2016 Summer Movie Pool

9/4/16

Final recap time!!!

The 2016 Summer Movie Pool has come to an end. Its total $4.3B may be a 3% increase from 2015, but it sure didn't feel like it. While there were some expected monster hits (#1 Finding Dory with $479M - avg placement of 2.4, and #2 Captain America with $407M - avg placement of 1.2), and some unexpected hits (#3 The Secret Life of Pets with $354M - avg placement of 6.7, and #4 Suicide Squad with $286M - avg placement of 7.2), there were also complete bombs that ruined people's summers (#18 Alice Through the Looking Glass with $77M - avg placement of 7.0, #16 TMNT: Out of the Shadows with $82M - avg placement of 7.2, and #12 Independence Day: Resurgence with $102M - avg placement of 5.7).

Hard to say exactly what made this summer feel lackluster, but the fact is we had 14 sequels (last time we had this many was back in 2003) with only 4 exceeding their previous installment. Sure, 7 of them hit $100M, but that doesn't mean they came anywhere close to their budget. And I can't recall ever seeing so many dismal Rotten Tomatoes scores among the big-name titles. Deadline Hollywood touches on this topic perfectly here.

This year 8 was the magic number, and we had 6 players hit that mark. But only one could win the tirebreaker, and I am happy to share that in his 15th year of playing Curt Perone has finally won the big one! Curt is now our 14th different person to win in our 19 years, and this is the 7th straight year it's been someone completely new.

The Deviation Score breakdown:

Curt Perone - 23 (1,1,3,1,1,2,0,1,7,6) - (1) perfect pick and (5) 1's. A bit off with ID4 2 and TMNT2 but still got the job done. Smart enough to skip Alice 2.
Edward Ardenall - 28 (1,1,5,1,2,2,1,0,6,9) - (1) perfect pick and (4) 1's. Also slightly off with ID4 2 and smart enough to skip Alice 2. 9 on TMNT2 is what really hurt.
Justin Klein - 31 (1,1,3,1,5,2,2,1,4,11) - (4) 1's is nice. 11 on Alice 2 is not.
David Logan - 31 (1,1,1,1,2,0,1,1,5,18) - (1) perfect pick and (6) 1's should have clinched it. But 18 on Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates will haunt you forever.
George Mandella - 33 (1,1,4,1,2,3,3,2,4,12) - (3) 1's wasn't enough. And 12 on Alice 2 was crushing.
Tracie Hylton - 35 (1,1,2,0,2,3,0,1,6,19) - (2) perfect picks - best of the group - and (3) 1's. Then came that 19 on Warcraft. Ouch.

Curt wins the 1st Place prize of $400. Edward Ardenall wins the 2nd Place prize of $90 (great work in your very first SMP!). The 3rd Place prize of $30 gets shared by Justin Klein and David Logan. How cute. Just remember, EVERYONE has a shot at winning this thing.

And we can't forget our beloved Bonehead Award. Not sure if this pick was intended to fail or not, but for the second time we have a tie. Our "winners" Chris Walker and Rana Atieh both selected the $49K- grossing Pele: Birth of a Legend. Now you get to share the $10 prize.

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

1st Place - $400.00 - Curt Perone
2nd Place - $90.00 - Edward Ardenall
3rd Place - $30.00 - (tie) Justin Klein and David Logan
Bonehead Award - $10.00 - (tie) Chris Walker and Rana Atieh



Some observations from this summer:

1) Talk about Animation Domination. We knew Pixar's Finding Dory would be top-2, but no one could have seen $479M. And no one expected Universal's Pets to finish #3 with $354M. For the second straight year both studios were winners (2015 had Inside Out and Minions eclipse $300M to finish #3 and #4), and again Dreamworks was nowhere to be found.

2) Everyone loves their superhero movies. It may not have finished #1, but $407M for Captain America: Civil War was still kickass. And what an enjoyable movie. Sure, it didn't feel as much of a Captain America 3 as it should have been Avengers 3, but whatever. Lots of tension built up leading to 2018's Infinity War. Then we got the super fun Suicide Squad, which managed to rake in $286M despite an August 5 opening date. Didn't matter when it opened or its critical reception, as everyone wanted to see a new take on Harley Quinn and Joker. I finally watched BvS the other day (shocking, I know), and I have to say that SS was the much more enjoyable film. Just make sure to check your brain at the door.

3) Everyone loves their superhero movies... if they include their favorite superheroes. Ok, for the record I haven't yet seen X-Men: Apocalypse, but you can't tell me that the exclusion of Wolverine didn't have an impact. His character is timeless, so no reason to not have him. After the big step forward in the franchise's reboot with $233M from 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, only earning $155M for Apocalypse is a huge punch in the gut for Fox.

4) Speaking of punches in the gut for Fox, how's that for a summer double-whammy in Independence Day: Resurgence? After the 1996 original opened to $50M and totaled $306M, the sequel could do no better than $41M / $103M. One question: Why bother when you couldn't get your biggest star to return? Someone is out of a job.

5) Let's not stop there with summer bombs, as we can all agree that Alice Through the Looking Glass was the swing-movie this summer. No surprise that our top two performers skipped it completely, while the others in the tiebreaker were sabotaged by its selection. How the sequel's total run ($77M) couldn't even match the original's 2010 opening ($116M), I have no idea.

6) 65 movies grossed $1M+ this summer. 2015 had 58 movies earning that amount, and 2014 had 63.

7) The biggest surprises of the summer would have to be The Legend of Tarzan, which finished #9 with $126M despite only 8 selectons, and Central Intelligence, which finished #8 with $127M despite only 9 selections. I had CI as my #11 film, but Tarzan wasn't even om my radar. Will need to check it out. The Rock fools me again!

8) We cannot overlook the worst individual performances of the summer. Our friends Peter, Gray and Tina declined to play, opening the door for a new participant to continue the glory. Rana not only finished the summer with just 3 correct picks, but her Deviation Score of 180 also broke the previous record of 172 set by Tina just last year. Well done!

9) Only 7 new entries to the Hall of Boneheads this year (10 in 2015, and 17 in 2014), and Ted V., Susan W., and Rana each had 2 of them. Congrats.

10) I may not have won, but I beat Chapman once again. It never gets old.

