2017 Summer Movie Pool

7/16/17

Current Top 10:

                   

Baby Driver in... Captain Underpants out. A solid opening weekend for War For the Planet of the Apes with $56M. After next weekend it will be Top 10, knocking out Alien, as Baby will have climbed a couple more spots by then. The real surprise was seeing Spider-Man with its 94% RT rating suffer a 61% drop in its second weekend. That's virtually unheard of for such well-received movies. I'm certain it will bounce back in weekend #3, but that cripples its chances to catch Wonder Woman, which has yet to suffer anything worse than a 43% drop in any of its 7 weekends.

Next weekend: Three more wide releases, including our last swing movie of the summer in Dunkirk (selected by 27 players). Dunkirk has no reviews at this time, but could this be our 4th straight weekend with a major film rated at 90%? I don't believe we've ever seen that before. Interstellar only scored 71%, and the awesome Inception scored 86%. But he does have The Dark Knight (94%), Insomnia (92%) and Memento (92%) under his belt.

7/15/17

     

This is our third straight weekend with a prominent film at 90%+ on RT (Baby Driver was 97% and Spider-Man: Homecoming was 94%). Now we get War For the Planet of the Apes (selected by 51 players) at 94%. The third film's forecast of $54M is a pretty big drop from the second film's $72M opening, and would match the first film's $54M. However, its opening forecast, RT rating and A- CinemaScore all appear to make it a lock for the Top 10. We also have the horror flick Wish Upon and the wide-expansion film The Big Sick, of which neither was selected.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) War For the Planet of the Apes - 54M (54M)
2) Spider-Man: Homecoming - 47M (210.3M)
3) Despicable Me 3 - 18.4M (183.8M)
4) The Big Sick - 11M (19.1M)
5) Baby Driver - 9.1M (72.5M)
6) Wish Upon - 6.5M (6.5M)
7) Wonder Woman - 6.3M (379.3M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
War For the Planet of the Apes = 94% (93% by the Top Critics)
The Big Sick = 97% (98% by the Top Critics)
Wish Upon = 21% (28% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
War For the Planet of the Apes = 4,022
The Big Sick = 2,597
Wish Upon = 2,250

CinemaScore ratings:
War For the Planet of the Apes = A-
The Big Sick = n/a
Wish Upon = C

7/9/17

Current Top 10:

                   

Spidey in... Baywatch out. Spider-Man: Homecoming just thrilled audiences to the second-best opening ever for Sony Pictures with $117M. It's not just the best opening ever for a Spider-Man film, it's the best single-character opening ever for Marvel. It's already #7 on out list, and is a lock for Top 3 status. Wonder Woman made ANOTHER $10M with only a 35% drop in its 6th weekend, and is going to push $400M. It'll certainly overtake Guardians 2 for #1, so will be interesting to see if Spider-Man can threaten it.

Keep an eye on Baby Driver. Another solid weekend with only a 38% drop, and it's on pace to surpass $80M. That will knock out Mummy if/when it happens. Good.

Next weekend: Three wide releases, include the biggie War For the Planet of the Apes (selected by 51 players). The first opened/earned $54M/$176M and the second did $72M/$208M. Usually the third film is the weakest of the bunch, but this one is blowing people away with a 92% RT rating after 66 reviews, including 100% from the Top Critics :O We've really taken a turn this summer with strong reviews, especially with Dunkirk coming out the week after.

7/8/17

 

Hope everyone had a great July 4th holiday! This weekend we have the triumphant return of one of my two favorite superheroes everrrrrr. After the initial reboot films opened to "only" $62M and $91M (the second finishing with "only" $202M), Spider-Man: Homecoming (selected by all but 1 person - oops) is projected to open with $120M+. It's got the weekend to itself in 4300+ theaters, a shiny 94% rating on RT, and feedback is an 'A' CinemaScore. This thing will have serious legs to likely give both Guardians 2 and Wonder Woman a run at #1.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Spider-Man: Homecoming - 122M (122M)
2) Despicable Me 3 - 30M (142.5M)
3) Baby Driver - 15M (59.3M)
4) Wonder Woman - 9M (367.4M)
5) Transformers: The Last Knight - 6.3M (118.8M)
6) The House - 5M (18.5M)
7) Cars 3 - 4.8M (132.7M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Spider-Man: Homecoming = 94% (92% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Spider-Man: Homecoming = 4,348

CinemaScore ratings:
Spider-Man: Homecoming = A

7/2/17

Current Top 10:

                   

It's early July, meaning our pool is half over, and at this time we only have 6 locks in the Top 10. Despicable Me 3 fell short of expectations with $75M but won't have any issue making the cut. Baby Driver did exactly as expected, and could have legs thanks to the stellar reviews. The House was just a massive fail.

