2008 Summer Movie Pool


We've been reading about it for almost a month, and now that the summer is over (as far as movies are concerned), it's time to officially recognize Justin as our 2008 Summer Movie Pool winner (and the winner of $300)! It's been a long time coming for Justin, and I'm glad to see someone who's so active in this pool finally have some success. It did get a little exciting in the last couple weeks, as Mamma Mia! threatened to knock out Wanted as the #10 movie of the summer, but when the deadline passed on September 1st, Mamma was still $3 million short. As such, Justin became one of two people ever to go 10-for-10. On two different occasions over the years we've had someone go 10-for-11, but the Top 10 is what matters, and Justin nailed it (though he did pick Dark Knight to finish 5th - nice one!).

Of course, Justin wasn't the only one this year to go 10-for-10. It's really a shame that she played second fiddle to Justin all summer long, but let's take this opportunity to also congratulate Laura with her perfect picks, and seeing her finish in 2nd Place (winning $60). Granted, her Deviation Score was crushed by Justin's 14-24 (courtesy of Justin putting 2 films in their correct spots), but in any other year she'd have been our champ. What's most impressive is that they each went with TWO R-rated films this summer. To those of us who've played in this pool before, we know that R-rated films typically don't do well. But Justin and Laura had the guts to pick Sex and the City AND Wanted, and it absolutely paid off. Of course, a little luck never hurts, as by this time next week, Mamma and Wanted will have switched spots. Still, they both knew the deadline, and picked accordingly. Kudos to both of you!

As for 3rd place (and $30), that goes to me. It came down to a 6-way tie of those who got 9 correct picks, but my Deviation Score was tops: me (21), David L. (28), Chapman (30), Jaime (35), David G. (35), and Gretchen (36). Mummy may have bombed out on me, but thankfully I only picked it 10th. I also had 2 films in their exact spots. Chapman and David G. each did a great job with their first 9 movies (with Deviation Scores of 15 at that point), but it was Speed Racer as the 10th film that really crippled their score (David actually had it 4th on his list - awesome!). Speed Racer was also Gretchen's clunker, as The Happening was Jaime's. David L. impressively got 10 of the top 12 films, but his placements just weren't very good, thus hurting his score. Laura especially lucked out with Mamma running out of time, as she and I would have switched places had no one gotten 10 right. Of course, I also know that hubby David painfully talked her out of picking What Happens In Vegas, and instead going with Kung Fu Panda. Thanks alot, David! Stop being the puppet master and let the woman make her own picks for once (you did the same thing to her last year too).

And let's not forget about our final award of the summer... the Bonehead Award! That (and the $10 prize) goes to Chiara, who obliterated all other Bonehead Winners with Hell Ride. Every week I've had to look up this film individually to see if it made any more money, and it's always stayed at $200K. I never thought we'd see a worse pick than 2007's Dead or Alive, but Chiara... you've truly made the greatest Bonehead pick of all time! Congrats!

So here are this year's payouts:

1st Place - $300.00 - Justin Klein
2nd Place - $60.00 - Laura Logan
3rd Place - $30.00 - Steve Berg
Bonehead Award - $10.00 - Chiara DiRuscio

I'd like to thank everyone for playing this summer... especially all of our newcomers. We saw two of you (David G. and Gretchen) show you can hold your own with 9 correct picks... and we saw one person (looking at you, Tina) tie the record for fewest correct picks in a summer (with 4). We had our annual controversy about who's most worthy of the Bonehead Award, and we also had our annual "anyone but Berg" campaign. We certainly had some surprises this summer (Wanted, Mamma Mia!, Step Brothers, and Journey 3D - which could possibly make it two $100 million movies for Brendan Fraiser this summer), and we've had some real bombs (Speed Racer, X-Files 2). I've taken the time to update the Hall of Boneheads, so enjoy the new entries!

I hope everyone stayed entertained all throughout the summer (especially with some VERY impressive films this year), and next year should be just as fun. There are some really big films to look forward to, with Wolverine, the new Terminator, another Pixar film (Up), Transformers 2, and the new Harry Potter. I truly hope we see everyone return next summer, and feel free to bring some more friends along with you. See you next year!


Sorry for the delay in this week's recap... and thankfully there wasn't any major news to break. Not surprisingly, none of the new entries earned more than $15 million. Dark Knight continued to inch its way to $500 million, and could possibly reach that plateau after the upcoming 4-day holiday weekend. And while Mamma Mia! pulled in another $4.3 million (only a 29.2% drop), it needed to gross $9 million in its final 7 days to reach 10th place. It'll be an interesting weeknd, but all it's going to settle is the difference between 2nd and 3rd place, as Justin has already locked this thing up.

After averaging $667K over the last 3 weekdays, Mamma Mia! is now sitting at $126.5 million, while Wanted is at $133.8 million. But even with the holiday, Mamma won't be able to make up the difference. Now if Monday the 1st was included... maybe. But not through the 31st. Laura should now be able to breathe more easily. The official final numbers won't be out until Tuesday, but we'll have a good idea on Sunday night.


This was the last weekend that a film was selected, and while 4 people picked Star Wars: The Clone Wars (opened in 3,452 theaters, and had a rating of 19% on Rotten Tomatoes), it only pulled in $15 million. Simply too late in the summer to pick a film. And while Dark Knight was finally dethroned as the #1 movie of the weekend, it's $16.8 million enabled it to pass Star Wars to become the #2 film of all time (currently at $471.5 million). It also moved up to #39 on the All-Time Adjusted Chart.

