Not that we listen to SKYNET - Awards Week 5 (New Years)

@user2rarz3 · M37: And like that *poof* he's gone ...
Dec 30, 2016, 9:27am PST

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

Obligatory Weekly Video:

Not a whole lot of chatter this week, including from the professional forecasters, presumably thanks to the holidays. Hopefully it's not a sign a large swatch of players have just giving up on the insanity of Awards Season…

The first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one:

Part of Mr White's love of Moana is the daily numbers. This week marks now the third time that Moana has posted solid daily numbers, trending ahead of where comps might suggest it should land. It first happened heading into second weekend, and so for many had a bit of a disappointing weekend (which I called by the way:").
Then again last weekend, and while it did end up being a solid value play, saw a pretty meager Thursday for Friday increase and fell short of Best Performer.

So once again this week, the daily numbers are pointing towards a possible BP weekend for Moana … can it happen? Sure it's possible, it's in the contender list at the bottom. But at this point I believe it would be prudent to just accept the fact that Moana has, for whatever reason, naturally inflated weekday numbers and not read too much into them in projecting the weekend.

There is a shift in the market dynamics from Christmas Weekend to New Years. While family friendly films take center stage around Christmas, the distractions of New Years - parties, NFL and college football, etc - tend to keep those films down a bit, and allow the Awards Films to shine brighter in comparison.

In 2001, all of these films expanded on 12/23 instead of 12/25, and so here were the four day to four day weekend changes:

Descendants +31%
Artist = +30%
My Week with Marilyn = +37%
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy = +33.5%

Well then…

26 Replies

  • Reply #1

    As with last weekend and Thanksgiving before that, the best way to project out the weekend is to use multiplier: how much can we expect each film to make given its Tuesday & Wednesday take? If you go back and look at 2011, you'll find some decent trends, with the caveat that relying on just one set of data brings with it some large uncertainty.

    At first, it looked as though Descendants was an outlier in 2011, with a 5.33 Wed to Weekend multiplier, as War Horse was the next closest, and that was still under 4.9. However, if you went a little further down the rabbit hole on the Mojo chart, it turns out that may not have been the case:
    Artist = 5.66
    My Week with Marilyn = 4.93 (with a minor expansion).
    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy = 6.1

    Overall, we found:
    -Awards films had the best weekend relative to the weekdays, pulling in at least 4.5 times their Wednesday gross over the holiday, with quite a few well over 5.0.
    -Action-y PG13 films were next in line, getting mostly over 4.0, but not nearly the level of the first group
    -Family films were lower, with only one (non-animated) topping 4.0, and most settling in the mid 3 range, as they have higher weekday revenue leading up to the holiday weekend.

    With those ranges in mind, what I did is set the Bonus Bar at $120K Bux, ran the math and found out what each film would need to make, relative to its Wednesday gross, in order approach the Best Performer level. It painted a much clearer picture of the weekend, and led to the following BP contenders:

    -Manchester = $5.52 mil (+33.7%) or 4.95x - based on Wednesday, the favorite heading into the weekend, but by no means a lock
    -La La Land = $12.5 mil (+35.0%) or 5.00x - depends how much of its audience is solely the art house & awards crowd. I think it has a pretty wide swath of appeal, which means it will likely lose $ to NY Eve/NY Day activities that the two above it will most likely not, and fall short.
    -Lion = $2.64 mil (+71.7%) or 5.59x - higher bar to clear than the two above it, but within reason in comparison to the 2011 films
    -Rogue = $81.0 mil (-15.7%) or 4.49x - A little high here, more likely to match Sherlock than Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
    -Moana = $17.2 mil (+36.7%) or 3.84x - Would be high, but not off the charts in comparison, but see section above.

    Nothing else was really within range of expectations, and so those are the clear top 5. Choosing a lineup came down to:

    Rogue One, 7x Manchester
    Rogue One, 2x La La, 5x Lion
    An LLL heavy lineup

    Typically when you go all in on a film, you are leaving some Bux on the table, which reduces the lower value of said lineup should it not obtain the BP. But in this case, playing 7 screens of Manchester only left 3 Bux unused, giving the very rare high floor/high upside play. Seems like it was the way to go, and may players have done just that.

    Find anything "interesting" here?

    @user2rarz3 · M37: And like that *poof* he's gone ...
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:27am PST
  • Reply #2

    So the only factor of interest is that they had Lion as a contender.

    @user3g8gn4 · Lafond: Covenant
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:32am PST
  • Reply #3

    Well what kind of internal struggle did you have with BS over his BSA and his Moana problems?

    @henrythehedgehog · Henry the Hedgehog
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:34am PST
  • Reply #4

    I pretty much agree with what you have here. The one thing I found interesting:
    The projections for Moana can vary wildly depending on whether you believe more in weekday or weekend numbers. Furiosa's method showed a Friday for Moana that would have been +60% from last Friday, while I found that anything more than +30% would be unlikely, and that ends up being a huge difference. We agreed on numbers for Sunday and Monday, but my method saw 14M as a soft ceiling, while Furiosa had 15M as a floor.
    Curious whether you guys saw similar things, and how you reconciled (or didn't!) those numbers.

    @ari · Ari's Amphitheater of Moving Pictures
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:37am PST
  • Reply #5

    Eh I'm alright with it. I would have liked lion to grab an extra 50k or so on Wednesday, but we're not talking too much in terms of differences. Good write up Mem

    @furiosa · Sir Julius
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:38am PST
  • Reply #6

    Pretty much spot on. I really, really wanted to go the Moana x4 route but decided to not play contrarian this week as I'm putting it around 13-14.5 million and will not be winning the BP. Without the BP, it's a death sentence or in Star Wars terms, "It's a trap." I determined in week 1 of Awards season that it was always best to get as many easy raw dollars as possible and let the chips fall where they may because a lot of Awards season is going to be a crapshoot. Something will surprise this weekend, but I'm comfortable with RO and MBTS.

    @user2ogqo3 · WB1313: Return of the Procrastinator
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:43am PST
  • Reply #7

    Good stuff, those were my 5 top contenders as well. The only other film that got consideration was Jackie, and that fell apart with the loss of the expansion. It basically came down to MbtS and LLL for me, and you can't really play both.

    This week was actually surprisingly easy after the insanity of last week. I guess that's what happens when you have no new releases or major expansions.

    @backseatdirecting · BackseatDirecting
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:44am PST
  • Reply #8

    Yes, Lion was film in which I gave the "eyebrow raise" in the Resistance thread. The fact that it pulled ahead of Jackie on Wed was noted.

    Honestly, discussion has been light all week, so Moana was more of gut call. I'm not trusting it because of the rationale above, but BS has to deal with his obsession on his own.

    Could be a bad Weekend for Mr White on both accounts.

    @user2rarz3 · M37: And like that *poof* he's gone ...
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:46am PST
  • Reply #9

    We'll see how it plays out. My big concern this week is the gluttony of Awards fodder. I feel that they are all going to cannibalize each other and prevent any of them from truly breaking out.

    I think it's RO's BP to lose....

    @hmg · Hoosier Movie Guy
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:47am PST
  • Reply #10

    Having seen La La Land, Manchester and Jackie, I think Manchester and Jackie will take each other's audiences while La La remains the huge crowdpleaser.

    @anepicmoviereviewer · Anepicmoviereviewer Cineplex (R)
    Dec 30, 2016, 9:50am PST
Add Reply