Film Discussion

Box Office Premiership: Week 3

Greetings and welcome back once again to the Box Office Premiership, our Summer-long attempt to make having to pay attention to box office statistics some semblance of fun!  We have some big name films bursting out of the gates this week, although none of them are dinosaur-shaped (that’s a fortnight away in America), but before we can sink our teeth into this week’s goodies, we need to eat the vegetables left over from last week… that analogy doesn’t quite work, but the point is that it’s time to find out the results of Week 2!

(For a full refresher on how the scoring system works, as well as the rules of the Box Office Premiership in general, then click on through to our inaugural post about everything!  And if you want to know the predictions of everyone who didn’t win, then you can remind yourself of them via this link to Week 2.)

Week 2 Results

Action Point: $2.315 million.  Safe to say that all of us wildly overshot this one by multiple football fields – special praise goes to Owen Hughes for getting the Most Wrong Answer of the Game So Far (his prediction was $30 million over).  Winner by virtue of having the lowest guess is Caleb Burnett with $8.5 million; he gets 1 point.

Adrift: $11.51 million.  We have a tie!  Both Caleb and Kevin Ibbotson-Wight posted predictions of $11 million dead, and maybe we could have been looking at a double two-pointer had they stuck their necks out just a little further.  Still, damn fine predicting, boys, and 1 point each allows Kevin to get on the board!

Upgrade: $4.458 million.  Greatly reduced theatres seem to have hobbled this one’s chances of breaking bigger, especially given that its per-screen average was only barely behind Adrift’s.  Still, film is great by all accounts, and my (Callum) prediction of $4.7 million gets me 1 point so I’m not going to complain!

American Animals: $140,629.  This’ll likely be the last time any one of us underestimate a buzzy Sundance darling opening on screens in LA and NYC.  Since he posted the biggest prediction of us all ($45,000), Tony Black gets on the board with 1 point by default.

Total: $18,423,629.  And here’s where strong average predictions overall rear their heads!  (GAMEPLAY!  STRATEGY!  OTHER BUZZY WORDS ASSHOLES ON TV GAMESHOWS SAY!)  Kevin was damn-close to taking this category, but he overshot Upgrade just a tad too much ($7 million) and resultantly lost by $1.6 million.  I (Callum), however, was off by only $8,026,621, so that’s 1 point to me.

Now let’s crunch a few more numbers and see what this has all done to the leaderboard!

Leaderboard (after Week 2 of 11)

1) Callum Petch (4 points)

2=) Gregory Mucci and Caleb Burnett (2 points)

3=) Owen Hughes, Tony Black and Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (1 point)

4) Dominic Hastings

“It’s a race, not a sprint” as they always say, though!  There are plenty of chances for the field to shake out significantly differently, such as with Week 3!  Go, girls, go!

(All info correct at time of going to press.)

Week 3


Theatre count: 2,800+ (Wide)

Studio: A24

Genre: Horror

Dir: Ari Aster

Star: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milliy Shapiro, Ann Dowd

Rating: R

RT score: 93% (Fresh)

Synopsis: After her mother dies, Annie Graham (Collette) starts to discover some very disturbing facts about her family’s history whilst a series of inexplicable supernatural events start to occur to her and everyone else.

Other info: Premiered at this past Sundance to an absolutely thunderous reception and has become The Horror Film that Horror geeks have been anticipating all year.  That said, it is an A24 arthouse horror and their past experiences with said have not gone down well with general audiences either opening (The VVitch with $8.8 million in 2016, It Comes at Night with $5.9 million in 2017) or long-term (It Comes even scored a super-rare “D” Cinemascore).  And that’s all without mentioning what happened when Paramount tried to sneak this kind of film into mainstream cinemas with an actual Movie Star (mother! $7.5 million).  Still, if a film like this is ever gonna succeed in the mainstream, A24 have done everything they can.

Kevin$15.6 million.  Cracking reviews and terrific and horrific word-of-mouth could mean a strong opening. I think and hope it will do well.

Caleb$13.175 million.  Judging from reactions to the trailers I’ve witnessed in theatres and the relatively high anticipation, I think this’ll outpace expectations a bit. Folks looking for a horror flick this weekend should hopefully check this one out.

Callum$11.5 million.  I do think that the high single-figures that A24 and most Box Office prognosticators are pitching it at is underselling the thing, but I also don’t quite think it’ll break out either. A lot of general audience Horror fans kind of notoriously don’t want to be frightened/scared in the way films like Hereditary, VVitch, and Babadook do.

Gregory$72 million.  This movie is louder than a hummingbird trapped in a PA system, and its marketing has been nothing but overwhelming (in a good way!). I think audiences are looking to be scared for the first time this year, and with A24 being the hook line and sinker for most hesitant about “art house” films, Hereditary will see big draw!

Dominic$18.4 million.  Doesn’t feel massive, but there’s a lot of internet buzz, so…

Ocean’s 8

Theatre count: 4,000+ (Wide)

Studio: Warner Bros.

Genre: Comedy, Heist

Dir: Gary Ross

Star: *deep breath* Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Mindy Kaling

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 79% (Fresh)

Synopsis: After 5 years in prison framed for a heist gone bad, Debbie Ocean (Bullock) corrals together a ragtag group of women with a special set of skills in order to rob the Met Gala.