But more important to us is our rankings and the tiebreakers for those involved. As we all know, Justin and Laura are both 10-for-10. I'd say congrats right now, but we never want to assume anything (I'll get to that in a moment). I calculated the Deviation Score for each of them, and Justin easily holds the edge by a score of 14 to 24. There are also 6 of us who currently are 9-for-10 (me, Chapman, David L., Jaime, David G., and Gretchen). Calculating the Deviation Scores for all of us brought these results: me = 22, Chapman = 29, David L. = 27, Jaime = 33, David G. = 34, Gretchen = 34. If these scores hold up, Justin will finish 1st, Laura will finish 2nd, and I will finish 3rd.

Now comes the fun part. Not sure if Justin and Laura have been paying that close attention to the rankings, but Mamma Mia! is actually bearing down on the #10 spot! Nice job Kristen and Tina! After dropping only 20.8% this weekend (earning $6.5 million), Mamma is now only $16.9 million behind 10th place Wanted with 14 days to go. If Mamma finishes 10th, Justin, Laura, David G. and Gretchen would all lose a selection, as they all picked Wanted. That would then create a 6-way tie for 1st place with 9 correct picks (and once again, there'd be no perfect 10-for-10 winner). This wouldn't really matter to Justin, as he'd still have 1st place locked up with a stellar Deviation Score. But Laura would suffer, as my Deviation Score is slightly better than hers (and will only get better as Mummy keeps climbing the rankings). I'll add Mamma to the next Weekend Comparison document.


Didn't get the Thursday preview posted in time, so I hope no one other than David got all freaky about it. Sorry David. Hopefully getting the weekend update posted on Sunday night will make things right.

Well, it doesn't really seem to matter whether Hulk holds off Wanted or not, as there really aren't any other movies that are threats to crack the Top 10. The continued success of Dark Knight has really crippled the performance of all other new releases, as it once again was the top grossing film for the 4th straight weekend. It's now the THIRD HIGHEST GROSSING FILM OF ALL TIME, and will be #2 by next Sunday: All-Time Films

If you're interested in rankings adjusted for inflation, it's currently #49 on that list: All-Time Films (Adjusted)

And here's a list that I found pretty interesting. We know that Dark Knight has ripped off 4 straight weekends as the #1 film. Here's the list of the most consecutive #1's (bet you didn't know that Porky's was a monster hit at the box office, did you?): Most Consecutive #1's

Going back to this summer, obviously the film most affected by Dark Knight's success is The Mummy 3, as its 2-weekend total of $70 million is about $25 million off the necessary pace to crack the list. Ughhh.

There were 3 new movies this past weekend, but none turned out to be anything Justin should worry about. After a very promising $12 million opening day on Wednesday, Pineapple Express only finished the weekend at $40 million. It still got a 70% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it seems to be a pretty good film. Sisterhood 2 also opened on Wednesday, and is now at $19 million. That's all I'm willing to say about it. Hell Ride, on the other hand, IS something I want to talk about. That soon-to-be classic opened in a whopping 82 theaters this weekend, and is now sitting at $83,500. Awesome! Looks like we have our Bonehead winner!

Next weekend: Our final selected film of the summer. 4 people picked Star Wars: The Clone Wars (opening in 3,300+ theaters). Even if it has an amazing weekend, there simply isn't enough time to pull in the necessary $133 million to make the list. Still, I'm definitely intrigued by this film, as I'm certainly a fan of the previous Clone Wars clips.


Well now, that didn't turn out as I planned. The reviews were harsh, and not only did The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor fail to meet my lofty expectations, it was about $10 million less than our trusty Box Office Report projected... opening with only $40.6 million. And that's obviously great news for both Justin and Laura, as unless one of the upcoming films erupt with a $75 million opening, both of them will finish 10-for-10 this summer. This has never been accomplished, as the previous best was 10 out of the top 11 (done twice). And what a shame that's going to be for Laura. Even with a perfect list of movies, some of her selections are way off, and Justin's are simply a bit more accurate. Of course, even though Justin is already asking for the 1st Place payout to be mailed out, I'm not assuming anything until September 1st.

Regarding the other movies, it's not a certainty that Wanted will pass Hulk, as Hulk actually had a positive increase in percentage earned this weekend, and is now ahead by $2 million. In addition to Mummy, Get Smart was finally added to the Weekend Comparison document, as it actually hadn't suffered a greater than 50% drop until this past weekend. While it's not quite making enough to crack Top 10, it appears to have locked up 11th place. Looking ahead, Mummy should still reach $100 million, but I'm no longer expecting it to even hit $125 million. If the Top 10 stays as-is (save for a couple flip-flops in placement), we'll have 6 people fighting for 3rd place with 9 correct picks. 4 of those people picked Speed Racer (currently in 21st place), so they've essentially been eliminated in the tiebreaker. 1 person has The Happening (currently in 17th place), so he's pretty much gone. That leaves David and me to duke it out.

Now for more Dark Knight news. With $42.7 million in weekend #3, it finished in 2nd place for movies in their third weekend: All Time 3rd Weekends

Ho-hum... another record broken: Fastest to $350 million: Fastest to $350 million

And get ready for another record to be shattered. It's only $7 million away from $400 million total, and the current record holder is Shrek 2 with 43 days. Hey Shrek... prepare to be obliterated! Don't know if it can match Titanic's $600 million, but $500 million should be easily reachable.

