Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows won the weekend, making about $35M. Those results were even worse when you take into account it’s high FML price of $750, which lead to a lineup-crushing $47k per Bux performance.* The $35M take was about 45% less than the original’s opening weekend gross of $65M. This is interesting because this is just yet another movie in a long line of sequels that is performing about 40% worse than it’s predecessor. X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Ride Along 2, Allegiant. These are all sequels to “popular” movies and/or franchises that have underperformed compared to the movie before them, some by 10s of millions of dollars. Many of these movies had a similar budget to the original, and almost half of them had a budget that was higher! That means the studios are spending the same amount of money, if not more, on movies that are making less money. Does this mean we’re going to stop seeing a run of sequels that we don’t want? Probably not. These movies still perform well internationally. With the exception of Alice, all the sequels mentioned above have made their money back (or close to it) overseas. X-Men has made nearly a half BILLION dollars internationally, to date. So we’re going to see more and more and more sequels, just with more and more Chinese and Russian product integration. I don’t understand why Trump wants to stop sending jobs to China, we’re sending all our movies over there, and it’s making us money on products that should be losing money.** That’s basically his business model right, make money on things that fail?
*A quick note on this: I mention this a lot because I’ve learned it’s the best way to do well in this format. The better your movie does per FML Bux the better your team does, which intrinsically should make sense; if a movie does well for a low price, your team overall has a better chance of doing well. Add on top of that the $2M bonus for Best Performer of the weekend and these are the movies you want to target. I’ve found that movies in the $100k per Bux range tend to be Best Performers. When making selections if it’s estimated to be in the $70k-$80k range that is more than likely going to perform well for your team. The FMLnerd does a really good job breaking this stuff down every week, if you’re into that type of thing.
**I’ve made this joke before, but I don’t care, I like it. When Avengers: Infinity War parts I & II come out, we should just let everyone in China see them as many times as they want for free. In return, they forgive all of our debt they own. This is a plan so simple, it has to work and in no way has any drawbacks.
The other important movie news involves my jam, Me Before You. This movie pulled in $18 million, which at it’s price of $184 led it to become this week’s Best Performer at $101k per Bux. All hail Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Constant Friend-Zoner, Khal Murker, Hardest-Working Woman in Show Business, Costco Executive Member, Dertie Gertie, Third Splash Brother, AND Best Performer of Fantasy Movie Leagues.
I now lead by $40 million thanks to 5Xing Me Before You, which totaled $104 million after adding in a $10M bonus. I’m so much better at this game than all of you!!! This is like playing T-Ball with a bunch of 6 year olds and just cranking home runs*.
*I thought the picture of this was so funny that I figured someone had already done it. I scoured YouTube but only found adults playing with children the way you’re supposed to play with children. The closest thing I could find was this.
Also riding the Me Before You dragon was Tanya and Danielle, because of course she did. I can’t think of a more ‘Danielle’ movie than Me Before You, with the exception of any movie staring The Rock. Tanya is still in second, but Danielle has jumped up from last to 6th.
Tanya’s big downfall was doubling up on Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping ($4.7M). I meant to mention this last week, but this is a lesson I learned with using Keanu in back-to-back weeks: niche comedies (comedies staring actors/comedians with cult followings) do not do well in this game, which sucks, because you REALLY want to ride with them, but they just don’t make enough money. Again, I meant to tell you this last week. Sorry.
Andy* and Jenny* are in 4th and 5th, respectively, and only separated by $4 million. Sean drops from 5th to 6th this week.
Liz pulled a Coach Norman Dale from Hoosiers, “My team is on the floor” and left spots open:
Liz has huge balls. But she also did very poorly this week choosing a cineplex that only made $51M and then lost $2M for every slot she left open. She’s now in 7th place, $30M ahead of Danny*, who’s come in 7th two weeks in a row.
Me Before You* ($18.7M) x5 / Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising ($4.7M) x1 / Zootopia ($753.7K) x2 = $114,987,156
*Best Performer of the Weekend = 2MM bonus
The Conjuring 2 ($606)
BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!!! So scary and all of it is true! Every part of it. It all happened. Totally real. Evil nuns and everything.
