Week 04 FML Recap — Summer Season

Each week Jacob recaps the weekend box office and the winners and losers in the Midnight Warrior Fantasy Movie League.



It’s funny how a week changes things. Two weeks ago, I was openly mocked for playing a lineup heavy in 47 Meters Down. This week, 55 geniuses paired it with a screen of new release Transformers: The Last Knight to snag the Perfect Cineplex. Who’s laughing now?

Well, it’s not me, because I was not smart enough to bet big on the shark horror movie for two weeks in a row. By the way, I tried to look up fan reactions on Twitter when I set my lineup two weeks ago, and all I could find were posts saying this movie was exploitative of sharks and that people should boycott it because it’s making sharks out to be ruthless killers. On one hand, sharks are ruthless killers. On the other hand, if you’ve ever encountered a shark in open water that other hand would be eaten along with the rest of your body. So this is a political issue I’m going to make a strong stand on: sharks are killers. Plus, America cast $7 million worth of ballots at the box office in favor of that premise.

When you have a shark doing all the low-priced heavy liftingbrutal murdering, it just means you pair it with the most expensive movie coming out that week and hope it is the box office champ. In that regard, Transformers did not disappoint. In every other regard, it did. The $44 million weekend is a franchise low, and the reviews aren’t much better. Not only will I not be playing it this week, but I also hope that you forget about that statement before you see my actual lineup where I am playing it.

As for the Midnight Warrior league, we are back in our traditional roles. Lacy and Phil share first and second place with their I Smell Cineplex and Candy and School of Rock cineplexes (6x 47 Meters Down / 2x Wonder Woman). Next, my Tanking The Network cineplex placed a bet on either Cars 3 driving away from the competition or Beatriz at Dinner lambasting the competition about its privilege (?), neither of which happened.

Still, this seems to be the most common finish in this league, with 4 out of 13 weeks having these three in the top finish. Going back to last season, the other thing I notice is the meteoric rise of I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom! who is now in 4th place in our league. Congrats all around!


How is this week unique? Well, for starters, one of the movies is opening on a Wednesday. Second, it’s a “4th of July weekend”, but that’s not until Tuesday so it’s hard to say how or if that holiday will effect box offices at all. Before we make big predictions, let’s break down the new releases.

  • Despicable Me 3 ($840) – This film will be in 4,529 theaters. Let that sink in for a moment. If you’re not somebody who checks theater counts weekly (and why aren’t you?), that’s a really high number. Transformers gained 63 theaters since last week and it’s still about 400 short of DM3. If previews come back good, you may want to anchor with this. I’m not, but that’s because I’m very biased. Just wait.
  • The House ($198) – The trailer for this movie looks surprisingly good, especially if you’re a fan of Jason Mantzoukas, because you’ll be getting a full dose of Rafi. That being said… this is only being projected at less than $20 million on the weekend, which is a bit low. Plus, it is in fewer theaters than Baby Driver which is at almost half the cost. Stay out of The House.
  • Baby Driver ($110) – Yes, I was there on opening night at the first available screening. Yes, it’s great and the word of mouth is great. Yes, it’s at 97% fresh. No, I don’t care that it came out on Wednesday. The only bad thing about this movie is there will be very few repeat viewings this weekend as the cops will be arresting most people leaving for doing their best Baby impression on crowded streets. Stay away from the hand brake turns, but do put this in your cineplex.

I don’t care what you play with Baby Driver, but I’m going with week 2 of Transformers. The 4th of July is about America, and nothing says America like 7 screens of a badass car chase and one screen of a Micahel-flippin’-Bay giant robot movie. ‘MURICA.

If you aren’t brave enough to follow George Washington across the Potomac River, you probably aren’t brave enough to follow me on Twitter @jakerg23.

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