Film discussion

Box Office Premiership: Week 6

Salutations, one and all, and welcome back to the Box Office Premiership, our weekly exercise in demonstrating that none of us here know how the US Box Office turns out the way that it does! We are now halfway through this gruelling season and it’s starting to become ever clearer who are the real contenders and who are merely going to be battling for their pride. So, before we dive into a thankfully more varied week of releases, let’s use that as a segway into looking over the Week 5 results!

(Forgotten how the scoring system works? Then go here for a refresher on the rules of the Premiership. And if you want to be reminded of all the non-winning predictions for Week 5, go here.)


Week 5 Results

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: $150.001 million. Oh, boy, lemme tell you that this was super goddamn close, fellas. Gregory and Caleb came at it from opposite sides of the eventual coin, but one of them ended up just overshooting it a little too much, ultimately losing the round. That someone was not Gregory Mucci, whose $148 million prediction managed to best Caleb’s $153 million to secure a hard-fought and well-earned (1) point! Nothing default about that victory!

Damsel: $24,000. In Round 2 of the Mucci/Burnett rivalry, Gregory managed to score a second-straight undershooting, but unfortunately ended up doing so by too much. Instead, Caleb Burnett racks up yet another (1) point with their prediction of $22,500! What action!

Boundaries: $30,395. Now we get to take a break from that slugfest to share some truly exciting news! It took 5 whole weeks and no small amount of effort on their part, but Dominic Hastings is finally on the board everybody! Yes, their prediction of $25,000 means that they finally managed to best everybody else and get themselves a (1) point! I recognise that there is no way to relay this news without it sounding mocking, but I am genuinely happy for the man! Always root for the underdog!

The King: $29,050. This ended up playing on just 1 screen, as I had an inkling it would, but, yeah, none of us got anywhere close to this… except for, who else, Caleb with $33,000. (1 point.) I would also like to let Owen know that his prediction of “tuppence” was off by exactly $29,049.68. This would also be the point where I mock Gregory’s wild overprediction of $1.2 million except…

Total: $150,081,445. Gregory overshooting The King by that much actually means that his total of $149,240,000 was far closer to the actual total than a proper guess would have been, firmly securing him 1 point in the process. Gameplay!

Give me that weekly hit of scoreboard!


Leaderboard (after Week 5 of 11)

1] Callum Petch (8 points)

2] Caleb Burnett (7 points)

3] Gregory Mucci (6 points)

4] Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (2 points)

5=] Dominic Hastings, Owen Hughes, Tony Black (1 point)

Mathematical! It’s Week 6!

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


Week 6

Sicario 2: Soldado

Theatre count: 2,500+ (Wide)

Studio: Sony/Columbia

Genre: Action Thriller

Dir: Stefano Sollima

Star: Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner

Rating: R

RT score: 72% (Fresh)

Synopsis: With the Mexican cartels having escalated their activities to the trafficking of terrorists, the US government enlists CIA agent Matt Graver (Brolin) and former unofficial liaison Alejandro (del Toro) to start a war between the various factions.

Other info: Sequel to the critically acclaimed 2015 movie minus star Emily Blunt and director Denis Villeneuve. That film first opened in Limited Release ($401,288 from 6 theatres) before expanding Nationwide two weeks later ($12,148,041 from 2,620 theatres). This is not only the English language debut of director Stefano Sollima (Suburra, ACAB – All Cops Are Bastards) but also his first film to receive theatrical distribution in the US. Josh Brolin’s last three non-blockbuster releases were Only the Brave ($6 million in 2017), Hail, Caesar! ($11.3 million in 2016), and Everest ($7.2 million in 2015 as a Moderate Release).

Caleb: $18 million. If it weren’t for that dino flick and Incredibles 2, this might win the weekend. Sequel to a dark horse hit. It’ll bring folks out to theatres.

Owen: $15 million. Mediocre reaction on RT and clash with bigger summer blockbusters probably means it will do well enough, probably not quite as much of a sleeper hit as the first but more likely a relative dud.

Callum: $12.1 million and that’s being generous. Even setting aside my rampant fanboyism for Villeneuve’s original, look at it this way. The first film was mean, meditative, and decidedly uninterested in appealing to mainstream sensibilities. Whispers of “accessible” will drive away fans of the original likely wondering why this exists in the first place, and more mainstream audiences have no reason to care. It’s like expecting Blade Runner 2049 to have been a $70 mil opening zeitgeist capturing sensation, minus 2049 being incredible. So yeah, same as when Sicario 1 went wide, won’t be shocked if it goes lower.

Kevin: $22.3 million. Can’t see this doing massive business, although I enjoyed the first one. No Blunt and no Villeneuve may limit the appeal.

Dominic: $25 million. Folk liked the first one and Brolin is hot at the moment.


Uncle Drew

Theatre count: 2,700 (Wide)

Studio: Lionsgate/Summit

Genre: Comedy

Dir: Charles Stone III

Star: Kyle Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Shaquille O’Neal, Tiffany Haddish

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 53% (Rotten)

Synopsis: Dax (Howery) drains his life savings in order to enter a team in the Rucker Classic Street Ball tournament, only for unfortunate circumstances to cause him to lose his team, his money, and his girlfriend (Haddish) to long-time rival Mookie (Nick Kroll). Desperate to get everything back, he teams up with retired legendary streetballer Uncle Drew (Irving) to put together a team of all-stars and win the tournament.

