Hi! Thank you for re-joining the Box Office Premiership, the biggest name in the cut-throat world of high-stakes leagues based around betting on the opening weekends of new release movies! It’s the penultimate instalment of our little game and it’s still all to play for in all corners of scoreboard. Will the Week 9 results give us any kind of clue as to how things may shake out? Let’s have a looksee!
Week 9 results
The Equalizer II: $36 million. Originally, this was going to be a 1-pointer for Dominic Hastings who bet $36 million dead since the estimates had it down as $35.8 million. But, after the initial results were posted on our Premiership board, the Actuals came in to provide a result of $36 million dead and, as the prior-linked rules state, discrepancies between the two that significantly affect the scoring will be updated to reflect the new information. So, congrats to Dominic for the first 2-pointer in… eight weeks?! Holy crap, we are bad at this! (2 points)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: $34.952 million. So, after closing predictions in our group chat, I joked about us all meeting back here on Sunday to find out that we were all extremely wrong about this and that Gregory Mucci would take the point by virtue of (with the exception of Caleb Burnett) making the only sane-ass bet? Well, on Sunday, that exact result came to pass… and then Actuals came in. It ended up being extremely close (only $500,000 separated the two bets) but of the two men who didn’t yell about the sky falling, Caleb ended up stealing it from Gregory at the last second with a bet of $40.3 million, a difference of $5.3 million to Gregory’s $5.9 million (and a $29 million bet). The rest of us, meanwhile, look quite friggin’ stupid. (1 point)
Unfriended: Dark Web: $3.653 million. BH Tilt continue to struggle with making their money in theatres. This one’s a tie as both myself (Callum Petch) and Owen Hughes bet $5 million dead, which means we both share a point each. I personally had a feeling it would open about here, but chose to bet the $5 million anyway purely to force Owen to share his first point in eight weeks because I am a massive dick. (1 point each)
Blindspotting: $336,333. We had guesses all over the place with this one, although a consensus average hung around the $300,000 mark. But Caleb Burnett decided to up the ante just a tiny bit more than the consensus to $303,500, so he gets the point all to himself! (1 point)
Total: $74,953,188. Caleb also, as a result of his Wide release guesses being wrong on both sides to almost the exact right degree, came the closest out of any contestant so far to matching a weekend’s total with $74,603,500, a difference of just $349,688. He still only gets 1 point due to the rules requiring one be within $1,000 either side, but that’s a rule I clearly need to relax in future seasons (wherever they take place) because goddamn is that some quality bets-manship going on there! (1 point)
Bloody Actuals screwing with everything. How has that affected the standings?
Leaderboard (after Week 9 of 11)
1] Caleb Burnett (14 points)
2] Callum Petch (13 points)
3=] Gregory Mucci and Dominic Hastings (7 points)
4] Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (4 points)
5] Owen Hughes (2 points)
6] Tony Black (1 point)
KIDS NEXT DOOR RULE! It’s Week 10!
(All info correct at time of going to press.)
Theatre count: 4,350 (Wide)
Dir: Christopher McQuarrie
Star: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson
RT score: 98% (Certified Fresh)
Synopsis: After a mission revolving around Solomon Lane goes catastrophically wrong, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and the rest of the IMF are forced to go on the run trying to prevent Lane’s plan whilst avoiding the wrath of the CIA hitman (Cavill) sent to clean up the mess.
Other info: Fifth instalment in the Mission: Impossible series, the first with a returning director (McQuarrie) and the first that’s an actual direct sequel to a previous entry in the series. Previous Mission: Impossible opening weekends: Mission: Impossible ($45.4 million in May 1996), II ($57.8 million in May 2000), Mission: Impossible III ($47.7 million in May 2006), Ghost Protocol ($12.7 million in limited IMAX-exclusive release, $44.1 million when it went Wide over Christmas 2011), Rogue Nation ($55.5 million in July 2015). I’d list Tom Cruise’s last three openings but none of them come close to any of the M:I movies. Fallout is also the highest scoring entry in the entire series critically so far (97% on Rotten Tomatoes and 87 on Metacritic).
Gregory: $77.8 million.
Caleb: $61 million. Great reviews and five films worth of hype. This will win this weekend and next.
Callum: $71.5 million. I do not get these movies, but a shit-load of other people do whilst the unanimous acclaim of the reviews should force in those on the fence. Might not beat the $100 mil+ projections, but M:I II‘s record falls this weekend.
Owen: $59.5 million. Cirque de Soleil for grown up Fast and Furious fans. I’m not usually snobby about other people’s taste in film, but I really do not care for these McBlockbusters. But this one has a lot of hype around it and they’re never offensively bad, just not my cup of tea.
