the reviews. Oops! Next thing you know, word of mouth spreads like wildfire on Wednesday and Thursday to avoid this stinker. So what do the kids do with their $$$? Easy... go see Fast 6 instead! Major fail for Warner.

Now where do our movies wind up? After an amazing opening (better than what Star Trek did), assuming the normal 50% drops we should see Fast 6 finish around 3 to 5. Epic may not have any animated competition until late June, but it's just not being marketed well enough and I don't think it sneaks in. And Hangover has now become a total wildcard for Top 10. I see it suffering a 60% drop next weekend and remain behind Gatsby's pace ($117M and counting) all summer long.

Next weekend: Another one in the air as we really don't know what to expect of After Earth. Seven people are banking on the fact that the average gross of the last five Will Smith summer movies is $175M, with the lowest being $144M. The rest of us are only looking at M. Night Shyamalan's average of $115M in his last five summer movies. Yes, that includes Top 10s in The Last Airbender ($131M) and Signs ($227M)... but it also brought us The Happening ($64M) and Lady In the Water ($42M). And then there's the lone selection of Now You See Me. Good luck.

5/24/13

     

We have another early start to this holiday weekend as The Hangover Part III opened on Thursday (make that late Wednesday night) to finally bring this mostly unfunny franchise to an end. And while it should make some decent cash, it's definitely going out on a sour note as it's been PUMMELED by the critics (22% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes). While Part II was coming off the high of the original and pulled in $31M on its opening Thursday (including $10M in midnight shows), Part III only did an estimated $14M on Thursday with just $3M in midnights. Ouch. I'll still see it, of course... but only as the 2nd part of a two-fer. It won't get my money. The one positive for me is that it's been tagged as "Less a comedy than an angrily dark action thriller." Hmmm, now it sounds more intriguing. But if those opening #s hold true it will fall short of the expected $85M over 5 days. And that could very well make it a liability for the summer. Not cool.

The highlight of the weekend should be the other big sequel, Fast & Furious 6, which opens on Friday. The critics seem to like it, and it's projected to do a lil over $100M in 4 days. That'd certainly make it a lock after just one weekend. Lastly we have our first animated film of the summer in Epic. It may have only mediocre reviews thus far, but Fox is definitely pumping it out as it's opening in the largest # of theaters of all releases. This is going to make for one very interesting weekend.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this four-day weekend:
1) Fast & Furious 6 - 107m (107m)
2) The Hangover Part III - 68.5m (85.8m)
3) Star Trek Into Darkness - 45.5m (153.7m)
4) Epic - 33.3m (33.3m)
5) Iron Man 3 - 25m (372.7m)
6) The Great Gatsby - 18m (118.7m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Fast & Furious 6 = 75% (81% by the Top Critics)
The Hangover Part III = 22% (17% by the Top Critics)
Epic = 67% (54% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Fast & Furious 6 = 3,658
The Hangover Part III = 3,555
Epic = 3,882

Hope everyone has a FUN and SAFE holiday weekend!!

5/19/13

Current Top 10:

       

So we have a new #1 this weekend... but it wasn't anything close to what we was expected to be. Sure, $84M is a ton of cash, but most sources had Star Trek Into Darkness earning well over $100M through 4 days. So the reason why it didn't meet expectations (only regarding box office as it still has an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes)? Box Office Mojo is most likely right in their analysis as they basically pin it to a jam-packed May. We already know that there are quite a number of 'event' films in a short timeframe this year, and put simply there is only so much money to go around. After what we've experienced the last couple years with major 'event' films underachieving, I could see studios continue to recognize this and move forward with their plans of beefing up the month of April (2014 already has Captain America 2 on 4/4 and Rio 2 on 4/14, both of which would have been no-brainer selections as summer movies). As for Trek, it's still a lock and I still see it being Top-5. But it definitely won't be #1. Through 4 days it's slightly behind the pace of the original, and that movie topped out at $257M.

Iron Man 3 continued its dominance with another $35M for a total of $337M. But what most people were waiting for was the 2nd weekend effort of Gatsby. Well how's $23M from just a 53% drop? The mediocre word of mouth doesn't seem to matter as it's now sitting at $90M. And when conservatively assuming 50% drops for the next several weeks it should safely be at $120M after its first month. Could it milk another $20M throughout month number two? Sure, why not, especially with no chick-flicks coming out until The Heat at the very end of June.