Everything below #6 will just have to play wait-and-see. The Mummy will probably top out at $80M, and I don't see anything already released that would eclipse it. Perhaps Baby Driver could sneak past $80M, which would be super cool. Based on all the early failures Dunkirk is looking more and more like a lock. We know it will get rave reviews, and that seems to be the theme of the summer. If Spider-Man, Apes 3, and Dunkirk all make it, that leaves just one spot left. The end won't be pretty, but expect the race to be exciting.

Next weekend: One wide release, and I'm glad it's finally coming out. Not so much that I really want to see Spider-Man: Homecoming (selected by all but 1 person), which I certainly do, but that it would put an end to the non-stop trailers and commercials. Just stop already.

7/1/17

       

Boxoffice.com appears to now only list projections that are $10M+, so that's what we'll roll with. Baby Driver (selected by 2 players) jumped out to an early $12M start on Wed/Thurs thanks to a phenominal 97% rating on RT. Despicable Me 3 (all but 1 person) shouldn't have any issue hitting $80M+ as a Top-10 lock. The House (3 players), on the other hand, will barely hit $10M. Will Ferrell just needs to put an end to summer releases. The Beguiled gets a bump in theaters to wide this weekend.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Despicable Me 3 - 89M (89M)
2) Baby Driver - 20.5M (32M)
3) Transformers: The Last Knight - 17.8M (104.2M)
4) Wonder Woman - 16.1M (345.9M)
5) Cars 3 - 13.5M (123.3M)
6) The House - 10M (10M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Despicable Me 3 = 63% (48% by the Top Critics)
Baby Driver = 97% (95% by the Top Critics)
The House = 17% (8% by the Top Critics)
The Beguiled = 76% (76% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Despicable Me 3 = 4,529
Baby Driver = 3,226
The House = 3,134
The Beguiled = 673

CinemaScore ratings:
Despicable Me 3 = A-
Baby Driver = A-
The House = B-
The Beguiled = n/a

6/25/17

Current Top 10:

                   

Whew, what a pile of crap. Despite being released on over 4,000 screens, Transformers: The Last Knight (with a reported budget of $200M+) could only pull in $45M over the weekend for a 5-day total of $69M. The brand name alone will keep it in the Top 10, so don't fear. But wow what a bomb. King Arthur, Alien, Pirates, Mummy, and now Transformers... America simply does not care for remakes, reboots, and multi-sequels this summer. This movie clearly wasn't made for us, as it raked in $123M in China. They can have it.

On the positive side, Wonder Woman is now at $318M after another great weekend with just a 39% drop. By next weekend it will become the #1 movie of the DC Extended Universe. Boom.

We should point out that one movie selected by a player, Amityville: The Awakening (selected by lpate), has lost its release date of 6/30/17 and is now TBD. It will not qualify for the Bonehead Award unless it earns $1 this summer. I certainly sympathize, as I know how it feels to have your movie pushed completely out the summer. It sucks. Two other previously-listed movies were also bumped out of the summer, but because they were not selected at all they were simply removed from the Standings. And two others had date changes within the summer.

Next weekend: Three wide releases, with Baby Driver (selected by 2 players) opening a couple days early on Wednesday. This is my most anticipated movie of the summer, so really really really really looking forward to seeing it. It's sitting on 100% through 40 reviews! Despicable Me 3 (selected by everyone but 1 person) is the (almost) no-brainer biggie this weekend. We also have The House (3 players). Eh.

6/22/17

 

Transformers: The Last Knight (selected by 66 players) may have gotten a jumpstart on the weekend with a Wednesday release, but its projected $73M over 5 days will easily be the worst opening of the franchise. The 15% RT score is embarassingly bad, barely beating out Parts 2 and 4 as the worst of them all. It does have a B+ CinemaScore, so maybe it's somewhat watchable? I'm Ron Burgundy??