Other info: Spin-off sequel to Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy which all opened in the high-$30 million (11 to $38.1 million in 2001, 12 to $39.1 million in 2004, 13 to $36.1 million in 2007).  Other comparisons are less helpful for various obvious reasons.  Gary Ross’ last 3 openings: Free State of Jones in 2016 ($7.5 million), The Hunger Games in 2012 ($152.5 million), Seabiscuit in 2003 ($20.8 million).  Sandra Bullock’s last 3 non-animated wide-release openings: Our Brand is Crisis in 2015 ($3.2 million), Gravity in 2013 ($55.7 million), The Heat in 2013 ($39.1 million).  Cate Blanchett’s last 3 wide-release openings: Thor Ragnarok in 2017 ($122.7 million), Cinderella in 2015 ($67.8 million), The Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies in 2014 ($54.7 million).  Anne Hathaway’s last 3 wide-release openings: Alice Through the Looking Glass in 2016 ($26.8 million), The Intern in 2015 ($17.7 million), Interstellar in 2014 ($47.5 million).

Kevin$22.7 million.  The curse of Ghostbusters may strike again, although fewer wankers are going to claim Ocean’s 8 is wrecking their childhood. Iffy reviews but terrific cast.

Caleb$41.3 million.  Phenomenal cast and attractive trailers and premise will bring all walks of life out to see this one. This estimate is lower than it might be capable of, however.

Callum$37.21 million.  Going real low-end here simply because, although I’m super there for this, I don’t know how many general audience members care. Plus, star-power films have been waning in their drawing potential in recent years. Given inflation, an opening around Ocean’s 13 sounds right.

Gregory$46 million.  The cast alone will draw audiences from just about every walk of life, but I’m not entirely convinced this won’t fall behind due to a spookier film’s release, and the fact that many just don’t want to see James Corden’s face enlarged on the big screen.

Dominic$30 million.  A very fashionable female cast, so I’m feeling confident with this one.

Hotel Artemis

Theatre count: 2,407 (Wide)

Studio: Global Road

Genre: Action Thriller

Dir: Drew Pearce

Star: *deep breath* Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Brian Tyree Henry, Zachary Quinto, Father John Misty sure why not

Rating: R

RT score: 68% (Fresh)

Synopsis: In a near-future Los Angeles in the midst of mass riots, a mysterious Nurse (Foster) runs the Hotel Artemis, a secretive ultra-exclusive criminal safehouse for those who need patching up.  Waikiki (Brown) turns up with his injured brother Honolulu (Henry) and a vial of diamonds stolen from an associate of notorious criminal kingpin Wolf King (Goldblum) seeking sanctuary, whilst the Wolf King himself is not far behind.

Other info: Directorial debut of writer Drew Pearce.  The first film appearance of Jodie Foster in half a decade (last film was Elysium in 2013 which opened to $29.8 million).  Not a whole lot to base predictions off of, but I do have two potential comparisons.  John Wick opened to $14.4 million in 2014, whilst Gringo opened to $2.7 million in almost the exact same number of theatres 3 months ago.  Studio is reportedly anticipating high single-digits for this one (info I’m only sharing due to the lack of comps).

Kevin$8.2 million.  Very little to go on with a prediction. Is Jodie Foster a bankable name these days? Some interesting people involved so a high-end sub $10m opening is a possibility.

Caleb$9.35 million.  Another phenomenal cast, but with less flashy marketing and attention. It’ll do relatively well and pick up more in the coming weeks.

Callum$7.6 million.  Home media cult classic with middling Box Office written all over this thing. Excited to see it, tho!

Gregory$7 million.  Personally, I’ve seen very little marketing for this film, and despite the incentive to see Jeff Goldblum rock a glock, it’s facing two massive films that may put the hot in hotel.

Dominic$10.1 million.  People still like Jodie Foster, right?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Theatre count: 29 (Limited)

Studio: Focus Features

Genre: Documentary

Dir: Morgan Neville

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 98% (Fresh)

Synopsis: In-depth documentary about Fred Rogers, the Presbyterian Minister who created and hosted the beloved PBS children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, becoming an icon to Americans across the country and a beacon of pure kindness.

Other info: It’s been a pretty good 12 months for break-out documentaries.  Here are 5 and their opening weekends: RBG ($578,470 from 34 screens), Pandas ($158,915 from 33 screens), Jane ($58,338 from 3 screens), Faces Places ($31,006 from 5 screens), Step ($146,488 from 29 screens), and I Am Not Your Negro ($686,378 from 43 screens).  Don’t go too crazy with your predictions, but Mr. Rogers really was an American institution so there is one hell of a market out there for this.  Amy opened to $222,500 from 6 screens in 2015.

Kevin$480,000.  Still a bit of an American icon so this could do well.

Caleb$330,000.  Fantastic film that hopefully gets a wider release in the future. Great reviews but not many screens to push it along.

Callum$842,700.  Yeah, I’m going there. RBG played to a heavily-liberal audience, but this plays to damn-near everyone and the man is a saint to Americans across multiple generations. This is gonna make BANK and I won’t be at all surprised if it goes higher!

Gregory$10,000.  People love a good cry, and despite its limited release, I think fans of Mr. Rogers both young and old will learn the art of Buy 2 Get 1 Free on tissues.

Dominic$666,000.  Not heard much about this one…


Kevin$46,980,000.  Okay, some bigger hitters this week.

Caleb$64,155,000.  Love the lineup this week. It feels like the summer movie season is finally beginning!

Callum$57,152,700.  Damn great week for films! I’m super jealous of you lucky Americans!

Gregory$125,010,000.  All you mofo’s are way too low with Hereditary.


That’s another week down!  Think you can outwit this gaggle of sophisticated intellectuals?  Why not post your predictions in the comments or via any of Set the Tape’s social outlets and join in the fun!  We’ll see you next Thursday for the results and an Incredible Week 4 line-up!

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