Are you like me? Does it feel like 2010 to you? That was the last time that Independence Day (the holiday, not the movie) fell in such a way that it created a 3-day weekend and the week after that featured a digitally animated film released by Universal (“Despicable Me“) while an extremely well reviewed Pixar movie was in its fourth week of release (“Toy Story 3“). These familiar parallels should be comforting after a week where “Tarzan” came out of nowhere to completely crush expectations and we seemed to get confirmation that some Spielberg films get made simply because he wants to make them and not necessarily because people want to see them. Throw in a higher percentage of horror films than usual and that’s the palette we have to work from this week.
Administrative note: I will be out next week but a guest column featuring a name that is no stranger to the Chatter will be subbing for me.
Week 7 Summary Table
As always, here is the summary table that I use to assess the results of my model (full table):
When you average the ProBoxOffice and ShowBuzzDaily forecasts and extrapolate the average value for the non-forecasted films, you get the Use column, the the values I use in my model. The Value column divides the Use by the $FB.
Week 7 Perfect Combo Probabilities
Simply put, the pros like “The BFG“, with at least five screens of it winning a majority of my model simulations. After opening to a Friday/Saturday/Sunday of $18.8M the pricing this week makes Spielberg’s latest a solid Best Performer (BP) candidate even if you take the lower of the two pro estimates at $11M. The comp they are likely looking at there is 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth“, another July opening based on a beloved book from a popular author which dropped 41.3% in its second week.
Despite the opening weekend of the highly priced “The Secret Life of Pets”, “Finding Dory” will likely have a strong hold like the Pixar predecessor it is most often compared to, “Toy Story 3”. That dropped only 30.6% in its fourth week despite a new competitor from Universal. The pros have “Dory” doing worse with a drop in the low -40%’s but if it did drop closer to the low -30%’s like I think it might based on the strength of the Disney marketing machine and the long tail we’ve seen from “Zootopia” and “Jungle Book” recently, it would become a strong BP contender.
Some people in The Chatter like “Free State of Jones” this week as a dark horse BP candidate, but just can’t find a good comp for that one and don’t feel quite comfortable putting it on multiple screens given its low floor potential. Instead, I like the unforecasted “The Conjuring 2” as a potential spoiler. Should it continue to follow “Insidious 2” closely, it could have a drop in the -30%’s this week and sneak into the BP conversation if it keeps enough showings.
Finally, look closely at the theater counts for “Swiss Army Man” on Thursday. The Daniel Radcliffe led film did fairly well in its second week of limited release and could be worth considering as a low end filler should it get in the 900 theater range.