Recently, thanks to the good people at Hyatt, I had the opportunity to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” for free courtesy the HBO being piped into my Santa Clara hotel room. While having not read the book, the onslaught of marketing that accompanied the films release pretty much gave away the whole plot. Innocent college woman meets creepy rich dude who wants nothing out of their relationship except sex and sanctioned torture. Still, based on the hype I thought it was worth a watching to see what the fuss was about.
About an hour in I found myself turning to a rerun of Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central and wishing I could have back the last 60 minutes of my life. Little did I know that Marlon Wayans was way ahead of me and would be bringing us what might be an overlooked movie this week in his parody that fate demanded he make, “Fifty Shades of Black.”
But first, the summary table.
Week 9 Summary Table
Here is the summary table that I use to assess the results of my model (full table):
The PBO and SBD columns come from the ProBoxOffice.com and ShowBuzzDaily forecasts this week, which are then averaged. The Value column divides the Average by the FB$. The Use column applies the average of the Value column to non-forecasted films based on their FB$ and is the full list of what I use in my model. The PPP Showtimes column is data, courtesy the kind folks at Gracenote who let me use their showtimes API, from the Phil’s Phun Plicks Chatter post on showtimes in his metro area.
The Best Performer (BP) candidates for the week are “Ride Along 2”, “Star Wars”, “Dirty Grandpa” and “The 5th Wave” according to the professional forecasts. But something interesting happens when my model iterates over different variance possibilities.
Week 9 Perfect Combo Probabilities
If the professional forecasts are 100% right, then the top combination is “The Revenant” x3 + “Ride Along 2” x5 but when you consider the variances of the top 6 BP candidates like my model does, “Ride Along 2” loses to “Star Wars” both in situations where “Ride Along 2” does more poorly than expected and in scenarios where “Star Wars” does better.
The original “Ride Along” lost 48.7% of its audience its second weekend and another 43.5% it’s third. The more poorly reviewed sequel lost a whopping 64.7% in its second week last week and the professional forecasts anticipate a 43.3% drop this weekend, which might be aggressive.
Needless to say, your feeling about the relative merits of “Star Wars” vs “Ride Along 2” should guide your choice this week.
But what about if you are looking for a choice off the radar so you can potentially catch up in the standings? A risk/reward play this week involves “Fifty Shades of Black”. Marlon Wayans has a history of successful parodies and a thorough examination of this film can be found in a really well thought out Chatter thread. If you think that “Fifty Shades of Black” can get close to $13M, it might be worth taking a chance on “Fifty Shades of Black” x2 + “Ride Along 2” x6.