In which I play the same hand for the third week straight.
Going into week seven it looks like it might be time to break with the past. There were enough newer movies over the last couple weeks to think about a completely fresh line up. Here was the price list for our pretend theaters:
Planet of the Apes $705 Spider-Man $586 Despicable Me 3 $201 The Big Sick $143 Baby Driver $93 Wish Upon $92 Wonder Woman $68 Cars 3 $33 Transformers $30 The House $26 47 Meters Down $17 The Beguiled $12 Pirates $6 The Mummy $5 Best of the Rest $5
Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man were clearly going to dominate the box office, and were priced as such. After that though, there was a lot of room to play different combinations.
My process is to make my “gut pick” first and throw out a line up. I picked apes over spiders and built up what seemed like a sound lineup for a theater.
Then I started looking at reviews and estimates and started tinkering in my spreadsheet to see if I could come up with something better. As I put numbers in and changed them up, it became clear that Baby Driver was still priced pretty well and had a good chance of being the top price/performance pick.
Of course, that was my logic last week, and it did not serve me well. And Baby Driver was not going to do well enough for me to go all-in on it again. I needed a strong anchor for it. Despicable Me seemed to fit the bill. I could get a couple of those in and then load up on Baby Driver to fill out the selection. So, I ended up with two screens of Despicable Me and six screens of Baby Driver.
As it turned out I was on the right track, I just had the wrong emphasis. The optimum line up of the week was four screens of Despicable Me, two screens of Baby Driver, and two screens of Best of the Rest (which ended up being Guardians of the Galaxy), the latter winning the price/performance race with its $2 million per screen bonus.
Failing to get on the right bus with the 78 other players who managed to get the perfect pick of the week put me $14 million behind their pace.
However, in our little blogger group it was a different story. Here are the scores for the week:
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $90,999,400
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $85,813,237
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $85,515,858
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $83,926,268
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $82,685,858
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $82,034,224
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $80,550,386
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $75,707,395
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $64,974,540
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $22,213,643
While my picks were sub-optimal, they were still good enough to squeak out a win for the week.
Ocho also went with Baby Driver, but his second place slot was secured by dedicating two screens to Best of the Rest and its resulting bonus. That put Liore in third place by just under $300,000 with what was the most picked lineup of the week, anchored on Spider-Man with six screens of the fading Wonder Woman and one screen of the now salty Pirates of the Caribbean.
At the bottom end of the list, Belghast didn’t pick for the week, so his entries rolled over from last week. Unfortunately for him, three of his picks from week six were not available for week seven, leaving him with soft picks and three empty screens. And then there was Murf who was the only other one to pick this week and not anchor on apes or spiders. Four screens of The Big Sick and four screens of Baby Driver did not serve him well however.
And so, at the end of seven weeks, the overall scores sits thus:
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $796,266,453
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $757,781,105
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $705,496,896
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $675,020,447
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $658,856,210
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $641,289,677
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $622,477,102
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $617,375,078
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $568,080,456
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $567,038,864
Liore maintained her lock on first place, while Ocho and I edged ever so slightly closer to her. At our rate of advancement I think we need a lot more than six weeks to catch her. Braxwolf made the only move of the week, jumping up a couple of spots based on this week’s performance, overtaking Syl and Murf.
And now we look forward to the week eight options, which are:
Dunkirk $667 Girls Trip $334 Planet of the Apes $299 Spider-Man $266 Valerian $219 Despicable Me 3 $148 Baby Driver $70 Wonder Woman $57 The Big Sick $54 Wish Upon $33 Cars 3 $22 Transformers $14 The House $10 47 Meters Down $6 The Beguiled $5
Dunkirk has great reviews so far and looks to be the sure fire box office winner for this coming weekend. However, war movies are not usually date movies… I’ll probably have to go see it myself, as the wife and daughter won’t be interested… so it won’t open like Wonder Woman or Spider-Man, with estimates putting it over $50 million this week. Girls Trip, also opening this week, seems likely to drain off some of the young adult female demographic. That is still very strong and it is priced accordingly. Like the British Empire, you can only afford one Dunkirk.
The other big new arrival on the list is Valerian and the City of 1000 Planet. While it is from acclaimed director Luc Besson and was promoted heavily as part of his Fifth Element 20th anniversary tour earlier this year, first week estimates are still somewhat soft based on middling reviews, putting it behind Girls Trip, which is slated for $20 million. (And it has better reviews as well. So, despite it being new on the line up, it is down the list in pricing, which might make it a decent gamble if it does better than expected. I know we are likely going to go see this over the coming weekend, so that is two tickets you can count one.
And then there is Girls Trip which my gut says is prices a little too high on the list, and you can only have two screens of it. It needs to do $30 million to justify that price, and is only estimated to hit $20 million, so I will be interested to see if this makes it into many picks.
That is where we stand going into week eight.