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Transformers: The Last Knight - 46M (73M)
2) Cars 3 - 29M (103.5M)
3) Wonder Woman - 28.9M (322.2M)
4) All Eyez On Me - 9.2M (43.6M)
5) The Mummy - 7.2M (70.4M)
6) 47 Meters Down - 5.8M (22.6M)
7) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - 5.8M (160.5M)
8) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie - 4.3M (65.6M)
9) Rough Night - 4.1M (15.2M)
10) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 3.5M (380.8M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Transformers: The Last Knight = 15% (15% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Transformers: The Last Knight = 4,069

CinemaScore ratings:
Transformers: The Last Knight = B+

6/18/17

Current Top 10:

                   

Not a great opening for a Pixar film, as Cars 3 rolled to just $53M, the lowest opening of the trilogy. It's also the 5th lowest opening of Pixar's 18 wide-release films. It's not at risk of missing the Top 10, but it's not really about the box office, is it? Not when the franchise has already hit $10B worldwide (that's a B as in Billion) in merchandising.

Check out Wonder Woman with another $40M in its 3rd weekend to nearly reach $275M. Could be a threat for #1 with those kinds of holds (-30.3%). All Eyez On Me certainly surprised with $27M, but may be frontloaded with that poor CinemaScore rating. Also a surprise was the dead-last performance of $8M for Rough Night. I guess it really wasn't "funnier than Bridesmaids" like some of the fake ads wanted you to think.

Next weekend: The movie no one asked for, Transformers: The Last Knight (selected by 66 players), gets the weekend all to itself. For the record, I hate movies that are the "Last" anything. They never are.

6/17/17

       

It's a packed Father's Day weekend with four new movies in the projections. Despite mediocre reviews, Cars 3 (selected by 63 players) will have no problem finishing first. All Eyez On Me (5 players) and Rough Night (2 players) will apparently be battling for scraps. 47 Meters Down is chum.

I'm now adding the CinemaScore ratings for each new release in the weekend preview. This rating is determined from opening night polling of moviegoers, and has historically been a very good indicator of longevitiy for a film (https://www.cinemascore.com/). You can take a look at the Weekend Comparisons spreadsheets on the site to see how movies have fared based on their scores over the years.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Cars 3 - 50M (50M)
2) Wonder Woman - 35.1M (265.2M)
3) All Eyez On Me - 20M (20M)
4) Rough Night - 16M (16M)
5) The Mummy - 15.2M (56.7M)
6) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie - 6.7M (56.3M)
7) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - 5.3M (146M)
8) 47 Meters Down - 4.5M (4.5M)
9) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 3.9M (373.2M)
10) It Comes At Night - 3.1M (11.4M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Cars 3 = 63% (57% by the Top Critics)
All Eyez On Me = 24% (23% by the Top Critics)
Rough Night = 52% (41% by the Top Critics)
47 Meters Down = 55% (53% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Cars 3 = 4,256
All Eyez On Me = 2,471
Rough Night = 3,162
47 Meters Down = 2,270

CinemaScore ratings:
Cars 3 = A
All Eyez On Me = A-
Rough Night = C+
47 Meters Down = C

6/11/17

Current Top 10:

                   

Another superbomb this weekend as The Mummy limped along to just $32M. That matched BoxOffice's projection, which isn't anything to be proud of. Not with a reported budget of $125M. Hell, even The Scorpion King opened to $36M back in 2002 with a 41% RT rating. Chalk up another win for the critics. The longterm prognosis doesn't look good either with a 'B-' CinemaScore. Ugh.

Just as was the case with Pirates, Deadline has come through again with a quick analysis that leaves little room for doubt. It's a good read:

http://deadline.com/2017/06/wonder-woman-beats-tom-cruise-mummy-at-the-box-office-1202110164/

Deadline hears that Mummy was a problematic shoot, with Cruise in the end trying to save the movie in the editing room. Some even think that Kurtzman bit off more than he could chew in tackling The Mummy as director. Cruise brought on his Rogue Nation director/scribe Christopher McQuarrie to take a stab at the script. In the end, we're left with a mishmash of dull action scenes, sans that singular, vibrant auteur's vision that Jordan Peele brought to Uni/Blumhouse's Get Out.

