Week five of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is over, and once again the top billed picture of the week doesn’t quite live up to the forecasts.
Which isn’t to say Spider-man: Far From Home did poorly. $93 million is nothing to sneeze at. But, again, the forecasts for the three day weekend were closed to $120 million. Is there a slump going on here, or is Hollywood just too optimistic?
Of course it was also a goofy week if you were concentrating on the three day box office. We had the Independence Day holiday on Thursday, so many people, including myself, took Friday off to make it a four day event.
To take advantage of that, both new films this week, Spider-man and Midsommar, opened earlier in the week, with Midsommar live on Tuesday and Spider-man opening with midnight showings once the calendar turned to Wednesday. That spread out the opening totals beyond the weekend.
That also meant that what would normally have been the Thursday night previews, which count towards the Friday totals, went missing. Spider-man, over five days, hit new heights world-wide for the franchise, but in the restricted world of FML that only cares about the three-day weekend, things were less buoyant.
And so the perfect pick of the week was anchored on three screens of Toy Story 4, while Saturday was the best performing day for Spider-man.
I actually set my lineup before the decision about whether or not previews would count, opting for Friday as my anchor and when I saw the red banner on FML saying that there would be no preview dollars I thought about changing to Saturday… but then forgot until it was too late.
Still, at least I talked myself out of going all-in on Midsommar. That turned out to be something of a bust. With the Saturday estimates it was the worst performer for the week, which in this league actually gives it a $2 million bonus. It lost that position on Sunday, but regained it for the final tally, keeping a Midsommar heavy lineup from being a complete disaster.
All of which left the scores for the week looking like this:
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $119,426,550
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $103,263,624
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $103,095,404
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $100,200,869
- Too Orangey For Crows – $99,333,806
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $97,351,254
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $96,220,963
- Conical Effort – $96,063,499
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $91,443,890
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $91,053,408
For the first time this season the perfect pick was different for the TAGN league than for the standard rules. With no empty screen penalty 3x Toy Story 4 and 3x Aladdin with two empty screens was the TAGN perfect pick, worth $135 million, while with standard rules the perfect pick was 3x Toy Story 4, 2x Aladdin, and one each of Avengers, Rocketman, and Godzilla, worth $132 million.
However, nobody got the perfect pick in the TAGN league. Grannanj secured first place by anchoring on 3x Toy Story 4 but fell short of perfect on the filler.
The rest of us anchored on some variation of Spider-man, with Po Huit getting the gambler award for going all-in on Midsommar with just a single Friday screen of Spider-man. The worst performer bonus kept that pick somewhat viable.
That left the top ten overall season scores looking like this:
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $492,063,874
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $432,993,702
- Too Orangey For Crows – $424,210,899
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $412,022,265
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $402,023,165
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $400,870,204
- Joanie’s Joint – $378,485,651
- Conical Effort – $365,338,852
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $342,066,684
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $306,532,223
The week was big enough that there were a couple of position swaps, but not big enough for any radical change. My big lead from last week stayed intact.
And then there is the alternate scoring for the season, which is starting to spread out a bit.
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 42
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 37
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 29
- Too Orangey For Crows – 28
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 26
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 25
- grannanj’s Cineplex – 19
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 18
- Conical Effort – 17
- Joanie’s Joint – 14
The alternate scoring is also starting to deviate from the overall scores some. At least there were no ties this week.
So there we go, week five done and on to week six. The lineup for that is:
- Spider-man: Far From Home – $588
- Toy Story 4 – $258
- Stuber – $213
- Crawl – $204
- Yesterday – $98
- Aladdin – $80
- Annabelle Comes Home – $63
- Midsommar – $43
- The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $39
- Avengers: Endgame – $20
- Men in Black International – $24
- Rocketman – $23
- John Wick 3 – $19
- Child’s Play – $8
- Godzilla – $6
It is an off week, with no blockbuster landing in theaters. It is also an odd week in that no titles dropped off the lineup. Spider-man contracting to a single pick opened up two spots that were filled with the two new titles this week, Stuber and Crawl.
Neither of those are going to be big, given their opening week positions at third and fourth place.
I have seen a lot of ads for Stuber, though nothing that made me want to run out and see it. It is what I would call a “Friday night film” at our house. I have been trying to make a tradition out of watching something silly, stupid, or outrageous if we are at home watching a movie on Friday. My wife isn’t all-in on that, but sometimes I can make it happen. Anyway, I don’t have much to say about the movie itself, so I’ll borrow the premise line from the Wikipedia article:
A mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu picks up Vic, a grizzled detective who is hot on the trail of a sadistic, bloodthirsty terrorist. Stu soon finds himself thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he has to keep his wits, avoid danger, and work with his passenger while maintaining his high customer service rating.
With lots of advertising but no real star power behind it, the long range forecast is calling it at around $17 million. But the forecasts have been over-optimistic pretty much all season, so you have to wonder about that.
Crawl, on the other hand, I only saw as a preview for The Dead Don’t Die. It is an entry in the… umm… environmental action horror genre maybe? It is Florida, a hurricane is coming, the flood waters are rising, alligators are wandering around town, and something horrible is in the crawl space under the house. And, because it is Florida, somebody didn’t evacuate.
Again, no big star power and not as much advertising as Stuber, but it has the horror/disaster aspect that is always good for some box office. The long range forecast puts it at $15 million, though that number is down considerably from when it started getting tracked. It seems risky unless it gets some buzz.
So do you even bother with either of these films in your lineup? Everything else on the list besides Spider-man is starting to age. My Monday evening gut pick was 1x Spider-man, 1x Toy Story 4, 2x John Wick 3, and 3x Godzilla. That seems safe, if not inspired, and spends the full $1000 budget.
I tinkered with anchoring on 4x Crawl, but I am not convinced it is worth the risk. So I keep messing about with other options.
The league locks tomorrow night, so get your picks in.