Lastly, my favorite movies of Summer 2016, in terms of 'most enjoyable' experiences (not necessarily the 'best' films). Only saw 5 movies at the theater (I just wasn't impressed this summer), and my favorites were:
1) Captain America: Civil War - Lots of criticism being called a "Captain America" movie, and many are tired of the whole Steve vs. Tony angle. I don't care. Just try to tell me that Spider-Man and Ant-Man weren't great additions, and that Black Panther wasn't sweeeeeeet.
2) Suicide Squad - Other than the final "battle" that seemed hastily written and ripped straight out of Ghostbusters, this was simply pure loud fun.
3) Jason Bourne - Matt Damon. Paul Greengrass. Shaky zoomed-in camera. Intense action. I've missed you.

I regret not seeing The Nice Guys and X-Men: Apocalypse. Nothing else.

Here's hoping everyone had a fun time playing in the SMP this year. Glad to see another SMP veteran as a brand new winner. 2017 is already looking exciting with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicking things off May 5, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Wonder Woman, World War Z 2, Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and War of the Planet of the Apes. Get ready for more sequels. Hope everyone's back next year to take a shot.

See you all next year!!

9/1/16

FINAL Top 10:

                   

It's been a lonnnnnnnnnnng time coming, but our fourth-longest tenured player has finally hit the big time! Mega-congrats to Curt Perone, who after 14 entries in 15 years (including 2 runner-ups) has finally won this thing. Really happy for you, man, as you've been such a dedicated member of the SMP. Congrats!

With my area of the map dealing with the outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Hermine (already lost power once), the final analysis/recap will be posted this weekend. To those in Florida... stay dry! Be back soon.

8/28/16

Current Top 10:

                   

No changes over the weekend... and that makes Curt a happy guy. There are still three full days remaining in the pool, and there is still time for some flip-flops in the standings. The Final Recap will be posted once the August 31 actuals are released. Just hang in there a little bit longer, Curt. And let's not forget 2nd and 3rd Places are still in the air as well.

8/27/16

         

This is it. The final weekend of the summer and then we wrap up on Wednesday. We get five wide releases this weekend (three of them barely wide), with one being a player selection. Big oops. There is still a chance for some Top 10 movies to flip flop creating a little drama, but I think we all know how this pool is going to end. See you on Sunday.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Don't Breathe - 20M (20M)
2) Suicide Squad - 10.7M (281.9M)
3) Kubo and the Two Strings - 8.2M (25.5M)
4) War Dogs - 8M (28.9M)
5) Sausage Party - 7.7M (80.4M)
6) Pete's Dragon - 6.8M (54.3M)
7) Mechanic: Ressurection - 6.7M (6.7M)
8) Ben-Hur - 5.6M (21M)
9) Bad Moms - 5.1M (94.6M)
10) Jason Bourne - 4.8M (148.8M)
11) The Secret Life of Pets - 3.5M (352.9M)
12) Hell Or High Water - 2.9M (6.7M)
13) Florence Foster Jenkins - 2.8M (19.5M)
14) Hands of Stone - 2M (2M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Don't Breathe = 87% (94% by the Top Critics)
Mechanic: Ressurection = 26% (25% by the Top Critics)
Hell Or High Water = 99% (95% by the Top Critics)
Hands of Stone = 46% (46% by the Top Critics)
Southside With You = 93% (97% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Don't Breathe = 3,051
Mechanic: Ressurection = 2,258
Hell Or High Water = 909
Hands of Stone = 810
Southside With You = 813

8/23/16

Current Top 10:

                   

One full week left and the Top 10 is still the same from last weekend. Only $1.1M separates #9 and #10, so those could flip. Only $1.7M separates #8 and #9, but they made equal amounts last weekend so likely no movement there. $6M separates #6 and #7, and based on last weekend's numbers those could also flip. Curt P is the current tiebreaker leader by 5 points and I'm sure this wait is just killing him.

Next weekend: Three wide releases in our final weekend, and one of them was selected. Clearly it won't make the Top 10, and it won't win the Bonehead Award either. Hope the player wasn't gunning for it, as it never works out that way.

8/20/16

     

Three more wide releases, and with only two weekends left we still have selections from players. Sadly there won't be enough time to have any kind of impact in the standings. All we have left is movies jockeying for position in the bottom half of the Top 10. Stay tuned.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Suicide Squad - 20M (262.3M)
2) War Dogs - 16M (16M)
3) Sausage Party - 15.5M (66.5M)
4) Kubo and the Two Strings - 15M (15M)
5) Pete's Dragon - 13.9M (46.6M)
6) Ben-Hur - 13M (13M)
7) Jason Bourne - 8.3M (141.3M)
8) Bad Moms - 7.9M (84.4M)
9) The Secret Life of Pets - 6.3M (347.6M)
10) Star Trek Beyond - 4.4M (147.5M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
War Dogs = 59% (48% by the Top Critics)
Kubo and the Two Strings = 96% (94% by the Top Critics)
Ben-Hur = 31% (27% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
War Dogs = 3,258
Kubo and the Two Strings = 3,260
Ben-Hur = 3,084

8/16/16

Current Top 10:

                   

Two weeks left in the summer and it appears that our current Top 10 movies are locked in. Jason Bourne jumped in and up to #7, while Angry Birds fell out. No movie this past weekend earned more than $33M, so Ghostbusters (ugh) is now safe at #10 (probably #9 when it's over).

Our 6 leaders are all still tied for first with 8 correct picks, and that shouldn't change. Right now the Scoreboard shows Curt P. in the lead, but that could certainly flip over the next couple weeks. I'm not even going to project. This is going to go down to the wire and I'm enjoying it!

Next weekend: Three wide releases, with two of them selected: Ben-Hur (one player) and War Dogs (one player). August 19 is a bit too late to take as a selection, but to be fair Ben-Hur was bumped back from its prior August 12 date. Use caution with August movies.

8/12/16

     

Some fantastic reviews all around... and that includes Sausage Party. Everything about it makes me laugh :D

This is the weekend where last year's Straight Outta Compton shocked everyone to make Top 10. That one opened to $60M. Doesnt look like anything will match it this year.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Suicide Squad - 38.5M (219.7M)
2) Pete's Dragon - 31M (31M)
3) Sausage Party - 30M (30M)
4) Jason Bourne - 10.8M (122.8M)
5) Bad Moms - 7.7M (66.8M)
6) The Secret Life of Pets - 6.9M (333.6M)
7) Florence Foster Jenkins - 6.5M (6.5M)
8) Star Trek Beyond - 5M (137.6M)
9) Nine Lives - 3.1M (13.3M)
10) Lights Out - 3M (60.9M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Pete's Dragon = 85% (84% by the Top Critics)
Sausage Party = 83% (86% by the Top Critics)
Florence Foster Jenkins = 88% (92% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Pete's Dragon = 3,702
Sausage Party = 3,103
Florence Foster Jenkins = 1,528

8/7/16

Current Top 10:

                   

Just three days and Suicide Squad is already the #5 movie on our list with an August-record $135M. Says a lot about the intense hype for this flick. But as amazing as $135M is, even with the entire month of August I don't think it'll hit $300M due to its atrocious ratings. It'll finish at #4. Its inclusion spells the end for ID4-2, deservedly so. What a tank job. Star Trek just jumped up to #6, but don't think it has enough gas to catch X-Men. Bourne will join the Top 10 by mid-week to knock out Angry Birds, and should settle in right behind Trek when it's over.

