2011 Summer Movie Pool


Here we go... the final recap of the summer. As we had already learned, with 9 correct selections Kelly Peterson is our 2011 Summer Movie Pool champion! Another congrats for the first-timer, as she became the 2nd person to win the pool in their first year (Tim Driscoll in '07 - who was actually a one-and-done). It was all the way back in mid-July when I pointed out that Kelly had not only the inside track to win, but also a strong chance for the Perfect 10. And that was mostly due to the biggest surprise of the summer: Bridesmaids. Only 8 people selected the $32 million comedy that went on to gross over $168 million! Not surprisingly, our 2nd and co-3rd Place winners also happened to have it on their list. But what separated Kelly from the others was that she successfully picked Captain America, which they did not.

Determining 2nd Place was a doozie, as the success of Rise of the Planet of the Apes forced a 23-way tie among those with 8 correct selections. 23!!! And at the top of the heap was another first-timer, Tim Haynes, who's Deviation Score ever so slightly edged out the 3rd Place winners by just 1 point. While Bridesmaids was his ace, his wildcard selection of Horrible Bosses also defied expectations, as the $35 million comedy went on to gross $114 million. In fact, 9 of his 10 selections had Scores of 2-points or less. Clearly, movie selection is in Tim's blood, as he happens to be the brother of Laura Logan... who every year can be counted on to be in the thick of things (and as reminded often is the only other 10-for-10 selector ever). Sorry again, Laura :)

With just 1 point behind 2nd Place's score, we had a tie for 3rd Place between yet another first-timer, Marinee Cabrera, and me. Like the others, Marinee also selected Bridesmaids, but mistakenly left Captain America off her list. I did just the opposite. And very impressively, she happened to nail FIVE picks perfectly. Well done! While my list had 4 perfect picks, I still fell from 2nd to 3rd these past couple days thanks to the continued success of The Smurfs and the disappointment that is Super 8. Oh well, at least I outearned Chapman again. No complaining, man... it's a fact!

Here are all 23 players that tied with 8 correct selections, as listed by their Deviation Scores (and quick analysis):

Tim - 15 (2 perfect picks, and 4 other 1-pointers)
Steve - 16 (4 perfect picks, but the Hangover/Cars flip-flop was the big mistake)
Marinee - 16 (5 perfect picks! But also 3 different 4-pointers)
Butters - 18 (4 1-pointers, but Panda did a lil 5-point Kung Fu on your picks)
Laura - 20 (Nothing horrible, but only 1 perfect pick)
Ed - 21 (X-Men at #4 was a killer)
Catie - 21 (Green Lantern hurt a lot of people, and you took a 7-point hit)
Torey - 21 (5 picks as 1-point or less... but then the GL 6-pointer)
Sam - 21 (Started off strong with 3 straight perfect picks... but then GL at #5 for a 9-pointer. Ouch!)
Jamie H. - 21 (5 picks as 1-point or less... but another GL victim)
Chapman - 23 (Nailed 5 of the first 6 picks. Awesome! Then 2 4-pointers and 2 6-pointers. Not awesome.)
Mario - 23 (Oh man, if not for the 12-point deathblow from Friends With Benefits... 3 perfect picks and 4 1-pointers)
Sponge - 27 (5 1-pointers, but then that damn 8-pointer from Cowboys & Aliens)
Justin - 29 (Lots of good... and not-so-good. 6 points from Hangover was bad enough, but then 11 points from C&A. Bam!)
George - 29 (The month of June wasn't kind, thanks to 9 points from Super 8 and 6 points from GL)
Elena - 31 (Apparently Transformers caught you by surprise with that 7-point hit, followed by 6 points from X-Men)
Todd - 32 (How did you nail 3 picks, but then butcher 5 others... with 8 points from C&A as the kicker?)
Gretchen - 34 (GL at #5 was brutal. Just imagine if you had actually selected Transformers instead.)
Cindy - 36 (5 1-pointers looked promising. But then came the 21-point crusher for Winnie the Pooh. A real shame.)
Kui - 40 (The first 8 look really good, man. But then came 7 points for GL, and 20 for our favorite early Bonehead pick... Priest.)
Molly - 40 (Lots of crooked numbers, led by the 9-pointer for C&A)
Mike W. - 41 (9 out of 10 scores were even digits. That in itself is impressive!)
Larry - 49 (You nailed one selection. But then came the 2 4's, 3 6's, a 9 and a 10. Yahtzee!!)

And let's not forget this summer's Bonehead Award. I'll tell you, we all thought that Kui had it wrapped up early with that clunker Priest, as it grossed only $29 million, leading to an early summer exit. But poor Cindy. Your heart was in the right place with Winnie the Pooh, yet it wound up doing even worse with only $26 million earned. In a summer of mediocre computer-generated animation, I figured that traditional animation would have been a hit with the kids. I was wrong. Congrats anyway!

This year's payouts are as follows:

1st Place - $320.00 - Kelly Peterson
2nd Place - $60.00 - Tim Haynes
3rd Place (tie) - $15.00 each - Marinee Cabrera and Steve Berg
Bonehead Award - $10.00 - Cindy Cozzi

