Each week Jacob mines the Fantasy Movie League chatter for all the data that matters. Listen to the podcast to find out how to join our listener league and compete with other Midnight Warrirors for the coveted FML Champion coffee mug.
WEEK 05: ALL MY AMERICAN ASSASSINS ARE AMERICAN MADE
Fall always seems to be a hard season. It’s not awards season level hard, but some of those award films start creeping forward. Movies like Wind River sit out there for weeks collecting great reviews and you just never know when they’re going to pop and put up an amazing week.
Right alongside these are movies like American Assassin and American Made. They’re different movies, but they both feel like movies that just didn’t make the cut for summer. They aren’t bad enough to stash for Spring, but they aren’t good enough to make it to summer, and they’ll never win any awards. I don’t want to see these movies, and I’m not sure who does. I’m probably biased against them, but I’ll try to hide all my biases for this article.
Well, except for biases for my silver screen crush, who even looks good in a 70s tennis skirt… but more on that later.
OPENING THIS WEEK
- American Made ($225 bux) – With the ads for this movie, you can see the panic in the studios. They clearly talk about the AMAZING Rotten Tomatoes score. It’s at 85% fresh, which is fine, but I’m curious if the studio isn’t manipulating this somehow by arranging screenings to favorable critics. In any case, this could be a smart play and is a Best Performer candidate in my book. If you trust it, play it, but be aware that the 3,024 theater count is going to make this a little bit of an uphill battle.
- Flatliners ($143 bux) – After IT, are we ready for another horror movie? Or did all the horror dollars fall in a sewer? With a limited theater count of about 2,500, I’m not sure this one will get the steam it needs to pull through. It needs one of the highest per screening average to compete this week, so unless you see strong preview numbers, I don’t think this one will touch $10 million.
- A Question of Faith ($42 bux) – This is hard to predict, but the trailer shows that this movie is heavy. Two children are in the hospital for unrelated incidents, and that seems like only about half of the drama going on in this Christian film. Unless church groups latch on to this and go out in droves, the price is just a little too high for only being in 661 theaters. I have to pass.
- Stronger ($20 bux) – Surprisingly strong reviews from this movie, but on 645 screens it has a chance to compete. I think Bleed For This is a good comparison, but it only made $2.3 million in 1,549 theaters. If Stronger can pull the same PTA, then you’re looking at 985k this weekend. The bonus bar is at $1.6 million. Jake Gyllenhall is clearly a bigger star than Miles Teller, and more bankable, but I don’t think this movie can compete, even at this price.
|Cost||RT Score||RT Audience||Bonus Bar||Phil’s Fandango Check||TC|
|Kingsman: The Golden Circle||$256||50%||73%||20.5||$269||4,038|
|The LEGO Ninjago Movie||$168||52%||60%||13.4||$182||4,047|
|Battle of the Sexes||$72||87%||95%||5.8||$297||1,213|
|A Question of Faith||$42||(NR)||95%*||3.4||$338||661|
|The Hitman’s Bodyguard||$12||37%||70%||1||$120||1,119|
So where does this all leave us? We didn’t include Battle of the Sexes as a new film because it sneaked into last week’s lineups, but it’s getting a big expansion this weekend. I think this behaves like a new picture, and I think it does a lot better than people are expecting. I have it coming in at $6 million and earning BP.
Using some projections with a slight preference towards IT, I land at the lineup below. If you’re super confident in IT, you can play it 3 times. I’m going with the hedge up top. Just for full disclosure, it’s really hard for me to bet against Emma Stone. She could be in a reboot of Malibu’s Most Wanted and I’d still anchor that in my cineplex.
Actually, I like that idea. Who has Jamie Kennedy’s email?
Please help me flesh out this Malibu’s Most Wanted idea. Send me a double length tweet with the plot @jakerg23.