Category Archives: Movies

Fantasy Movie League Week 5 Analysis

This week has two new major release movies – Scarlett Johansson upsetting every Asian by ruining a beloved manga classic and Alec Baldwin continuing his role as Donald Trump but this time as an infant in Baby Boss.

First let’s start with one of my favorite manga of all time. Scarlett plays Major, a young girl ghost-in-the-shell-poster-majorwho’s essence has been put into a cyborg to save her life from a terrible accident. The beauty and power of this story  is that it is built for our today. With the news filled with stories of Russian hackers and political intrigue and ICE agents quickly attacking and removing immigrants, the ideas in this story of surveillance, ethical technology, specialized police forces… how is it not a story for our times? While I haven’t seen this movie yet, the previews haven’t held my interest. It appears to be a run of the mill dystopian thriller and if I want that I can always go watch Blade Runner or Running Man or Mad Max or any of the hundreds of other well done films that have already been made that ring more scarily true to our modern times than this week live action version.

Next on the list is Boss Baby. Beauty and the Beast and Power Rangers are still both out taking family dollars, but, both of those run to older kids (and nostalgic adults) and I think Boss Baby will actually have a very good week. The story is told from the perspective of a 7 year old who’s life is blown up by the arrival of a new baby brother (Alec Baldwin). Baldwin is having his moment right now plashareying President Trump on a revitalized Saturday Night Live, and one can’t help think this is just an extension of that role. The baby animation definitely has The Donald look about him and if I find out that he tweets constantly then that will be that. But even though the movie doesn’t look that appealing, there is a void in the market for young kids movies and it should have no problem filling it. It’s target audience is rarely ever worried about quality as much it is about fart jokes.

This week’s cineplex is still riding Beauty and the Beast, but the last I looked Boss Baby was running almost neck in neck in sales. These two movies will pull about 60-67% of sales this week. The benefit in picking Boss Baby will be that the price was set at about a $35M haul and I wouldn’t be surprised if it pulled $42 ($42.8 was my projection). On the opposite end, Ghost in the Shell is only 1 to every 3 tickets for Beaty and Baby. That is a surprising low number. There is an argument to be made that maybe its target audience is not about online sales, I can’t believe that to be true. Most sites have it projected to around $28-30M but I wouldn’t be surprised if it failed to make the $25m mark. I projected it to $28M but was ready to play $24M.

Here are the rest of my projections:

Movie FML$ Est BO Est Change LW Change Value
The Boss Baby $374 $42.836M 114.54
Hidden Figures $5 $0.509M -32.44% -48.90% 101.74
The LEGO Batman Movie $12 $1.173M -44.12% -54.30% 97.79
CHiPS $45 $4.07M 90.44
Get Out $65 $5.839M -34.03% -34.10% 89.83
Beauty and the Beast $562 $47.798M -47.14% -48.30% 85.05
Ghost in the Shell $334 $28.095M 84.12
The Shack $29 $2.362M -38.80% -35.70% 81.44
Kong $93 $7.249M -50.58% -47.30% 77.95
Logan $73 $5.362M -48.12% -42.00% 73.45
Life $72 $5.196M -58.44% 72.17
The Zookeeper’s Wife $21 $1.504M 71.63
Power Rangers $230 $15.951M -60.42% 69.35
The Belko Experiment $10 $0.682M -63.68% -54.60% 68.21
T2 Trainspotting $18 $0.555M 42.76% 128.30% 30.85

Yes I’m aware Hidden Figures screwed me last week, but consider me a masochist. I played it again. God have mercy on my soul, I played CHiPs too.

