Film Discussion

Box Office Premiership: Week 11

IT’S THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE SHOW!” as the greatest Saturday morning kids’ show of all-time used to say. Welcome to the final round of the Box Office Premiership! We’ve spent all Summer long finding whom on staff is the best at predicting the often-unpredictable whims of the American public when it comes to opening weekends of movies. We’ve had some fun, some embarrassment, some controversy, but this gruelling marathon ends here! Or, more specifically, on Tuesday when the results post gets, err, posted. And we’ve got something special lined up for this week, but before we can get to that, we got to get to this (where “this” refers to “Week 10’s results”)!

(For a reminder on scoring, head here. For all the Week 10 predictions, head here.)

Week 10 results

Mission: Impossible – Fallout: $61.5 million. The series that gives formatters the world over Collective Twitching-Eye Syndrome finally brought down M:I II’s long-standing record with a series’ best opening weekend! Still, Tom Cruise’s eternal difficulty in breaking past $60 million opening weekends meant that this was a battle down to the wire. In the end, however, Caleb Burnett got to make it nine straight weeks of scoring in the Premiership with his prediction of $61 million, just a hair away from the two-pointer that continues to elude him despite his dominance. (1 point)

Teen Titans GO! To The Movies: $10.51 million. So, technically this is actually pretty alright, especially since it only cost $10 million to make (right in-line with how much theatrical versions of Disney cartoons cost back in the day), and the film itself is apparently legitimately great which is all that matters in the end. But, still, I really expected this to do much better. Owen Hughes earns his first non-shared point since the very first week with his prediction of $12.5 million, so blame him Teen Titans fanboys if they don’t make that Season 6 of the original show you won’t stop whining about. (1 point)

Puzzle: $63,364. Not great, Bob. This was actually closer than one might think, by virtue of Gregory Mucci going under whilst the rest of us went over, but it’s Owen who gets to notch up a second point this week with a straight $100,000. (1 point)

Hot Summer Nights: N/A. Ah, crud, I should have saved my one allotted “Not great, Bob” for here instead. Like, you know that it must be bad if A24 would rather keep this film’s opening weekend to themselves. They released a bang-on actual for Hereditary immediately, down to the dollar and everything, and that film still had a relatively underwhelming start! Anywho, this category has been cancelled, predictions were removed from each player’s totals, and nobody gets any points.

Total: $72,073,364. Holy crap, Owen just steamrolled through this weekend with a late-game comeback! He might even win this thing if he plays his cards right, today! His adjusted total of $72,100,000 was only $26,636 off the official total, which is crazy! Begrudging credit where credit is due! (1 point)

So, let’s see how those standings look going into the finale!

Leaderboard (after Week 10 of 11)

1] Caleb Burnett (15 points)

2] Callum Petch (13 points)

3=] Gregory Mucci and Dominic Hastings (7 points)

4] Owen Hughes (5 points)

5] Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (4 points)

6] Tony Black (1 point)

But before we get into the final week of films, an important announcement! Since it’s the final week, I felt I needed to do something special to commemorate the occasion and raise the stakes accordingly. Therefore, I am excited to announce that Week 11 is DOUBLE POINTS WEEK! Since all 4 of our films are Wide Releases, that means every category is worth 2 points for being the closest and a whopping 4 points for being dead-on to the first decimal point! And when you include how that affects the Total category – 2 points for being closest, 4 points for being $1,000 either side, and 10 whole entire points should you pull off a perfect game (exact total) – there are a maximum of 26 points available this week! Literally, anybody could win this, even people who haven’t played in weeks! What excitement, what drama, what suspense!


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

Week 11

Disney’s Christopher Robin

Theatre count: 3,500 (Wide)

Studio: Disney

Genre: Family

Dir: Marc Forster

Star: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings (voice)

Rating: PG

RT score: N/A (No reviews yet)

Synopsis: A now-adult Christopher Robin, married with a child but stuck working a job that keeps him away from them and makes him hopelessly miserable, is reunited with his childhood friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood.

