Welcome back to the Box Office Premiership, our Summer-long high-stakes fantasy-football equivalent where a bunch of us Set the Tape-ers come together every week to place bets on the weekend takings of America’s new release films! We’re off to a bit of a freewheeling start for reasons that will become clear in a second, but there have already been shocks and surprises after only Week 1 of 11! So, before we get on with Week 2’s line-up of films, we need to first off reveal the results of Week 1! As a reminder on scoring: for Wide Releases it is 1 point for being closest, 2 points for getting it correct to the first decimal point; Limited Releases have 1 point for being closest, 2 points for winning and being $500 either side of the result, 3 points for being dead-on; and Total (combined predictions) is 1 point for the closest, 3 points for winning whilst miraculously being $1,000 either side, and 5 points in the even more miraculous event of them being dead-on.
(If you want a complete refresher of every players set of predictions, then you can check out the original article here!)
Week 1 Results
Solo: $83.325 million for the 3-day weekend, which made even the least optimistic of us look like fools. Still, all of our collective loss over having to hear endless imbeciles trot out clickbaity “are people suffering from Star Wars fatigue” pieces was my (Callum) gain! My prediction of $110.6 million was only over by $27.275 million (almost half of my nearest competitor), so I get 1 point!
Feral: N/A. IFC did not post any totals for this one, no matter where I looked. Fortunately, I do have contingencies in place for just such an occasion. This category has been cancelled, everyone’s predictions from it have been deducted from their totals, and nobody scores anything.
Mary Shelley: $12,016. This was a tightly-fought category, but Owen Hughes ultimately triumphed with his prediction of $11,000, under by $1,016 and earning 1 point!
How to Talk to Girls at Parties: $13,179. Turns out there are some things that even A24 can’t sell. Only 2 of us managed to not wildly overshoot this, but Gregory Mucci somehow pulled off a 2 pointer in his first week, betting $13,000 and only being $179 under, a performance that would have won him a Showcase Showdown in Price is Right, the jammy sod!
Total: $83,350,195. One Film Weeks such as these mean this category largely ends up a repeat of the Wide Release Film. Still, I’m (Callum) not going to pass up a free point with my total of $110,636,000 only being off by $27,285,805! 1 point is still 1 point regardless of how it arrives!
With those results, let’s see how the leaderboard currently shakes out!
Leaderboard (after Week 1 of 11)
1=) Callum Petch and Gregory Mucci (2 points)
2) Owen Hughes (1 point)
3=) AJ Black, Caleb Burnett, Dominic Hastings, and Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (0 points)
Still, it is early doors and we have a gruelling season ahead where anything can happen! So, it’s Hero Time! Here’s Week 2!
(All info correct at time of going to press.)
Theatre count: 2,000 (Wide)
Dir: Tim Kirkby
Star: Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius
RT score: N/A (No reviews at time of press)
Synopsis: Johnny Knoxville stars as the proprietor of a ramshackle amusement/theme park under threat of closure in no way inspired by the legendarily awful New Jersey amusement/theme park called Action Park what are you a cop or something. It incorporates real stunts into a fictional narrative framework much like Bad Grandpa did.
Other info: Previous Jackass-related openings: The Movie ($22.7 million, 2002), Number Two ($29 million, 2006), 3D ($50.3 million, 2010), Bad Grandpa ($32 million, 2013). Precious little marketing, as far as I’m aware, and unlike Bad Grandpa does not have an explicit Jackass connection in concept or title.
Tony: $15 million. Never heard of it. No marketing. Have all the kids who enjoyed Jackass grown up too much to care about these man children now?
Caleb: $8.5 million. I think this will get fans of Jackass and body comedy out to the cinemas. It won’t be terrible, but it won’t be good either.
Gregory: $18 million. People still love watching other people get hurt, right? As a fan of the Jackass films, I can certainly see the draw in this sort of slapstick stupidity, and with a country that’s meeting celebrities to discuss prison reform, why wouldn’t Johnny Knoxville have something to teach us about box office numbers?
Callum: $9.5 million. I underestimated Jackass nostalgia back in 2013 and it’s been a hot minute since we had a dedicated R-rated comedy, but the fact that I’m a massive Jackass fan and still hadn’t heard about this until a fortnight ago (as part of my Summer Movie Guide) sadly tells you all you need to know.
Kevin: $10 million. The Jackass boat has long since sailed so I can’t see this doing big bank at all.
Owen: $33 million. I reckon there’s an audience for this film right now with the lacklustre offerings we’ve endured in 2018. A good, “messed up,” Jackass-inspired slapstick comedy. There will be a lot of goodwill from Bad Grandpa.
Theatre count: 3,015 (Wide)
Studio: STX Entertainment
Dir: Baltasar Kormakur
Star: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin
RT score: N/A (No reviews at time of press)
Synopsis: Loosely based on a true story, two lovers go sailing in 1983 and end up in the middle of a hurricane, their boat badly damaged and the guy (Claflin) too injured to help her (Woodley) sail to some kind of safety.
Other info: Baltasar Kormakur’s previous English-language openings: Everest ($7.2 million in 2015 but opened in Moderate Release), 2 Guns ($27 million in 2013), Contraband ($24.3 million in 2012). Shailene Woodley’s only non-Divergent Wide Release film since 2014 ended was Snowden in 2016 ($8 million). STX’s releases so far this year: I Feel Pretty ($16 million), Gringo ($2.7 million), Den of Thieves ($15.2 million).