Next weekend: Hmmm, you never know... perhaps a spoiler? A lot of people are anxiously awaiting Pineapple Express (picked only by Bill, and opening in 2,800+ theaters). It's still one of my favorite selections, and it's too bad it wasn't released earlier in the summer. I'm surprised that the studio didn't want to duplicate Knocked Up's early summer success from last year. We all know how much kids love their stoner movies. We also have another of Karla's late selections, this one with the amazingly stupid title The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (opening in 2,600+ theaters). And that's not even her last film of the summer! Lastly, we have a movie that could give Karla's Mongol a run for its money for the Bonehead Award. Check out Chiara with the very low budget Hell Ride (opening in... well... I can't tell. There's actually no theater count just yet). Very nice. I'm sure that pick is a huge hit back at the office :)


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - 50m (NEW) 50m
2) The Dark Knight - 43m (-43%) 394.5m
3) Step Brothers - 16.5m (-47%) 63m
4) Mamma Mia! - 13m (-27%) 87.8m
5) Swing Vote - 8m (NEW) 8m
6) Journey 3D - 6.2m (-37%) 72.3m
7) Hancock - 5m (-40%) 215.8m
8) WALL-E - 4.2m (-35%) 203.5m
9) The X-Files 2 - 3.7m (-63%) 17.5m
10) Space Chimps - 2.7m (-40%) 21.8m
11) Hellboy II - 2.5m (-50%) 71.3m

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor = 10% (27% by the Top Critics). OMG that's AWESOME!

Theater count:
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor = 3,759


Man, the records just don't stop falling for The Dark Knight:

$75 million in its 2nd weekend... All Time 2nd Weekends

Fastest to $200 million... fastest to $250 million...

And now... Fastest to $300 million Fastest to $300 million

Think about that one. It reached $300 million IN TEN DAYS. It nearly became the top grossing film of the summer in WEEKEND NUMBER TWO. Here's some perspective: It took Iron Man 48 days to reach $300 million. Indiana Jones 4 did it in 39 days. If you scroll through the categories in that last link, you'll see that there have been only 11 movies that surpassed $350 million. Pirates 2 has that record with 23 days. Yeah, Knight might break that before this weekend. Only 5 movies have hit $400 million, and only 1 has reached the $450 million mark (Titanic). I don't think it's a stretch to say we're looking at movie #2. Simply amazing.

It was another weekend where one newcomer overachieved, and the other horribly underachieved. But who would've guessed that it was X-Files 2 that completely tanked, earning only $10 million in 3,185 theaters? Anyone here see it? David? I know you were really excited to see it. C'mon... fess up. Thankfully there won't be a #3. Meanwhile, after his last clunker, Will Ferrell rebounded nicely with a $31 million opening from Step Brothers. It was his 4th biggest opening, and based on his prior history, should also become his 4th $100 million movie.

As for the other films, there are only 2 that matter right now. While Hulk limped along with $423K in 403 theaters, Wanted raked in another $2.7 million in 1,754 theaters... closing the gap to less than $4 million. I've already updated the latest Weekly Comparison document from this week's actuals, and while Hulk is still on a higher pace after 5 weekends than Wanted, it was weekend #6 where the wheels completely fell off, as it dropped from $2.3 million to $600K (thanks to the opening of Hancock). Oh how sweet it would be if Mummy can do the same to Wanted. Come on! Hook a brother up!

Next weekend: The final big movie of the summer (based on our selections). 15 people picked The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (opening in 3,600+ theaters). For it to make the cut this summer, it'll need to gross about $135 million in 5 weekends... meaning it needs an opening of $55-60 million, and no dropoffs greater than 55%. Yeah, that's pretty much what I expected of it. Of course, I didn't see Wanted eclipsing $100 million, so there you go. Maybe Universal will pull it abruptly to immediately push to DVDs. Ummmm, that'll work just fine!


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Dark Knight - 82m (-48%) 320m
2) Step Brothers - 24m (NEW) 24m
3) The X-Files: I Want To Believe - 23m (NEW) 23m
4) Mamma Mia! - 18m (-35%) 62.5m
5) Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D - 8.8m (-29%) 59.2m
6) Hancock - 7.5m (-46%) 205.5m
7) WALL-E - 6.8m (-32%) 195.5m
8) Hellboy II - 4.8m (-53%) 65.8m
9) Space Chimps - 4.8m (-33%) 16.2m
10) Wanted - 2.5m (-50%) 128.3m
10) Get Smart - 2.5m (-39%) 124.3m

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Step Brothers = 53% (47% by the Top Critics)
The X-Files: I Want To Believe = 31% (24% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Step Brothers = 3,094
The X-Files: I Want To Believe = 3,185


Goodness... where do I begin? The actuals are finally in for the weekend, and if you aren't already aware, The Dark Knight shattered numerous records along the way:

Widest release ever (4,366 theaters)? Check. Widest Releases

The most money ever earned at midnight ($18 million)? Check.

Biggest opening day ever ($67 million)? Check. Biggest Opening Day

Biggest opening weekend ever ($158 million)? Check. Biggest Opening Weekend

It also had the biggest Friday ($67 million), the 2nd biggest Saturday ($47 million), and the biggest Sunday ($43 million).

It had the 2nd biggest per theater average ever: Biggest Per Theater Average

And after just one weekend it's already the #149 movie of ALL TIME! Simply ridiculous.

As for the other movies, all of the action films took a pretty big hit with the release of Dark Knight. Hellboy II's -70.7% performance earned it the #42 spot on the all-time list for 2nd Weekend Drops. Worst of all was Hulk, which saw a 73% decline. And that's simply not good for me, as Wanted keeps hanging on, again just slightly behind the 4th weekend pace for both Hulk and Narnia. Grrrrr... STEVE SMASH!!!