Some observations from this summer:
1) Raunchiness is in. $254 million and #3 for Hangover 2. $168 million and #8 for Bridesmaids. Even $114 million for Horrible Bosses and $98 million for Bad Teacher was surprising. Though I guess Friends With Benefits ($55 million) was one too many. Sucks being last to the party.
2) Last year I stated that animated films sell. But this year proved that they need to still be GOOD to sell well. Just throwing out lame sequels clearly won't turn enough heads.
3) Too many superheroes in one summer is just too much for moviegoers. Surprisingly, the best-rated one on Rotten Tomatoes (X-Men) didn't make the cut. But maybe that was because America wasn't clamoring for an X-Men prequel. Can't blame Marvel for that one, as it's 20th Century Fox that owns the rights to that franchise, and they're gonna do whatever they like. At least Marvel knows how to get it done, as both Thor (mediocre) and Captain America (good) succeeded. DC Comics, on the other hand, still has a lot to learn. How about starting with a storyline that people are interested in. And no, the love angle in Green Lantern is not what people cared to see.
4) Chapman will argue with me, but I firmly believe that the 'secrecy' of the marketing campaign for Super 8 cost that film a good $30-50 million and a Top-10 spot. With a fun storyline and very good acting and great ratings, that movie should have opened at $55-60 million instead of the $35 that it actually did. I hope JJ Abrams is happy with his decision, as I can guarantee you that Paramount is not. Funny how Abrams' Star Trek 2 project is currently at a complete stand-still at Paramount. Hmmm.
5) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is far more attractive than Megan Fox. Ok, that covers Transformers 3.
6) A fine ending for Harry Potter, as it deservedly goes out on top. It'll be interesting to see if The Dark Knight Returns or either of the Avatars can break that new opening weekend record.

Lastly, my favorite movies of the summer, in terms of most enjoyable experiences (yes, I'm the one in the poll question who has seen 10+ movies... thanks to the double-dip).
1) X-Men: First Class
2) Horrible Bosses
3) Fast Five (I saw it in early May, so it counts for me)
4) Transformers 3
5) (tie) Captain America & Super 8

I hope everyone had a fun time this summer, as it was nice to see things get back on track after last year's chaos. Glad to have a new high in participants, and hopefully everyone returns next year. It should be another mega-packed summer of blockbusters, as I count 11 legit hits already (Batman, Spider-Man and Men In Black, oh my!). Hello tiebreakers! I'll also have the Photo Gallery and Hall of Boneheads updated soon with this year's entries. See you all next summer!!


Final Top 10:

Just as I expected (though not with enough foresight to actually pick it), Apes finally knocked off X-Men in its final weekend. While that ruined Kelly's chance of going 10-for-10, it didn't change the outcome of this pool. Congrats, Kelly!! And also as expected, Captain America finally jumped ahead of Bridesmaids.

Now for 2nd Place. Ok, I took the time to calculate Deviation Scores for the 23 people who have 8 correct picks... and all I can say is that this pool still isn't over. Seriously. We have until the end of Wednesday the 31st for additional money to be earned, and how much money Smurfs makes in the next couple days will determine who wins 2nd. I'll have the full Deviation list on Thursday, but for now here is the top of the list (Chapman will call bullshit, but don't worry... I won't be in 2nd for long):

Steve - 15
Tim - 15
Marinee - 16
Butters - 17

Unfortunately for me, Smurfs is going to make just enough to surpass Not-so-Super 8. Once that happens, my score will drop to 16, putting me into a tie with Marinee for 3rd Place, and leaving 2nd Place for Tim. I just can't see any other potential movement in the picks that would affect the money-earners, but we'll still wait until Thursday for the final recap.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Help - 15m (97.2m)
2) Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - 12m (12m)
3) Colombiana - 11m (11m)
4) Our Idiot Brother - 10m (10m)
5) Rise of the Planet of the Apes - 9.3m (149m)
6) Spy Kids 4 - 6.2m (22m)
7) The Smurfs - 5.2m (126.3m)
8) Conan the Barbarian - 4m (17.6m)
9) 30 Minutes Or Less - 3.5m (32.7m)
10) Final Destination 5 - 3.4m (38.8m)
11) Fright Night - 3.3m (14.6m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark = 58% (45% by the Top Critics)
Colombiana = 42% (58% by the Top Critics)
Our Idiot Brother = 66% (67% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark = 2,760
Colombiana = 2,614
Our Idiot Brother = 2,555


Current Top 10:

We're into the home stretch, and it's pretty much a no-brainer that Apes (which no one picked) is going to knock off David's beloved X-Men for #10. There may be a full week left, but Apes should have it clinched by Sunday night. Kelly can still celebrate, and if you listen closely... you can also hear Justin's giddy cheers all the way from the West coast. Let it go, man. You sound like Don Shula and the '72 Dolphins :)

And I won't do that 20+ person tiebreaker for 2nd Place until Sunday. Head hurts.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Help - 21m (73m)
2) Rise of the Planet of the Apes - 16.5m (134.7m)
3) Conan the Barbarian - 16m (16m)
4) Spy Kids 4 - 15.5m (15.5m)
5) Fright Night - 14m (14m)
6) The Smurfs - 9m (119.9m)
7) Final Destination 5 - 8.2m (33.2m)
8) 30 Minutes Or Less - 7.2m (27.2m)
9) One Day - 6m (6m)
10) Harry Potter 7-2 - 4.6m (366.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Conan the Barbarian = 28% (27% by the Top Critics)
Spy Kids 4 = 17% (n/a by the Top Critics). Ouch.
Fright Night = 74% (88% by the Top Critics)
One Day = 26% (25% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Conan the Barbarian = 3,015
Spy Kids 4 = 3,295
Fright Night = 3,114
One Day = 1,719


Current Top 10:

Harry Potter has finally taken its rightful place atop the summer rankings. Captain America has also begun its rise, potentially moving as high as #7 when it's all said and done. But perfection for Kelly is going to come down to the very last days, as Apes is now only $40 million out of #10 with 16 days to go.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Rise of the Planet of the Apes - 26m (104.5m)
2) Final Destination 5 - 20m (20m)
3) The Help - 18m (26.5m)
4) 30 Minutes Or Less - 17m (17m)
5) The Smurfs - 13m (101.7m)
6) Glee: The 3D Concert Movie - 8m (8m)
7) Cowboys & Aliens - 7.7m (82m)
8) Crazy, Stupid, Love. - 7.5m (56.5m)
9) The Change-Up - 7.3m (27.3m)
10) Harry Potter 7-2 - 7.2m (357m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Final Destination 5 = 55% (26% by the Top Critics)
The Help = 73% (68% by the Top Critics)
30 Minutes Or Less = 43% (34% by the Top Critics)
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie = 63% (52% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Final Destination 5 = 3,155
The Help = 2,534
30 Minutes Or Less = 2,888
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie = 2,040


Current Top 10:

Bye bye Super 8. It was a good run, but Captain America just blew by you to make Top 10. And with that, Kelly has now achieved 10-for-10 status. But will it remain that way? Rise of the Planet of the Apes just opened to $54 million, and needs another $92 million in the next 3 weeks to knock off X-Men. Its percentage drop this weekend is going to be VERY interesting.

