Film Discussion

Box Office Premiership: Finale

The time has come, the time has come, the time has come today.  After 11 gruelling weeks, half of which have been contested in the midst of a heatwave so intense and ceaseless that my typical requests of “go die in a fire” to something I hate have been useless against it, we have reached a crossroads.  Down one path, pain and an overriding sense of futility.  But down the other, immortality and glory!  The ability to call oneself the Box Office Premiership Champion!

All Summer long, these mighty warriors have been attempting to predict and occasionally unknowable whims of the American moviegoing public, by guessing on the opening weekends of the Summer’s biggest and not-so-biggest movies.  We’ve seen successes, failures, surprises, laughs, and continual evidence that people love them so motherfrakkin’ dinosaurs, but it’s apparently time to end since we live in a timeline that deems Jason Statham fighting a 75ft shark to not be a big-ticket Summer Event Movie.  It is therefore time to crown our Champion!

As this was the final Week of gameplay and it is therefore customary to raise the stakes to sufficiently climactic levels, we are operating under DOUBLE POINTS rules!  That means that each film is worth 2 points for whomever was closest and 4 points if they were correct to the first decimal point – spoiler: nobody was correct to the first decimal point.  The Total category (combined earnings/predictions of all films in-play), meanwhile, is now worth 2 points for whomever was closest, 4 points for being $1,000 either side of it, and a whopping 10 points for being dead-on – spoiler: those last two conditions were never in any danger of being fulfilled.  It’s juice and jam time, ROLL THE GARBAGE!

(If you need reminding of everyone’s predictions for Week 11, then go here.)

Week 11 Results

Disney’s Christopher Robin: $25.003 million.  The STUPID AWFUL BASTARDS!  How very actually fucking dare these miserable joyless gasbags not have been lining up en-masse to throw all of the money and Kleenex at a Winnie-the-Pooh movie!  I guess I shouldn’t have expected better from a country that can’t even get a subscription-based cinema-ticket loyalty scheme to work properly without trying to smother it in its crib.  And, in fact, I didn’t!  And neither did Gregory Mucci as both he and I (Callum Petch) went with predictions of $26.5 million, sharing vital points at this final stage!  (2 points each)

Death of a Nation: $2.325 million.  HA!  HA HA!  I had that Men in Black clip about “people [being] confused, panicky, dangerous animals” all lined up in the event of this breaking out and breaking into the Top 10, and that’s still $2.325 million more than convicted felon and admitted fraudster Dinesh D’Souza deserves, but it turned out to be completely unnecessary!  Between this failing (it’s the worst first-wide-weekend of all of D’Souza’s “films”) and Alex Jones largely being booted off of most social medias, it’s been a good weekend for fans of non-scumbaggery!  HA!  Also justifying the HA!s, my (Callum) prediction of $2.8 million wins me another category!  HA!  HA HA HA HA!  (2 points)

The Darkest Minds: $5.8 million.  Well, it turns out we were all way off on just how low this thing nobody asked for could truly go.  That’s… that’s just properly dire.  Please don’t let it kill Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s career.  But you know who it hasn’t killed?  Owen Hughes, whose prediction of $7.4 million means that he is cementing his late-game comeback alright!  (2 points)

The Spy Who Dumped Me: $12.35 million.  I don’t have any film-related commentary, so let’s just jump into the results.  And it’s another “win by default,” this time benefitting Caleb Burnett, whose $14.5 million was the lowest prediction out of any of us.  But a win is still a win in this cutthroat world of… medium-rare steaks?  Look, it’s ridiculously humid and I’ve fallen back to sleep 4 times already today, don’t ask for more of me!  (2 points)

Total: $45,478,000.  And this is where Owen’s extreme cynicism towards Winnie-the-Pooh’s popularity in the year 2018 pays dividends.  Because he undershot Christopher Robin by almost $10 million, the fact that the rest of his predictions were close-but-over allowed his total of $40,100,000 to average out the closest out of all of us to the aforementioned actual Total.  Well played, sir!  (2 points)

So, with those scores all settled (plus an additional point for Gregory Mucci due to it having been brought to my attention that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s actuals in Week 5 shifted enough to make his prediction of $148 million dead-on instead of off by $200,000), let’s go for the final time to the scoreboard/leaderboard!

Leaderboard (after Week 11 of 11)

1=] Callum Petch and Caleb Burnett (17 points)

3=] Owen Hughes and Gregory Mucci (9 points)

5] Dominic Hastings (7 points)

6] Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (4 points)

7] Tony Black (1 point)

Well, luckily, I prepared for this scenario, because I refuse, after 11 weeks of this shit, to have a game end in a goddamn tie!  We don’t do ties here!  So, along with the 4 broadcasted categories, I also asked each of our competitors to submit one additional prediction, separate from all of the others, in case such a tiebreaker were needed.  That prediction was based around the Nationwide expansion (1,084 theatres) of Bo Burnham’s acclaimed Indie sensation Eighth Grade and one simple question: how much would it make this past weekend, down to the dollar?  The results of our two Showcase Showdowns, and who would get the additional point to break both ties, were as follows…

Eighth Grade: $2,850,892

Callum Petch: $3,270,521 ($419,629 over)

Caleb Burnett: $2,500,000 ($350,892 under)

(Caleb wins the bonus point)

Gregory Mucci: $7,200,000 ($4,349,108 over)

Owen Hughes: $2,800,000 ($50,892 under)

(Owen wins the bonus point)

So, NOW let’s go to the leaderboard for the final time!

Leaderboard (after Week 11 of 11 and Tiebreaker)

1] Caleb Burnett (18 points)

2] Callum Petch (17 points)

3] Owen Hughes (10 points)

4] Gregory Mucci (9 points)

5] Dominic Hastings (7 points)

6] Kevin Ibbotson-Wight (4 points)

7] Tony Black (1 point)

I shall now hand the metaphorical microphone over to the other competitors for their final thoughts.

Dominic: Europa League it is, ha.

Caleb: It’s been a pleasure competing with you, gentlemen! Let’s do it again sometime!


Gregory: I blame the current state of America.

And that’s it.  We’re done.  Thanks to everyone who played, or played along if you’re a reader!  Thanks to everyone who read these in general!  Congrats to your champion, Caleb Burnett!  And, one more thing… it’s been emotional.

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