And now comes the fun that is the guessing game of the final standings. I love this part of the summer! Factoring in the current earnings of every move released, BoxOffice.com's projected openings for the upcoming releases, the fact that only three weekends remain, and the 'rule of 50%' (that's being nice to Squad), I've created a Final Projections spreadsheet that is posted in the Weekly Spreadsheets page of the site. And what do we have, but ANOTHER tie for first place. Should things play out as projected (you never know after last year's shocking hit from mid-August, Straight Outta Compton), SIX players will sit at the top with 8 correct picks: Curt P, Justin K, David L, George M, Edward Ar, and Tracie H. This is pretty exciting as only Justin is a repeat winner (2008). David did win way back in 2003, but his was a three-way tie... and he did pick Dumb and Dumberer. That alone should cancel out any kind of victory, especially considering that was using our old tiebreaker system. Curt has twice finished 2nd, George has never placed in his 14 years of playing, and Edward and Tracie are newcomers. Awesome! I won't bother with any deviation projections at this time, as spots 8-10 in the Top 10 are all up for grabs. Spots 6-7 could also flip.

Say what you want about the overall suckiness of the summer's selections, but the Top 10 is on pace for roughly $2.3B combined. That falls right between 2015's $2.7B and 2014's $2.1B. Thank goodness for the animated films.

Next weekend: Four wide releases, with selections of Pete's Dragon (1 player), Sausage Party (4 players), and Ben-Hur (1 player). Sausage is the one that everyone is talking about, as it is already at 100% on RT through 8 reviews. I get why Disney remade Dragon, as the original is so badly dated and unwatchable (I hated it as a kid), but why even bother with Ben-Hur. Just unnecessary.

8/6/16

   

It's the first weekend of August, and that brings us our last blockbuster of the summer: Suicide Squad. Critics be damned, as despite a horrendous 26% RT score it is still projected to pull in an August record $133M (previously Guardians of the Galaxy's $94M) thanks to an also-August record 4,255 theaters. It'll already lock in as Top 10 after just three days. Can't wait to see this!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Suicide Squad - 133M (133M)
2) Jason Bourne - 23.5M (105.5M)
3) Bad Moms - 13.1M (49.2M)
4) Star Trek Beyond - 12.3M (130.3M)
5) The Secret Life of Pets - 11.3M (319.5M)
6) Nine Lives - 6.5M (6.5M)
7) Ice Age: Collision Course - 5.4M (55.1M)
8) Lights Out - 5.4M (54.3M)
9) Nerve - 5.2M (27.4M)
10) Ghostbusters - 5.0M (117.1M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Suicide Squad = 26% (20% by the Top Critics)
Nine Lives = 7% (17% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Suicide Squad = 4,255
Nine Lives = 2,264

8/4/16

Current Top 10:

                   

The $60M opening for Jason Bourne shot past its weekend projection to position itself nicely for future Top 10 status. Its opening was the second-highest of the Bourne franchise, and nearly 50% more than the forgettable Bourne Legacy. Bad Moms fell short of its projection with only $23M. It started out hot on Friday night but coudn't even match on Saturday. It's done.

Only one change in the Top 10, as Star Trek Beyond replaced The Conjuring 2.

Been keeping an eye on the field to see who has the best chance to win. I usually reserve those projections for after the first weekend of August, but it doesn't hurt to sneak a peek. We have 3 players with 8 correct picks (Jesse L, Haydee P, and Edward Arendall), but only 2 of them have Suicide Squad. 17 players currently have 7 correct picks, led by Audrey Moore. Get it, Audrey!

Next weekend: Two wide releases, including one of the most anticipated movies of the summer in Suicide Squad (selected by 50 players). The review embargo has ended, and they haven't been very kind with an early 31%. Ouch! I don't even care, as I'm going to see it next week. But gotta check my brain at the door first.

7/30/16

     

It's badass movie time! The incoming reviews haven't been the greatest (who'd have thunk it'd be the lowest of the three wide releases), so the opening weekend projection dropped quite a bit from last week. But who cares? It's Maaaaaatt Daaaaamon back as Jason Bourne. The end. Bad Moms got a boost from it's decent reviews. Everyone wins.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Jason Bourne - 51M (51M)
2) Star Trek Beyond - 29M (112M)
3) Bad Moms - 27M (27M)
4) The Secret Life of Pets - 16.3M (294.2M)
5) Ice Age: Collision Course - 11.7M (44M)
6) Lights Out - 10.8M (43M)
7) Ghostbusters - 9.5M (106.1M)
8) Nerve - 8.5M (12.5M)
9) Finding Dory - 4.3M (469.1M)
10) The Legend of Tarzan - 3.7M (123.4M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Jason Bourne = 56% (56% by the Top Critics)
Bad Moms = 63% (68% by the Top Critics)
Nerve = 56% (69% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Jason Bourne = 4,026
Bad Moms = 3,215
Nerve = 2,538

7/25/16

Current Top 10:

                   

Home from Atlanta. I'm alive. Barely.

An above-average opening for Star Trek Beyond with $59M. Not the $60M+ it was projected to do, but in this summer it's a lock. Chapman and I went to see it on Sunday. I need to give it a second chance to have a real opinion, as I wasn't in the proper frame of mind to enjoy it. Seemed kinda all over the place. It sounded good tho. Meanwhile, Ice Age 5 colossally tanked with just $21M. The well has run dry. And to the one fan of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, I dig your sense of humor, but you've been Pele'd out of the Bonehead Award.

So now it's TMNT2 out... Ghostbusters in. No other real shakeup in the Top 10. How we are nearly in August and the #5 movie is only at $123M, I have no idea.

Next weekend: A trio of wide releases, but the prize is Jason Bourne (selected by 35 players). The trailers look intense, and I'm anxiously awaiting the reviews. There is also some interesting counter-programming in Bad Moms. There's always room for raunchy R-rated comedies, but I think this one has flown a bit too much under the radar to have any kind of impact. One person hopes I'm wrong.