And yes, we now have that 13-way tie for 2nd Place. You might want to double-check your own Deviation Score #s. Chapman says I cheat.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Rise of the Planet of the Apes - 39m (39m)
2) The Smurfs - 20.5m (76.3m)
3) The Change-Up - 19m (19m)
4) Cowboys & Aliens - 15m (66.5m)
5) Captain America - 13m (143m)
6) Harry Potter 7-2 - 12.2m (342.8m)
7) Crazy, Stupid, Love. - 11m (40.9m)
8) Friends With Benefits - 5m (49m)
9) Horrible Bosses - 4.2m (104.8m)
10) Transformers 3 - 3.3m (344.5m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes = 80% (78% by the Top Critics)
The Change-Up = 19% (19% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes = 3,648
The Change-Up = 2,913


Current Top 10:

Three new movies out last weekend... and all 3 miss the cut. MAYBE Smurfs has a chance if it can drop only 30-40% in weekend #2. After all, it was nearly the #1 movie this past weekend (missed out by only $800K) after earning $35 million vs. the 'expected' $25 million. But what does that say about the actual #1 film? $36 million opening for a movie with a $163 million budget. Doh!! That's gonna hurt in some tiebreakers.

Ok, so it's early August, and that means it's time for my 'speculative' rankings. Assuming Planet of the Apes doesn't crack the list (various weekend estimates range everywhere from 37m to 55m), Kelly will be our 2nd ever 10-for-10 winner (and 3rd overall), followed by a THIRTEEN-way tie for 2nd Place with 9 correct picks. Holy nuts... 13! Here comes the Deviation Method. So splitting the difference for Apes figuring a $45 million opening (with a final tally of $110 million), here's how my guesstimation plays out, with final figures for every film this summer (located in Weekly Spreadsheets as 'projected - no apes.xls'). The lower score is better (more accurate placements):

Tim - 12
Steve - 14
Laura - 14
Marinee - 15
Jamie - 15
Butters - 16
Ed - 19
Justin - 24 (would have been up there if not for C&A)
Mario - 26 (amazingly has SIX movies in their correct place, but is killed by FWB)
Elena - 29
Cindy - 30 (Winnie the Pooh cripples her score)
Mike W. - 35
Larry - 49 (completely all over the map! haha)

No need to get excited about the placements, as it is just an educated guess. This is all assuming that Apes only does 45m opening weekend and finishes at #14, C&A suffers greater-than-50% weekly drops and finishes #17 with 96m, FWB finishes 20th with 61m, and Bosses finishes behind GL at #13. Obviously all bets are off if Apes opens to 50+m or C&A has a nice 2nd weekend. And if Glee 3D happens to do really well? Oh boy.

Now, if Apes opens to 50-60m and winds up finishing at #10, Kelly should still win with 9 correct picks, but then we go to a TWENTY-THREE-way tie for 2nd Place (located in Weekly Spreadsheets as 'projected - apes.xls'). That's just stupid. I'm not even going to break that down. Let's just enjoy these last few weeks of the summer.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Cowboys & Aliens - 39m (39m)
2) Captain America - 30m (122.8m)
3) The Smurfs - 25m (25m)
4) Harry Potter 7-2 - 23.5m (320.7m)
5) Crazy, Stupid, Love. - 17m (17m)
6) Friends With Benefits - 10.3m (39.2m)
7) Horrible Bosses - 7.5m (96.7m)
8) Transformers 3 - 6.3m (338.3m)
9) Zookeeper - 5.5m (70.3m)
10) Cars 2 - 3.3m (183.2m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Cowboys & Aliens = 44% (54% by the Top Critics)
The Smurfs = 19% (24% by the Top Critics)
Crazy, Stupid, Love. = 73% (77% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Cowboys & Aliens = 3,750
The Smurfs = 3,395
Crazy, Stupid, Love. = 3,020


Current Top 10:

Looks like we have another lock for the Top-10. At the very least, it's bye bye Super 8 :( Captain America (which was a pretty fun movie) drummed up $65 million... the same as Thor (65m), and more than both X-Men (55m) and Green Lantern (53m). It should be able to jump to #11 this time next week... and then crack the Top 10 the following. Even if any of this week's releases have a bigger opening, CA should still be able to surpass X-Men at #9. I personally do not see any more shuffling in the Top 10 other than the battles for #1 and #5. After setting box office records worldwide in its opening weekend, you just knew that Harry Potter was going to fall hard in weekend #2. But 72%? That's the biggest percentage drop ever for any movie that grossed greater than $100 million total. But give it a couple weeks and it'll be on top. As for #5, Cars 2 should overtake Thor after this weekend.

Next weekend: The final 3 that were chosen... Cowboys & Aliens (13 people), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (1 person), and The Smurfs (2 people). With the #10 movie looking to end up in the $145 million range, I can't see any of these 3 surpassing it. I will say that the marketing has surprisingly been light for Smurfs compared to the other two releases. And I think people are really sick of having C&A commericals and previews shoved down their throats for the past 6 months (it better be damn good). CSL could be the real wildcard here, as it looks like it can satisfy all audiences.

While this may be the final weekend of 'selected' movies... that doesn't mean nothing else could be a threat to the list. Most notably there's still Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Change-Up on 8/5, and then there's that damn Glee 3D movie on 8/12. Yeah, I know it'll only have 2 weekends. But those Glee fans are rabid!