Here is my Cineplex for the week:

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FML Spring’17 Week 1 (Updated)

So this is the first week of the new Spring Fantasy Movie League Week and it starts with the first “blockbuster” flick of the year – Logan. Currently running at a 93% critics score and 95% audience score, anticipation for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s swan songs as the characters they’ve played since the beginning of the X franchises is driving ticket sales to record highs. I put the estimate at around $81M, but the range is $73-88M. Fox is lowballing expectations with their projections coming in the high $60s. Of course, this means that Logan’s Bux value is through the roof ($800B to be exact) and makes it a difficult play this week.  This is how the week pans out:

As expensive as Logan is, I think Get Out is a fantastic play at $201B. It’s reviews held up and I think it is one of those movies that will have surprising legs for at least 3 weeks and thenscreen-shot-2017-03-02-at-9-42-59-am just become a great filler play in the long game. The other opener this week that I will probably do well is The Shack. Faith based movies always seem to have a strong opening weekend, and while I wish it was priced more towards $65B it is still a value play according to my projected calculations.

Shack is the best value pick out of the week, coming in at 136.82 based on projections of $11.63M. If it can hit that mark as counter programing to Logan and Get Out, I would consider it a huge success. Especially since early projections had it coming in at the $7-9M range.

Another mainstay/counterprogram will be the Legos Batman movie. As the only real family choice in the week (Logan is a hard R people!) I would expect it to dominate matinees yet again on Saturday and keep the movie battling with Shack for the #3 spot, which is tremendous for where it is at in the release cycle. It did lose 30% of it’s screens in the Top 40 markets this week, so I think 4th is more likely, but a fun little side battle to watch nevertheless.

Here are my projections for the week, value calculations and my final cineplex I went with:

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-8-49-17-amscreen-shot-2017-03-03-at-8-56-34-am

I am seeing Logan in an hour and will have a review up later today.

Good luck on Week 1!

Saturday Update: Strong showing but came in second again.

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Fantasy Movie League Feb 10-12

About a year ago my friend Lysa, well aware of my mad lust for competition and love of movies, asked if I wanted to join a Fantasy Movie League (www.fantasymovieleague.com). Well duh. Built like any fantasy league with a salary cap, you basically have $1000 dollars to build 8 screens of movie if you can.  Easy Peasy right?

WRONG!

Over the course of the year I’ve discovered I’m terrible at just randomly picking movies, often coming in last to near last. Well, it’s all about to change dammit. So every week I will be having analysis, box office prediction, and general ranting and raving to go along with my usual rants and raves. So let’s begin, here are the screens for this week:

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-14-47-am

Obviously The LEGO Batman movie is goinscreen-shot-2017-02-10-at-1-06-59-amg to win the weekend. It has gotten great reviews and in a post Super Bowl world with nothing but a dreary winter filled with blah politics Batman will once again save the day. Unfortunately he will do it at a price that is way too expensive for a competitive add this week. A movie eating up 80% of a cinema budget has to make more than $100m to be truly valuable in my opinion. I am not projecting the movie that high.

Batman will dominate matinee screens for sure but the night will belong to sex and violence. Fifty Shades Darker is getting some even worse reviews than the first one (who would have imagined that) but fortunately for it it has a built in audience that will use it as foreplay for Valentine’s Day Weekend. The original opened to over $80M but hopefully even in this idiocracy that we live in people realized how much drivel it really was. The third opener this week is, of course, John Wick 2 and I think it will surprise above its projection. It has a few things going for it, not the least being a cult and nerd factor that will drive sales higher than most people think.

TOP 5 Projections For This Week

  1. Batman Lego Movie     4,088 theaters    projecting: $80M
  2. Fifty Shades Darker     3,710 theaters     projecting: $41M
  3. John Wick 2                    3,113 theaters      projecting  $29M
  4. Split                                  2,957 theaters     projecting $7M
  5. Hidden Figures             2,667 theaters     projecting $7M

The Circle Official Trailer

Do you behave better or worse when you‘re being watched?

Sure it’s just a variation on 1984 by Orwell, but a perfect warning for the dangers of a world built on surveillance. Is it worth giving up our individual freedom for the idea of safety? Can you ever be really safe if you’re always hiding who you are?

I love Dave Eggers and have been anxiously waiting this adaptation to see if they can capture the angst and anxiety of the book. The casting is superb, in particular Tom Hanks. He captures the genteel outward nature of so perfectly, never realize what is lurking under.

Excited to see this and have high hopes for it.