Film discussion

Box Office Premiership: Week 7

Gutentag! Welcome back to the Box Office Premiership, the only sports tournament currently running that matters! THE ONLY ONE. It’s July 4th weekend and, in between the Michael Moore/Peter Fonda-run leftist uprising that’s apparently slated to occur – it wasn’t on the minutes of my fellow Progressives’ last meeting to undermine Capitalism and the myth of American exceptionalism – Americans are going to crack open a couple of cold ones, yell at their racist distant uncles, and maybe catch a film or two in the process. Will the giant Marvel machine be brought down by the glorious return of The Purge?! Probably not, but we’ve got more pressing issues to deal with first; namely, the Week 6 results, so let’s get ‘em!

(If you want a refresher on scoring and how the BOP works, then go here where all that information was prior laid out. And if you want to see what everyone predicted for Week 6, not just the winners, then go here.)


Week 6 Results

Sicario 2: Soldado: $19.015 million. Huh. I guess you can drag the general public into a sequel to a deliberately mean and difficult thriller-drama after all. Fun fact, that opening weekend is more than the first Sicario made across the entirety of its Wide Release, according to Box Office Mojo. So, whilst I wipe the egg off my face, send your congratulations to Caleb Burnett for his victorious guess of $18 million! (1 point)

Uncle Drew: $15.5 million. Knew this would do pretty well, which leads into the question of why I didn’t bet way higher than I actually did. The answer is that I am an idiot. Anyway, even more congratulations are in order as Dominic Hastings just scored their second point of the season with a prediction of $14 million! It’s their second in as many weeks; mayhaps the start of a back-half resurgence? We shall see! (1 point)

Leave No Trace: $24,018. Oh, dear. Between this and the post-un-retirement Soderbergh movies, I’m starting to think that Bleeker Street cannot open movies to save their goddamn lives. This was on NINE SCREENS, it should not have made THAT LITTLE! Grumble grumble grumble, Kevin Ibbotson-Wight gets the point with $42,000. (1 point)

Three Identical Strangers: $163,023. Well I’m glad to see that the market for sensational true-story docs extends to theatrical releases as well as Netflix series. Caleb’s dominant run towards the top in recent weeks continues unabated with his winning prediction of $62,000 (the highest of any of us). (1 point)

Total: $34,702,041. This was almost a neck-and-neck fight between Caleb and Dominic, where victory would have come down to just $1,300… Except that Kevin balanced out their wrongness of Sicario and Uncle Drew just so to be able to sneak in and claim yet another point, their total of $32,479,400 being only $2.2 million under both the total and the nearest competitor! (1 point)

Let’s see if all of that fun caused some shifts on the scoreboard!


Leaderboard (after Week 6 of 11)

1) Caleb Burnett (9 points)

2) Callum Petch (8 points)

3) Gregory Mucci (6 points)

4) Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (4 points)

5) Dominic Hastings (2 points)

6=) Owen Hughes & Tony Black (1 point)

Zoinks, Scoob! It’s Week 7!

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


Week 7

The First Purge (5 Day Weekend)

Theatre count: 3,031 (Wide)

Studio: Universal/Blumhouse

Genre: Sci-Fi Action Horror

Dir: Gerard McMurray

Star: Y’Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Jovian Wade, Marisa Tomei

Rating: R

RT score: 46% (Rotten)

Synopsis: In 2014, the newly-risen New Founding Fathers of America, looking to cement their white-supremacist power, provide backing and funding to a sociologist’s (Tomei) experiment: for one night on Staten Island, all crime will be legal. But when the minorities of Staten Island, motivated to stay by the promise of desperately needed money, choose to spend The Purge partying instead of killing, the NFFA decide to start taking matters into their own hands.

Other info: A prequel to the Purge trilogy that, despite endless levels of snark, has been a reliable box office success so far. The Purge ($34 million in 2013), Anarchy ($29.8 million in 2014), Election Year ($31.5 million in 2016). Each film has closed with more money than its predecessor, and each film has received a more favourable CinemaScore than its predecessor starting from a C for The Purge and finishing with a B+ for Election Year. Blumhouse has been on a roll as of late: Truth or Dare ($18.6 million in April), Insidious: The Last Key ($29.5 million in January), Happy Death Day ($26 million), although all 3 were rated PG-13. This is the first Purge movie to open over 5 days and has already taken $2.5 million from previews, a franchise-low. Remember, you are predicting the full five-day from Wednesday to Sunday.

Callum: $33 million. A cynical part of me worries that we’ve now peaked with Election Year, so I’m guessing the 5-day almost matches the opening of the original. That’s a shame, cos I just got out of it and it is fucking GREAT! This deserves to break far bigger than it will.

Caleb: $39 million. Relevant horror/thriller that has many long-standing fans.

Gregory: $43 million.

