Not that we listen to SKYNET - Awards Week 2

@user2rarz3 · M37: And like that *poof* he's gone ...
Dec 9, 2016, 9:01am PST

As promised, here is your Friday post screen lock weekly update. What promise, you ask?

Obligatory Weekly Video:

The BP race can summed up by The bard, "…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Lots of consternation abound after the reported theater count increase of Nocturnal Animals to well over 1,000 locations. You can make the case, as many have, that it is not necessarily a lock for Best Performer. Both subtly and more overtly (in disguise), I argued similarly (and correctly, mind you) a few weeks back when Moonlight went wide to 600+ theaters:
Many, including myself, previously fell under the spell of a "lock BP" with an expansion did not pan out:
And you have this comparable expansion, which saw a 70% decline in its PTA:

So why will Nocturnal Animals be different? Go back and look over the past year for films that opened or expanded to a least 1000 theaters, but under 1800, and had a PTA at or below $2000, roughly the level where you could justify betting on a different film for BP. As you'll find, it's the junkyard of FML: Incarnate, Dissapointments Room, Young Messiah, Jane Got a Gun, The Bronze, and so on. Unless you believe that Nocturnal Animals belongs in that group - and its 77% RT Score (and over 12K WTS votes) would imply differently - it's hard to ignore. Add in the fact that the advertising campaign has ramped up in advance of the expansion, and it would be a HUGE upset not to take home the BP. I'm expecting a PTA something close to similar adult thrillers Eye in the Sky ($3850) and Hell or High Water ($3908 or $3408) when they expanded to over 900 locations, so a $4 million weekend is not out of the question and therefore not much of a BP "race" at all:

It is quite the shame that NA will run away and hide from the field, because otherwise we were likely headed towards a bit of déjà vu for this weekend. Last Awards Season, Love the Coopers shocked the FML world and won BP on this same weekend, dropping only 9% (!!!) from the prior week. A question was posed if anyone could explain, even after the fact, how that happened?
As I told Ari, I very much can, but that process is proprietary, so you'll just have to trust me. But just to prove it, I'll call my shot now: Almost Christmas is "Coopering", and will drop less than 20% for the weekend! And you know what - so will two other titles. Put it on the Board!

Did you get your Thursday % or multiplier down before this morning?
I've got something in the 5-6% range (20x-17x), which means there may be some nervous moments later this afternoon or Saturday morning in the showdown with Moana. I expect OCP to put up a decent fight, finish well above the $13-$15 million studio estimate that Deadline keeps floating, but ultimately fall short.
(In case you are wondering, I was 100% truthful in my statement here:
Based on some data that came to light on Thursday, my lineup had 2 screens of OCP in the hopes of being early to the OCP bandwagon if that possibility came to fruition, but ultimately the numbers pointed to Moana. Check the lock time.)

46 Replies

  • Reply #1

    WEEKLY TOP 5 (Expected BP value in order)
    Nocturnal Animals
    Almost Christmas
    Hacksaw Ridge
    Fantastic Beasts.
    (#3-#5 are pretty close, but a sharp drop after that)


    RTTB = OCP, 7x Sloane
    With OCP opening, watch out for Bad Santa 2 to crater and possibly steal the WP, and maybe Sloane to do just well enough where it was better to put Eo17 (or Incarnate) on those last 2 screens instead.

    Guess Closest = $80,333,777
    Likely on the higher end here due to my strong belief in NA

    $0 Cineplex = Trolls, Hacksaw, Incarnate, Edge of 17, 4 Blanks
    Considered doubling down on the 4xAC lineup I used last week, but thought variety might be a better buffer in the end (Side note: I am terrible at this game)

    Prediction Competition:

    @user2rarz3 · M37: And like that *poof* he's gone ...
    Dec 9, 2016, 9:01am PSTEdited
  • Reply #2

    Hacksaw and Arrival are the other two I potentially see holding under 20%. No matter how low I went on NA I couldn't get the values to change.

    I didn't know you were THAT bullish on NA (I'm targeting $2750PTA), but thought you might look at HR with its holds this week.... Hence the hack comment.

    @hmg · Hoosier Movie Guy
    Dec 9, 2016, 9:11am PST
  • Reply #3

    With you Mem, my lineup was down with OCP until 90 minutes ago.

    @m3 · Maze's Movie Minute: Retired
    Dec 9, 2016, 9:13am PST
  • Reply #4

    Good writeup, mostly responding to give it a bump.

    I really had trouble pegging where Animals is going to wind up this week. There is plenty of precedent for it to fall on its face with this expansion. But BS is right, the holds have been crazy over the past 2 weeks (and especially the last few days), which indicates a marketing push. It seemed best to not worry so much about PTA and just treat it as a new release. The ceiling was too high to gamble on anything else.

    My money is still on Arrival to have a surprising hold, even as the dailies have looked solid.

    @backseatdirecting · BackseatDirecting
    Dec 9, 2016, 9:14am PST
  • Reply #5

    I appreciate the bold call on AC. I don't see it happening but would like to for your sake here. Also, had I thought it was dropping that small, I'd have gone with that lineup, as I'm nowhere near as bullish on NA as you.

    AC hasn't performed nearly as well as Coopers did in dailies, and Coopers lost 2% of its screens that weekend, while AC has lost 19%. I can see it dropping close to 30%, but that's as high as I'm willing to go.

    @dylan · Biff
    Dec 9, 2016, 9:39am PST
  • Reply #6

    This week, there just wasn't any alternative that made sense.

    The only real question for me was Moana vs. FB, and I will virtually always trust in Disney to hold better than a blockbuster.

    @honest_ray · Honest Ray's Cinematorium and Buffeteria
    Dec 9, 2016, 9:40am PST
  • Reply #7

    Hm. Thanks for the write up! I don't personally see Almost Christmas with a good hold. I couldn't find a similar expansion with more than 2/3 PTA drop so NA should be in the clear. However, a single digit drop from Arrival wouldn't shock me, but I'm not betting on it. I don't see Doctor Strange in your top 5, which may be a mistake. And the other one nobody is talking about is TROLLS which could be in for a great hold in a double-bounce back week after Moana opening

    @ari · Ari's Amphitheater of Moving Pictures
    Dec 9, 2016, 10:07am PST
  • Reply #8

    @Mem I don't think AC is going sub 20%, but I definitely think it'll end up under 30%.

    @ccr · CCR
    Dec 9, 2016, 10:18am PST
  • Reply #9

    I said this in a thread earlier, but this was really an Occam's razor week. All other potential BP candidates (Arrival, Hacksaw, Beasts, even Trolls) require holds that are far less likely to happen than NA having a middling expansion, which is all it needs to be BP.

    @ccsziegfeld · cc's ziegfeld◬
    Dec 9, 2016, 10:39am PST
  • Reply #10

    I'm in the same boat as you. I had Office Christmas Party all week but substituted it in for Moana this morning :( I'm thinking it'll make around 17-18mil this weekend, but Moana should end up a bit more.

    I'm also very nervous about Almost Christmas and to a slightly lesser extent Arrival. I'm not sure NA will fly away with the bonus, think it might be closer than people expect. We'll see I guess.

    @heather · Heather10119's Cineplex
    Dec 9, 2016, 10:58am PST
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