Teen Titans GO! To the Movies
Theatre count: 3,000+ (Wide)
Studio: Warner Animation Group
Genre: Superhero Comedy
Dirs: Peter Rida Michail & Aaron Horvath
Star: Scott Menville, Greg Cipes, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch (voices)
RT score: 89% (Fresh)
Synopsis: Incensed after finding out that every other DC superhero has their own movie, and rejected from getting their own due to their decidedly unheroic actions over the previous years, the Teen Titans set out to find an arch-nemesis in the hopes that they’ll become legitimate heroes worthy of getting their own movie.
Other info: Big-screen adaptation of the wildly popular Cartoon Network series, Teen Titans GO!, a show that still averages over a million viewers for each new episode despite their irregular schedule. Warner Animation Group’s only non-LEGO opening since relaunching so far was Storks in September 2016 ($21.3 million opening weekend). Technically the first theatrical Cartoon Network movie since The Powerpuff Girls in July 2001 ($3.5 million opening weekend). Hotel Transylvania 3 dropped 46% in its second weekend (to $23.7 million) and Incredibles II even with its long legs will be seven weeks old heading into this weekend. This show is really popular with kids, in spite of the nuclear hatred it receives on the Internet, as a heads up.
Gregory: $31 million.
Caleb: $13.75 million. Plenty of kiddos and folks will get out to see this one.
Callum: $22.8 million. Originally had this in the high $10 millions, but I think this might do a lot better than expected even with Hotel Transylvania still being relatively fresh. That show is super-popular. And great, genuinely great, fight me.
Owen: $12.5 million. Can’t be as bad as The LEGO Batman Movie but won’t pull in the same figures either. Clearly I hate fun.
Theatre count: 5 (Limited)
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Dir: Marc Turtletaub
Star: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman
RT score: 80% (Fresh)
Synopsis: Agnes (Macdonald), taken for granted as a housewife and mother, discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which brings her into contact with a puzzle partner (Khan) who may be a kindred spirit.
Other info: Adaptation of an Argentinian drama by Natalia Smirnoff of the same (translated) name. This is former-producer Turtletaub’s first commercially-released feature as a director; his debut, 2013’s Gods Behaving Badly, screened once at a film festival to tepid reviews and was never released. This one’s apparently better? Opened the Edinburgh Film Festival and played Sundance. Of the 12 films that have opened in Limited Release since playing Sundance this year, only four had opening weekends of less than $100,000: The King ($29,050), Hearts Beat Loud ($74,524), Beast ($53,248), and Revenge ($45,924).
Caleb: $133,000. Haven’t heard of this one. Interesting premise but only five theatres.
Callum: $101,200. Kelly Macdonald deserves better. Only going this high because of the strong reviews.
Owen: $100,000. Apt name because it has me stumped. What even is this?
Hot Summer Nights
Theatre count: 11 (Limited)
Dir: Elijah Bynum
Star: Timothée Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Thomas Jane
RT score: 40% (Rotten)
Synopsis: Daniel (Chalamet), an awkward teenager, gets in way over his head when he starts dealing drugs whilst falling for his partner’s sister during a summer in Cape Cod.
Other info: Directorial debut of writer-director Elijah Bynum. Premiered at South by Southwest 2017. Has been available On Demand via the DirecTV Cinema service since the end of June. A24 did a similar release plan with Woman Walks Ahead back in June, the theatrical release grossed $6,863 opening weekend from two theatres. Timothée Chalamet’s last three openings: Hostiles ($22,849 from 3 screens in December 2017), Call Me by Your Name ($412,932 from 4 screens in November 2017), Lady Bird ($364,437 from 4 screens in November 2017). Apropos of nothing, How to Talk to Girls at Parties opened to $12,674 from two screens in May.
Caleb: $1,100,000. A24 and 11 screens, should do alright.
Callum: $75,000. 11 screens guarantees at least some money but tepid reviews, that early VOD release, and its SXSW appareance having been from 2017 reeks of a dud that’s being dumped. Or maybe Chalamet’s stans push it upwards, who knows?
Owen: $45,000. Apt name because… well. Yeah.
Gregory: $109,039,000. What a load of bollocks! (Ed note: he’s referring to being screwed out of a point by Actuals, not the quality of the films themselves. Or maybe he is, or maybe it’s both. Who knows?)
Caleb: $75,983,000. Another good weekend ahead!
Callum: $94,476,200. Apparently this is the last big tentpole weekend of the Summer, but we still have Jason Statham fighting a 50ft shark to come sooooooooo…
Can you do better than this batch of rubes? Why not share your own predictions in the comments or via Set the Tape’s various social medias? We’ll be back next week for the final round of this gruelling series!