Bill Kitten's FML Nerd Takeover

Becky Aurit

I'm sure you were expecting to see a column from Pete Johnson, the FML Nerd, this morning, but he's taking a well-earned family vacation this week. Instead you are getting some thoughts from me, Becky, the proprietor of Bill Kitten's Cineplex. Contrary to what my screen name might lead you to believe, I am a human woman, and (imagine me saying this with a very poor Sean Connery voice) Bill is my cat's name.

I was asked to fill in for Pete during his time off. From what I've learned on the chatter, FML Nerd is good at coding, comes from California, likes Disneyland, and is tall. I have no clue how to code, live in "sunny" Minnesota, and I think I went to Disneyland when I was 5, though I don't really remember it. I do, however, have an awesome Excel spreadsheet, and though I'm not tall, I do have some 5" heels to help me fill Nerd's role and takeover for Week 5.

Week 4 was all about Batman v Superman, which I saw on opening night. There have been quite a few reviews posted to the chatter, and unlike a lot of FMLers, I wasn't really a fan of the movie. I don't want to get into spoilers or go on too much of a rant (that could fill a whole column on its own), so I'll just mention one major area of dissatisfaction; Wonder Woman I was excited to see Wonder Woman, so I disappointed that she had no character development at all and was irrelevant to the movie's plot. Unfortunately her whole role was to wear pretty dresses while inexplicably following around Batman. Gal Godot also isn't that great at acting (yes, I said it!), especially when compared with Amy Adams and Holly Hunter. For me, the way the character was portrayed in Batman v Superman doesn't bode well for the standalone Wonder Woman film.

That's enough of that, though, let's get to the numbers! Although Batman v Superman grabbed a March opening record of $166 million for the weekend, I don't think that it will do as well during Week 5. I am predicting a 65% drop to $58.10 million for the upcoming weekend. Man of Steel fell 64% between its first and second weekends. It had a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than BvS, at 56%, but didn't have the added draw of Batman, so I think Batman v Superman will have a similar second week decline.

In addition to Batman v Superman, Week 5 will have 2 new releases. The biggest new release is God's Not Dead 2. The market for faith based films has been really full lately, and I've seen a lot fewer ads for God's Not Dead 2 than for Miracles from Heaven, so I don't see this one beating expectations. My estimate is $13.00 million for the weekend.

The other new release is Meet the Blacks, which is a spoof on the horror movie The Purge. 50 Shades of Black is the most recent parody comparison for Meet the Blacks, which had a $5.90 million opening weekend. However, it had twice the number of theaters, lots and lots of advertising, and it also had the Wayans name on it. Recent Freestyle Releases movies have done pretty poorly, so I think Meet the Blacks will come in around $2.60 million.

In addition to the 2 new releases, there are 2 expansions this weekend. Eye in the Sky should be in around 800 theaters, and it has a great score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is also the only one of the 4 new-to-FML movies for which I have seen much press, though a lot of that has been in local media because Barkhad Abdi is from the Twin Cities. We Minnesotans do love our locals! I think Eye in the Sky will get a healthy boost from its theater expansion for Week 5, putting it in the $3.26 million.

I Saw the Light is also looking at a theater increase this weekend from 5 to 699 theaters, according to the website for the movie. I actually had to Google this movie because I had never heard of it prior to the prices going up on Monday. A Hank Williams biopic, starring Loki, with 13% on Rotten Tomatoes? Then I had to Google Hank Williams, because I could only remember the Hank Williams Jr., the person that did the football song, who isn't Carrie Underwood. Apparently Hank Williams sang I Saw the Light, which I should have guessed. This is a tough one to price, but I'm putting it at $1.00 mil, similar to Pawn Sacrifice, another recent biopic with no hype.

Here are my numbers for all 15 choices for Week 5:

  1. Batman v Superman (Saturday) - $24.96 mil.
    2. Batman v Superman (Friday) - $16.70 mil.
    3. Batman v Superman (Sunday) - $16.43 mil.
    4. Zootopia - $15.37 mil.
    5. God's Not Dead 2 - $13.00 mil.
    6. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 - $10.70 mil.
    7. Miracles from Heaven - $4.85 mil.
    8. Allegiant - $4.53 mil.
    9. Eye in the Sky - $3.26 mil.
    10. 10 Cloverfield Lane - $2.97 mil.
    11. Deadpool - $2.94 mil.
    12. Meet the Blacks - $2.60 mil.
    13. Hello, My Name is Doris - $2.34 mil.
    14. London Has Fallen - $1.51 mil
    15. I Saw the Light - $1.00 mil.

Based on these numbers, my pick for Week 5 is 6 screens of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and 2 screens of London Has Fallen. I think My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a good pick for the best performer bonus this week. There isn't really any competition for a Romantic Comedy, and nights out with friends might have been delayed a week due to the Easter holiday.