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Captain America - 55m (55m)
2) Harry Potter 7-2 - 52m (278.5m)
3) Friends With Benefits - 24m (24m)
4) Horrible Bosses - 11.5m (82m)
5) Transformers 3 - 11.3m (324.8m)
6) Zookeeper - 9.2m (59.5m)
7) Cars 2 - 5.6m (176m)
8) Winnie the Pooh - 5.5m (17.7m)
9) Bad Teacher - 2.9m (94.6m)
10) Midnight In Paris - 1.5m (44.4m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Captain America = 72% (76% by the Top Critics)
Friends With Benefits = 70% (66% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Captain America = 3,715
Friends With Benefits = 2,926


The Amazing Spiderman Trailer
From the Desk of David Logan


Current Top 10:

My oh my... we just witnessed the greatest opening in the history of movies! Look at the records shattered by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2:

- $43 million for the midnight shows (Twilight: Eclipse - $30 million)
- $91 million Opening Day (Twilight: New Moon - $72 million)
- $169 million Opening Weekend (The Dark Knight - $158 million)
- $187 million First 4 Days (The Dark Knight - $182 million)

It also had the 9th highest grossing Saturday of all time ($42 million) and it had the 4th highest grossing Sunday ($35 million). The summer is nearly 2/3 over and Potter is already #5 on the list. It'll be #1 in no time.

After a couple weeks of the Top 10 holding steady, we have a lil shakeup in the standings as Green Lantern finally fell from the ranks. Just as I expected... another Fantastic Four 2. Super 8 is now barely holding onto that #10 spot, and will be lucky to eventually hit $130 million. As it stands now, there are 9 people tied for 1st with 9 correct picks. 5 movies remain (all in the next 2 weeks), and while many have their hopes pinned on Captain America, it's inclusion as the 10th film would finalize a 10-for-10 summer for Kelly! Game over, man! But you never know. If you're a fan of chaos you could envision Captain America AND Cowboys and Aliens both eclipsing $150 million... thus knocking both S8 as well as (surprise) X-Men from the list. Ooooooooooohhhh... exciting!

Next weekend: Only 2 weekends of selections remain, and we now have our final majority-choice of the summer as 30 people picked Captain America (with one having it as their #1!). I've actually got a little sidebet with Chapman that it'll have the highest Rotten Tomato rating of all 4 superhero movies this summer. X-Men is on record with 86% (he's refusing to accept the 69% from the Top Critics - which is what I think really matters - but oh well). C'mon you nerdy, mom's basement-living, wanna-be critics! Pump up those numbers! We also have a little love for Friends With Benefits, as one person is hoping that the 'raunchy' summer continues. But have people had their fill already with Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses (which was VERY funny, by the way)? Sucks to be last.


The Thing Trailer
From the Desk of David Logan



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Harry Potter 7-2 - 151m (151m)
2) Transformers 3 - 23.5m (306.3m)
3) Horrible Bosses - 17.5m (60.5m)
4) Zookeeper - 11m (41.5m)
5) Winnie the Pooh - 10m (10m)
6) Cars 2 - 8.5m (166m)
7) Bad Teacher - 5m (88.7m)
8) Larry Crowne - 3.2m (32.5m)
9) Super 8 - 2.8m (123.2m)
10) Monte Carlo - 2.1m (21m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Harry Potter 7-2 = 97% (100% by the Top Critics). Wow!
Winnie the Pooh = 88% (100% by the Top Critics). Double wow!!

This could be the greatest weekend ever in terms of critic reviews.

Theater count:
Harry Potter 7-2 = 4,375
Winnie the Pooh = 2,405


Current Top 10:

Interesting that the 2nd weekend in July was such a letdown this year. 2010 gave us Twilight: Eclipse (64m) and Last Airbender (40m). 2009 had Ice Age 3 (41m). 2008 had Hancock (62m). And this year we get... Horrible Bosses (28m) and Zookeeper (20m). What a shame for the 4 of you who took the chance on them. It was especially devastating for Tim, as he was 1 of 2 people who had started 8-for-8 and ignored both S8 and Lantern. Bosses could have been the movie to give him a leg up on everyone else, but as it stands now the person in the driver's seat would have to be Kelly, who not only is 8-for-8 but her final 2 movies are Harry Potter and Captain America. Oh boyyy... I think we may be looking at another 10-for-10!

And let's not overlook our reigning champion, who is really struggling this summer. First Larry Crowne and now Zookeeper. I guess that's what happens when you wait 'till the last minute to turn in your picks and have to make them from the road. THIS is the Kurt we all remember! I'd just like to know who really made those picks for you last year ;)

Next weekend: If this was perhaps the worst weekend of the summer... get ready for the best! I personally believe that in just a 3-day weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Shadows: Part 2 will obliterate what Transformers 3 was able to do in the same timeframe. I'm seeing forecasts in the $140-150 million range! 19 people have it as their #1 movie, and nobody was foolish enough to ignore it (although I do see both a #7 and #8 placement out there). There's another family movie coming out this weekend, with 1 person taking Winnie the Pooh. There really hasn't been a 'nice and quiet' family film this summer until now, but I'm afraid that poor Pooh will get swallowed up by Potter Mania and Decepticon destruction this weekend.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Transformers 3 - 47m (262m)
2) Horrible Bosses - 25m (25m)
3) Zookeeper - 23m (23m)
4) Cars 2 - 15m (147.8m)
5) Larry Crowne - 8.5m (28.5m)
6) Bad Teacher - 8.3m (77.7m)
7) Super 8 - 5m (118.1m)
8) Green Lantern - 3.5m (110m)
9) Monte Carlo - 3.3m (15.2m)
10) Mr. Popper's Penguins - 3.2m (57.7m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Horrible Bosses = 77% (63% by the Top Critics)
Zookeeper = 15% (13% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Horrible Bosses = 3,040
Zookeeper = 3,482


A couple memes, courtesy of Justin. Wtf?




