Fall Movie League: Week 12

Recap:

Moana maintained its spot atop the box office this weekend, besting the new release, Office Christmas Party, by a margin of $18.5 million to $16.9 million.  Moana now stands at $145 million, which seems a little low for a critically acclaimed Disney animated movie.  I have doubts now that the film will hit the $200 million cap.  After a 50% drop last weekend, it only dropped 34% this weekend.  Given the release of Rogue One this coming weekend, I suspect it will drop at least 50% again.  It’s possible that business could pick up a bit again around Christmas and New Year and help to push it over $200 million, but the end of the year cinemas are very crowded.  It is definitely difficult to project how this will play out, which is odd because it seemed like such a sure thing at the auction draft.

For Office Christmas Party, the $16.9 million is about in line with the projections it had for the weekend, though the 43% T-meter definitely hampers its potential to make anything significant for Joe.  That 43% translated into $7.3 million in revenue.  Given the tepid reviews, and the Star Wars effect this weekend, I think it should drop at least 50% in its 2nd weekend and a 60% drop would not shock me.  I think Joe ends up getting about $20 million from it.  Joe has a very good shot to end up in last place; the continued steady performance of Arrival is keeping his chances alive of staying out of the basement.  There’s still a lot of unknown variables, but given my experience from the summer, it’s never a good sign when you have no movies climb above the $100 million mark.  Arrival would have to make $107 million to hit $100 million in earnings for Joe.  It’s currently at $81.4 million, having added another 200 screens to its expanded theater count, up to 3,115 from the 2,317 it was on when it released.

Looking over the rest of the notable news from previous releases, Doctor Strange finally reached the cap, the first movie of the season to hit that mark.  It’s domestic total now stands at $222.3 million, which puts it 9th in the MCU rankings, surpassing Thor: The Dark World, Thor, Ant-Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible HulkFantastic Beasts is within a breath of $200 million, having added another $10.4 million to its total.  It’s still about $50 million away from even reaching the lowest earning Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  It’s earned Chris $147 million so far.  I can’t imagine it will hit the $200 million cap, given that it would need to make $270 million.

On a much smaller scale, La La Land had its limited release this weekend, only opening in 4 theaters in New York and Los Angeles.  Even so, it still managed to make $881k.  It will expand to more screens this weekend.  It also just garnered 7 Golden Globe nominations and is still has a lot of buzz for the Oscar Best Picture.  According to Box Office Mojo, it will expand to 200 theaters this coming weekend, and then even more on Christmas.

Preview:

This weekend is the release everyone has been waiting for.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is coming out.  No official reviews have been posted yet, embargoed until Tuesday morning, but social media reactions are glowing.  Industry estimates are in the $140-150 million range for the opening weekend.  If the reviews are this positive, and given the massive interest people had in The Force Awakens, which significantly exceeded its opening weekend estimates, I would not be surprised if Rogue One exceeded its own opening estimates and came in closer to the $160-170 million range.  Regardless, it’s is certainly going to cap for Greg, making the $38 he paid for it more than worthwhile, and far more worthwhile than the $37 paid for Moana and the $39 paid for Fantastic Beasts.

Also opening this weekend is Collateral Beauty, a movie originally selected by Joe.  He dropped it and Paula picked it up when Rings got pushed back to early 2017.  It’s going to be the alternative programming option against Rogue One.  No reviews are out for it either, but it received no Golden Globe nominations, so that could be telling.  Pure speculation, I think the reviews end up somewhere in the low end at 45% and on the high end near 65%.

On the horizon, more early reviews have started to come out for the remaining movies.  Why Him? has a 44% off of 9 reviews, but the positive reviews are lukewarm, while the negative reviews are scathing.  Because of this, Tim has announced his intention to drop it for Silence, the new Martin Scorsese film, which is at 100% off of 16 reviews so far.  Everyone else has 24 hours to respond with a potential bid.

For the other upcoming releases, Sing continues to fluctuate in the 70s for a T-meter rating, still with only 15 reviews.  Fences is sitting protty solidly in the 80, currently at 88% with 16 reviews.  Hidden Figures, with a limited Christmas release before expanding in early January, is at 94% through 16 reviews.  Patriots Day is holding steady with 93% after 14 reviews.

Of the remaining films, there is still no word on Assassin’s Creed or Live By Night for Chris, or Passengers for me.  Believe me, I have looked.  I google “Passengers review” almost daily just waiting to see the first word on the film.

Standings:

1. Paula – $309.3 million
$7 Storks (9/23) – (63% X $71.7 = $45.2)
$9 The Accountant (10/14) – (52% X $85 = $44.2)
$10 Inferno (10/28) – (20% X $34 = $6.8)
$27 Doctor Strange (11/4) – (91% X $222.3 = $200*)
$1 Edge of Seventeen (11/18) – (94% X $13.9 = $13.1)
$0 Collateral Beauty (12/15)

2. Joe – $239.9 million
$13 The Magnificent Seven (9/23) – (63%$93.3 = $58.8)
$5 Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (9/30) – (63% X $86.6 = $54.6)
$8 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (10/21) – (38% X $58.1 = $22.1)
$12 Arrival (11/11) – (93% X $81.4 = $75.7)
$5 Allied (11/23) – (60%$35.6 = $21.4)
$9 Office Christmas Party (12/9) (43% X $16.9 = $7.3)

3. Chris – $198.8 million
$3 Deepwater Horizon (9/30) – (84% X $61.4 = $51.6)
$39 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (11/18) – (74% X $198.9 = $147.2)
$16 Assassin’s Creed (12/21)
$0 Live By Night (12/24)

4.Tim – $175.8 million
$1 Masterminds (9/30) – (31%$17.4 = $5.4)
$1 Keeping Up With the Joneses (10/21) – (19% X $14.8 = $2.8)
$1 Ouija: Origin of Evil (10/21) – (82% X $35 = $28.7)
$37 Moana (11/23) – (96% X $144.7 = $138.9)
$19 Sing (12/21) – (73%) (15 reviews)
$1 Why Him (12/21) – (44%) (9 reviews)

5. Greg – $103.1 million
$15 Trolls (11/4) – (75% X $145.4 = $109.1)
$2 Bad Santa 2 (11/23) – (24% X $16.8 = $4)
$38 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12/16)
$1 A Monster Calls (12/23) – (84%) (49 reviews)
$0 Fences (12/25) – (-$5 million penalty) (88%) (16 reviews)
$0 Hidden Figures (12/25) – (-5 million penalty) (94%) (16 reviews)

6. Me – $97.7 million
$6 The Birth of a Nation (10/7) – (73% X $15.8 = $11.5)
$14 The Girl on the Train (10/7) – (43% X $75.2 = $32.3)
$9 Hacksaw Ridge (11/4) – (87% X $60.9 = $53)
$8 La La Land (12/9) – (95% X $0.9 = $0.9)
$1 Patriots Day (12/21) – (93%) (14 reviews)
$19 Passengers (12/21)

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