Other info: Exact comps for this are tricky, since picking just live-action Disney adaptations skews expectations too high (e.g. Beauty and the Beast), but there are a few in the same ballpark. A Wrinkle in Time opened to $33.1 million in March 2018, the Pete’s Dragon remake opened to $21.5 million in August 2016, The BFG (a Disney release in America) opened to $18.7 million in July 2016, and Alice Through the Looking Glass opened to $26.8 million in May 2016. Winnie the Pooh, the 2011 animated movie that opened the exact same weekend as the last Harry Potter, opened to just $7.8 million in July 2011 and closed with just $26.6 million. The similar-ish Hook opened to $13.5 million in 1991; adjusted for inflation, that’s $25 million. You do not gain bonus points for predicting how many times I’ll cry at this movie when it comes out in the UK in two weeks.

Caleb: $31.25 million. Lots of buzz around this. Will probably lose the weekend to Mission: Impossible, but it’ll do well. Callum Cry Prediction: 31.25 million tears.

Dominic: $38 million. Kids love Pooh and so do we. Hope it does well.

Callum: $26.5 million. I want to be wrong and for this to make $265 million, but I fear Pooh may have crossed over into the same “only beloved by those of a certain age who are notoriously picky” pit as The Muppets. Please prove me wrong. Also, reviews were embargoed until Thursday night which is weird and ominous despite all released evidence.

Gregory: $26.5 million.

Owen: $15.7 million. I would have thought that having the word Disney attached to something would propel its earnings up the US Box Office food chain, but this just has “not interested” written all over it. People nostalgic for Pooh (lol)? [Ed note: HOW DARE YOU] Young kids? Families? I just don’t see it doing decent business.

Death of a Nation: Can we Save America a Second Time?

Theatre count: 1,000+ (Wide)

Studio: Quality Flix

Genre: “Documentary”

Dir: Convicted felon and admitted fraud Dinesh D’Souza

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 0% (Rotten)

Synopsis: In his latest propaganda piece, convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza attempts to prove that current President Donald Trump is the modern-day successor to Abraham Lincoln because Democrats at the time also protested the election of Lincoln to office. His arguments involve bringing up Democrats’ history with slavery, claiming that Hitler was a liberal because (contrary to mounds of historical evidence) he wasn’t homophobic due to allowing homosexuals who could fight well to serve in the Nazi army, and interviewing noted Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, amongst others. I did not make a word of this up.

Other info: This is D’Souza’s fourth “documentary.” They arrive bi-annually before elections, all expressly right-wing propaganda pieces filled with intentional lies and mistruths attempting to sway the results of voters, and all are utter nonsensical dogshit. Unfortunately, they reliably make some money. 2016: Obama’s America went Wide in its seventh week to $6.5 million (August 2012), America: Imagine a World Without Her went Wide in its second week to $2.7 million (July 2014), and Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party went Wide in its second week to $3.9 million (July 2016). In 2014, D’Souza pled guilty to violating campaign finance law for the New York senate run of Islamophobic attorney Wendy Long, a conviction that noted fan Donald Trump overturned earlier this year. You might think I’m being too biased and outspoken here, but you’ve likely never watched one of this snivelling talentless shit-weasel’s crimes against cinema (in addition to his actual crimes against campaign finance) and I envy your pure untainted soul.

Caleb: $2.9 million. Would be just happy if this garbage did not make much money at all, mostly because D’Souza is a complete quack. It’ll pull some folks in, but not many.

Dominic: $3 million. This does not look good.

Callum: $2.8 million. I would love to make a tonne of jokes about a studio called Quality Flix putting this out, but, seriously, fuck Dinesh D’Souza. He’s Leni Riefenstahl without an iota of the talent, or Alex Jones without the screen presence to mock.

Gregory: $8.7 million but also fuck this film.

Owen: $1 million. About $1 million too much.