Next weekend: A possible spoiler? The two new releases weren't picked by many, but maybe this is where Will Ferrell regains his summer movie magic. 2 people picked Step Brothers (opening in 2,800+ theaters). At least the previews still make me laugh. And evidently only 8 people are believers in X-Files 2 (opening in 3,100 theaters). Yawn.


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Dark Knight - 118m (NEW) 118m
2) Mamma Mia! - 29m (NEW) 29m
3) Hancock - 14.5m (-55%) 192.3m
4) Hellboy II - 12.5m (-64%) 59.3m
5) Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D - 11m (-48%) 42.3m
6) WALL-E - 10m (-47%) 182.7m
7) Space Chimps - 7m (NEW) 7m
8) Wanted - 6m (-50%) 124.5m
9) Get Smart - 3.5m (-51%) 119m
10) Kung Fu Panda - 2.2m (-50%) 207m

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Dark Knight = 93% (92% by the Top Critics)
Mamma Mia! = 47% (29% by the Top Critics)
Space Chimps = 24% (33% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
The Dark Knight = 4,366 (setting a new record)
Mamma Mia! = 2,976
Space Chimps = 2,511


It was a rather quiet weekend, as none of the three new releases exceeded $40 million. Hellboy II came closest at $35.9 million, but that simply won't be enough to make Top 10. Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D did as expected with $20 million. But if there was any surprise, it was with Meet Dave, which had a brutal opening of $5 million. And that was in over 3,000 theaters! The really sad thing is that it isn't even bad enough to be the Bonehead Winner. Hey Eddie... how 'bout no more sci-fi movies, OK?

Wanted finally cracked the Top 10, and after only dropping 42% this weekend it sits $18 million behind Hulk. Its three-weekend pace is still slightly short of both Hulk and Narnia, and now it has another film that will certainly put a dent in its earnings. This brings us to...

Next weekend: Perhaps the most highly-anticiapated movie of the summer... The Dark Knight (opening in an amazing 4,300+ theaters). The record for most theaters is Pirates 3 with 4,362 theaters. I've read that the demand for the Thursday night early screenings is so great, some theaters will additionally have 3am and 6am showings. Everyone here picked it (though one guy completely left it off his list until I gave him a friendly reminder - I won't name names), and no one placed it lower than #6. Can't wait!


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) Hellboy II - 32m (NEW) 32m
2) Hancock - 30m (-52%) 162.5m
3) WALL-E - 20m (-38%) 164.3
4) Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D - 19m (NEW) 19m
5) Meet Dave - 13m (NEW) 13m
6) Wanted - 11.5m (-43%) 112m
7) Get Smart - 7m (-37%) 111.2m
8) Kung Fu Panda - 5.3m (-28%) 203m
9) Hulk - 2.7m (-45%) 130.2m
10) Indiana Jones - 2.5m (-33%) 310.7m

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Hellboy II = 88% (83% by the Top Critics)
Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D = 65% (89% by the Top Critics)
Meet Dave = 29% (NA% by the Top Critics). Wow. Not even worth their time.

Theater count:
Hellboy II = 3,204
Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D = 2,811
Meet Dave = 3,011


Will Smith may again rule the box office, but this one was another blockbuster that slightly underachieved. After getting drilled by the critics, Hancock opened to $62.6 million... a bit less than the projected $68 million. But when including the extra days leading up to July 4th, it's already sitting at $103 million, making it an easy lock for Top 10. Even with the less-than-stellar opening, it still managed to have a large impact on Wanted, as that film suffered the dreaded 60% drop in revenue in its 2nd weekend. As the updated Weekend Comparison document shows, Wanted is currently sitting as the 9th place movie, with two more 'franchise' movies still to open (Dark Knight and Mummy). Of course, it's also barely behind Narnia, so maybe it can outperform it. And just as I expected, having just completed its 4th weekend, Hulk finally slipped behind Narnia's pace. Maybe that's the film everyone should be worried about.

Next weekend: Three films with minimal selections, and all hoping to play spoiler. 5 people picked Hellboy II (opening in 2,900+ theaters), 2 people picked Meet Dave (2,950 theaters), and 1 person picked Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D (2,700+ theaters). Just last night I finally saw a trailer on TV for Meet Dave. Not pretty.


Ok, I just fixed the link for the 'Weekend Comparisons' document found on the Weekly Spreadsheets page. It'll give you a good idea of where the movies rank after each weekend. I'll do another update of this document on Monday.

Everyone have a great holiday weekend!


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend (Hancock came out Wednesday):
1) Hancock - 68m (NEW) 115m
2) WALL-E - 37m (-41%) 133.5m
3) Wanted - 23m (-55%) 96.2
4) Get Smart - 12m (-41%) 100m
5) Kit Kittredge - 9m (NEW) 14m
6) Kung Fu Panda - 7.8m (-33%) 193.8m
7) Hulk - 4.5m (-53%) 124.8m
8) Indiana Jones - 3.3m (-37%) 306.2m
9) Love Guru - 2.7m (-49%) 30.8m
10) Sex and City - 2.5m (-35%) 145m

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Hancock = 37% (36% by the Top Critics).
Kit Kittredge = 80% (95% by the Top Critics).