Current Top 10:

One longggg week and Transformers 3 is already our #3 film on the list with $181 million! The $98 million earned from Fri-Sun shattered the previous Fourth of July weekend record of $88 million set by Spider-Man 2 back in '04. And this sucks for the 2 non-believers out there. I'm a bit shocked with Gretchen's decison, as she's had a solid grasp on what people have wanted to see over the last couple years. Clearly, they want their rock 'em sock 'em robots! As for the other lame releases this weekend, we should note that Larry Crowne was selected by last year's champ, and in 4 days made a grand total of... $15 million. Well done, Kurt! From Champion to Bonehead? Now that'll be a first!

And we might now have some finalization on the whole Super 8/Green Lantern debate, as S8 not only outearned GL this holiday weekend, but is now sitting on a $7 million lead. Sweeeeeet! And has anyone else noticed how poorly the Pixar/Dreamworks movies have done this summer? Will either of them even crack $200 million? Looks like another case of sequelitis... and this time even the kids aren't being suckered in.

Next weekend: 2 major releases... picked by a total of 4 people. We've already seen 1 surprise this summer (I'm sick of talking about Bridesmaids, which is now approaching an unreal $160 million), and these 4 are hoping that lighning strikes twice with either Horrible Bosses (lots of laughs) or Zookeeper (no laughs). Ok, I lied. Everytime I see the gorilla say "Shut. Up." in the Zookeeper preview I cannot stop laughing. I have no idea why. Looks like another weekend for Transformers to make a killing before the Harry Potter onslaught begins.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Trailer
From the Desk of David Logan



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Transformers 3 - 101m (177m)
2) Cars 2 - 37m (128.7m)
3) Larry Crowne - 19.5m (19.5m)
4) Bad Teacher - 18.5m (64.2m)
5) Green Lantern - 9.2m (105.7m)
6) Monte Carlo - 8.5m (8.5m)
7) Super 8 - 8.2m (109m)
8) Mr. Popper's Penguins - 7.8m (53.1m)
9) Bridesmaids - 4.3m (153.7m)
10) X-Men: First Class - 4m (140m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Transformers 3 = 37% (26% by the Top Critics)
Larry Crowne = 35% (22% by the Top Critics)
Monte Carlo = 41% (38% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Transformers 3 = 4,011
Larry Crowne = 2,750
Monte Carlo = 2,400


Current Top 10:

Just one weekend and Cars 2 is already a Top 10 movie. No surprise there. It may not have shattered any records, but it still had the 5th highest Pixar opening ever with $66 million (actual numbers). A mediocre surprise was the $31 million made by Bad Teacher. It's just amazing to me how badly people want to see raunchy films this summer. But the biggest surprise? Oh that definitely had to be the 66% freefall by Green Lantern in Weekend #2. We just don't see percentages like that. Interestingly, Box Office Mojo compared its drop most closely to that of Fantastic Four 2. Heyyyyy... that was MY line!!! Meanwhile, Super 8 again had a drop in only the 40's. And with this weekend's earnings pretty similar, it just might be able to hold off GL in the long run!

Next weekend: Perhaps the 2nd most anticipated weekend of the summer, as all but 2 people picked Transformers: Dark of the Moon. 15 people had it as their #1 film... and not quite sure what those other 2 were thinking. Say what you will of Michael Bay and Shia Labeouf, but with this movie opening not only on Wednesday, but also having Monday, July 4th... I'm seeing numbers in the $180's for the 6-day weekend! BAM!


New Captain America Extended Trailer
From the Desk of David Logan



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Cars 2 - 67m (67m)
2) Bad Teacher - 25m (25m)
3) Green Lantern - 18m (89m)
4) Super 8 - 12.5m (95.2m)
5) Mr. Popper's Penguins - 9.8m (38.3m)
6) X-Men: First Class - 6.3m (132.4m)
7) The Hangover Part II - 5.3m (243.2m)
8) Bridesmaids - 4.5m (145.6m)
9) Kung Fu Panda 2 - 4.2m (152.8m)
10) Midnight In Paris - 4m (27.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Bad Teacher = 47% (29% by the Top Critics)
Cars 2 = 39% (50% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Cars 2 = 4,115
Bad Teacher = 3,049


Current Top 10:

I guess Kermit was right: It ain't easy being green. We already knew that the Super 8/Green Lantern showdown was going to be one of the biggest storylines of the summer... and after last weekend's well-documented and poorly-marketed letdown, Lantern had a prime opportunity to make its mark as a Top 10 film. Expectations were already high going into the weekend (approx $50 mil), and once it earned $3.3 million in the Thursday midnight showings, the predictions shot into the low-$70's. But in the end it only earned $53 million, slightly behind X-Men 4 ($55 mil) and greatly behind Thor ($65 mil). Sidenote - that downward trend of openings for comic book movies could be a bit troubling for those of us who took Captain America.

Lantern wound up having the 14th biggest opening ever in the month of June, but looking at this movie long-term, the best comparison I can make is another June superhero release back in 2007: Fantastic Four 2. Ugh... just thinking of that piece of crap hurts my brain. That film opened with a decent $58 million, but in the end wound up only grossing a total of $132 mil. And it even had higher ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (37% vs. 26%). All Lantern did was create some serious drama for the rest of the summer. Oh, and also provide hope for those who picked Super 8, which only dropped 39% in Weekend #2.

We also had our first official casualty of the summer, as Kui's Priest finally fell out out of the Top 10. 7 weekends was a good run, man!

Next weekend: Heyyyyy, a movie we all picked! 4 people have Cars 2 as their #1 film, with one person having it as low as #9. The reviews thus far have not been kind (59% on RT), and after watching all of those trailers and commericals, this movie simply has 'cash grab' written all over it!