Next weekend: Memorial Weekend will be a heavy one as we'll be getting TWO blockbusters in The Hangover Part III (opening a day earlier on Thursday - I hate this new trend as the #s just don't justify the moves) and Fast & Furious 6. We also get our first animated film of the summer in Fox's Epic. All but one person took Hangover, and wouldn't you know that same person ALSO didn't pick Fast & Furious (5 others seemed agree with that one). That's crazy talk! Only 5 took Epic, which pretty much sums up what we think about this early animated option.

5/17/13

 

All 45 of us thought alike on this one as everyone took Star Trek Into Darkness - ranging as high as #1 for some and as low as #9 for another. Either way, it's a lock. It's already got a head start on the weekend as it opened today. Late night Wednesday already brought in $3M, and most projections are along the lines of 3-day $80M+ and 4-day $100M+. A Rotten Tomatoes rating of 87% certainly doesn't hurt. Can't wait to see it!

And if you didn't notice... Iron Man 3 just eclipsed $300M domestically and $1B worldwide on Thursday. Score!!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Star Trek Into Darkness - 87m (112m)
2) Iron Man 3 - 31.5m (333.8m)
3) The Great Gatsby - 22m (88.2m)
8) Peeples - 2.2m (7.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Star Trek Into Darkness = 87% (81% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Star Trek Into Darkness = 3,868

5/12/13

Current Top 10:

     

Iron Man 3 is once again the #1 movie of the weekend, suffering only a 58% drop (that $72M is the 4th highest-grossing 2nd weekend ever behind The Avengers, Avatar and The Dark Knight). I still say it's a lock for #1 overall, as after 2 weekends it's nearly already at $300M.

But surprise! Exceeding pretty much every expectation is this week's The Great Gatsby, which became the 3rd highest-grossing 'runner-up' ever with $52M. With an ENTIRE summer ahead of it we could be looking at a surprise Top 10 film (well, a surprise to the vast majority of us). I personally think the barometer for making the Top 10 this year is $140M, and with a decent 2nd weekend Gatsby could already be at $100M. 33 of us should definitely be worried right about now.

Next weekend: Starts a bit early as Star Trek Into Darkness opens on Thursday. This seems to be a new trend in Hollywood as we're going to start seeing more and more films open on Thursday (Hangover 3 will be the next one). Everyone here wisely picked Star Trek, with 2 people having it as their #1 film. Not much needs to be said, as we all agree it will be a big-time lock.

5/9/13

   

Iron Man 3 will have no problem securing another weekend, as both newcomers (including The Great Gatsby which was chosen by 12 players) are facing some pretty poor reviews. Perhaps the most telling is Peter Travers' from Rolling Stone, which reads: "There may be worse movies this summer than The Great Gatsby, but there won't be a more crushing disappointment." Ouch!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Iron Man 3 - 71.5m (284.3m)
2) The Great Gatsby - 41.5m (41.5m)
3) Peeples - 12.5m (12.5m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Great Gatsby = 43% (28% by the Top Critics)
Peeples = 46% (47% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Great Gatsby = 3,535
Peeples = 2,041

5/6/13

Oh snap. Chapman strikes first!

 

5/5/13

Current Top 10:

 

Over $300M earned worldwide as of Thursday. The 14th widest release ever domestically. $15.6M in midnight shows. $68M through Friday. Another $62M on Saturday. The end result for Iron Man 3?? How about a ridiculous $175M... which puts it as the #2 opening weekend OF ALL TIME! (The Avengers opened to $207M.) Considering that Iron Man 2 opened to 'only' $128M, I'd have to agree with Box Office Mojo that this movie is best considered a sequel to Avengers than it is to IM2. Some other interesting numbers: 3D contributed to 45% of ticket sales (Avengers was 52%). IMAX contributed to $16M (slightly higher than Avengers). I just don't see it finishing anywhere than #1 for the summer. Props to all who put it there. I'm curious to hear thoughts from those who saw it (WITHOUT giving anything away).

Next weekend: An early wildcard of the summer with 12 people taking The Great Gatsby. I know my wife really wants us to see it. I'm game.

5/3/13

 

44 of us will be very happy after this weekend. After earning over $300M this past WEEK internationally, I've seen domestic projections ranging from $150-170M. And this one gets the boost of 3D and IMAX... as well as the 14th widest release ever. Nice!!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Iron Man 3 - 157m (157m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Iron Man 3 = 77% (74% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Iron Man 3 = 4,253

5/2/13

Finally got the Grid posted and the 2013 Summer Movie Pool is now ready to roll. Game on!