Theater count:
Hancock = 3,965
Kit Kittredge = 1,843


One new movie underachieved, and one overachieved. But which one did what? Well happily for both Justin and Laura, it was Wanted that exceeded expectations, earning $51 million when it was only projected to do $37 million (especially impressive with its low # of theaters). It sounds like it really kicked ass, and I'll definitely be seeing it on Wednesday night (free popcorn on Wednesdays!). As for WALL-E, $63 million isn't anything to worry about, but it's still $10 million less than what was originally projected. And like I said before, Kung Fu Panda has everything to do with that. Yet it sill had the 2nd best June opening ever: June Openings

Wanted's $51 million opening is the 8th best opening this summer, and it'll be pretty interesting to see how everything plays out, particularly with another huge action flick opening next weekend. I know the main focus recently has been Wanted vs. Mummy 3, but as I recently mentioned on the tagboard, we could concievably see BOTH movies make the list... at the expense of something like Hulk or Narnia. Both of those movies opened at 55m, but they experienced some pretty high percentage dropoffs in their following weekends. Narnia had drops of 58.6, 44.3, 55.5, 44.1, 43.4, and 40.8, while Hulk has dropped 60.1 and 58.3 percent each of the last two weekends. Both were nearly identical at $115.5 million after their 3rd weekend, but with those kinds of dropoffs, it doesn't look like Hulk will keep pace. Of course, this all depends on the 2nd weekend result for Wanted. Yes, it has the holiday weekend to help out, but Will Smith might put a dent its earnings. More importantly, if Hulk or Narnia fail to make the list, that opens the door for everyone else to jump right back into the race.

In other news, Indiana Jones became the 13th fastest movie to reach $300 million (Iron Man is now at #16): Fastest to $300 million

After crunching the numbers, I made a document of all of this summer's movies that have a realistic chance of being Top 10 (all opening at $50+ million), with their running totals each weekend and their percentage dropoffs. It's a quick way to see how these movies compare over the same # of weekends, and it can be found on the 'Weekly Spreadsheets' page.

Next weekend: A blockbuster that only 5 people didn't pick... Hancock (opening in 3,900 theaters). It's getting pummeled on Rotten Tomatoes, so maybe Wanted will be alright.


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) WALL-E - 73m (73m)
2) Wanted - 37m (37m)
3) Get Smart - 19m (76m)
4) Panda - 10.5m (177.7m)
5) Hulk - 10m (116.3m)
6) Love Guru - 5.8m (25.7m)
7) Indiana Jones - 4.8m (299.7m)
8) Happening - 4.3m (59.5m)
9) Zohan - 4m (92m)
10) Sex and City - 3.8m (140m)
11) Iron Man - 2.3m (309.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
WALL-E = 97% (100% by the Top Critics). Nice.
Wanted = 72% (72% by the Top Critics). Great quote from Rolling Stone's Peter Travers: "It's trash, but I love it anyway."

Theater count:
WALL-E = 3,992
Wanted = 3,175 Uh-oh.


And then there were three. Poor David. Such high hopes for Get Smart, but Steve Carrell really let you down (for all the hype, has he even had a Top 10 movie?). It didn't do badly at all (the actual figures are $38.7 million for the weekend), but that's not nearly enough to make the cut, especially when Sex and the City is only dropping 33% each weekend. At this rate, Narnia might wind up being the #10 movie of the summer. Nothing else of importance this weekend... except for the total BOMB that is The Love Guru. Only $13.9 million? Geez... it cost $62 million to make! At least no one here was foolish enough to pick it. I'm proud of all of you.

Next weekend: The biggest weekend of the summer (so far)! 36 people picked WALL-E (opening in 3,900 theaters), and we pretty much know that it'll be a lock. But more importantly, 11 people picked Wanted (3,100+), and that movie is critical to several of us. Now that David has no chance of a perfect score, only Justin, Laura and I still have that opportunity... and Justin and Laura both picked Wanted. I really hope it rocks, as I'm definitely going to see it. But I also like that it appears to be getting a less-than-wide release. We'll know the accurate theater count on Thursday. Ooooooooh... I'm getting nervous.


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) Get Smart - 39m (39m)
2) Panda - 23m (156.5m)
3) Hulk - 22m (96.5m)
4) The Love Guru - 21m (21m)
5) The Happening - 11m (51m)
6) Indiana Jones - 9m (291.2m)
7) Zohan - 8.5m (85.2m)
8) Sex and City - 5.8m (131.5m)
9) Iron Man - 4m (304.7m)
10) Strangers - 2.2m (49.7m)
11) Narnia - 2m (135.7m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Get Smart = 55% (56% by the Top Critics).
The Love Guru = 15% (0% by the Top Critics). Zero? Wow.

Theater count:
Get Smart = 3,911
The Love Guru = 3,012


It was a nice weekend for The Incredible Hulk, but not as good as Friday's numbers would have indicated. After opening with $21.6 million on Friday, it dropped to $18.3 mil on Saturday, and then $14.5 mil on Sunday. As such, it finished with $54.5 mil... good for the 7th best June opening ever (2003's Hulk is at #2 with $62 mil): June Openings

The Happening actually exceeded expectations by opening with $30.5 mil, but really shouldn't be a threat to crack the list. That hurts Jaime's chances, as he was one of the few to be 'perfect' in his picks thus far. If we're willing to say that $135 mil is the minimum to make Top 10 this year (this is based on last year's results), then right now we have 6 movies that should meet that criteria. Iron Man and Indiana Jones are locks. Narnia is really struggling, but should at least hit $135 mil (I guess Curt's ommission of it wasn't that dumb). Criticize it all you want, but Sex made another $10 mil this weekend, and is now at $120 mil (keeping it on pace to make the cut). Panda suffered only a 43% drop this weekend, so it will easily pass that mark. And again, unless Hulk completely bombs out in weekend #2, it should also make it. Zohan dropped 57% this weekend, and is sitting at only $69 mil (Sex was already at $99 mil after its first 2 weekends).