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Green Lantern - 50m (50m)
2) Super 8 - 21m (72.8m)
3) Mr. Popper's Penguins - 13.5m (13.5m)
4) X-Men: First Class - 13m (122m)
5) Kung Fu Panda 2 - 11.5m (146.2m)
6) The Hangover Part II - 10.5m (234m)
7) Bridesmaids - 7.7m (137.2m)
8) Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - 6.7m (220.8m)
9) Midnight In Paris - 4.7m (21.3m)
10) Judy Moody - 3.5m (12.3m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Green Lantern = 21% (19% by the Top Critics)
Mr. Popper's Penguins = 46% (48% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Green Lantern = 3,816
Mr. Popper's Penguins = 3,338


New Moneyball Trailer
From the Desk of David Logan


Current Top 10:

Ahhhh... I see how Paramount wants to play it. First they throw out projections in the mid-to-high 40's for Super 8 before the summer even begins. Then when they realize that people are not interested in all the secrecy surrounding the plot of the film, they reduce their expectations to $30 million. And now that those 'expectations' have been exceeded with a $36 million opening, they're all ecstatic and declaring this weekend a victory. HA!! You don't fool me for a second! Some exec's head is going to roll for the hush-hush decision that wound up (from what I've read on Deadline) costing Paramount a potential $60 million opening. And in a summer like this where you pretty much get only one weekend before you're swept aside for the the next big flick, that's some serious cash lost. The reviews are solid, however, so maybe it will be another Bridesmaids. It certainly has enough time. John, however, is obviously most disappointed, as that was his #1 film! Damnnnnnnnnn.

Next weekend: Another wildcard film that only 13 people left off their lists. 2 people have Green Lantern as high as #4, but I find it interesting that there isn't a single review out just yet. Yeah, that's not good. Don't get me wrong... I personally may not have picked it, but I voted for it as my most-anticipated movie of June. I really hope it's lots of fun... AND still tops out at $110 mil ;)



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Super 8 - 30.5m (32m)
2) X-Men: First Class - 27m (100.8m)
3) Kung Fu Panda 2 - 16m (126m)
4) The Hangover Part II - 14.5m (212.5m)
5) Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - 10.8m (208.7m)
6) Bridesmaids - 9.5m (123.1m)
7) Judy Moody - 6m (6m)
8) Midnight In Paris - 5.8m (13.8m)
9) Thor - 2.7m (173.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Super 8 = 82% (82% by the Top Critics)
Judy Moody = 16% (13% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Super 8 = 3,379
Judy Moody = 2,524


Current Top 10:

Was it all about Wolverine? Sure, X-Men: First Class had a nice $55 million opening. But with those solid reviews it was actually expected to do mid-60's. Minimum. And how does that compare to previous X-Men installations (that ALL had Wolverine in them)?

2000 - X-Men - $54.8m ($157m overall)
2003 - X2: X-Men United - $85.6m ($214.9m)
2006 - X-Men: The Last Stand - $102.8m ($234.4m)
2009 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine - $85.1m ($179.9m)

Even the original would have had a $79 million opening when adjusted for 2011. So is it Top-10 worthy? Well that'll just depend on its earning pattern over the next couple weekends. Says Box Office Mojo: "If First Class holds as well as the first X-Men and X2, that would give it a final gross range of $141 million to $162 million, but, if its pattern hews closer to The Last Stand and Wolverine, it would wind up with $118 million to $128 million." Yikes! That could keep people on edge all summer long. Good thing this upcoming weekend's movie isn't expected to blow up.

Oh, and did you notice that Bridesmaids just crossed the $100 million mark? I sure did. It's looking like it'll finish in the 140's. Damn.

Next weekend: The big question mark of the summer! I'll let you know that this decision to keep or cut Super 8 was personally one of the hardest I've faced in years. My heart was with Green Lantern... but my head told me to go with Spielberg & Abrams. Kids will wanna see it! It's all secretive! It's just like E.T.! Ummmm... not from what I've been reading. We live in an age of REALLY short attention spans, and I'm afraid that the kids - who still to this day do not know what to expect - are just gonna spend their money elsewhere. Nice job, Abrams. I've already read that Paramount is panicking because they know how critical it is to have a big opening splash this summer. 23 of us are now just hoping that it'll break $40 million. Because if it doesn't... ugh.



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) X-Men: First Class - 69m (69m)
2) The Hangover Part II - 37m (193.5m)
3) Kung Fu Panda 2 - 26m (102.3m)
4) Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - 19.5m (192m)
5) Bridesmaids - 12m (107m)
6) Thor - 4.5m (169.3m)
8) Midnight In Paris - 2.7m (6.7m)
10) Something Borrowed - 1.1m (36.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
X-Men: First Class = 86% (72% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
X-Men: First Class = 3,641


Current Top 10:


First off, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! Do you all remember last summer's holiday weekend of movies? Remember how Sex and the City 2 and Prince of Persia BOTH opened to only $30+ million in 4 days? Yeahhhhhh... that was where 2010 completely fell apart for most of us. But this summer..... WOW! We just witnessed the highest-grossing Memorial Day weekend of all time at $277 million overall! And boy oh boy, three of you REALLY missed the boat on The Hangover Part II! I mean, where do I start? Ok, how about the fact it made $135 million in FIVE DAYS! Its predecessor (which earned a total of $277 million) grossed 'only' $45 in its opening weekend two years ago. This one was the highest-grossing live-action comedy of all time ($86 million Friday-to-Sunday). It also had the #2 opening ever for an R-rated film (only to The Matrix Reloaded). Now, will the sequel get the repeat viewings that the first one did? With a current Rotten Tomato rating of 35% (the first one was 79%), I'd think not. But then again, kids are dumb and have lots of money to throw away. Cha-ching!!

So while one movie this weekend overachieved... what do you think happened to Kung Fu Panda? Astonishingly, the movie that most sources predicted to open in the $90-100 million range actually wound up grossing only $66 million over the 4-day weekend. The good news is that it's the only animated film around for the next 4 weeks. But those who had it as high as #2 are obviously disappointed. And then, of course, we have another $20+ million for Bridesmaids, bringing its total to $89 million. It just won't go away!