If you're like me you found yourself forced to pick just 10 movies out of what was probably a list of 15-20 legit box office options. Ugh. But the hard part is over, as for the next 4 months you now 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.

Upon looking at the Grid of everyone's selections I found that we once again have more movies selected than the previous year. Looks like more chances were taken... which is always a good thing. The Grid is pretty much formatted with the most veteran players to the left and the newest folks on the right. I again grouped the majority of the BioHorizons folks together for your own trash talk. Don't look too deeply into how the veterans' picks were made, as we had a new winner last year (Sponge). And as I said this time last year, just look at the 2010 Final grid. Pretty ugly on the left-hand side. Crazy things can happen. And EVERYONE has a chance. Well, most everyone... as there is already one movie selection out there that is a LOCK for the Bonehead! lol

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

Iron Man 3
44 people / Avg placement = 1.3 / Highest placement = 1
A no-brainer, as everyone picked it... minus one. Oops! That had to be a total oversight.

The Great Gatsby
12 people / Avg placement = 6.2 / Highest placement = 1
Someone out there really loves Leo. Could be an early shakeup to the pool.

Star Trek Into Darkness
45 people / Avg placement = 3.2 / Highest placement = 1
Finally, something we could all agree on. But one player has it as low as 9. I dunnooooooo...

Fast & Furious 6
39 people / Avg placement = 6.2 / Highest placement = 2
Mindless fun! This series just gets better and better. And ooooooooo... Letty is back.

The Hangover Part III
44 people / Avg placement = 6.2 / Highest placement = 2
Someone here thinks this franchise is done. I'll admit that I didn't laugh at the trailer at all.

Man of Steel
44 people / Avg placement = 3.7 / Highest placement = 1
Looks like it's hard for us all agree on something. But before you laugh... just remember that only 1 person didn't pick Terminator: Salvation. And guess who was the only one right?

Monsters University
42 people / Avg placement = 4.5 / Highest placement = 1
A few are thumbing their noses at Pixar. Well if it misses that would be a first. Will be interesting to see now that there's no Boo anymore for the 'cute' factor.

World War Z
14 people / Avg placement = 7.4 / Highest placement = 2
I'm SO there to see this thing! But like most of us I just couldn't pick it.

The Heat
14 people / Avg placement = 7.8 / Highest placement = 5
The wildcard of the summer, even if it's not a true chick flick. Really hard to gauge the success of this film.

The Lone Ranger
23 people / Avg placement = 7.9 / Highest placement = 1
Another movie that could go either way. I just don't see the Disney/Depp/Verbinski/Bruckheimer combo failing over the extended 4th of July weekend. At least one of us here is a true believer.

Despicable Me 2
38 people / Avg placement = 5.5 / Highest placement = 2
The 2nd biggest animated film of the summer. I found the first one dull as hell despite earning $236M. 2010 was a really weird year.

Pacific Rim
13 people / Avg placement = 8.0 / Highest placement = 5
The most bad ass of ANY summer trailer I've seen! I didn't pick it but I'm still rooting for it. And I've already gotten word that my wife will NOT be seeing it with me. Her loss.

The Wolverine
30 people / Avg placement = 7.2 / Highest placement = 1
That 7.2 rating is a far cry from previous X-Men flicks. Fox needs to be careful churning them out so frequently (X-Men: Days of Future Past comes out next year).

Some other observations and rants: Minimal love for Will Smith this year... but maybe it's the Shyamalan factor that has people nervous. I personally found it funny that Jaime AGAIN chose a M. Night film. I could have sworn he said he'd never do it again after The Crappening. Could Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson put out a less funny film? Talk about paint by numbers. I think everyone just hates Adam Sandler right about now. Anyone else notice that the weekend of 7/19 has TWO major Ryan Reynolds movies opening? And I like how Lafaro said screw it to Monsters, Despicable, Epic and Turbo... and said YES to Planes. Good luck to that!

With all of the similar selections I'll be surprised if this summer doesn't end in a tiebreaker. But once again it actually looks impressive. I may not have picked all of them, but these are the movies I really wanna see the most: Iron Man 3 (duh), Star Trek 2 (double duh), Fast 6, Man of Steel (triple duh), This Is the End (the red band trailer just kills me lol), Monsters University, World War Z (part of it was filmed in Malta), The Lone Ranger (the previews look slick), Pacific Rim (awesomeeeeeeee!), 300: Rise of an Empre and Elysium.

