Final recap time!!! Thanks for remaining patient, as a college football weekened in Atlanta and Hurricane Irma preparation kept me from the pool I love. On to the recap!

The 2017 Summer Movie Pool is now at an end. 2016 saw a 3% increase from 2015 with a total $4.3B, but 2017 sure gave it all back with $3.7B – the worst summer in 11 years. While we had our monster hits in May (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – $389M), June (Wonder Woman – $407M), and July (Spider-Man: Homecoming – $320M), where was August?? Not a single marquee film in a month that was led by $81M for Annabelle: Creation. Yeahhhh that’s no good.

WW came as a bit of a surprise finishing #1, as it’s average placement was 4.6. GOTG2 only missed #1 by $20M, nearly matching it’s own avg place rating of 1.1. And Spidey’s #3 finish was spot on it’s avg place rating of 3.6. Even Despicable Me 3 finishing #4 closely matched it’s avg place rating of 3.3. Collectively we weren’t too far off for each of the remaining Top 10 films… but where in the heck did Girls Trip come from? I looked back at my initial research and I had it at $44M. NO ONE saw this coming. To think that just $110M would have made Top 10 for any other film this summer. I’m looking at you, The Mummy 🙁 19 movies so far this year have earned at least $110M, but only 9 during the summer. Here’s some pretty interesting data from looking back at the old SMP Standings… Going back 5 summers these are the # of films that earned $110M:

2013 = 14
2014 = 13
2015 = 11
2016 = 10
2017 = 9

Geez, are we looking at only 8 in 2018? This summer we had 12 sequels/reboots with only 3 exceeding their previous installment. 2016 had 14 and 4. You’d think at some point Hollywood would wake up.

Of course we had some complete bombs that ruined people’s summers:

#17 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword with $39M – avg placement 9.2
#17 Baywatch with $58M – avg placement 8.4
#15 Alien: Covenant with $74M – avg placement 8.1
#13 The Mummy with $80M – avg placement 8.3

For the SMP, once again 8 was the magic number, and we had 15 players hit that mark. Big tiebreaker! And for the EIGHTH straight year we’ve had someone new win the top prize. Congrats to xfactor (Mike McPherson) for becoming our 15th different person to win in our 20 total years. Things got a little hairy there at the end with the final shuffling, but Mike was able to keep the second-placers at arm’s length to win in just his 3rd year of playing. Nice work!

The Deviation Score breakdown is as follows (ok this is a long list):

Mike McPherson – 19 (3,1,0,2,5,1,1,0,2,4) – (2) perfect picks and (3) 1’s. 5 on Dunkirk didn’t hurt him badly.
Brandon Hafenrichter – 21 (5,1,1,1,3,1,3,1,2,3) – (5) 1’s. 5 on Wonder Woman is what did it.
Kevin Holmes – 21 (2,0,1,3,4,1,1,0,4,5) – (2) perfect picks and (3) 1’s. But that damn Alien: Covenant.
Wes Whitten – 22 (2,1,1,2,1,2,3,1,4,5) – (4) 1’s. Needed just one more to win some $$$.
Carolyn Lassek – 23 (3,1,0,2,2,4,1,3,3,4) – (1) perfect picks and (2) 1’s. Nothing worse than a 4 but barely missed out.
Jen Ballard – 23 (2,1,1,2,5,2,1,1,4,4) – (4) 1’s wasn’t enough. 5 on Dunkirk sticks out.
Todd Fiore – 23 (4,1,0,2,5,2,0,0,3,6) – (3) perfect picks – best of the bunch – and (1) 1. But a 6, a 5, and a 4. So good and so bad at the same time. Sorry buddy.
Mario Nelson – 25 (4,1,0,2,4,2,0,2,3,7) – (2) perfect picks and (1) 1. But 7 on Alien. Ouch.
Nate Austin – 25 (4,1,0,2,4,0,1,4,2,7) – (2) perfect picks and (2) 1’s. 7 of your own on Baywatch ruined it.
Wes Cole – 25 (3,1,2,2,4,2,1,1,6,3) – (3) 1’s not enough. Not with 6 on Transformers.
George Mandella – 27 (4,1,0,2,5,0,1,1,5,8) – (2) perfect picks and (3) 1’s. Would have gotten the job done if not for that 8 on Baywatch.
Mark Adolphus – 27 (7,1,1,1,5,1,0,2,5,4) – (1) perfect pick and (4) 1’s. But no faith in WW. Shame on you.
Mike Chapman – 27 (4,1,0,2,4,2,1,1,5,7) – (1) perfect pick and (3) 1’s. The summer was yours for the taking if not for your love of Baywatch. Or Transformers.
JP Bernardo – 28 (8,1,0,2,3,2,0,2,4,6) – (2) perfect picks and (1) 1. But 8 on WW and 6 on Captain Underpants. I commend you for the latter selection.
Haydee Parra – 39 (2,1,1,2,4,1,1,2,4,21) – (4) 1’s. You were doing soooo well until your chance on Rough Night burned you. Shame you didn’t pick the other chick flick.