7/21/16

     

Fantastic reviews for both Star Trek Beyond (89%) and, surprisingly, Lights Out (81%). Most disturbing, however, is only 11% for Ice Age: Collision Course. Please end this franchise. Trek will only be my 2nd movie seen this summer. Gotta save my pennies for partying. Up next... an Atlanta weekend hanging out with Chapman. Dammit Todd... there's still time!!!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Star Trek Beyond - 61M (61M)
2) Ice Age: Collision Course - 33M (33M)
3) The Secret Life of Pets - 25.5M (257.5M)
4) Ghostbusters - 20.7M (87M)
5) Lights Out - 17M (17M)
6) The Legend of Tarzan - 6.3M (116M)
7) Finding Dory - 6.2M (459.2M)
8) Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates - 3.4M (39.5M)
9) The Purge: Election Year - 6.8M (71.8M)
10) Central Intelligence - 3.2M (123.6M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Star Trek Beyond = 89% (86% by the Top Critics)
Ice Age: Collision Course = 11% (5% by the Top Critics)
Lights Out = 81% (88% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Star Trek Beyond = 3,928
Ice Age: Collision Course = 3,992
Lights Out = 2,818

7/19/16

Current Top 10:

                   

$46M for Ghostbusters. Good thing they did that remake.

A couple big jumps for Pets and Tarzan. Pets skyrocketed to $200M, and shouldn't have a problem hitting $300M in a couple more weekends. Tarzan will be able to to edge out four others in the Top 10, and that might be just enough considering there are really only four big films remaining this summer.

Next weekend: Two of those big films come out on Friday, with 44 players selecting Star Trek Beyond and 17 players selecting Ice Age: Collision Course. The early reviews have been stellar for Trek (93% through 42 reviews). Ice Age's have been pathetic (15% through 40). Three of the current top six movies are animated. Is there room for another?

7/14/16

   

24 players are all about the Ghostbusters remake... and as much as I want to hate on it, they may be the smartest ones here. There has never been a more reviled trailer on YouTube than the first one released by Sony. I'm not saying it ruined my childhood, but I am certainly rooting against it just so that we can put an end to unnecessary remakes (Total Recall, Robocop, Poltergeist, and Fright Night quickly come to mind). Have you seen the original GB recently? It still holds up quite well today, as does every other original I just mentioned. Kate McKinnon is the only reason I'd see this new one. 'Murica.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Ghostbusters - 56M (56M)
2) The Secret Life of Pets - 53.5M (206M)
3) The Legend of Tarzan - 11.5M (103.7M)
4) Finding Dory - 11.4M (445.7M)
5) Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates - 11M (35M)
6) The Purge: Election Year - 6.8M (71.8M)
7) Central Intelligence - 4.8M (116.9M)
8) The Infiltrator - 4.2M (5.4M)
9) The BFG - 3.9M (47.5M)
10) Independence Day: Resurgence - 3.5M (98.6M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Ghostbusters = 75% (59% by the Top Critics)
The Infiltrator = 64% (68% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Ghostbusters = 3,963
The Infiltrator = 1,600

7/14/16

Current Top 10:

                   

I just woke up from last weekend's Orlando vacation. A much needed break.

Lots of Top 10 shakeup last weekend. Finding Dory became our new #1... Central Intelligence jumped up to #4 (temporarily)... The Secret Life of Pets debuted at #6 (soon to be #3) with $103M!... The Legend of Tarzan joined the fun at #9... and we say goodbye to Alice Through the Looking Glass and Now You See Me 2. Good riddance.

Next weekend: Heyyyyy it's already next weekend.......

7/7/16

   

I guess animated films are once again in vogue, as The Secret Life of Pets is expected to tear it up as the 3rd biggest opener of the summer. Dory will already be our new #1 by Sunday, and we still have another Ice Age on the horizon. Meanwhile, Angry Birds continues to cling onto life as ID4-2 keeps turding it up. Yeah, thats a word. Look it up. Oh, and we have Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates which surprisingly couldn't even open in 3000 theaters. Not good.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Secret Life of Pets - 79M (79M)
2) Finding Dory - 23M (424.7M)
3) The Legend of Tarzan - 17.4M (78.5M)
4) The BFG - 12.2M (43.2M)
5) Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates - 10.5M (10.5M)
6) The Purge: Election Year - 10M (56.7M)
7) Central Intelligence - 7.5M (107.5M)
8) Independence Day: Resurgence - 6.7M (90.7M)
9) The Shallows - 4.4M (45.5M)
10) Free State of Jones - 2.3M (20.2M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Secret Life of Pets = 76% (79% by the Top Critics)
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates = 47% (52% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Secret Life of Pets = 4,369
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates = 2,982
Everyone have a FUN nand SAFE Fourth of July weekend!!! No holding Roman candles.

7/4/16

Current Top 10:

                   

I hope everyone had a fun holiday weekend... and still has all their digits :D

It was an interesting 4-day weekend at the box office, as The Legend of Tarzan more than doubled its projection to the tune of $45M. The Purge: Election Year and The BFG each slightly exceeded their own, but not enough to be seriously considered to crack the list like Tarzan. Of course, Dory won the weekend with $50M, and with it now sitting at $380M total it will become our new #1 by next weekend. Only 2 players made that prediction, so good for you both. In another shakeup we should see Angry Birds get passed by Central Intelligence next weekend, with The Conjuring 2 right behind. Not good for the long term prospect of Birds.

Here's something to watch closely... While we don't know how future movies will play out, we do know that there are currently only three locks: Civil War, Dory and Apocalypse. And we have one player who has selected only those three thus far: JoJo (Joanna Robinson). She's currently sitting at the bottom of the Scoreboard, but that's only because she still has 7 picks remaining. It's still too early to be focused on the Scoreboard. Of course, she will need some luck having selected both Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Sausage Party (I'm digging your sense of humor), and skipped The Secret Life of Pets. But seriously, like we all know any better? Good luck to you, Joanna!

Next weekend: Two wide releases in the aforementioned The Secret Life of Pets (selected by 34 players) and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2 players). I've seen projections as high as $80M for Pets. Wedding Dates? Yeahhhhh, not so much.