Next weekend: 29 of us took a chance on X-Men: First Class (one of which has it as his #1 movie), and the early reviews are amazing (currently 97% from 36 reviews). I've also seen early forecasts in the mid-60's to mid-70's range. Personally, I'm excited because it separates me from both Mike and Todd. Suckers! :)


Now for Justin's take on this past weekend...



Another one of Chapman's works...




Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) The Hangover Part II - 100m (129m)
2) Kung Fu Panda 2 - 90m (101m)
3) Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - 42m (155.3m)
4) Bridesmaids - 17m (85.3m)
5) Thor - 8.2m (158.5m)
8) Jumping the Broom - 2.4m (34.7m)
9) Something Borrowed - 2.2m (35.2m)
10) Midnight In Paris - 2m (2.9m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Kung Fu Panda 2 = 75% (77% by the Top Critics)
The Hangover Part II = 32% (23% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Kung Fu Panda 2 = 3,925
The Hangover Part II = 3,615


Current Top 10:


So Pirates 4 confirmed what we all (ok, nearly all) knew... that it was a lock for the upper half of the Top 10 thanks to its $90 million opening (the 22nd biggest of all time). It may have set a record with $260 million in foreign dollars, but to Disney execs it was a slight disappointment domestically as they were expecting $100 million. I actually read an article yesterday of one exec who blamed its underachieving opening on the backlash from filmgoers no longer wanting to pay the increased costs of 3D. GOOD!! I saw it this evening (no, not in 3D) and didn't think it was nearly as bad as the reviews it's been getting. But you can definitely tell that it's a tired franchise. And if I see one more 'forced' 3D movie where the filmmakers disgustingly put in scenes of items intentionally waving in front of your face (in this case, swords and that stupid little monkey) for the post-production effects, then I'm gonna... um... write a nasty letter to the studios! Yeah!! Really though, please stop.

Meanwhile, Bridesmaids is starting to scare me a little, as it only suffered a 20.4% drop in weekend #2 (for you newcomers, 50% is the norm). Yeah, it only made $26m in weekend #1 and $21m in weekend #2, but its theater count actually INCREASED slightly (+19), and it's per-screen average ($7,110) is still greater than most of the films being released. And nothing coming out in the next few weeks is going to steal money from its demographic audience.

Next weekend: The ultimate 'guys' flick that only 3 people here ignored (The Hangover Part II), and the first of the big animated films that only 2 people ignored (Kung Fu Panda 2). Both movies were listed as high as #2 on certain lists, and the 4-day Memorial Day weekend (actually 5 days for Hangover) will clearly help. Whoops, that means that the extra day will also help Bridesmaids. Dammit!



Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - 92m (92m)
2) Bridesmaids - 19.2m (57.8m)
3) Thor - 18m (148.6m)
5) Priest - 6m (25.5m)
7) Jumping the Broom - 4m (31.9m)
8) Something Borrowed - 3.5m (31.7m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 = 35% (32% by the Top Critics) - That's poo.

Theater count:
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 = 4,155


A lil Pirates magic!
The Lonely Island? Pirates of the Caribbean? Michael Bolton? Oh yeah, smells like a hit! Thanks for the heads up, Sam.


Current Top 10:


Here we go... the first weekend review of the summer. So we not only saw last week that Thor could hang with the big boys, courtesy of that $65 million opening, but with no real competition this past weekend it only dropped 47% in route to another $34 million. With $119 million earned after only 9 days, we can now call it a lock. And that sucks for the 8 of you who thought otherwise.

Meanwhile, Priest did as poorly as we all (but one) expected with only $14 million, and I think we already have our Bonehead Award. Wheeeeeee! Bridesmaids, however, exceeded our minimal expectations with a surprising $24 million thanks to a snappy marketing campaign and VERY good reviews. The real question is whether the word-of-mouth is there for casual interest and possible repeated viewings. That'll be critical if it wants to overcome the crush of EIGHT major films opening in the next 7 weeks. With so many big-ticket films opening this summer, I'm thinking the cutoff will be around $140 million. They can compare Bridesmaids to The Hangover all they want... but Hangover at least opened to $45 million last June. Let's see how well the female audience responds this year after bailing on Sex and the City 2 only a year ago.

Next weekend: A real biggie that 42 of 43 people not only took, but placed rather highly on their lists. Kristi must've thought that America was sick of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (Penelope Cruz is NOT an upgrade from Keira Knightley), but I'm seeing #s in the mid-90's for On Stranger Tides. The rest of us hope so!


This was discovered by Kate Choomack, and could be helpful to those of you who are very discriminating in your summer movie choices. Enjoy! Thanks, Kate.




Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Thor - 33m (118m)
2) Bridesmaids - 17.5m (17.5m)
4) Priest - 16.5m (16.5m)
5) Jumping the Broom - 8.5m (27.3m)
6) Something Borrowed - 8.3m (26.8m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Bridesmaids = 90% (89% by the Top Critics)
Priest = 20% (N/A by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Bridesmaids = 2,917
Priest = 2,864


New Horrible Bosses Trailer
From the Desk of David Logan


Our first poster of the year. Thank you, Chapman!



Game on!!! Interestingly, we have a new high in the # of players... but at the same time a new low in the # of total movies selected per # of players. A quick glance at the initial Current Standings shows exactly what I feared... a main group of 11 legit contenders (the 'Main Eleven' as I'll call it, based on more than half of the field selecting them) with only a few other selections sprinkled in. Apparently everyone here has gotten smarter. No more Survival of the Deads. No more Mother and Childs. No more Battle For Terras. Either that, or it's because those players aren't with us anymore :) Actually, the pool is more fun when they DO play! Hopefully they'll return next year. Basically whatever 'Bonehead' we get this summer is actually going to be a semi-decent movie. And according to our current poll question it looks like the early favorite is Priest. Hear that, Kui? All eyes are on you now.