A studio such as Universal, which reaped a fortune from rebooting a classic movie like Jurassic Park with Jurassic World, should know better. Why lose what everybody loved about the older Mummys? Social media analyst RelishMix observes that social chatter has fans with "fond memories of Brendan Fraser's series of films" and reviewers fondly recall the campiness of those pics, gone now for a dark, broody, monotonous tone. Heading into the weekend, RelishMix noticed that The Mummy "had mixed conversation to be sure... Some moviegoers don't believe Cruise in this role, and conversation along these lines suggests a certain amount of wear-out related to the actor in these super-action roles."


Next weekend: Four wide releases, with three of them selected. Cars 3 (63 players) is the biggie as the first major animated film of the summer, and gets a two week head start on it's main competition. Everyone should know by now that Pixar is a Top-10 lock. Good to see chances were taken on Tupac's R-rated biography All Eyez On Me (5 players), and on some raunchy R-rated success in Rough Night (2 players).

6/10/17

     

Three wide-release movies this weekend, and only one scored less than 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of course it had to be the one selected by 38 players. No bones about it... The Mummy is going to tank hard with a projected opening of only $32M, and it cannot be denied that its forecast is directly related to its RT score. I'm reading the review snippets and I think critics simply enjoy piling on with a "look at me" mentality of who can be the most creative in their negativity. I'm certain this movie is no Oscar contender, but 17%? 8% from the Top Critics? Magic Mike XXL scored a 63% rating. Think about that for a second. I can't take this summer's reviews seriously anymore.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Wonder Woman - 50M (200M)
2) The Mummy - 32M (32M)
3) Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie - 13.3M (44.8M)
4) It Comes At Night - 11M (11M)
5) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - 10.4M (135M)
6) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 4.7M (364.4M)
7) Baywatch - 4.3M (50.6M)
8) Megan Leavey - 2.4M (2.4M)
9) Alien: Covenant - 1.8M (71.2M)
10) Everything, Everything - 1.9M (32M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Mummy = 17% (8% by the Top Critics)
It Comes At Night = 86% (88% by the Top Critics)
Megan Leavey = 79% (81% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Mummy = 4,035
It Comes At Night = 3,533
Megan Leavey = 1,956

6/8/17

I just KNEW Chapman had this in the works :|

 

6/4/17

Current Top 10:

                   

Great to see the SMP get back on track with only our third lock in five weekends. It's been a rough go lately, but Wonder Woman hitting $100M was just what we needed. Well, all but three of us. Don't know anyone could leave such a major superhero movie off their list, but hey, whatever thins out the herd. Woman has both a killer RT score (currently 94%) and an 'A' CinemaScore, so it'll definitely be around a while. Looking ahead it'll likely hold onto the #2 spot until mid-to-late July.

Captain Underpants wasn't as heroic this weekend, earning only $23M (I win the sidebet, David!). As the first animated feature of the summer with a two-week head start, that number is certainly disappointing to the four that took a chance on it. Kevin Hart's name (and voice) can only go so far.

Next weekend: Two wide releases, but only one was selected. Another swing movie as both Tom Cruise and The Mummy franchise hope to bounce back in... The Mummy (selected by 38 players). This is the first in Universal's new Dark Universe of monster movie reboots. Unfortunately the trailers make it look like one long loud chase scene. Zzzzzzz. I hope I'm wrong.

6/2/17

   

Finally! Some movies with good RT ratings (I do wonder if these are inflated by a little RT score "tweaking" after last week's controversy). So far this summer we've seen only two movies with ratings higher than 70%. None higher than 81%. This weekend we get two. Wonder Woman (selected by 67 players) is rocking an awesome 94%. And to no surprise it's already on pace for $98M. Not quite the $111M it was projected, but will soon be our new #2 on the list. Captain Underpants (4 players) also has an impressive 86%. Animated + great reviews = long legs, but a projected $29M may be just a bit too low to start off.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Wonder Woman - 111M (111M)
2) Captain Underpants - 29.5M (29.5M)
3) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - 20.1M (114.2M)
4) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 10M (356.8M)
5) Baywatch - 7.4M (39.7M)
6) Alien: Covenant - 4.6M (67.6M)
7) Everything, Everything - 3M (27.6M)
8) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul - 2.4M (19.4M)
9) Snatched - 1.7M (44.2M)
10) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - 1.6M (37.6M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Wonder Woman = 94% (93% by the Top Critics)
Captain Underpants = 86% (83% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Wonder Woman = 4,165
Captain Underpants = 3,434

6/1/17

Chat Widget is down

It appears the chat widget is not working. We are looking into it. Edit - I've uploaded a replacement for now.