7/2/16

     

Another four-day holiday weekend brings us three new wide releases. Both the projections and the reviews aren't kind for any of them, as Dory should remain queen of the weekend. I'm extremely disappointed in the reviews for Tarzan. I really wanted to see it.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Finding Dory - 50M (380.6M)
2) The Purge: Election Year - 30M (30M)
3) Independence Day: Resurgence - 22M (79M)
4) The Legend of Tarzan - 21.5M (21.5M)
5) The BFG - 19.5M (19.5M)
6) Central Intelligence - 13.6M (93.1M)
7) The Shallows - 9.2M (35.5M)
8) The Conjuring 2 - 4.6M (96.1M)
9) Free State of Jones - 4.5M (15.7M)
10) Now You See Me 2 - 3.2M (59.2M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Purge: Election Year = 54% (65% by the Top Critics)
The Legend of Tarzan = 34% (37% by the Top Critics)
The BFG = 72% (64% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Purge: Election Year = 2,796
The Legend of Tarzan = 3,561
The BFG = 3,357
Everyone have a FUN nand SAFE Fourth of July weekend!!! No holding Roman candles.

6/26/16

Current Top 10:

                   

Another weekend another bomb, as Independence Day: Resurgence disappointed with only $41M. Combine that with a 34% RT grade and just a B CinemaScore (tying Neighbors 2 as the worst of the nine big films this summer), and I see another potential opening for something to sneak in. This one couldn't even match the opening of its predecessor from 20 years ago ($50M). Sad. Meanwhile, Finding Dory killed it with just a 45% drop in weekend #2 to rake in another $73M. That's $286M in only 10 days. Civil War also managed to cross $400M this past week. Those two plus Apocalypse ($151M) are our only locks so far. Angry Birds is stalling out at $104M, The Conjuring 2 is pushing $90M and holding well with just a 48% drop, and Central Intelligence is holding well with only a 48% drop.

Next weekend: The four-day July 4th holiday weekend will bring us FOUR new wide releases. All we care about are The Legend of Tarzan (selected by 8 players), The BFG (by 4), and The Purge: Election Year (by 1). I can easily see these newcomers plus ID4-2 all cannibalize each other while Dory swims off with another weekend victory. I'm just hoping Tarzan gets good enough reviews for me to want to see it at the theater. So far I've only seen Civil War. Shocking, I know.

6/24/16

       

Now it's FOUR wide releases this weekend, but only Independence Day: Resuscitation (or whatever it is) was selected by players. And other than The Shallows, the ratings are abysmal. Pass.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Finding Dory - 75M (285.3M)
2) Independence Day: Resurgence - 53M (53M)
3) Central Intelligence - 16M (66.1M)
4) The Shallows - 16M (16M)
5) Free State of Jones - 9.5M (9.5M)
6) The Conjuring 2 - 5.8M (84.4M)
7) Now You See Me 2 - 3.8M (49.7M)
8) The Neon Demon - 2.6M (2.6M)
9) X:Men Apocalypse - 2.5M (151.1M)
10) Alice Through the Looking Glass - 2.5M (74.7M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Independence Day: Resurgence = 34% (23% by the Top Critics)
The Shallows = 75% (68% by the Top Critics)
Free State of Jones = 41% (40% by the Top Critics)
The Neon Demon = 48% (38% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Independence Day: Resurgence = 4,068
The Shallows = 2,800
Free State of Jones = 2,815
The Neon Demon = 783

6/19/16

Current Top 10:

                   

One and a half months into the summer and we now have our third lock in Finding Dory. Dory's $136M slightly exceeded expectations, and obliterated all animated records including opening weekend, opening day, single day, and per-theater average. It also saw a 90% bump over its predecessor's 2003 opening of $70M. Finally, a sequel this summer that didn't tank! See what I did there? I don't see any way Dory doesn't finish #2. Central Intelligence perfectly matched it's projection with $34M. Being a buddy action-comedy flick with an A- CinemaScore in a dreadful summer such as this, Intelligence will be something to keep an eye on.

Next weekend: Three wide releases led by ANOTHER sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence (selected by 54 players). This movie was buzzing like crazy just a month ago with a projected $68M. But now comes word of no advance screenings. No press. No New York premiere. No early reviews. Does Fox know something we don't? The absence of Will Smith couldn't make THAT huge a difference, could it? The latest projections are for $50M, which would make for a very unkind summer to Fox after Apocalypse. We also get Free State of Jones and The Shallows, both selected by no one.

6/17/16

   

Another $100M movie for the summer, and it will only take three days for Finding Dory to get there. About time we get something decent with great reviews. Best of the summer so far. I'm really surprised to see Central Intelligence projecting so weakly. After originally skipping it I thought this duo was gold and I made a big mistake. Guess not.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Finding Dory - 131M (131M)
2) Central Intelligence - 34M (34M)
3) The Conjuring 2 - 21M (77.5M)
4) Now You See Me 2 - 16.1M (48.5M)
5) Warcraft - 8.5M (40.3M)
6) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - 7M (74.1M)
7) Me Before You - 4.6M (46.8M)
8) X:Men Apocalypse - 5M (146M)
9) The Angry Birds Movie - 3.6M (105.2M)
10) Alice Through the Looking Glass - 3.1M (68.9M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Finding Dory = 95% (89% by the Top Critics)
Central Intelligence = 67% (63% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Finding Dory = 4,305
Central Intelligence = 3,508

6/12/16

Current Top 10:

                   

I believe we have our first overachiever of the summer (I don't count TMNT 2, as its projection halved over the two prior weeks). While $40M for anything isn't a lock, this summer if could be just enough for Conjuring 2. The original opened to $41M and finished with $137M, and the sequel's reviews are strong at 74%. There is room for something to sneak in, and this could be it. I saw nothing in the trailers and commercials to make me believe it was more than a bunch of jump-scares, but I'm also not a fan of the genre. What do I know? Well, I do know that $24M for Warcraft ends that hope for some. But hey, China loves it! And then there's the 58% tumble that TMNT 2 suffered in weekend #2. Stupid turtles.

Next weekend: This will be a biggie as we get two wide releases, one of which is an absolute lock. Pixar + summer = no-brainer. Yet 2 players have much to learn as Finding Dory is expected to be our #2 movie of the summer. The rest of us could use a some success in our picks. And then there is the movie that I believe is going to sneak into the Top 10 thanks to all the failures: Central Intelligence (selected by 10 players). I mean, it's got to be funnier than the Ride Along movies, right??

6/10/16

     

Three wide releases this wekeend, with only two selected: The Conjuring 2 (2 players) and Warcraft (9 players). Looks like another week of mediocrity, although Conjuring has decent reviews at 74% (the original was 86%). And how sad is it that after one month-plus we still can't get 10 summer movies in the projected Top 10?