Dominic: $45 million. This franchise still exists? [Ed Note: HOW DARE YOU]


Ant-Man and the Wasp

Theatre count: 4,200 (Wide)

Studio: Disney/Marvel Studios

Genre: Superhero

Dir: Peyton Reed

Star: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 86% (Fresh)

Synopsis: Set between Civil and Infinity War, Scott Lang (Rudd), currently on the last days of his house arrest, is dragged into helping fugitives Hank Pym (Douglas) and Hope van Dyne (Lily), now christened as The Wasp, with their scheme to potentially rescue Hank’s wife Janet from the quantum realm.

Other info: The Marvel Cinematic Universe is effectively bulletproof at this point. Only 3 of the last 10 films have opened to less than $100 million: Doctor Strange ($85 million in November 2016), Ant-Man ($57.2 million in July 2015), and Guardians of the Galaxy ($94.3 million in August 2014). Each direct Marvel sequel has so far earned, on average, $30 million more on its opening weekend than the first entries (Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 each pulled this off). The original Ant-Man opened the immediate weekend after Minions, which inarguably cut into its opening take, something Disney deliberately attempted to not repeat here. Disney are expecting mid-$80 million, but Fandango is reporting this outselling Spider-Man: Homecoming ($117 million across the same weekend last year). This was delayed a full month in the UK to avoid the football and Incredibles 2’s own delay. Really.

Callum: $101.2 million. I think Disney are super under-estimating this one, although I also don’t think it’ll reach Spider-Man numbers if only because the marketing feels super vague and ill-defined, plus Ant-Man’s not, y’know, Spider-Man. Again, the MCU is practically bulletproof at this point.

Caleb: $110 million. This will win the weekend. Marvel has loyal fans and cranks out hit after hit!

Gregory: $48 million.

Dominic: $90 million. Looks to be a fun kids’ film.


Sorry to Bother You

Theatre count: 16 (Limited)

Studio: Annapurna Pictures

Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy

Dir: Boots Riley

Star: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, David Cross (voice)

Rating: R

RT score: 96% (Fresh)

Synopsis: In an alternate present day Oakland, Cash (Stanfield) is at risk of being evicted from his residency – his uncle’s (Terry Crews) garage. Desperate for money, Cash takes a job at a telemarketer, but he struggles to keep people on the phone. That is, until one of his co-workers (Danny Glover) clues Cash into a secret technique; using his White Guy (Cross) voice.

Other info: Premiered at Sundance where Annapurna Pictures immediately snapped up distribution rights, planning to start with this Limited opening before expanding Nationwide at month’s end. The oft-acclaimed production company has struggled in its move to distribution: Detroit ($350,190 from 20 theatres last July), Brad’s Status ($89,921 from 4 theatres in September), Professor Marston and the Wonder Women ($736,886 from 1,229 theatres in October). Directorial debut of rapper Boots Riley (The Coup, Street Sweeper Social Club). Currently has no UK distributor and no UK release date WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK HOW DARE YOU

Callum: $360,120. Annapurna have had trouble getting films off the ground, and I see no reason a weird-ass project like this will be any different. If any UK distributors are reading this, PICK IT THE FUCK UP ALREADY! I don’t want another Dear White People situation on my hands!

Caleb: $405,000. Not enough marketing but this movie looks to be excellent.

Gregory: $1,200,000.

Dominic: $2,700,000. Haven’t heard much about this one.


Photo by Roadside Attractions

Whitney

Theatre count: ? (Limited)

Studio: Roadside Attractions

Genre: Documentary

Dir: Kevin MacDonald

Rating: R

RT score: 91% (Fresh)

Synopsis: Documentary about the iconic Pop star Whitney Houston, her life, her fame, her music, her demons, and her untimely death at 48 from drowning in a bathtub due to drug-related problems. Unlike last year’s Whitney: Can I Be Me, this one has been approved by the Houston estate and includes extensive interviews with them, although is apparently no less dramatic for it.

Other info: Director Kevin MacDonald is no stranger to documentaries about famous musicians taken from us too soon, having also directed Marley back in 2012 ($262,004 from 42 screens). Let’s not mince words and cut right to the obvious comparison: Amy opened to $222,500 from 6 screens in July 2015 and went on to make $8.4 million in America overall. Documentaries have been killing it so far this year, as listed in prior weeks, so don’t sleep on this.

Callum: $300,000. This entirely depends on how many screens it opens on. (Side note: Distributors, I am trying to run a Premiership here; announce your goddamn screens in advance, thank you.) It will make BANK no matter the number of screens it runs on, but how much depends on how many.

Caleb: $265,000. Haven’t heard much but should do alright.

Gregory: $12,000.

Dominic: $600,000. Loyalists will get on it.


Total

Callum: $133,760,120. No dicking around this week, I’ve got a reputation to uphold (probably)!

Caleb: $149,670,000. July movies are upon us!

Gregory: $92,212,000.

Dominic: $138,300,000.


Can you successfully match wits with this line-up of chancers? Play along by dropping your predictions in the comments below! We’ll be back next week with The Rock and Adam Sandler – in movies, they’re not actually playing along with us.

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