OnScreen Chief Film Critic
Last year, I started doing a weekly piece about a Fantasy Movie League that I was in with several people, among them Chris Peterson, the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of OnStage and Greg Ehrhardt, the Business Manager). We had been involved in the same fantasy baseball and football leagues for many years, and we came up with the crazy idea to apply the fantasy sports format to the movie release schedule (This is different than Matthew Berry’s FantasyMovieLeague.com, which is modeled off of the daily fantasy format). We started doing this in the summer of 2009. I remember it well because I lost on account of having Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on my roster.
If you’ve ever played fantasy sports before, the premise is quite simple. We hold an auction with a budget of $70 (not real money) and draft movies released during a set period of time. Whoever is willing to pay the most money for a movie gets that movie. Revenue is gained by multiplying the box office dollars a movie makes by the score (T-meter) it has on Rotten Tomatoes. The better the reviews, the more of the box office receipts we get to keep. The most a movie can earn is $250 million ($200 million in the Fall), in order to keep things competitive. At the end of the “season” whoever has the most money is the winner and gets to select a punishment movie for the last place finisher. That person must watch the punishment movie and write a running diary of it. We do a Summer and Fall League, with the Summer season running from beginning of March to the end of August this year. A recap of the auction and the rosters we all ended up with can be found on my old site, as well as a recap of Week 1 and Week 2. The format of this post will be a recap of the weekend, a preview of the upcoming releases, and the overall standings. Now that we’re all up to speed…
As the owner of Beauty and the Beast, I went into this weekend with some trepidation. The reviews were positive overall, but also quite mixed. I had paid $41 in the auction for it because I thought it was one of the few sure bets to hit the $250 million cap, so I was a little worried that it started out in the 70s and had dropped down to 67% at one point on Rotten Tomatoes. I did not question the movie’s ability to make money, but the lower the T-meter dropped the more money it would have to make for me to reach $250, and more negative reviews could mean that the box office trails off more quickly.
Lucky for me, after it seemed fairly certain that it would be stuck in the 67% range, it managed to climb back up above 70%, hitting 71% at one point this weekend. It has since settled back to 70% and could possibly drop down to 69% again, though with 212 reviews currently, it seems unlikely to drop much below 68 or 69%. Another thing to put my mind at ease was that the movie exceeded all the box office predictions for the weekend, taking in $174.8 million in opening weekend business. With a 70% T-meter, that’s $122.4 million for me. I’m nearly halfway to the $250 cap. And business should be pretty strong for at least the next few weeks. Any fears I had of it not reaching the cap have more or less disappeared at this point, though I will be paying close attention to the next few weeks.
In repeat business, Kong: Skull Island crossed the $100 million threshold, with a total of $109.1 after its 2nd weekend. Its $27.8 million represented a 54% drop from its opening weekend, which is pretty standard. Chris has now gotten $86.2 million from it. I think a final total near $125 million is pretty reasonable for it, which is a great haul for the third highest priced movie on his roster. Joe continues to benefit greatly from the rave reviews for Logan. It now stands at $184.3 million, making it the best of the three Wolverine stand-alone movies. He’s now gotten $169.6 million from its three weeks.
Danny Boyle’s T2: Trainspotting received a limited release this weekend, taking in $170k on 5 screens. It should expand over the next few weeks. It’s not much, but it puts Tim on the board. Unfortunately for Paula, she had a dud of a movie hit this past weekend in the form of All Nighter, which stars Emile Hirsch and J.K. Simmons. From what I can tell, it did not even get a theatrical release, and only has 4 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes so far, all of them negative.
After a few weeks of mostly one release dominating the space here, this coming weekend finally starts to see a slight increase in activity as we have two major releases coming, both owned by Joe. Power Rangers, the adaptation of the 90s afternoon action show, currently has 11 reviews and sports a 45% T-meter rating. Life, a sci-fi film about astronauts on a space station having to fight for their lives against an alien organism from Mars, has an 88% T-meter after 8 reviews. I suspect that both of these movies will come in behind Beauty and the Beast in its 2nd weekend. Most likely, Life will be competing with Logan and Kong: Skull Island for the 3rd-5th positioning.
Beyond this coming weekend, Boss Baby is on the horizon the week after, currently at 43% with 7 early reviews. That’s another movie that I own, and I hope it manages to climb to somewhere north of 50%. No indications yet on Ghost in the Shell, which also release that weekend. However, things do not look promising for The Zookeeper’s Wife, which Paula owns. It has 5 early reviews and a 20% T-meter. That could be a dent in Paula’s armor, as we all thought Paula had one of the better chances at winning considering that she snagged Spider-Man: Homecoming and Despicable Me 3 in the auction. So far, it looks like she has supplemented them with two duds, which has to reduce her odds.
In the long-range forecast, Baby Driver continues to clock in at 100%, now with 21 reviews, and Atomic Blonde is up to 71% and 15 reviews. Both of those premiered at SXSW last weekend and will get wide releases in July and August.
1. Joe - $169.6 million
$28 Logan (3/3) - (92% X $184.3 = $169.6)
$5 Power Rangers (3/24) – (45%) (11 reviews)
$2 Life (3/24) – (88%) (8 reviews)
$12 Ghost in the Shell (3/31)
$17 Wonder Woman (6/2)
$4 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (7/21)
$0 Atomic Blonde (7/28) - (-$6 million penalty) (71%) (15 reviews)
2. Ken - $120.4 million
$41 Beauty and the Beast (3/17) - (70% X $174.8 = $122.4)
$7 Boss Baby (3/31) (43%) (7 reviews)
$11 Baywatch (5/26)
$5 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (6/2)
$1 Bad Dads (7/14)
$1 Girls Trip (7/21)
$0 Baby Driver (8/11) - (-$2 million penalty) (100%) (21 reviews)
3. Chris - $86.2 million
$10 Kong: Skull Island (3/10) - (79% X $109.1 = $86.2)
$5 Snatched (5/12)
$8 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (5/26)
$12 The Mummy (6/9)
$8 The House (6/30)
$22 Dunkirk (7/21)
$4 The Dark Tower (7/28)
4. Tim - $0.2 million
$1 T2: Trainspotting 2 (3/17) - (76% X 0.2 = 0.2)
$1 Gifted (4/7)
$26 The Fate of the Furious (4/14)
$20 Cars 3 (6/16)
$20 War for the Planet of the Apes (7/14)
$2 An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (7/28)
5. Greg - $0
$39 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (5/5)
$6 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (5/12)
$14 Alien: Covenant (5/19)
$4 Rock That Body (6/16)
$6 Transformers: The Last Knight (6/23)
$1 The Emoji Movie (8/4)
6. Paula - $0
$1 All Nighter (3/24) - (0% X $0 = $0)
$1 The Zookeeper's Wife (3/31) – (20%) (5 reviews)
$2 Smurfs: The Lost Village (4/7)
$3 The Circle (4/28)
$31 Despicable Me 3 (6/30)
$31 Spider-Man: Homecoming (7/7)
$1 Annabelle 2 (8/11)