5/29/17

Current Top 10:

                   

And right on cue we get exactly what was discussed leading up to the last few days: the extended Memorial Day weekend simply cannot handle two big movies. One is going to "succeed" - if you can call it that - (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with a weak $77M over four days), and one is going to fail... big time (Baywatch with $27M over FIVE days). Pathetic. Those taking Pirates have nothing to worry about. Even though this fifth installment had by far the worst opening of the franchise, $77M makes it a lock. Baywatch, on the other hand, might be one of the biggest busts we've ever seen here. 41 people cannot be this wrong... and yet we were. Kudos to those who stayed away. In fact, I count 12 players who managed to avoid both Alien and Baywatch. Look who's in the driver's seat now.

I've read a lot over the weekend as to why our summer movies are struggling so badly (so far only 2 of the first 12 to hit $1M will make the list), and yesterday's post-mortem analysis by Deadline Hollywood cannot be denied. Not when it's $10+ to go see a movie today:

http://deadline.com/2017/05/pirates-of-the-caribbean-5-dead-men-tell-no-tales-baywatch-box-office-weekend-1202102887/

In the case of Pirates 5, I hear that the movie had the highest test scores in the history of the series. Once audiences get into the movie, they seem to be enjoying it with an A- CinemaScore, higher than the B+ of On Stranger Tides and in line with the second title Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, and an 82% positive score. Meanwhile, Baywatch tested over a 91 three times.

Insiders close to both films blame Rotten Tomatoes, with Pirates 5 and Baywatch respectively earning 32% and 19% Rotten. The critic aggregation site increasingly is slowing down the potential business of popcorn movies. Pirates 5 and Baywatch aren't built for critics but rather general audiences, and once upon a time these types of films - a family adventure and a raunchy R-rated comedy - were critic-proof. Many of those in the industry severely question how Rotten Tomatoes computes the its ratings, and the fact that these scores run on Fandango (which owns RT) is an even bigger problem.

Both Pirates 5 and Baywatch started high on tracking four weeks ago, $90M-$100M over four and $50M over five days respectively, and the minute Rotten Tomatoes hit, those estimates collapsed. Over the weekend, I heard that some studio insiders want to hold off critic screenings until opening day or cancel them all together (that's pretty ambitious and would cause much ire, we'll see if that ever happens). Already, studios and agencies are studying RT scores' impact on advance ticket sales and tracking.


Here's some more solid analysis:

So after the Super Bowl spot, all the rah-rah at CinemaCon (the Paramount presentation fell flat with exhibitors), the "fun" trailers, why did Baywatch sink? Some attribute it to how TV properties have become harder to adapt for the big screen, the last casualty being Dax Shepard's low budget version of CHiPs at $18.6M domestic, but even riskier was that Paramount took a general audience action series from the 1990s and turned into an R-rated movie. But the biggest oversight by Paramount, according to sources is that they sold Baywatch primarily to women in its beefcakes of Johnson and Efron and not the guys. Remember, Baywatch was always a guy show, its poster girl being Pamela Anderson. So where's the poster girl, here?

Or just blame Zac Efron. I guess we got so blinded by The Rock being in an R-rated film after his last two PG-13 summer hits, that we forgot Efron's three previous R-rated bombs post-Neighbors (all from 2016 with two summer failures): Dirty Grandpa ($35M), Neighbors 2 ($55M), and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($46M). Big oops.

Next weekend: Moving on... Marvel Studios had their fun, and now it's DC Entertainment's turn with Wonder Woman (selected by 67 players). BoxOffice's projection just shot up 19% for the weekend to $111M, with a projected total increasing 25% to $300M. Whoa. I'm so there. There's also the first animated film of the summer in Captain Underpants (4 players). That's right. Captain. Underpants. It's a children's novel series. I'll pass.