Holy crap! This movie is actually pretty good. It comes in at 67% on the tomatometer. And the bad reviews are mainly “Oh, it’s not as good as the first one.” HOLY SHIT! I just looked and the first one was really good. That one comes in at 86%! I have no idea how to handle this.
The first one made $41 million and estimates for this one are in a similar range, coming in at around $35 million. However, at the steep price of $606, that only gives you a $57k per Movie Bux, which is not very good.
Now You See Me 2 ($359)
Hey look, another sequel!
I have so many questions about this movie: Are they all SUPPOSED to be super douchey? I know magic is lame, check that, magicians are lame, but isn’t having all their “magic tricks” be CGI even lamer? Why is there no token black guy on their little team of magicians?* I suggest we replace Jesse Eisenberg with Michael B. Jordan. Tell me this movie didn’t just become 15% better. I wonder if they replaced Isla Fisher’s character with a new character played by Lizzy Caplan, or if the producers were just like, “Just switch her out, nobody will notice the woman anyway” And is Isla Fisher too good for this movie? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Lizzy Caplan getting some burn, but there is literally NO ONE too good for this movie. Morgan Freeman does all his scenes in a jail cell, meaning he did the whole thing from some sounds stage in Malibu. In between takes, Woody Harelson and Mark Ruffalo are probably discussing what prep school to make a donation to with the money they make from this. I’m pretty sure you can see Michael Cane actually cashing his checks in the background of one of those scenes. And Harry Potter was like, “I’m just not gonna shave my beard. Cheers!”
This movie is bad. It rates 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t really have anything else to say about it. It’s bad.
Estimates put it at $26 million, which is slightly worse than it’s predecessor’s opening weekend of $29 million. $29 million? That’s it?! Why are they making another of these? Anyway, with a price of $359 Bux, that puts it at a pretty good value around $75k per Bux. I’ll be grabbing this one.
*At this point I originally wrote: “How is Common not in this movie? This feels like a movie Common would be in.” Turns out he was in the first one!
I don’t really know how much clambering there was for this movie. The original Warcraft game, that looks like this is based on, came out in 1994. Warcraft became really popular in ten years later, when World of Warcraft came out. That game was MASSIVELY popular. At the height of its popularity, it had 12 million subscribers. But that was in 2010, which was six years ago! Since then, subscriptions have been falling and it was reported they were down to 5.5 million last year. But nothing like jumping on the popularity of a video game, 5 years too late. That’s pretty much why we got an Angry Birds movie, right? I guess we’re 3-4 years out from a Candy Crush movie. Ugh, the worst part about that is it’s probably true.
God, this movie looks terrible. I cannot name a single person in this movie, besides the guy from Vikings. But that’s what I know his name as, “the guy from Vikings.” But, on top of unknown actors, many of whom are CGI’d into Orcs, they all have names like Garona, Medivh, Llane Wrynn, Durotan, Orgrim, and Gul’dan. I really think Game of Thrones is so popular because George R.R. Martin just gave everyone normal, everyday names like Ned, Jaime, and Jon. That and the boobies.
Did anybody else notice that the “good” Orc is white-ish and the rest of the Orcs are green? Like, seriously? #AzerothSoWhite
Reviews say it’s even more horrible than you think it is. Rotten Tomatoes scores it at 23%. We don’t have to go through all of them, but it’s always fun to read bad reviews:
You know a movie is bad when two separate reviewers compare it to Battlefield Earth.
Yeesh! Let’s see how it’s doing internationally:
Oh the Brits. Always never funny.
Shit, even the Spaniards hated it.
And as always, less is more:
Estimates are $22 million and with it’s $303 price, that makes it worth about $72k per Bux, which is pretty good. But, based on how goddamn awful this movie looks and how poorly it’s being reviewed, I think it could underperform even compared to poor estimates. That said, it did apparently just break the IMAX opening day record in China by pulling in $5.3M across 290 IMAX screen. So there’s that.
Shade of the Week
Don’t forget to set your lineup, they’re locked at noon on Friday!