6/23/16 11:45a Pacific Update Below
We’ve had two tough weeks in a row, with many topics to debate among Fantasy Movie League Players. Last week, I pointed out that if “Central Intelligence” made $35M then “Dory” would have to make $138M and that “Alice” was a worthy filler since it would likely get a rebound due to the drive-in effect. While it is awesome that all that came true, I was seduced by the big Thursday $9.2 number that “Dory” posted and, like a lot of others, went all in on the highly anticipated sequel and missed out on a top score. That’s why they play the games.
Last week was influenced by the NBA Finals (congrats, Cleveland!) so, naturally, this week is influenced by The Discovery Channel. How? Read on . . .
Week 5 Summary Table
As always, here is the summary table that I use to assess the results of my model (full table):
The PBO column came from the ProBoxOffice.com forecast this week and none was available Wednesday evening from ShowBuzzDaily. The Use column applies the average of the Value column to non-forecasted films based on their FB$, averages the pro forecasts where possible, and is the full list of what I use in my model. The Value column divides the Use by the FB$.
Week 5 Perfect Combo Probabilities
How do you feel about Shark Week? The Discovery Channel mainstay begins Sunday but fans can get a dramatized preview by heading out to see “The Shallows”. If they do, and ProBoxOffice thinks they will to the tune of $13M, the Blake Lively horror/thriller should run away with Best Performer and justify 6 or 7 screens at your cineplex. I’m inclined to compare it to Oculus, which had a $12M opening off a $480K Thursday preview but we’ve seen examples in the past where a motivated fan base shows up in droves for early shows only to kill a movie on social media so nothing there is certain. If the review embargo and horror competition from “The Conjuring 2” and “The Neon Demon” scare you off, there are a few other choices to consider.
“X-Men” has a good value according to the pros, but I’m skeptical of it having a good long tail given how poorly received it was, absent other factors. “Alice”, incredibly, has a chance at getting a drive-in effect again this week. It has a much smaller relative price this week compared to last and even a $500K bump above the pro estimate would put it in Best Performer contention should “The Shallows” falter.
The thing about a record-breaking movie like “Finding Dory” is that it is hard to find good comparisons for it, leaving lots of room for speculation. Daily numbers might tell us something on Thursday but if you are a pessimist you’re looking at second week comps for movies that opened in the $150M range like The Dark Night Rises ($160M opening/-61% second week), Catching Fire ($158M/-53%), Hunger Games ($152M/-62%), and Spider Man 3 ($151M/-61%). But wait, none of those films have nearly family, generationally wide appeal that a Pixar movie does so better comps are Inside Out ($90M/-42%) or Toy Story 3 ($110/-46%) and probably are averting their eyes to Shrek 3 ($122M/-56%).
Finally, if you believe in none of those three movies then the default anchor this week seems to be “Independence Day”. It figures to be filled with plenty of destruction porn and I may never know what circumstances lead to Jeff Goldblum walking on the surface of the moon with a Hemsworth brother since I don’t plan on seeing this myself, but the low $50M’s seem fair and a good fallback. Prometheus is the comp I like there for Thursday numbers since it had a $51M weekend off of $3.6M in previews.
Taken together, if “The Shallows” has a good number on Thursday, consider the top item in my model output above or 6 screens with “Central Intelligence” and a low end filler. If “The Shallows” comes up short, an “Alice” heavy lineup paired with either “Independence Day” or “Dory” might be your speed. Be sure to look at those theater counts and showtimes on Thursday and the Thursday preview numbers on Friday morning for any tipping points.
6/23/16 11:45a Pacific Update
ShowBuzzDaily forecasts are in and change the tables as follows:
So, the slightly higher forecasts for “Dory” and “Independence Day” shuffle the model output a bit, but the positive RottenTomatoes reviews for “The Shallows” would seem to make that the obvious play. If you still don’t believe that, be sure to see Phil’s showtime analysis, which shows “Alice” no longer in play.