If all of these are true, then there are 4 people who so far are 6-for-6 (Justin, David, Laura and me). The differences are that David has Get Smart, Justin and Laura have Wanted, and I have The Mummy 3. Of course, who knows if something else will sneak in and blow everything up... allowing everyone else to jump back in.

Next weekend: 14 people picked Get Smart (opening in 3,700+ theaters). Obviously a critical weekend for David. Also opening is The Love Guru (2,700 theaters). Surprisingly, no one picked it. But then again, I couldn't even laugh at the trailer. Sad.


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Incredible Hulk - 53m (53m)
2) Panda - 34m (118m)
3) The Happening - 27m (27m)
4) Zohan - 18m (70.5m)
5) Indiana Jones - 12.5m (274.5m)
6) Sex and City - 11m (120.8m)
7) Strangers - 4m (45.2m)
7) Iron Man - 4m (296.2m)
9) Narnia - 2.8m (131.5m)
10) Vegas - 1.8m (75.8m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
The Incredible Hulk = 74% (88% by the Top Critics). Sounds like a pretty sharp movie.
The Happening = 15% (22% by the Top Critics). Ouch.

Theater count:
The Incredible Hulk = 3,505
The Happening = 2,986


Both Kung Fu Panda ($60 million) and You Don't Mess With the Zohan ($40 million) exceeded expectations this weekend, but I wouldn't feel too comfortable with Zohan just yet. From past experience, a $40 million opening places a movie right on the fence, and with so many blockbuster movies this summer, those who picked it are going to sweat it out for a couple months. Here is a list of last summer's releases that totaled $100+ million (in order of finish), and their opening weekends:

1) Spider-Man 3 - $151.1
2) Shrek the Third - $121.6
3) Transformers - $70.5
4) Pirates 3 - $114.7
5) Harry Potter 5 - $77.1
6) Ratatouille - $47.0
7) The Bourne Ultimatum - $69.3
8) The Simpsons Movie - $74.0
9) Knocked Up - $30.7
10) Live Free or Die Hard - $33.3 (made an additional $15 million on Wed & Thur = $48.4)
11) Fantastic Four 2 - $58.1
12) Ocean's Thirteen - $36.1
13) Chuck and Larry - $34.2
14) Rush Hour 3 - $49.1 (opened on 8/10)
15) Hairspray - $27.5

If we take anything from these results, it's that there are no guarantees for a movie that opens at 'only' $40 million. There will always be surprises with staying power (Knocked Up), and there will always be complete disappointments (Fantastic Four 2). Hey, at least Zohan did better than Chuck and Larry, and that movie barely missed the cut.

As I feared might happen, Sex and the City saw a 62% drop in weekend #2. It's still sitting at $99 million after 2 weekends, but it also might suffer the same fate as F4-2 (I personally believe that it'll be just fine). Meanwhile, Panda's $60 million was good for the 4th best June opening of all time (it nearly finished 2nd): June Openings

And then we have Mongol. As I mentioned last week, it opened to limited release (5 theaters total). It'll see wider release this weekend, but Karla now has the inside track on that Bonehead Award. Sneaky!

Next weekend: Another double-dipper... 26 people picked The Incredible Hulk (opening in 3,400+ theaters), and 4 people took a chance on The Happening (3,000 theaters). John Biddle thinks so much of Hulk, he has it at #3 on his list. Just as long as it makes the cut, I'll be happy.


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) Kung Fu Panda - 52m (52m)
2) Zohan - 38m (38m)
3) Sex and the City - 24m (101.5m)
4) Indiana Jones - 24m (254m)
5) The Strangers - 10m (38.5m)
6) Iron Man - 8.5m (289.8m)
7) Narnia - 6.3m (126.5m)
8) Vegas - 3.8m (72.5m)
9) Baby Mama - 1.3m (58.5m)
10) Speed Racer - 1m (42.8m)
10) Made of Honor - 1m (44.8m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Kung Fu Panda = 84% (85% by the Top Critics)
Zohan = 34% (33% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Kung Fu Panda = 4,114
Zohan = 3,462
Sex and the City = 3,325 (actually increased by 40 theaters)

Panda also happens to have the 10th widest release ever (dunno why it's only projected at $52 million). Mo money! Mo Money! Mo money!: Widest Releases


Sex sells! The inital projections were right, as Sex and the City stormed out of the gate with $56 million this weekend, slightly better than originally expected. I haven't seen it, so I have no clue if it's even watchable for a guy. And we haven't had anyone else chime in on the message board with comments about it. C'mon Butters... where's the update?! One thing to keep an eye on is its Friday vs. Saturday breakdown. Sex opened with $27 million on Friday, but while Saturday is traditionally the biggest day of the weekend, it slipped to $18 million. This obviously means that last Friday night was "Ladies Night Out", but it also might be a sign of a big dropoff in weekend #2. So unless we're looking at a 70% dropoff next weekend (nearly impossible), it should still be a lock for Top 10. And that would then leave only 6 of us at 4-for-4 in our picks this summer.