5/25/17

   

Baywatch (selected by 41 players) got an early jump on the weekend with its Thursday opening. Evidently it needs all the help it can get as we are looking at potential bomb. That 19% RT rating isn't helping at all. Ugh. Those that took it are really hoping for $50M in 5 days. Maybe then it'll have a chance. At least Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (66 players) will make some decent cash this weekend, as its own ratings are hardly any better. It's a craptastic weekend at the box office this weekend. Enjoy the holiday outdoors!

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this 4-day Memorial Day weekend:
1) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - 83M (83M)
2) Baywatch - 32.5M (40M)
3) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 24.1M (340M)
4) Alien: Covenant - 16.2M (65.8M)
5) Everything, Everything - 8.2M (23.4M)
6) Snatched - 6.2M (42.7M)
7) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul - 5.1M (14.4M)
8) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - 4.6M (35.8M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales = 31% (26% by the Top Critics)
Baywatch = 19% (22% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales = 4,276
Baywatch = 3,647

5/21/17

Who's ready for a little analysis of our 2017 Summer Movie Pool picks?? Yeah we're three weeks in, but who cares? Good things come to those who wait.

Only 24 films overall were selected (6 fewer than last year), and 2-3 look Bonehead-worthy. Before the summer started I counted 13 legit contenders for Top 10 status, but that August 2015 run by Straight Outta Compton proved anything can happen. And remember, nobody really knows anything.

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

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - May 5
70 people / Avg placement = 1.1 / Highest placement = 1
A no-brainer as everyone picked it. Seven didn't make it their #1, with the lowest at #3. Understandable.

Alien: Covenant - May 19
36 people / Avg placement = 8.1 / Highest placement = 4
Our first "swing" selection of the summer, as half the pool picked it. Prometheus squeaked in at #10 back in 2012 with 126M. Has the same buzz, and they wisely used the word "Alien" in the title.

Baywatch - May 25
41 people / Avg placement = 8.4 / Highest placement = 2
Another swing selection, but this one has toned bodies, the beach, and The Rock all on Memorial Day weekend. Genius. Please don't be too stupid of a film. And someone REALLY likes it as their #2 pick!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - May 26
66 people / Avg placement = 5.4 / Highest placement = 1
I won't lie... I'm still a big fan of the franchise, and I expect Javier Bardem to continue the run of well-cast villians. It's the perfect summer movie, and all but four of us agree.

Wonder Woman - June 2
67 people / Avg placement = 4.6 / Highest placement = 2
I have only two words: Golden Lasso. Wonder Womaaaaaaaannnn!

The Mummy - June 9
38 people / Avg placement = 8.3 / Highest placement = 4
Hey, another swing selection. This one is a real toss up, as Tom Cruise hasn't exactly been on fire outside his Mission Impossible series, and the last two Mummy flicks weren't hits (cost me my 10-for-10!).

Cars 3 - June 16
63 people / Avg placement = 6.0 / Highest placement = 2
Everyone here knows to take the Pixar film, right? No? Oops. This is the same weekend as last year's Finding Dory. You can lock it in.

Transformers: The Last Knight - June 23
66 people / Avg placement = 5.6 / Highest placement = 2
Is Michael Bay referencing himself as "The Last Knight"? Because last I read this is his final one as director. Not really surprised to see it averaged at #5, as I'm unfortunately just not that interested. But of course I'll still go see it. Eh.

Despicable Me 3 - June 30
69 people / Avg placement = 3.3 / Highest placement = 1
Why do I have a How To Train Your Dragon 2 or Kung Fu Panda 2 feeling about this one? It'll certainly make the list (everyone but one person thinks so), but finishing #3? I dunno. And I even have it as my #2.

Spider-Man: Homecoming - July 7
69 people / Avg placement = 3.6 / Highest placement = 1
Spidey's back! Again! Marvel is simply amazing (pun not intended) with their casting and character placement decisions. Tom Holland's Spidey was perhaps the best part of Civil War, and now everyone wants to see him again. Well, everyone except one person. Tsk tsk.

