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As promised, here is your Friday post screen lock weekly update. What promise, you ask?
::Everyone frantically checks their watch, asking: "Did I miss lock time?":: Don't worry, you still have less than 30 minutes, but given BP Whack-A-Mole we've had this week - just as one is talked up or down, another emerges - we've got a lot to say, and need to get the ball rolling early. I know many of you are eagerly awaiting the reveal of the SkyNet lineups … but you'll just have to wait a bit longer ;-)
So, without further ado, we present the BP Power Rankings! This is NOT the expected order of finish for the weekend, but rather the confidence level in the chance each film has to grab the bonus cash by Monday.
YOU MUST BE JOKING, RIGHT?
15. Fate of the Furious - The most used film of the week, no way it's in the conversation as the BP, but the question of the week is whether BSWhite's BSA will go down in flames, or claim a huge victory? https://fantasymovieleague.com/chatter/topiccomments?boardId=leaders&topicId=235904
There are anchor with better value, but they limit the potential BP screens later in the lineup.
14. Get Out - as in, you better get this one out of your lineup. The only film that didn't merit any discussion in our group this week, not only as BP but also as filler
13. Lost City of Z - Overpriced in the event of a much larger expansion, but at only 610 theaters it can't muster enough gross to be in the conversation for any screens
12. Boss Baby - Got the penalty pricing after last week's narrow BP win, and another film we'll get to later has better value for a similar price.
THE SPAGHETTI WEEKEND
Now we start getting into! What is a Spaghetti weekend? Surely you've heard the old adage that in order to tell if your pasta is done, you throw it against the wall, and see if it sticks? Well, the film studios are doing the same this weekend in the lull between F8 and Guardians 2, throwing out a bunch of product and seeing if anything can "stick" and find an audience. Again, these are not the expected finish places, but the overall confidence we have in betting on them.
11. Phoenix Forgotten - Looks poised to live up to its name and be forgotten by audiences, but one point to make. Much has been made of the distributor, Cinelou films, and their single release. Well, that's because they often partner with another studio, FreeStyle Releasing
"Cake was released in select theatres on December 31, 2014 by Cinelou Films, before going on general release on January 23, 2015 by Freestyle Releasing"
And given that info, it's been a while for sure, but they have had some success with horror films:
As well as Meet the Blacks last April. Yet another wrinkle for the week, but not enough for us to take the plunge.
10. Free Fire - To me, this has always had a bit of a Nice Guys/Keanu vibe to it, whereby the chatter demographic here is much more interested in the film than the national audience. Not much to go on here, and this pervious A24 release was concerning:
But looking at the UK Grosses (desperate times, people…) says this one is not likely to catch on:
9. Unforgettable - This title has indeed been forgettable by much of the chatter this week - is it a write off, or just flying under the radar? The widest release of the weekend, in a genre that has had quite a bit of success in recent years, certainly enough to put it in the BP conversation, right? The one huge red flag is the theater count, under 2,400, which given WB's track record over the past 6-7 years probably means to stay away.
8. Born in China - Will there be Pandamonium in the Road So Far this week? Probably not. The Earth Day Effect (which is inflated by school groups on the weekdays) and huge variance in the performance of prior Disney Nature films has already been discussed in the main chatter. The fact that it is still sitting below Smurfs on MovieTickets, given where we expect that to end up, probably says its not going to blow up to $7 million or more like it would need to. But do all of us share this opinion ...? - Edited
7. Kong - As early favorite this week with a potential post-F8 rebound bump; we expect it have a good PTA hold, but just lost too many theaters to be in contention.
6. Beauty & the Beast - Alright, someone needs to explain the BP love for B&B this week. I assume it stems from this weekend:
And Cinderella's strong hold. However, if you look at the daily numbers, you'll see Friday of that week was much higher than normal, as shown by the smaller Fri to Sat increase:
Given that just about all Spring Breaks are over this year, we don't expect that to repeat, which puts a cap on how high it (and BB) can go.
5. Going in Style - Should be solid value, just not enough for BP, and though the theater count discrepancy between the top 40 markets and the overall number is quite ... interesting. (More on that in a moment.)
4. Case for Christ - Like GStyle, should be a top finisher for the week, but just has a ceiling that others do not. We have a clear comp to follow:
on the 4/10 (post Easter) weekend
3. Smurfs - Scratching our heads a bit why this one wasn't in the conversation more, and was my early BP favorite before the other two below gained momentum. It's made between 45-50% of Boss Baby every day over the past week. Now, it did lose a fair amount of theater count and show volume for the weekend, but given that its entering week 3, a lot of that was trimming the fat from a bloated 3,600 theater opening. Darkhorse BP candidate for sure, should be over $4 million for the weekend. - Edited
2. Gifted - Wasn't on the radar much this week, until the updated theater count went from 1500 to nearly 2000. I personally have a theory as to why that happened, as well as the TC numbers for GStyle: Given that the film's opening wide this week were a horror film, a Lifetime Movie thriller, a violent R rated shoot-em-up film, and a handful of art film expansions, some theaters were likely searching for some new product to fill their screens. Therefore, both Gifted and Gystle may have been placed in non-traditional markets, and be the only new game in town for the week.
Hard to peg where this one lands, could be as much as a 30% drop to an increase from last weekend, but should be a top 3 value regardless.
1. The Promise - will it be unfulfilled? Lots of positive signs to be on this film, given the increase from the last LRF to the weekend forecast, and then *another* increase. However, as you can see, I am not on board with this choice, for a couple of reasons:
A) Open Road has a history of opening films in 2K theaters, only to see them crash and burn;
However, the ones for which they have had the most success were the historical/biopic films. While we don't have the name recognition of Jobs, Snowden or John Stewart (Rosewater), it's a much lower bar to clear
B) If you've seen, there has been fair amont of controversy over the film, regarding the topic of the Armenian Genocide, and the 70,000 IMDB votes. It is possible that tracking picked on this chatter, ABOUT the film, which is not necessarily an indication that people are going to see it.
However, given the $200K Thursday gross, it certainly is in a good spot for the BP.
As you can surmise, there was no consensus this week on what the correct choice was. We discussed, but could never really bring ourselves to play a B&B or BB heavy lineup this week. Given where we put those films in the BP conversation, it felt like a folding our hand at the Poker table; we prefer to at least call with a lineup that has a PC chance, and that meant picking your poison and going all in on the BP selection. Some of us will be happy come Monday, others not so much.
Interesting weekend ahead… - Edited
I love the early tease!
I had the 1x7x as well but bailed as I can't have another season killing lineup if Gifted fails. With all the adult competition and a rather suspicious looking expansion (It's still only playing in 1 theater in my town), I didn't find it worth the full risk.
Props to M37 for going for it, but we may look back at this week as the one where he torpedoed his season
I also had the Gifted 1x7 because the numbers really back up Gifted as BP...not a ton of risk there, but ultimately my lack of faith in F8 got me to move off that. - Edited
Skynet going the divide and conquer route? Mem, you play Promise on your alt account? Surprised Phil didn't split...
M37 all in on Gifted and the rest of Skynet all in on The Promise? Makes me feel better about my hedge.