As for individual achievements, it's simply amazing what Sex did, as it was focused on the female audience. Not surprisingly, Warner Brother's polls showed that 85% of the attendance on Friday were women. I was originally concerned about the movie having an R-rating (often the kiss of death), but it wound up being the 5th highest-grossing R-rated film of all time: R-rated Openings

And if you look more closely, it actually became the #1 R-rated comedy of all time, beating American Pie 2. Remarkably, it did all this while playing in fewer than 3,300 theaters.

As for the other films this past weekend, Indiana Jones had a decent 2nd weekend, and should easily reach $300 million. Once again, Iron Man suffered a dropoff of only 31%, as it just surpassed $275 million. Narnia's fading fast, and while it'll remain in the Top 10, it doesn't look like a Top 5 movie at all.

Speaking of Iron Man, did anyone here see the Tropic Thunder skit on the the MTV movie awards last night? I caught 10 (mostly unbearbale) minutes of the awards, but luckily saw this clip. Robert Downey Jr.'s really got his character down (updated 6/6/08 - this is the full clip): Tropic Thunder skit

Next weekend: Our first multiple-movie weekend. 25 people picked Kung Fu Panda (opening in 3,600 theaters), only 6 people picked Zohan (3,300+ theaters), and 1 person picked Mongol (limited release in just 4 theaters). Whoops. The first animiated movie of the summer? Yeah, most of us were all over that one. And it won't be the first time an animated film will 'steal' money from a later-released Pixar film. In 2006, Cars may have finished #2 with $240 million, but Over the Hedge was released 3 weeks earlier and managed to pull in $154 million (good for #6). I think that that might have had something to do with the lower-than-expected total for Cars. Panda will have 3 weeks to itself before WALL-E comes out, so expect some big bucks!


Box Office Report's predictions for this weekend:
1) Sex and the City - 53m (53m)
2) Indiana Jones - 47m (219.5m)
3) Narnia - 14m (117m)
4) Iron Man - 13.5m (276m)
5) The Strangers - 13m (13m)
6) What Happens In Vegas - 4m (63.5m)
7) Speed Racer - 2.5m (40m)
7) Made of Honor - 1.5m (42.5m)

And Sex and the City currently has a freshness rating of 62% on Rotten Tomatoes (55% by the Top Critics).


Hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!

If you hadn't heard, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out... and it did phenominally well. Remember how Iron Man was estimated at $100 million in its opening weekend (the actual was $98 million)? Well, Indy seems to have beaten that, with $101 million earned over the 3-day weekend. Adding $25 million from last Thursday and another $25 million for Memorial Day... and we're looking at a total of $151 million over the entire weekend. That $126 million from Fri-Mon is now for the 2nd biggest Memorial Day Weekend ever: Top Memorial Day Weekends

Its Thur-Mon span is also good for 5th biggest 5-Day opening of all time: Biggest 5-Day Openings

And it's the same story for the other summer movies... Iron Man AGAIN only had a dropoff percentage in the 30's (-36%). Speed Racer not only will be beaten by What Happens in Vegas, but after dropping another 50%, it looks like it also won't keep pace with Made of Honor. And after last weekend's dismal opening for Narnia, it couldn't even play catch-up, having dropped nearly 60% in weekend #2.

Next weekend: Ohhh... this is gonna be a big one for the summer. Sex and the City makes its appearance, and 22 of us picked it. Yes, I am one of them, and I know that the reviews aren't going to be pretty. But the 'chick' factor is one that simply cannot be ignored. The fact that it was given an 'R' rating doesn't concern me... but the fact that it's only being released on 3,100 theaters DOES. I'm actually shocked that it's being released this limited (3,500+ is considered the standard for "wide" release), as even though the New Line studio is defunct, it is now a division of Warner Brothers, and I assumed that they'd maximize the release. Great. Also getting a bit of pub (though no one picked it) is The Strangers. Yeah, those of you who know me well enough know that I won't be seeing it.


Some people want more updates posted here instead of the tagboard, so here you go... enjoy!

Box Office Report's Memorial Day Weekend predictions:
1) Indiana Jones - 125m (167m)
2) Narnia - 39m (107m)
3) Iron Man - 25m (257m)
4) What Happens In Vegas - 12m (57m)
5) Speed Racer (37m)

Of course, last week BOR projected $93 million for Narnia, and it only made $56 million.

Indiana Jones currently has a freshness rating of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes.

And temperatures will be in the low-80's in Jacksonville this weekend ... with thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday, and cloudy on Sunday and Monday.


A solid weekend for Narnia, but not exactly what you'd expect from a top-4 movie. While the original film opened at $65 million, this year's sequel opened at only $56 million. It's still going to finish in the Top 10, but it'll likely be a little lower than most of predicted. Box Office Mojo made a couple interesting points in its weekend recap, explaining that it's been two and a half years since the original Narnia film (Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fans waited only one year), and that there's certainly been a glut of fantasy movies in the meantime (The Golden Compass, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Bridge To Terabithia...), dulling the entire genre.

Meanwhile, Iron Man continues to rock with another $31 million earned (only a 38% drop). It actually had the 8th best '3rd Weekend' of all time, and is now sitting at $220 million. Hey, it's already #62 film OF ALL TIME: All Time Box Office

Next weekend: Ok, this time everyone took Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and 75% of us have it listed at #1 or #2... though one of us has it as low as #6. At least it wasn't panned at Cannes (of course, Lucas demanded that the cast and crew be interviewed BEFORE the film's screening).