Other info: Based on a series of Pepsi Max commercials about the titular (fictional) character. Really. Stone III has not had a film open in wide release since 2004 (Mr. 3000 with $8.6 million); his other 2018 film, Step Sisters, went straight-to-Netflix. Somewhat relatedly, we have not had a wide release basketball movie since the rom-com Just Wright in 2010 ($8.2 million from 900 less theatres than this). Semi-Pro, the Will Ferrell comedy from 2008, opened to $15 million. I really don’t know what I can add here, this film intrigues me in pure bafflement.

Caleb: $12 million. Basketball/comedy fans and anyone who watched the NBA playoffs will have seen this film’s marketing. It’ll do decently.

Owen: $6 million. Final part of the Charles Stone trilogy… “Based on a series of Pepsi Max commercials” is a sentence that makes me throw up in my mouth. Besides, why would you watch a naff comedy about sports nobody cares about when the bloody World Cup is happening?!

Callum: $9.8 million. Conversely, I won’t be shocked if this goes a bit higher. And, honestly, I can’t wait to see it next week (when it opens here). It just seems so bizarre!

Kevin: $10.1 million. This one seems to have a bit of a buzz around it. I know nothing beyond that.

Dominic: $14 million. Yay, sports films! This could do well!


Leave No Trace

Theatre count: ? (Limited)

Studio: Bleecker Street

Genre: Drama

Dir: Debra Granik

Star: Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie

Rating: PG

RT score: 100% (Fresh)

Synopsis: A former Army veteran and his thirteen year-old daughter live an isolated existence in the woods of Portland, Oregon when social services finally discover forcibly drag them into the rest of society.

Other info: Long-awaited narrative return of Debra Granik, director of Winter’s Bone ($84,797 in 2010 from 4 screens). Premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to unanimous acclaim. It’s been a good year for Sundance opening weekends so far: The King ($29,050 from 2 screens), Hearts Beat Loud ($74,524 from 4 screens), American Animals ($134,793 from 4 screens), Beast ($53,248 from 4 screens). Distributor Bleeker Street, however, have had inconsistent luck when it comes to opening weekends: On Chesil Beach ($35,765 from 4 screens in May), Disobedience ($237,393 from 5 screens in April), Nostalgia ($15,955 from 3 screens in February), Breathe ($22,285 from 4 screens in October).

Caleb: $43,750. Moderately good debut for this director.

Owen: $100,000. Army vet = dollar bills, even if it is on in just four theatres.

Callum: $136,300. Y’all are underrating this one. I think Winter’s Bone has grown in stature since 2010, I think the universal acclaim galvanises people, I think it opens in NY and LA pushing it over the top. This has to earn more than American Animals, right?

Kevin: $42,000. Looks interesting. Ben Foster’s tremendous and deserves more lead roles than he gets.

Dominic: $99,999. Looks like a fun film.


Three Identical Strangers

Theatre count: 4 (Limited)

Studio: Neon

Genre: Documentary

Dir: Tim Wardle

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 88% (Fresh)

Synopsis: In 1980, Bobby Shafran arrives at his new college to find a whole bunch of strangers greeting him as “Eddie.” It turns out that this Eddie, Galland, was actually Bobby’s identical twin brother that neither man knew they had. They are both soon contacted by a third man, David Kellman, also an identical sibling of theirs, THEN things get strange and horrifying…

Other info: Also premiered at Sundance this year to rave reviews. This is distributor Neon’s third documentary after The B Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography ($12,035 from 3 screens in June 2017) and Risk ($76,327 from 34 screens in May 2017). They have also had very inconsistent luck with opening movies: Revenge ($45,924 from 37 screens in May 2018), Gemini ($32,980 from 4 screens in March 2018), I, Tonya ($264,155 from 4 screens in December 2017), Beach Rats ($46,451 from 3 screens in August 2017). I have already given away way too much in that synopsis, this story is wild and horrible.

Caleb: $62,000. This Nature vs Nurture film looks interesting, but hasn’t had much marketing presence.

Owen: $35,000. Would like for it to do well but have little faith.

Callum: $41,000. If this were one of those Netflix documentaries, this would be all anyone talks about all weekend. As is, I think it may do well but otherwise be buried by the mountains of other documentaries out now (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?) and still to come (Whitney).

Kevin: $37,400. Again, looks right up my street – love odd true stories like The Imposter. Perhaps a bit weird for wide release, though?

Dominic: $57,000. Reeks of VOD.


Total

Caleb: $30,105,750. Summer blockbuster season is rolling along!

Owen: $21,135,000. Multiple tuppences all round.

Callum: $22,077,300. You can’t say I don’t try to go for variety in the film choices!

Kevin: $32,479,400.

Dominic: $39,156,999.


Think you can best this rogues gallery? Why not share your predictions in the comments or via our socials? We’ll be back next week with the results and July 4th weekend extravaganzas!

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