War For the Planet of the Apes - July 14
51 people / Avg placement = 7.5 / Highest placement = 4
Geez how many sequels have I listed already? Hard to argue with the prior films' results (176M and 208M), so this was likely an instinctive selection for many.

Dunkirk - July 21
27 people / Avg placement = 8.3 / Highest placement = 2
The most intriguing movie of the summer. And sadly the only original idea of the bunch. I'll definitely be seeing this, and really want it to be awesome, but just couldn't identify the necessary star power to select it. Kudos to those who had the guts to pick it. Someone even has it as their #2.

I may not have picked all of them, but these are the movies I really want to see the most in theaters: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (check), Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Wonder Woman, Baby Driver (HUGE Edgar Wright fan), Spider-Man: Homecoming (everyone knows I love me some Spidey), Dunkirk, and The Dark Tower.

I hope everyone enjoys this summer as much as I will. Too bad Sponge (AGAIN!) has nearly perfectly identical picks as me. Stop doing that!!!

5/21/17

Current Top 10:

                 

Not the weekend 36 players expected for Alien: Covenant, as $36M will only have its people stressing over the duration of the summer. Prometheus opened to $51M and barely made the cut. That's not good. The 'B' CinemaScore grade won't help either. As expected, neither of the other two wide releases made a dent at the box office. But hey, Guardians Vol. 2 hit $300M!

Next weekend: Memorial Day weekend hasn't been too kind these last few years. In 2016 X-Men: Apocalypse finished #5, but that was a fluke as it only earned $155M. This year we get both Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (selected by 66 players) and Baywatch (41 players). 39 people took both movies. Prior history shows that selecting multiple movies this weekend has proven to be a poor decision:

2016 - Made: X-Men: Apocalypse (155M) / Miss: Alice Through the Looking Glass (77M)
2015 - Made: None / Miss: Tomorrowland (93M) and Poltergeist (47M)
2014 - Made: X-Men: Days of Future Past (233M) / Miss: Blended (46M)
2013 - Made: Furious 6 (238M) / Miss: The Hangover Part III (112M) and Epic (107M)
2012 - Made: MIB3 (178M) / Miss: Moonrise Kingdom (43M)
2011 - Made: The Hangover Part II (254M) and Kung Fu Panda 2 (164M) / Miss: None
2010 - Made: None / Miss: Sex and the City 2 (95M) and Prince of Persia (90M)
2009 - Made: Night at the Museum 2 (176M) / Miss: Terminator Salvation (125M)

5/19/17

     

Three new wide release movies, and Alien: Covenant was the choice by half of us. The reviews are pretty decent, with an uptick by the Top Critics. But BoxOffice still think it will do sub-40M. I'm liking what I'm seeing :)

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 36M (303.4M)
2) Alien: Covenant - 35.9M (35.9M)
3) Everything, Everything - 9.5M (9.5M)
4) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul - 9M (9M)
5) Snatched - 8.6M (33.8M)
6) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - 7.4M (27.9M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Alien: Covenant = 73% (79% by the Top Critics)
Everything, Everything = 42% (53% by the Top Critics)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul = 19% (22% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Alien: Covenant = 3,761
Everything, Everything = 2,801
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul = 3,157

5/15/17

Chapman strikes again!

 

5/14/17

Current Top 10:

           

Happy Mother's Day! Lots of films created just for the mothers we care about, including classics like 2000's Big Momma's House, 1987's Throw Momma From the Train, 2013's Mama, 2008's Baby Mama, and 1994's Serial Mom. And of course, who could forget 1983's Mr. Mom? 2016's Mother's Day was too easy. Zzzzzzzz.

If you picked a movie in weekend #2, go ahead and cross it off as a bust selection. This was a miserable weekend at the box office for the new releases. Snatched led the list with just $17M, followed by King Arthur with $14M. The Wall wasn't even able to crack $1M. But hey, it could win Bonehead Pick of the Year!

Next weekend: Three wide releases, but only Alien: Covenant was selected (36 players). This is the first swing movie of the summer, as it's success or failure will impact half the pool participants. I want it to be good... but not do well. Is that too much to ask??