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Conjuring 2 - 33.5M (33.5M)
2) Now You See Me 2 - 27M (27M)
3) Warcraft - 21M (21M)
4) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - 15.9M (62.3M)
5) Me Before You - 10.3M (38M)
6) X:Men Apocalypse - 10.2M (137M)
7) Alice Through the Looking Glass - 5.6M (62.4M)
8) The Angry Birds Movie - 5.6M (96.7M)
9) Captain America: Civil War - 3.4M (395.5M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Conjuring 2 = 74% (75% by the Top Critics)
Now You See Me 2 = 37% (36% by the Top Critics)
Warcraft = 27% (20% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Conjuring 2 = 3,343
Now You See Me 2 = 3,232
Warcraft = 3,400

6/5/16

Current Top 10:

                   

Congrats on being the #1 movie of the weekend, TMNT 2, as you still sucked it up with just $35M (a 46% drop from the original's opening in 2014). Technically speaking, it exceeded the lowest of expectations in Box Office's weekend preview, but we shouldn't really expect anything better than $90M when it's all done. Another summer bust. The Turtles screwed me in 2014, and they screwed me again this year :(

Everything listed in that Top 10 below Angry Birds can be pretty much crossed off at this point. Birds will eclipse $100M within the next week-plus, while everything below it needs to just be put down. Including Apocalypse, which will still finish Top 10 despite dropping a massive 66% from its opening weekend gross, we now have 4 clear bombs this summer. This may open the door for...

Next weekend: Three more wide releases, and one of them (selected by 2 players) is the sequel to the horror flick that surprised everyone in 2013 with $133M and finished #10: The Conjuring. That film opened to $41M, had a 86% RT score, and an A- CinemaScore. The Conjuring 2 is already looking at an 85% RT score, and there hasn't been a true horror film for the genre's fans to enjoy since January. The timing is perfect for another potential Top 10 sleeper. And then there is Warcraft (selected by 9 players), which is already limping along with a 19% RT score. The weekly projections have just gotten worse and worse. And that's a real shame because after directing Moon and Source Code I had REALLY high hopes for Duncan Jones' take on the video game adaptation. Unfortunately, it's being released about 5-10 years too late for anyone to really care. A shame. No one bothered to pick Now You See Me 2. Smart.

Oh, and one item of note - We had a player bow out of the pool by not paying his entry fee. So now with our pot being $10 less, we will reduce our 3rd Place prize from $40 to $30.

6/3/16

     

Three wide releases this wekeend, with only one selected by the masses: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows by 35 players. But it's looking like that was a mistake selection, as what was previously projected as a $53M opening two weeks ago dwindled to a $42M opening last week, and is now down to just a $27M opening this weekend. What the hell is going on this summer?!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - 27M (27M)
2) X:Men Apocalypse - 21.7M (116.8M)
3) Me Before You - 18.5M (18.5M)
4) Alice Through the Looking Glass - 13.2M (53.2M)
5) The Angry Birds Movie - 10M (87.1M)
6) Captain America: Civil War - 7.5M (388.5M)
7) Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping - 5.5 (5.5M)
8) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - 4.2M (48.1M)
9) The Jungle Book - 4M (347.1M)
10) The Nice Guys - 3.7M (29.3M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows = 37% (30% by the Top Critics)
Me Before You = 54% (39% by the Top Critics)
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping = 78% (76% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows = 4,071
Me Before You = 2,704
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping = 2,311

6/2/16

FINALLY able to analyze all of our 2016 Summer Movie Pool picks... and even though we are a month in it's still interesting to look at. 30 films overall were selected, 1 more than last year, 4 of which look Bonehead-worthy. I counted 14 legit contenders for Top 10 status, but after last year's stunning 2-week performance by Straight Outta Compton, all bets are off.

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

Captain America: Civil War - May 6
57 people / Avg placement = 1.2 / Highest placement = 1
A no-brainer as everyone picked it. Six didn't make it their #1, with one of them having it at #6. Interesting.

Neighbors 2 - May 20
13 people / Avg placement = 8.6 / Highest placement = 6
The original barely missed the cut in 2014 with $150M. Sequels typically fall short of their predecessors, so with such a similar plot this one has Hangover-sequelitis written all over it.

The Angry Birds Movie - May 20
13 people / Avg placement = 7.1 / Highest placement = 3
The first of four animated films this summer. It has a whole month to itself before Pixar hits the scene. An early wildcard.

Alice Through the Looking Glass - May 27
33 people / Avg placement = 7.0 / Highest placement = 2
The original grossed $334M with an opening of $116M in 2010. Even if it grosses only 50% of the original this movie is a lock! Well, that's what I WOULD have said.

X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27
55 people / Avg placement = 4.1 / Highest placement = 1
An X-Men movie on Memorial Day weekend? Yes please. Only two don't believe.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - June 3
35 people / Avg placement = 7.2 / Highest placement = 2
Only 19 people believed in the original in 2014, when it stunned everyone with a $65M opening. It wound up being decent fun, so we are now more prepared for the sequel.

Finding Dory - June 17
54 people / Avg placement = 2.4 / Highest placement = 1
Three people just don't realize that a summer Pixar is the lock of all locks. Set it and forget it.

Central Intelligence - June 17
10 people / Avg placement = 8.8 / Highest placement = 6
Kevin Hart's schtick is becoming repetitive and old, but The Rock is white hot after Furious 7 and San Andreas. If any early films falter, this could be the one to slide into the Top 10.

Independence Day: Resurgence - June 24
54 people / Avg placement = 5.7 / Highest placement = 1
Confession: I did not like the first ID4. Full of cliches. I mean it was super cringe-worthy. This one appears to have a more serious tone. And hopefully no Harvey Fierstein. Ugh.

The Secret Life of Pets - July 8
34 people / Avg placement = 6.7 / Highest placement = 4
This trailer has been such a huge hit on the interwebz that it seems like an easy pick. Animated. Pets. Next.

Ghostbusters - July 15
24 people / Avg placement = 7.8 / Highest placement = 3
I don't think I've ever wanted a summer movie to bomb so badly as this one. I hate the entire idea that this remake was made. The trailers look awful, and yet it's still projected to open to $66M :(

Ice Age: Collision Course - July 22
17 people / Avg placement = 6.9 / Highest placement = 3
The last of four animated films this summer. Will there be enough money to go around? The first four Ice Ages grossed $176M, $195M, $196M, and $161M.