So when looking at the Main Eleven, here are the numbers that we should keep an eye on for each:

35 people / Avg placement = 6.1 / Highest placement = 1

Pirates 4
42 people / Avg placement = 3.9 / Highest placement = 1

Hangover 2
40 people / Avg placement = 5.7 / Highest placement = 2

Kung Fu Panda 2
41 people / Avg placement = 5.7 / Highest placement = 2

X-Men 4
29 people / Avg placement = 6.6 / Highest placement = 1

Super 8
23 people / Avg placement = 8.0 / Highest placement = 1

Green Lantern
30 people / Avg placement = 7.8 / Highest placement = 4

Cars 2
43 people / Avg placement = 3.9 / Highest placement = 1

Transformers 3
41 people / Avg placement = 2.9 / Highest placement = 1

Harry Potter 7-2
43 people / Avg placement = 2.1 / Highest placement = 1

Captain America
30 people / Avg placement = 8.0 / Highest placement = 1

And as a result of all of these similar selections, I'll be shocked if this summer doesn't end in a tiebreaker. Maybe we need to think about Top-15 next summer. An early glance shows it to be more of the same, as I already count 9 'elite' movies being scheduled. Ugh.

Anyway, now that we have 43 entries this year, our payouts have increased! That's our highest total ever... even if that unfortunately meant hounding some players to get their picks in time. Jerks. With $10.00 covering the cost of the website itself, we now have a pot of $420.00. And keeping in line with previous summers (particularly 2008 with nearly as many entries), this year's payouts will be the following:

1st Place - $320.00 (another new high!)
2nd Place - $60.00
3rd Place - $30.00
Bonehead Award - $10.00

Some quick thoughts about this years picks: Yes, we have 1 person that didn't pick Pirates 4, 3 people that didn't pick Hangover 2, 2 people that didn't pick Kung Fu Panda 2, and 2 people that (surprisingly) didn't pick Transformers 3. But before you knock those decisions, just remember when Dennis (my dad) was the only one who didn't pick that OBVIOUS lock, Terminator: Salvation in 2009. And who was the only one who got that decision correct? Exactly. Strange things happen in this pool - like Kurt winning last year :p

We have 6 movies that only 1 person took, with last year's Champ being one of them (Larry Crowne). Keen insight? Complete arrogance? Or simple foolishness? You decide. After last year's bomb of Sex and the City 2, the Chick Flick lost its luster as very few chose to respect the female factor this summer (only 8 selected Bridesmaids). Curious how that turns out, as this is clearly shaping up to be a "guy's summer" with all of the comic book, superhero and action movies in store. And you know who turned in my very favorite entry? Larry Zeigler, who did what I didn't have the balls to do... making his Top 4 choices ALL SUPERHERO MOVIES! How awesome is that?!? Even if you don't win, you'll still have my respect, Larry! And lastly, this is the first time we have not had a single August movie selected. Can you believe that? With all of these people playing, I figured someone out there would have at least gone with that Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel/prequel. I even had it on my shortlist. And it actually looks impressive with that WETA motion-capture technology. But no, no August movies this summer. That'll be weird.

The tagboard is already in full swing, and this summer has already seen some early smack talk. Have fun with it... but don't abuse it. Looking forward for Todd's Movie Pool Analysis... as it's always playfully cruel. Just enjoy it.

Good luck to everyone this summer, and I hope you all have fun... especially all of our new players!



8 people chose to not go with the first movie of the summer (last week's Fast Five did not count in this pool, even though it opened to $86mil - WOW!). We've seen a couple Summer openers fail in recent years: Robin Hood in 2010 and Kingdom of Heaven in 2005. But based on early projections, Thor seems to be a very safe selection. I'll be seeing it Monday (with a lil double-feature sneak of Fast Five. Take THAT studios!).

Boxoffice.com's predictions for this weekend:
1) Thor - 68m (68m)
3) Jumping the Broom - 10.5m (10.5m)
4) Something Borrowed - 10m (10m)

Rotten Tomatoes freshness ratings:
Thor = 79% (65% by the Top Critics)
Jumping the Broom = 53% (56% by the Top Critics)
Something Borrowed = 15% (3% by the Top Critics)

Theater count:
Thor = 3,955
Something Borrowed = 2,904
Jumping the Broom = 2,035

Next weekend: A small weekend, as only 8 people took Bridesmaids, and only 1 took Priest. Looks like a prime opportunity for Thor to rack up some extra uncontested cash!


Check out the new X-Men Character Profiles
From the Desk of David Logan






43 entries! A new high!! I FINALLY got everyone's entries (and so many on the last day) and I just posted them to the 'Picks' page. I've also updated the 'Current Standings' page with the full grid. I need EVERYONE to verify the accuracy of your own entry and let me know of any discrepancies ASAP. I'm too tired to analyze all of the picks tonight, but I did post a new poll question of the rarest selections. I'll have a deeper analysis posted later on... as well as our payouts. Great job to all of you who got some additional friends to join!


Just got back from a fun weekend at Six Flags in Atlanta, so playing a lil catch up right now. Only 4 more days until Thor opens, and we currently have 23 people who have submitted their picks and/or paid. And of the 23, 4 are total newcomers. Welcome!! Some of the older veterans still haven't submitted theirs, and I know that they'll be arriving shortly. All picks will be revealed on Friday, so keep those entries coming!


Welcome back everyone! Hopefully you've all received the invite e-mail and you're working on your picks. I am currently in the process of updating the pages of the website. Just like every offseason, the tagboard got pretty spammed up, but we're doing a pretty good job keeping it cleaned up. We're working on a new header banner for 2011 (looking at you, Chapman), but if you think that you can make one better... knock yourself out and send it my way. Don't forget, your picks and $$$ are due by May 1st (the first movie of the summer actually opens on Friday, May 6th). And feel free to invite whomever you like. I'll see you all in a month!