Friday, January 8, 2016

Fantasy Box Office: January 8-10

            As a New Year’s Resolution this year, I’ve decided it’s now or never: I get serious about film writing or I get out.  So, one weekly item that I plan on doing is a little twist on box office predictions: My Fantasy Movie League picks.  Fantasy Movie League (FML) is a really fun game where you try to select the best 8 screen combination with a limited budget.  For complete rules & other information, go to  They can explain the game easier than I ever could.
            As for this week’s box office, there will be a clear winner: THE MASKED SAINT.  But seriously, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (TFA) will win the weekend for the fourth straight weekend without question.  The questions for the weekend are 1) How much will it hold from a holiday weekend and 2) Will it break the 4th weekend record currently held by AVATAR from exactly 6 years ago?  To figure out the first question, I looked at the fourth weekend drops ten highest grossing live-action movies of 2015 not named TFA.  After removing SPECTRE’s 14.3% drop as an outlier, the average of the remaining 9 is 37.59%.  I then reasoned that with the type of movie TFA is (sequel to a 20+ year old movie) plus with the lack of competition in this post-holiday weekend, I found it reasonable to believe that the fall would be between that percentage & the fourth weekend fall for another 2015 sequel to a 20+ year old movie, JURASSIC WORLD (46.8%).
            The big wide release of the weekend is a big awards season film with a big star, THE REVENANT starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  The first movie that came to mind as similar in nature (post-Picture & Director winning film moving from limited-to-wide release) was 2011’s ZERO DARK THIRTY and its $24.3 million opening weekend gross.  Leo’s star-power will be a little bigger of a factor than ZDT’s controversy but the subject matter might negate that.  Based solely on inflation, THE REVENANT will earn slightly more than ZDT did 4 years ago.
            The other wide release is THE FOREST, a PG-13 horror flick that takes place in the suicide forest of Japan.  Being the first non-holiday-themed horror flick since PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DEMENSION in mid-October, it should dominate the weekend.  But with TFA still out there, the movie’s tame PG-13 rating, the smallish studio backing it & the decline of the success of the first horror flick of the calendar year as of late, THE FOREST appears to be a three-weekends-and-out kind of movie.

Top 10 Predictions:
1. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – $51.257 million (-43.2%) *New 4th weekend record*
2. THE REVENANT - $27.5 million (NEW)
3. DADDY’S HOME $17.08 million (-41.5%)
4. THE FOREST - $9.1 million (NEW)
5. THE HATEFUL EIGHT - $8.749 million (-44.29%)
6. THE BIG SHORT - $7.248 million (-20%)
7. ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: ROAD CHIP - $6.52 million (-46%)
8. SISTERS - $6.38 million (-50%)
9. JOY - $5.41 (-47%)
10. CONCUSSION $3.923 million (-50%)

Fantasy Movie League Prediction: 
            It being the weekend after a holiday weekend, drops will be larger than normal.  But you see an exception there in THE BIG SHORT.  With the 950 theatre expansion combined with the great word of mouth plus it is awards season, I see it being the winner of the $2 million bonus for best performer on FML.  As my cineplex’s foundation, TFAx1 barely beats out TH8x5 as a value (10.63 bpm vs. 10.74 bpm).  With 7 screens & 455 bucks remaining, I could max out on THE BIG SHORT without a problem.  But I’d leave 41 bucks just sitting out there and have a movie with a historical upside in THE FOREST.  I’ll take 2 of them then fill out the rest with my projected best performer THE BIG SHORT.  With the box office projected to be so low this weekend, if taking THE FOREST is a mistake, I won’t be punished that harshly.

FML Bucks Spent: 1000
Projected Gross w/ Bonus: $115.6969 million

Good luck and buy a winning ticket!

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