Final Top 10:

Sad to say, the 2018 Summer Movie Pool is now over. After Hollywood’s major letdown in 2017 ($3.7B – the worst summer in 11 years), 2018 rebounded nicely with $4.4B – the fifth biggest summer box office ever. And to think that if Avengers: Infinity War had released in May as originally scheduled, the summer would have threatened the all-time record of $4.75B. Disney was again the big winner with $1.5B from their four movies. Our Top 10 spanned movies from all four months, with June as the big winner thanks to The Incredibles 2 ($598M) and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($413M). May’s highlight was Deadpool 2 ($318M), and the July winner was Ant-Man and the Wasp ($212M). This summer the mega-surprise was August’s The Meg ($112M). Only 14 people trusted it, and two players specifically benefitted from its success. Even more surprising was that it was released in the SECOND weekend of August. Ballsy selections.

Let’s start with the busts that ruined this summer for many. Of course random chances are made every summer, and not all of them end up being “bombs”, but when 10+ people take a movie and it tanks, that’s bust-worthy. We had five movies that failed us:

#13 Disney’s Christopher Robin – $81M – 17 players – avg placement 7.9
#16 Skyscraper – $67M – 39 players – avg placement 8.5
#18 Life of the Party – $52M – 10 players – avg placement 8.3
#20 Sicario: Day of the Soldado – 12 players – $50M – avg placement 8.6
#22 Hereditary – $44M – 11 players – avg placement 8.9

As everyone here knows, the white whale of the Summer Movie Pool is the “Perfect 10”. Of the 608 entries submitted over the prior 20 years we’d seen a total of just three Perfect 10s, two of which came in the same summer (sorry Kate). And of those three entries, their Deviation Scores were 14, 24, and 18. Even with 10 correct picks deviation can still come into play. With Year #21 wrapped up we’ve now had a total of 676 entries submitted, and amazingly we have another Perfect 10 tie. Whoa. So again we need to look at Deviation… but this isn’t going to bode well for anyone not named Kelly Perone. In the most incredible performance we’ve ever seen in the SMP, Kelly had a PERFECT DEVIATION to go along with her Perfect 10. That’s right, a Deviation Score of 0. ZERO. Incredible!! Back in 2011 Kelly became just our second member to win the SMP in their very first year, and now she sets the standard for perfection. The First Place prize is deservedly hers. Congrats!

With all this talk of perfection let’s not forget that Jen Ballard also scored a Perfect 10 this summer, and the rest of us didn’t. Jen also had a Deviation Score of 12, which in either other 10-for-10 summer would have won. Sadly just not this year. To be able to look at both Disney’s Christopher Robin and Skyscraper and say, no I don’t think so, and then look at both Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! and The Meg and say, yep they’re definitely the ones… well major kudos to you as well for being smarter than us! Congrats on Second Place.

Third Place was a battle among those with 9 correct picks. 19 players to be exact. Thankfully we have a Scoreboard page that auto-calculates so we don’t have to figure it all out ourselves. And lookie here… another tie. Dennis Berg’s pursuit of his first SMP championship was well documented this summer, and it was his lack of faith in his very favorite actor in the world that did him in (the term “actor” used loosely). Kate Choomack, however, wouldn’t let him have it all to himself, as her top selections were jaw-dropping. They get to split the Third Place prize. Focusing on just the top 4 on this list, the Deviation Score breakdown is as follows:

Dennis Berg – 9 (3,1,0,2,0,0,1,1,0,1) — (4) perfect picks and (4) 1’s. No busts. Steady picking this year, dad. Nice job! Sorry it didn’t work out.
Kate Choomack- 9 (0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,0,8) — Daaaaang. We spent so much time on Kelly’s picks that we overlooked Kate’s perfect top 7. (8) perfect picks total. But then there was Skyscraper.
Curt Perone – 11 (1,1,1,1,0,0,0,0,1,6) — (4) perfect picks and (4) 1’s. And Skyscraper.
Mike McPherson – 11 (1,1,1,3,0,1,1,0,0,3) — (3) perfect picks and (5) 1’s. Only letdown was Disney’s Christopher Robin.

And then we have our Bonehead Award. It was a tight race this summer as both Ed Acayan and Ted Venable made highly questionable selections within the first two weeks of the pool. Not quite sure of their motivation, but unfortunately for Ted The Guardians (no, not THAT Guardians) continued to earn $$$ throughout the entire summer. A whole $174K to be specific. The big winner (loser) was Ed with his pick of Revenge that earned a whopping $102K. Enjoy your $10.00 prize.

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

1st Place – $500.00 – Kelly Perone
2nd Place – $100.00 – Jen Ballard
3rd Place – $15.00 each (tie) – Dennis Berg and Kate Choomack
Bonehead Award – $10.00 – Ed Acayan

Some observations from this summer:

1) If it’s not superheroes at the top, it’s Pixar. And this year Incredibles 2 was the clear winner with nearly $600M, almost $200M more than the runner-up film. Last year’s top animated film grossed just $255M.

2) Surprisingly #2 wasn’t a superhero flick either. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom eclipsed $400M, but that was just 2/3 the total of its predecessor. At least this one was the better film.

3) In fact, Incredibles 2 and JWFK both finished in the Top 25 all-time domestic list (#s 9 and 23, respectively).

4) The biggest box office disappointment of the summer had to be Solo: A Star Wars Story. An average placement of 2.4 shouldn’t be grossing just $213M. And that was after a holiday weekend opening of $103M. What a shame. It was good.

5) After a 2017 of scathing film reviews we appear to have seen the softer side of critics in 2018. Of the 17 movies of note that are listed in the Weekly Comparisons, only five scored a Rotten Tomatoes rating below 52%. And two of those still made Top 10.

6) Three movies scored a RT grade higer than 90%: Incredibles 2 (93%), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (97%), and Crazy Rich Asians (92%).

7) Only one movie received the rare A+ CinemaScore: Incredibles 2.

8) The second weekend $$$ multiplers were really impressive this summer, as evidenced in the Weekly Comparisons. After the first three movies of note had multipliers below 1.75, the final 14 all eclipsed that mark, with only three of them being considered “average”.

9) 62 movies grossed $1M+ this summer. 2017 had 60 movies earning that amount, and 2015 had 65.

10) 11 new entries to the Hall of Boneheads this year (after 9 in 2017).

Lastly, my favorite movies of Summer 2018, 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. I saw 6 movies this summer, with my favorites being:

1) Solo: A Star Wars Story – I still cannot understand all the negativity surrounding this flick. It’s not like Alden Ehrenreich was gunning for an Oscar here. I found it pretty damn fun.
2) Mission: Impossible – Fallout – A super close second to Solo. These just keep getting better!
3) The Incredibles 2 – Not as good as the original, but that one set a pretty damn high standard. Still, this one had me hooked.

Everything else I wanted to see can wait to stream them.

Here’s hoping everyone had a fun time playing in the SMP this year! Summer 2019 is looking pretty solid with Avengers 4 (for now), the live-action AladdinGodzilla: King of Monsters (yeahhhh!), The Secret Life of Pets 2Men In Black 4Toy Story 4Spider-man: Far From Home (yeahhhhhhhhhhh!), the CGI/live-action The Lion King, and the next Tarantino flick Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. More sequels! lol

I’d also like to say thanks to Chapman for really helping out this year with the previews and updates. Glad you got to experience how much work actually goes into this pool 😉 And you certainly had your moments with some sharp commentary. Thanks!

See you all next summer!!

– SB

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