I hope everyone enjoys this summer as much as I'm gonna. All I've got to say is... Hammer of the Gods!!!

5/2/13

Well the clock finally struck midnight and I didn't get any late submissions (one guy actually got his in with just minutes to spare lol). We lost 8 players from last year as I've had to pull the plug on any further submissions now that all of the selections have been posted online. We did have 2 players return from a lil hiatus... and we also gained 11 brand new players. Wow, great word of mouth! Welcome to all you new folks, as you should have a good time here this summer. And welcome back to everyone else. I know some of you are really fired up for this time of the year.

We have now reached a new high with 45 entries! Our previous high was 42 back in 2011, and that payout structure was 320/60/30/10. This year we'll do:

1st Place = $340.00
2nd Place = $70.00
3rd Place = $30.00
Bonehead Award = $10.00


The Picks page has been updated with everyone's selections, and I'll get the Master Grid put together and posted tomorrow night along with the first weekend preview and the overall Picks analysis. From keying in the Picks it seemed to be the same core 6-7 movies on most everyone's list, and then a group of 10 more that filled in the gaps. No one really went crazy their selections... except for one movie that jumps out as the immediate Bonehead winner. See if you can identify it :)

And thanks to Chapman for the newest SMP Banner. Yes, there is a theme to it if you can figure it out (admittedly it took me a moment).

5/1/13

It's deadline day!! The picks have been rolling in these past few days, and I'll start putting the grid together this evening. Remember... if you want to play you have to get your picks and payment in by 11:59pm EST tonight.

4/26/13

With the start of the pool right around the corner.... here's an idea of what are NOT summer movies (and thus being released in April):

   

4/16/13

Found this Time Travel Chart on Buzzfeed. Pretty cool... but only for the super geeky (WARNING - spoilers):

 

4/5/13

 

Welcome back everyone! Hopefully you've all received the e-mail invite and you're working on your picks. The tagboard is still clean from spam, and David and I will do all we can to keep it that way. We're waiting on a new header banner for 2013 from Chapman, but if you think that you can make one better... feel free to send it my way. In the meantime, his SMP 16 teaser poster will tide us over (so THAT'S what World War Z is all about). Here is the key info I sent in this year's email invite:


We are less than 1 month out, and it's now time to start putting your brains to work with your selections for the 16th annual Summer Movie Pool!!!

2012 gave us our 3rd most entries ever with 40. And for the 3rd straight year we had a brand new winner (meaning there's always hope for everyone who plays). The real surprise was that our winner, Sponge, became the 3rd person ever to go 10-for-10, as he was one of only three people to pick Ted (I still cannot believe it grossed $200+ million!). That perfect effort earned him $300.

Once again we had a tie for 2nd Place, as with so many obvious movie choices we had 11 people get 9 correct picks. And once the dust settled courtesy of the Deviation Method, it was Curt Perone who finished in 2nd Place for the 2nd time in 3 years (thanks to 5 1's and 5 2's). That netted him $60. 3rd Place went to Justin Klein, who missed 2nd by just 1 measly point. Still good for $30. And we simply cannot forget about our Bonehead Winner, Gretchen Hinton, who easily clinched that $10 prize with the $7M earning Seeking a Friend For the End of the World. Doh!

2012 put superhero movies back on top, with The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man finishing 1-2-3. It also showed us that a major movie studio can simply yank a film from the summer schedule... screwing over those who selected it (time has now shown that that was the wrong decision for G.I. Joe 2, as the actual opening earning from last weekend - $51M in 4 days - was less than most 3-day projections a year ago). And that's AFTER adding 3D. Dumbasses.

Here are our previous winners:

2012 - Sponge
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


The first Friday of the summer is May 3rd, and I will still need time to put everything together on the spreadsheet and website. Thus, the deadline for submitting your picks will be Wednesday, May 1st at 11:59pm. Because of the amount of manual work to do I will not accept any entries submitted after 12:00am on May 2nd. That is more than enough time to assemble your picks and submit them. I even allow changes to your picks up until the deadline, as I don't bother looking at them until that time, so you'll want to get them in ASAP.


Have your picks submitted by May 1st!!!


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