Mike wins the 1st Place prize of $500 – our biggest payout yet!. Brandon and Kevin tied for 2nd Place, so they split the 2nd + 3rd prize money for $80 each. Great work in your very first SMPs! Just emember, EVERYONE has a shot at winning this thing.

And we can’t forget our beloved Bonehead Award. Amityville: The Awakening did not make any $$$, so it did not qualify for the Bonehead. That leaves us with The Wall ($1.8M) which happened to be selected by not one or two, but THREE players. Ok we’ve never had a three-way tie for the Bonehead. This just keeps getting better! Our “winners” Ted Venable, Justin Kane, and Lindsay Pate all get to share the $10 prize. Congrats! lol

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

1st Place – $500.00 – Mike McPherson
2nd Place – $80.00 each – (tie) Brandon Hafenrichter and Kevin Holmes
Bonehead Award – $3.33 each – (tie) Ted Venable, Justin Kane, and Lindsay Pate

Some observations from this summer:

1) It’s more Superhero Domination! Our Top 3 were all highly-rated and well-received superhero movies with grosses of $407M, $389M, and $320M. Such an easy recipe to succeed and still not all can do it right.

2) Animation was surprisingly middling this summer with grosses of $255M for Despicable Me 3 (#4) and $149M for Cars 3 (#7). I guess that “3” in the title for each tells the story.

3) There wasn’t a lot of variety in the selections this summer (evidenced by a 15-way tie), so the three major clunkers in #13 The Mummy ($80M), #15 Alien: Covenant ($74M), and #17 Baywatch ($58M) really dented the standings. Stupid Zac Efron 😐

4) Not as big of a letdown (they did make Top 10), but still pretty big disappointments, were Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($172M), War For the Planet of the Apes ($143M), and Transformers: The Last Knight ($130M). Probably need to pull the plug on those franchises. Apes was the most surprising with its pedigree and 94% RT rating.

5) Speaking of Rotten Tomatoes ratings, this has the be the summer where the critics became completely vindictive in their reviews. 31% for Pirates? 19% for Baywatch? 17% for The Mummy? 15% for Transformers? I’m not saying they’re works of art, but cmonnnnnn. Frigging Magic Mike XXL scored a 64%. Magic. Mike. XXL. Whatever.

6) On the flip side there was lots of love from the critics for a handful of movies, including 6 at 89% or higher: Wonder Woman 94%, Baby Driver 97%, Spider-Man: Homecoming 94%, War of the Planet of the Apes 94%, Dunkirk 92%, and Girls Trip 89%.

7) Girls Trip 89%. What the hell?! And oh it doesn’t stop there. It also had an ‘A+’ CinemaScore. There hasn’t been an A+ for a summer movie in over two years. A+. Wow we all screwed that one up.

8) 60 movies grossed $1M+ this summer. 2016 had 65 movies earning that amount, and 2015 had 58.

9) 9 new entries to the Hall of Boneheads this year (after 7 in 2016). Chris Walker and Lindsay Pate get credited with 2 each. Congrats.

10) This evening I looked back at my original research, and I realized that while my projections had Dunkirk at #10 and Baywatch at #11, I evidently made the executive decision to put Baywatch (a no-brainer in my eyes) in my final Top 10. Craaaaaap. I did the math and I could have finished tied for 2nd Place. Wah Waaaaaaaahhhh.

Lastly, my favorite movies of Summer 2017, in terms of ‘most enjoyable’ experiences (not necessarily the ‘best’ films). Fun = enjoyable. That’s what I want when I pay to go to the theater. Fun. I saw 7 movies at the theater this summer, with my favorites being:
1) Baby Driver – I had zero confidence in it being a high-grossing film, instead being more of an indie fave. But damnnnnnn what a wild flick!
2) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – I just cannot stop liking this series. It’s not Jack Sparrow. It’s the villains and the effects that I enjoy.
3) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – More enjoyable than the first film. That opening credits sequence might be one of my favorites ever. I just flew Delta to and from Atlanta this weekend, and a 50 min flight each way wasn’t enough to watch the film. So I watched the opening credits. Twice 🙂

I regret not seeing Alien: CovenantValerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in the theater.

Here’s hoping everyone had a fun time playing in the SMP this year, and glad to see another brand new winner. Summer 2018 is looking stacked with Avengers: Infinity WarHan Solo: A Star Wars StoryDeadpool 2The Incredibles 2 (yes!), Jurassic World: Fallen KingdomAnt-Man and the Wasp (yes! 2), Mission: Impossible 6. We also get The Predator directed by Shane Black. That should be cool. Get ready for more sequels. Hope everyone’s back next year to take a shot.

Last note – Our Halloween crew (Chapman, Todd, Justin, and me) will all be in LA for Halloween weekend. If you’re there you gotta stop by and meet up with the undead founding fathers. We would love to meet some of our west coast players!

See you all next summer!!

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