Each week Jacob recaps the weekend box office and the winners and losers in the Midnight Warrior Fantasy Movie League.
WEEK 11 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN
What does it mean when a little movie called Lowriders gets the Best Performer bonus? This. Means War! Yes, on a minuscule sub-300 theater count, this film blew away the competition, with about 40% more than Beauty and the Beast (of which I was a strong believer). Don’t worry though, the live action Disney flick managed to waltz its way into the Perfect Cineplex as well, posting a strong $4.8 million, which is not bad at all for its 7th weekend.
Emma Watson isn’t the only one throwing gold in the McDuck pool this weekend, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 contributing $65 million on its own. Who knows how long this Disney box office domination will continue, but for now just enjoy the endless stream of comic movies and remakes, and sometimes sequels to comic book movies. I hope you own stock in capes and big poofy dresses.
Rounding out the PC was Snatched with a disappointing $19 million, and Fate of the Furious staying surprisingly strong in weekend number 5. If you check Wednesday numbers for this week, you’ll see it’s still number 4 at the box office. People love fast cars, it’s as simple as that.
What people don’t love is taking my advice, and that includes myself. I went hard on the record last week against King Arthur: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and I was 100% right: it bombed hard. Then, after Thursday preview numbers dropped, I put it right into my cineplex. At least I was smart enough not to play it 4 times like I almost convinced myself to do.
By my count all but about 10 of our War Starts at Midnight league members ignored my sound advice and put it somewhere in their lineup, but only one of them could win. This week it was Neil Breen’s Magic Pebble with Guardians / Snatched / 2x F8 of the Furious / 3x Lowriders / Born in China. It’s not often we see this many complex cineplexes near the top, so kudos to Neil for pulling this one out.
On the season, Madison Sandwich Madness remains on top of the league going into Week 12. It will be hard to dethrone him, but we have another interesting and complex week where you can take a lot of risks. If you, like me, are planning to catch him, you will need to go very bold. But how would you do that? Let me see…
WEEK 12 PREDICTIONS
Another tough week with high-priced anchors, but more respectable options than last week. Let’s start with the new releases:
- Alien: Covenant ($655) – The newest installment of the Alien franchise will be skipped by me, mostly because I’ve seen 0 films in the franchise. Don’t worry, listen to the next couple episodes and I’ll pay penance for my war crime… But until then, I think you should probably be screening this blockbuster this week. There are some cons, however. First, the monster sized price tag of $655. Second, does Ridley Scott or the Alien brand really command cinema goers to make their way out on opening weekend? Finally, are we just spaced out after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? It doesn’t matter, this seems like a sure anchor getting positive reviews. Play it once.
- Everything Everything ($181) – This movie is apparently based on a successful book, even if I’ve never heard of it. This movie is apparently not a retelling of The Space Between Us, even if that was Chris’s hot take. It’s just a mediocre teen movie with what I’m pretty sure are no-name actors. Well, the girl is from Hunger Games and the guy is from Jurassic World, but honestly, I didn’t see either of those, much like how most of the country will not see this movie this weekend. Only play it if you need the filler for a 6x Lowriders play.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul ($143) – Well I never know how to judge children’s movies, but this one is in 3,157 theaters to Everything Everything‘s 2,801, so I can see a real argument to substituting it in over the teen flick in my lineup below. But, overall, Wimpy Kid films (unbeknownst to me, this is the 4th) have strong box office openings from $14-$23 million, although the successful ones were the first and second and they dropped in March. Also, for a franchise aimed so young, are there really repeat viewers who enjoyed the first one 7 years ago but are still into seeing a film targeted at 4th graders?
So, I don’t know what to play this week. Lowriders didn’t get a huge bump this week, but its per-theater average was so strong that week that if it just slightly outperforms expectations then you’re looking at a 6x play. The real answer is to check the preview numbers at 10:15 am CDT tomorrow and make a gut call. If none impress, make your lineup heavy with Guardians, F8, and Boss Baby and hope for the best.
All my friends drive a low rider, and play Lowriders 6x this week. If you’re not one of them, tell me about it on twitter @jakerg23.