Star Trek Beyond - July 22
44 people / Avg placement = 6.4 / Highest placement = 2
JJ is out, and the director of the last four Fast & Furious films is in. I had big concerns after the initial trailer (really messy), but the most recent trailer makes me feel better.

Jason Bourne - July 29
35 people / Avg placement = 7.2 / Highest placement = 3
Maaaaaaaattttt Damon. Only 35 people for a Bourne movie? Perhaps people are still feeling burned after being duped the last go-round. It's been nine years since we last saw Damon in this role.

Suicide Squad - August 5
50 people / Avg placement = 5.0 / Highest placement = 1
Who cares that this comes out the first weekend of August? Well, seven people, obviously. Too bad, as this is THE movie that has everyone excited.

I may not have picked all of them, but these are the movies I really want to see the most in theaters: Captain America: Civil War, Central Intelligence, The Secret Life of Pets, Star Trek Beyond, Jason Bourne, and Suicide Squad (my most anticipated).

I hope everyone enjoys this summer as much as I will. Too bad Sponge and Mario have identical picks as me :( Good luck!

5/30/16

Current Top 10:

                   

What a craptacular weekend for the 33 of us who took Alice Through the Looking Glass. How does a sequel open to only $34M when the original opened to $116M and finished with $334M?? There's the 'rule of 50%'... and there's this nonsense. We can end the poll question now, as we have our biggest sequel bomb of the summer. Alice 2 will be lucky to just match the original's three-day opening in its entire run. Awful. As Box Office Mojo points out, 59% of viewers saw Alice 2 in 3D this weekend despite having more than 82% of the total theaters running it in that format. Regardless of the RT rating, it's clear that the two tentpole films cannibalized each other. Disney had secured this date first, but when X-Men joined the date a month later Disney never blinked. Oops. In hindsight it should have slid up to the March date that served so well back in 2010. This is now the third time that a live-action Disney has bombed out over the extended Memorial Day weekend when running up against another major release: Prince of Persia ($90M in 2010) and Tomorrowland ($93M in 2015). At least Chapman's recent poster helps ease the pain.

While $80M for X-Men: Apocalypse over four days isn't much to brag about, it is now a safe lock for the 55 players who selected it. Other than Origins: Wolverine, this is the worst-rated X-Men movie in the franchise. And yet I still plan to go see it. Unfortunately, Alice is tying up the IMAX screens :(

Something to think about... the surprise failures by both Neighbors 2 and Alice 2 have definitely created openings for some others to slip into the Top 10. At this point I'm thinking Central Intelligence or (sadly) Ghostbusters will take advantage. Personally, I'm hoping it'll be Tarzan, which I did not pick.

Next weekend: Three wide releases, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (selected by 35 players). The original completely ruined my perfect 10/10 summer back in 2014, and I refused to ever watch it. Until I did. And then I wound up enjoying the stupid fun. Because that's what I am: stupid. This new one looks like a chaotic mess, but I'm all in. Now watch it underachieve like everything else has this summer.

5/29/16

Heh. I knew Chapman had this one coming as soon as the Thursday numbers came out. The long weekend makes it even more agonizing. Dammit.

 

5/28/16

   

Two more wide releases this 4-day weekend. You would think that that'd be a huge boost for these big-name movies. I guess not. These are some horrible RT scores... but then again The Nice Guys scored a 91% and still no one went to see it. It's gonna be one of those weird summers for us, as all earnings have been deflated thus far.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) X:Men Apocalypse - 82M (82M)
2) Alice Through the Looking Glass - 61M (61M)
3) The Angry Birds Movie - 23.5M (74M)
4) Captain America: Civil War - 22.1M (382M)
5) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - 12M (43M)
6) The Nice Guys - 8M (24M)
8) Money Monster - 3.8M (33.6M)
10) The Darkness - 1.1M (10.2M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
X:Men Apocalypse = 48% (36% by the Top Critics)
Alice Through the Looking Glass = 28% (14% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
X:Men Apocalypse = 4,150
Alice Through the Looking Glass = 3,763

Everyone have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!!

5/22/16

Current Top 10:

             

Friday, May 20
Steve: Another scoop... Neighbors 2 on pace for $26M. Wa waaaaa.
Chapman: Inaccurate scoop as always. 47M.
Steve: I dunno, man. You sure you're not confusing it with Angry Birds??
Chapman: The numbers aren't in yet, Berg! It doesn't matter until it's over, dummy!
Steve: I cannot WAIT to write this recap on Sunday.

Sunday, May 22
Chapman: Neighbors 2 - $79M
Steve: I can't wait to write this recap tonight.

There's no mercy it's SMP time! Unfortunately for Chapman and 12 others, they can kiss perfection goodbye as we have our first real bomb of the summer. Despite a projection of $36M, Neighbors 2 settled with only $21M as it couldn't even keep up with its Thursday night/Friday matinee pace. The Angry Birds Movie perfectly matched its projected $39M, becoming the first movie of the summer to monitor closely. There's a LOT of time left, and 13 players will be sweating this one out. And despite strong ratings, The Nice Guys won't be a threat at all with only $11M.

Next weekend: The 4-day Memorial Day weekend has always been good for one Top 10 submission, and this year we have two major releases: X-Men: Apocalypse (selected by all but 2 players) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (selected by 33 players). The previous X-Men grossed $233M in 2014, while the previous Alice grossed $334M in 2010. Unfortunately, the early reviews for each are in the 50's.

5/19/16

     

The SMP perks back up this weekend with three wide releases, two of which selected by players. And yet it's the third movie that I want to see most thanks to really impressive reviews.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Captain America: Civil War - 41M (353.5M)
2) The Angry Birds Movie - 39M (39M)
3) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - 36.5M (36.5M)
4) The Nice Guys - 17M (17M)
6) Money Monster - 6.9M (26M)
8) The Darkness - 1.5M (7.6M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Angry Birds Movie = 45% (42% by the Top Critics)
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising = 66% (68% by the Top Critics)
The Nice Guys = 91% (83% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Angry Birds Movie = 3,932
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising = 3,384
The Nice Guys = 2,865

5/15/16

Current Top 10:

       

So this weekend we had... Civil War drop 60% and yet still hit $300M... Money Monster exceed expectations yet still top out at only $15M... and we actually had some box office reporting for Pele: Birth of a Legend. A whopping $7K! That now makes it eligible for the Bonehead Award. Too bad two people would have to split that $10 if it "wins".

Next weekend: Three major releases in Neighbors 2 (selected by 13 players), Angry Birds (selected by 13 players), and The Nice Guys (no one selected). A busy weekend with War, Neighbors and Guys all gunning for the same demographic. Could prove huge for Birds as the first animated film of the summer.