The Darkest Minds

Theatre count: 3,000 (Wide)

Studio: Fox

Genre: Young Adult adaptation

Dir: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Star: Amandla Stenberg, Gwendoline Christie, Mandy Moore

Rating: PG-13

RT score: 17% (Rotten)

Synopsis: In the near-future, a mysterious uncurable virus has killed off 90% of the world’s children and left the rest with mysterious powers, leading to the American government rounding them up into prison camps across the country. Ruby, whose power is mind-control, escapes from her camp, teams up with a bunch of other teens, and heads off across country to find a safe haven and/or the truth about what’s really going on.

Other info: Based on the first in a six-book YA series by Alexandra Bracken that concluded in a two-parter this year. Live-action debut of Jennifer Yuh Nelson, director of Kung Fu Panda 2 ($47.6 million in May 2011) and Kung Fu Panda 3 ($41.2 million in January 2016). This will not come anywhere near close to matching those. Opening weekends of aborted attempts to start a YA adaptation series: The 5th Wave ($10.3 million in January 2016), The Giver ($12.3 million in August 2014), Vampire Academy ($3.9 million in February 2014), The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones ($9.3 million in August 2013).

Caleb: $7.75 million. Looks like a good adaptation. Not much marketing or fanbase that I’ve seen, however.

Dominic: $8.8 million. Looks like fun, but I haven’t seen much publicity or anything.

Callum: $7.8 million and that’s being generous. This is five years too late and I wish Jennifer Yuh Nelson had picked something better to make her medium transition with.

Gregory: $13.2 million.

Owen: $7.4 million. Looks utter, utter cobblers.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Theatre count: 3,000 (Wide)

Studio: Lionsgate

Genre: Action Comedy

Dir: Susanna Fogel

Star: Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux

Rating: R

RT score: 55% (Rotten)

Synopsis: Audrey (Kunis) and her best friend Morgan (McKinnon) wind up being pulled into the world of international espionage after Audrey’s ex-boyfriend re-enters her life, reveals he’s actually a CIA agent, and brings a whole bunch of assassins along with him.

Other info: Mila Kunis’ last three openings: A Bad Moms Christmas ($16.7 million in November 2017), Bad Moms ($23.8 million in July 2016), Jupiter Ascending ($18.3 million in February 2015). Kate McKinnon’s last 3 live-action Wide openings: Rough Night ($8 million in June 2017), Office Christmas Party ($16.8 million in December 2016), Masterminds ($6.5 million in September 2016). The most-recent new release comedy was Uncle Drew ($15.2 million during weekend of June 29th), whilst the most-recent new release R-rated comedy was Tag ($14.9 million during weekend of June 15th), whilst the upcoming comedy slate includes Dog Days (PG ensemble dramedy thing, due next weekend), Crazy Rich Asians (PG-13 rom-com book adaptation, due August 15th), and The Happytime Murders (R-rated Melissa McCarthy vehicle with puppets, due August 24th). The deck is loaded.

Caleb: $14.5 million. Dumb comedy that will draw some folks because of its star power. Not a bad opening weekend for something like that.

Dominic: $18 million. Daft comedy featuring Mila Kunis and a new Ghostbuster, therefore it will attract a crowd.

Callum: $14.9 million. Looks garbage but hopefully isn’t? Studios have no idea how to market female comedies not solely targeted at Reader’s Digest subscribers, after all. Might go higher, but I’m expecting a Tag-level performance.

Gregory: $21 million.

Owen: $16 million. The cynical snidey film critic who dumped on this comedy.


Caleb: $56,400,000. Final weekend of Summer already?

Dominic: $67,800,000. I want that bronze medal!

Callum: $52,000,000. I just wanted to say good luck and that we’re all counting on you.

Gregory: $69,400,000.

Owen: $40,100,000. Please don’t come last, please don’t come last, pleaae don’t come last, please don’t…

Can you outfox our writers one last time? Let us know your predictions in the comments below or via one of Set the Tape’s social medias! We will be back on Tuesday with the results and to crown the winner of the Season!

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