Tony: $9 million. Kormakur isn’t going to drag punters in, nor is Claflin. Woodley just keeps picking dull as shit roles and the premise sounds as exciting as a wet weekend in Margate.
Caleb: $11 million. Though this rom-drama looks a little overboard to me, I think it might get a few fans of the genre and Shailene Woodley out to see it.
Gregory: $14 million. We all could use a little bit more love in our lives right now. I’m just not sure it’s going to come from a story about romance adrift on the high seas.
Callum: $12.3 million. Super difficult to get a read on this one because it looks dire, reviews being withheld until the last minute is ominous, and STX are so inconsistent with their openings. But it is filling a niche most Summer fare nowadays are rather uninterested in (dedicated romance), so I think it might at least tickle Band of Thieves’ opening.
Kevin: $11 million. I much prefer Kormakur’s Icelandic work to his English language and I can’t see this changing it. Neither Claflin or Woodley are picking the best projects so this isn’t going to pull people in.
Owen: $10 million. Embargoing reviews until the very last minute has me worried. I mean, it has me worried now. 20 minutes ago, before I’d even heard of the film, I wasn’t worried.
Theatre count: 1,400 (Wide)
Studio: BH Tilt (via OTL Releasing)
Dir: Leigh Whannell
Star: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson
RT score: 86% (Fresh)
Synopsis: A man (Marshall-Green) left paralysed without his limbs after a ruthless crime boss cripples him and kills his wife uses an experimental computer-chip embedded in his spinal cord to enact revenge. This is definitely not Robocop.
Other info: Whannell’s directorial debut was Insidious: Chapter 3 which opened in 2015 to $22.6 million on double the screens this will. Blumhouse is all over the marketing, but the film is being released under their specialist Tilt imprint, which has seen decidedly more mixed results: Birth of the Dragon ($2.7 million in 2017), The Belko Experiment ($4.1 million in 2017), Incarnate ($2.5 million in 2016), The Darkness ($4.9 million in 2016 and their biggest opening overall).
Tony: $6 million. Pure guess work but it doesn’t exactly sound laugh a minute, no stars and it’s not specifically genre like Insidious that will drag a certain type of punter in.
Caleb: $10 million. Looks like the best choice out of the group to me and has received good reviews so far!
Gregory: $33.5 million. Leigh Whannel’s debut (ED NOTE: sophomore) has gotten a ton of marketing (even if a lot of it is just Logan Marshall-Green’s face) and received unbridled festival buzz, so I’m sure genre fans will flock to the theaters in a surprising amount.
Callum: $4.7 million. 1,400 theatres. Even still, I might be low-balling it since, unlike almost everything else BH Tilt have released, this has gotten good reviews. I’m hoping to be wrong and that this will outgross The Darkness, rocking until the sun goes down.
Kevin: $7 million. Whannell’s name might pull the curious in. It’s a pretty silly premise but might be daft fun.
Owen: $15 million. Premise sounds exactly the sort of film I’d love, and I’m pretty sure I’m not unique, so lots of other people will no doubt feel the same and go see it. Overestimating, perhaps, but $15m doesn’t sound unreasonable.
Theatre count: 4 (Limited)
Studio: The Orchard
Genre: Crime Drama
Dir: Bart Layton
Star: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Udo Keir, Ann Dowd
RT score: 79% (Fresh)
Synopsis: Based on true events, 4 college students who believe their life is a movie attempt to pull off an audacious heist from their college’s own library. Things go very wrong.
Other info: Dramatic debut of documentarian Bart Layton (The Imposter from 2012). Premiered at Sundance to strong reviews. The Orchard (in partnership with MoviePass Ventures) spent $3 million picking up the distribution rights. Their acquisitions don’t always open so hot, though: Thelma ($10,841 from 1 screen), BPM ($8,566 from 2 screens), Neruda ($29,402 from 3 screens). Their most successful openings (relatively speaking) have been The Overnight ($53,022 from 3 screens), and Hunt for the Wilderpeople ($78,439 from 5 screens).
Tony: $45,000. Sounds really niche but if that Jenner is one of the Jenner Kardashian lot (ED NOTE: he’s not), that might give it a boost in terms of some kids. But with this I have no idea to be honest!
Caleb: $39,000. Interesting premise but no marketing whatsoever. Could be a dud.
Gregory: $1,200. Udo Keir in a library heist? I’m here for all the comments about the blood of college students killing him.
Callum: $40,250. I may be overshooting, but those 4 cinemas are explicitly in LA and New York, which is where buzzy Indie films go to make headline-level openings, so maybe Orchard will have done right by this one. Looking forward to seeing it when it comes to the UK in September!
Kevin: $28,000. The Imposter was great, but this is going to be quiet release. Might be worth tracking down though.
Owen: $12,000. Four cinemas means peanuts. It’s pure maths.
Tony: $30,045,000. Gawd blimey, June’s a slim pickings month to start with ain’t it?
Caleb: $29,539,000. It’s finally June!
Callum: $26,540,250. Let’s see if I can capitalise on some momentum!
That wraps up Week 2! Think you can outwit our elite panel of self-professed “experts?” Drop your predictions in the comments or via the Set the Tape account on your preferred social media outlet! We’ll see you back here next Friday for these results and a Week 3 with big names!