5/13/16

   

Weekend #2 of the SMP is traditionally a downer, as studios like to avoid the juggernaut that is the first blockbuster of the summer. That just means more Civil War for all of us. That's right... keep that $$$ rolling in. Joining the party are Money Monster (selected by 3 players) and The Darkness. Both are projected at less than $9M, so those of you who selected Monster might want to take a screenshot while it briefly sits at #2.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Captain America: Civil War - 81M (306M)
2) Money Monster - 8.9M (8.9M)
3) The Darkness - 4.5M (4.5M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Money Monster = 57% (61% by the Top Critics)
The Darkness = 0% (0% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Money Monster = 3,104
The Darkness = 1,755

5/8/16

Current Top 10:

 

Is it fair to call $181M a disappointment? Last year Avengers: Age of Ultron was projected to do $221M but instead only earned $187M. This year Captain America: Civil War was projected to do $214M but instead settled with $181M. Still, that's a 91% increase over 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier as it is now the 5th largest opening of all time. Everyone here wisely selected it, and all placed it #1 or #2 except for one person. With a 91% Rotten Tomatoes rating and an 'A' CinemaScore I expect it to still be our #1 movie of the summer. $400M should be a certainty.

On the flip side, two people took Pele: Birth of a Legend, which hasn't yet reported any box office earnings. Remember, to be eligible for the Bonehead Award a movie must earn at least $1 domestic. Will need to keep an eye on this one.

Next weekend: Just like last year we get some counter-programming in weekend #2 in Money Monster, and this time three players are all-in. Unfortunately, Box Office has it projected at $9.5M. And there aren't yet any Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Oops.

5/7/16

It's so nice once the Summer Movie Pool begins, as our setup work is pretty much done. Now we can just sit back and let the next 4 months of this movie season play out.

After dropping from a record 63 players in 2014 down to 49 in 2015, we jumped right back up to 57 this year. 13 players are brand new, and we'd like to welcome them all to the fun that is the SMP. As I posted below, we have now gone 6 straight years with someone new winning this pool. And one of them was a newbie when they won. It can be done.

Of our original $570.00 pot, $30.00 will apply toward the administration of the website (domain and server maintenance). So for the remaining $540.00 the breakdown for 2016 will be the following (keeping in line with prior year payouts):

1st Place = $400.00
2nd Place = $90.00
3rd Place = $40.00
Bonehead Award = $10.00


This will be just the second time we've awarded $400.00 to our winner. Joy!

The Current Standings page has been updated with everyone's selections, and we've removed all non-selected movies and non-participants. With 57 players it's a long list, but remember that there is the ability to hover your cursor over the tri-letter names to better identify the player, which match the Display Names on the Scoreboard page. You can also hover your cursor over any particular ranking in the Current Standings grid to better identify the name of the specific movie. Enjoy!

5/6/16

   

Last year we nearly all assumed that Avengers: Age of Ultron would be the runaway no-brainer #1 film of the summer. It was projected to do $221M but instead opened to "just" $191M... and ended up at #2. Not sure if there is another Jurassic World out there this summer, but we now know not to assume anything.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Captain America: Civil War - 214M (214M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Captain America: Civil War = 92% (89% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Captain America: Civil War = 4,000

5/6/16

It's midnight EST... which means it's only 9pm PST. And that also means there are still a couple hours left to get your final picks in before this thing locks tight. We have 55 entries so far, which is the second-most everrrrrr (we had 63 in 2014, but dropped to 49 last year). Tomorrow night I'll find out who still hasn't sent in their $10 entry. Don't want to give anyone the boot... but our winners gots to get paid!

The Scoreboard page is open so that we can all see who's entered this year. The Current Standings page will go live early morning. If it fails to pop at 3am EST, don't worry... I'll get it done before I head to work. Stupid work.

4/29/16

One week left!! The picks and payments are starting to roll in, so don't get left behind. You can enter your picks and then make edits at any time up until game-lock (5/5/16 at 11:59pm EST). I still have to do my own!

21 entries in so far, and payments already received for others that haven't yet registered. To help out the newbies, here's an idea of what are NOT summer movies (and thus being released in April):

     

4/2/16

It was not an April Fool's joke to make everyone wait alllllllll day for this invite to only come out today. Or was it?? Perhaps you forgot all about this pool. If so, shame on you! Fans of summer movies rejoice, as we get ready for Year #19 of the most awesome annual Summer Movie Pool everrrrrrr! New banner... check. Cleaned up pages... check. New list of summer movies entered... check. Game on!!!

So you want to play? Then check out the details in the Rules of the Game page for all the info you need.

2015 RECAP
It was an interesting summer, as 8 was the magic number for success. I found it fascinating that the veterans on the left-hand side of the Standings who have played in this pool for many years nearly completely overlooked the #5 film (Pitch Perfect 2). Meanwhile, 17 players from the center to the right side of the Standings were geniuses for selecting it. And that's what's great about this pool. The newest players can be smarter than those of us who think we know what the heck we're doing. I mean, two other movies that made Top 10 (San Andreas and Straight Outta Compton) had a whopping 6 selections between them. Nobody knows anything.

Mario Nelson won the 1st Place prize of $350, Mark Adolphus won the 2nd Place prize of $70, and Alison Davis won the 3rd Place prize of $30. It's always great to have a new winner of the SMP, and Mario was our 13th different person in 18 years to win. In fact, that was the 6th straight year of a new face winning the pool. Just remember, everyone has a shot at winning this thing!

Andddd Tina Swartz managed the second-worst performance ever of $100K for Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary. Congrats!

Here are our previous winners:

2015 - Mario Nelson
2014 - Mark Adolphus
2013 - Ally Mauro
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 6, and we will need time to confirm entries and track payments. As such, the deadline for submitting your picks will be Thursday, May 5 at 11:59pm PST. At that point the site will lock and no further entries will be accepted. The entire month of April (and first week of May) is more than enough time to assemble your picks and submit them.


Have your picks submitted by May 6!!!


On May 6 all picks will be revealed on the Current Standings page. Enjoy... and good luck!!

3/27/16

Only a couple days away from the start of the 2016 Summer Movie Pool, and the website is currently being updated. Now is the perfect time to research this summer's movies and start building your lists. The email invite to 2015 participants will go out soon.

So for now feel free to check out the Previous Years, Official Posters, Photo Gallery, and Hall of Boneheads links to reminisce. Stay tuned!