5/12/17

     

Second weekend new releases have historically been clunkers, as they typically get swallowed up by the monster summer opener. This year appears to be no different as Guardians is projected to do more than triple that of the "best" newcomer. Three new movies are on the docket, and the one with the best reviews (The Wall - picked by 3 people) is opening in the fewest theaters (541 = Limited release). The other newcomers are Snatched (0 people) and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (5 people). Need this weekend to hurry up and end.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 61M (247.2M)
2) Snatched - 18M (18M)
3) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - 17.9M (17.9M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Snatched = 38% (26% by the Top Critics)
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword = 27% (17% by the Top Critics)
The Wall = 68% (63% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Snatched = 3,501
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword = 3,702
The Wall = 541

5/7/17

Current Top 10:

 

First movie of the summer... and it fell short of its projected amount by $15M. And I thought it would do even better. Figures. Still, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a blast, got an 'A' Cinemascore, and has the entire summer in front of it for hopefully some longggggg legs. Here's a fun nugget: GOTG2 improved on the original by 53%, making it the largest jump for a second movie sequel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thank you, Box Office Mojo, for the data). Everyone is a winner right now.

Next weekend: Loading up early with 2 wide, 1 moderate, and 1 limited release. 5 players went wide with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, while 3 players went the limited route with The Wall. Good luck.

5/7/17

Our work is complete, and now we can just sit back and let the next 4 months of this movie season play out :D

Gotta say thanks to many of you for the excellent word-of-mouth, as we just hit a record 70 players this year. 70!! More players = more $$$ for someone here. Our previous high count was 63 back in 2014 (with a top payout of $450), and this year we added 25 new movie fanatics. Welcome to the SMP! As I posted earlier, we have now gone 7 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 $700.00 pot, $30.00 will apply toward the administration of the website (domain and hosted server maintenance). Of the remaining $670.00, the breakdown for 2017 will be as follows (keeping in line with prior year payouts):

1st Place = $500.00
2nd Place = $120.00
3rd Place = $40.00
Bonehead Award = $10.00


$500.00 to our winner. Oh yeahhhh!!

The Current Standings page has been updated with everyone's selections, and we've removed all non-selected Limited release movies and non-participants. Seeing as we re-add movies to the Standings once they earn $1M, this year we've left all Wide release in the list to start. With 70 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. These names 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!

5/6/17

5/5/17

 

It's finally Summer Movie Pool time!!!

Two years in a row the summer opener finished north of $400M+ (2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron with $457M, and 2016's Captain America: Civil War with $407M). Anyone here think Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 can't do the same? Everybody picked it to be in their Top 3, with all but 7 players having it at #1. I'm thinking BoxOffice's $160M projection is a bit low. The hype is too big, the trailers continued to make me laugh, and guess what? I saw it today in IMAX 3D and LOVED IT. All I wanted was a fun time for my $$$, and that's exactly what I got. I personally enjoyed it more than the original, and have no fear of it being #1 at the end of the summer.

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - 160M (160M)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 = 81% (70% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 = 4,347

5/4/17

It's almost midnight EST... which means it's barely 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 66 entries so far, which already is a new record!! And we know more are on the way. The final count will be determined once all payments are confirmed. Be sure to get them in.

The Scoreboard page is already open so that we can all see who's entered this year. The Current Standings page should open early morning. If it fails to pop at 12:00am PST don't worry, I'll get it posted before I head to work.

4/28/17

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 (5/4/17 at 11:59pm PST). I still have to do my own!

To help out the newbies, here's an idea of what are NOT summer movies (and thus being released in April):

   

4/3/17

Ohhhhh what a glorious time, as we have now reached Year XX of the most awesome annual Summer Movie Pool everrrrrrrrrrr! New banner... check. Cleaned up pages... check. New list of summer movies entered... check. Game on!!!

2016 RECAP

2016's 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: Civil War 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.

In 2016, 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. 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.

Here are our previous winners:

2016 - Curt Perone
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 5, and we will need time to confirm entries and track payments. As such, the deadline for submitting your picks will be Thursday, May 4 at 11:59pm PST. At that point the site will lock and no further entries will be accepted. The entire month of April (and partial May) is more than enough time to assemble your picks and submit them.


Have your picks submitted by May 5!!!


On May 5 all picks will be revealed on the Current Standings page. Enjoy... and good luck!!

3/30/17

Only a couple days away from the start of the 2017 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 last year's participants will go out soon.

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