Got back late last night from a weekend at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. That place never gets old. And now I know why my wife took me there... The Simpsons Ride just opened to the public! Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car, so I don't have any pics of the Kwik-E-Mart next door (the ride's gift shop) or of the cart selling Squishees (that line was easily 60 people long). For those of you who've been to Universal, they shut down the Back To the Future ride and simply replaced it with The Simpsons. Same building - with upgraded cars and mechanics. Same premise of the ride: 6-min 'ride' with 80-foot IMAX screens. But ALLLLLLL Simpsons. Oh, and it might have been the best 40-min line I've ever waited in (even at 10:00 am). Those difficult-to-see monitors scattered throughout the line were replaced by 42" plasmas (LOTS of them), all showing highlight clips of The Simpsons. Steve happy!! The ride itself was fun, as the car bounced around to the visuals of Sideshow Bob trying to destroy Springfield (yet again). The Simpsons Ride

I loved it. But I also liked BTTF. A shame that they couldn't keep both, but I guess putting Simpsons at Islands would have helped make Universal become even more obsolete. I mean, they finally eliminated the whole Charlton Heston bit from the Earthquake ride, and it was renamed to 'Disaster!: A Major Motion Picture Ride...Starring You!'. Yours truly was even selected to 'act' as one of the 7 characters in the 'film', but once the whole thing was shot, they actually walked us all out (right past the subway cars from the ride) and handed everyone an Express Pass for any other ride. Next thing we know, all 150 of us are standing outside wondering what the hell just happened. Turns out that the actual subway ride was broken... and they didn't even mention it to us. Just directed us outside. We didn't even get to see the mini-action film (Mutha Nature) starring The Rock (and me!). Steve not happy. And naturally, that Express Pass was not valid for Simpsons. Bastards!

Ok... onto the movie weekend recap. Oh boyyyy, we just got our first bomb of the summer. Despite a budget of $120 million, Speed Racer managed to only bring in $20.2 million over the weekend. That's bad enough. But to nearly be lapped by What Happens In Vegas (earning $20.0 million)? Pretty pathetic. That puts a huge dent in the chances for most of you, though it did allow George to play a little catch-up, as he left it alone. 11 of us are still 1-for-1, as Iron Man pulled in another $50 million. Sweet.

Next weekend: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I'd say that this is an absolute lock, but one of us doesn't agree. Good luck, Curt... but I really think you missed the boat on this one.


Well now, that was no Kingdom of Heaven opening to the summer. Courtesy of the 9th widest release ever (4105 screens): Widest Releases

Iron Man had the 10th biggest opening weekend ever, earning $100.8 million: Biggest Opening Weekends

And in just one weekend, it's already the 25th best comic book adaptation of all time: Comic Book Adaptations

4 of you weren't believers in the superhero flick, and now need to play a little catch-up. But at least you didn't squander a selection away... like our buddy George, who took a chance on Made of Honor. Didn't exactly get the outcome he had hoped for.

Next weekend: Speed Racer. Ok, I loved this show when I was younger, I have all the volumes on DVD, and I really really hope that the movie is good. 65% of us took this film, but I simply couldn't do it. Not this summer.


If there ever was a year where Deviation Score will come into play, this is it. We have 41... that's right... 41 entries this summer! And while there are more selected movies than last year, there's still a core of the same 10 movies that most people picked. Oh believe me, we still have some gems out there, but you never know what could be this year's Monster-in-Law or Knocked Up. It certainly looks like placement will be the determining factor this year.

Some quick observations: 4 people chose to ignore the first blockbuster of the summer... George went 'Gigli' on us with Made of Honor... 1 person skipped Narnia... everyone took Indiana Jones and Batman... not much love for Adam Sandler this summer... same for M. Night Shamalamadingdong... and Will Ferrell... and NONE for Mike Myers (ouch)... 1 person picked Journey 3D, and it surprisingly wasn't Todd... X-Files still has a few believers (one as high as #3)... some potential Bonehead competition between Mongol and Hell Ride... and my favorite underdog pick of the summer (taken by only 1 person): Pineapple Express (it does have 4 full weekends in August with minimal competition, so watch out).

Now, with 40 entries, we're obviously increasing our payouts. We're also going to finally add a 3rd Place prize. With a pot of $400.00, we'll pay out:

1st Place - $300.00
2nd Place - $60.00
3rd Place - $30.00
Bonehead Award - $10.00

What about the remaining $10.00? Well that now pays for the Registered Domain Name of the website (which Jaime had been paying out-of-pocket all these years - what a pal).

I need everyone to look at their movies on both the 'Picks' and 'Current Standings' pages to verify for accuracy. Iron Man is projected for an $85 million opening, so most of us are already off to a great start. Hope you all enjoy the pool!


The first movies of the summer open tomorrow, so TODAY is the deadline!. We currently have 25 entires, and I'm told another 10 will be in after lunch, not to mention a couple extras on my end. Tonight I will update the Picks section of the website with what I've received, and I'll post the Standings (the actual grid) on Friday morning.

I've also updated the Rules to include the 2nd Place prize.


Welcome back, everyone! Hopefully you're all currently working on your picks (I've already gotten a couple). The invite e-mail has already been sent out to all of the returning players plus potential new ones, and I am currently in the process of updating the pages of the website. The tagboard and poll question are still working properly, and let's hope that the tagboard doesn't get spammed anymore. If anyone can find a FUNCTIONAL counter, let me know so we can add it. Jaime's working on a new header banner (David did a nice one last year, but he's too busy this year) ... but if you think that you can make one better, feel free to do so. And Chapman doesn't want to do a new movie poster once again, so the offer is out there for someone else to take a stab at it. Don't forget, your picks and $$$ are due by May 1st (1st movie of the summer opens Friday, May 2nd).