Movie Recommendations From The June 3, 2018 Weekend Box Office

With no blockbusters released last weekend, the box office was “Adrift”.

The headlines from this past weekend at the box office were about how much Solo: A Star Wars Story dropped in its second weekend. From a consumer standpoint, this isn’t necessarily bad news. Movie fans are paying attention. The movie is good but not great and the market is responding accordingly. Disney has been put on notice that fans of the franchise can’t be taken for granted. The product must live up to the hype.

Of the new movies, Adrift had a decent opening. Audiences didn’t love the movie but they did like it. While 68% of the opening night audience were women, there wasn’t a huge IMDB rating gap between men and women. Women gave it an average rating of 7.0 while men were at 6.7. Critics were aligned with audiences. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 71% Fresh rating and praised the strong performance of Shailene Woodley.

For those of you who are fans of the horror genre, you’ll probably really enjoy Upgrade. As for Action Point, which came in ninth for the weekend, do us all a favor and stay away and let it slip out of the top ten.

If you have already seen Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, it looks like a good, but not great, Solo: A Star Wars Story may still be your best bet. After that you’ll be left Adrift.

Movie Recommendations From The May 27, 2018 Weekend Box Office

Critics and audiences like Solo: A Star Wars Story but they don’t love it.

The 2018 Disney juggernaut didn’t get stopped this weekend as Solo: A Star Wars Story finished number one at the box office for the Memorial Day weekend. It did get slowed a bit as the $83.3 million box office take was considerably less than the $101 million expectation. Critics and audiences like the movie but they don’t love it. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a respectable 71% Fresh and it’s running at a solid, but not great, average IMDB rating of 7.2 after its opening weekend. That IMDB rating is well below its primary box office competition, Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War, whose IMDB ratings are 8.2 and 8.8 respectively.

If you look at my Box Office Top Ten Recommendations for the weekend you’ll notice that I’m trying to introduce more qualifiers into my recommendations. If you are trying to decide whether to see the Avengers, Deadpool 2, or Solo, you should be able to look at my recommendations and see that the first two movies are more likely to be special movie events than Solo might be. I indicate that audiences are “loving” the first two movies and only “really liking” the second.

If you’re going to the movies for a “Girls Night”, which of the female targeted movies should you see. From my recommendations you should be able to see that women should “really like” Book Clubshould “like” Life of the Party, and might “like” Overboard. You should see that Book Club is the best choice if you’re over 45. Book Club and Life of the Party are viable options if you’re under 45. And, Overboard is the riskiest choice of the three for all age groups.

Check back next Monday to see if any new movies break into the Top Ten and more importantly are they worth seeing.

Movie Recommendations From The May 20, 2018 Weekend Box Office

Most people will probably enjoy Deadpool 2 but beware. It is Certified Cringeworthy.

In May 2016 I wrote a piece about a website called cringeMDB. The premise behind the website is that there are movies that would make you cringe if you saw them with your parents or vice versa with your kids. The number one movie at the box office this weekend is Deadpool 2. Not only is it a box office success, but it has also been favorably reviewed by critics and audiences alike. It is a movie that many of us will want to see when we get a chance. Just don’t see it with your family. It is Certified Cringeworthy. The original Deadpool was 90.4% Cringeworthy which means that nearly everyone who saw the movie felt it was unsafe to see either with their parents or their kids. Deadpool 2 should be similarly cringeworthy.

The second new movie of interest is Book Club. Like the movies I mentioned last week, this is another movie with big IMDB splits between men and women. Unlike those other movies, Book Club has pretty high ratings for women. While men give the movie a 5.9 average IMDB rating, women give it a very strong 7.7 average rating. This movie should do very well with its target audience, older women.

The third new movie in the top ten this weekend is Show Dogs. The early feedback from critics and audiences is that this movie is pretty bad and, despite a decent opening weekend, is probably headed to the 2018 movie graveyard.

Next weekend, Memorial Day, is one of the biggest of the year at the movies. Solo: A Star Wars Movie is expected to dominate the weekend box office. Check in next Monday to see if its worth the hype.

Recommendations From the May 13 Weekend Box Office Top Ten

Life of the Party is just one of the Box Office Top Ten this week with big male-female splits on IMDB

This week’s top ten at the box office has an interesting demographic characteristic. While men are flocking to Avengers: Infinity War, women friendly movies are dominating the rest of the top ten. Every movie other than the Avengers has a higher female IMDB score than the male score.

IMDB Avg. Rating
Female Male Female Difference
Avengers: Infinity War 8.8 8.8 0.0
Life of the Party 6.9 5.0 1.9
Breaking In 6.4 4.6 1.8
Overboard 6.4 4.9 1.5
A Quiet Place 8.1 8.0 0.1
I Feel Pretty 6.5 3.8 2.7
Rampage 6.8 6.3 0.5
Tully 7.5 7.3 0.2
Black Panther 8.1 7.4 0.7
RBG 8.6 7.5 1.1
Total Excl. Avengers 7.3 6.1 1.2

The 1.2 IMDB average rating difference for all of the movies in the top ten excluding the Avengers movie is actually a very big differential. The female average rating is 19.2% higher than the male rating.

Now it could be that women, for whatever reason, tend to rate movies higher than men. My analysis of the historical data suggests that isn’t the case. In fact male and female ratings tend to be pretty close on average. I admit, though, that I haven’t looked at recent data. It is possible that more liberal voting by women in recent years is possible.

Another explanation is that it was a decision by studios to release more female oriented movies as counter programming against the Avengers expected domination of the male market.

The most hopeful explanation is that studios are coming to the realization that women are becoming more of a force in the movie market. Women are increasing their influence over which movies get seen. The response from studios is a conscious decision to make more female friendly movies. Disney certainly seems to get this as evidenced by the female appeal they are building into their male targeted Marvel and Star Wars franchises.

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Two movies from the top ten flying under the radar are Tully and RBG. If you’ve already seen Black Panther, Avengers, and Quiet Place, these are the movies that should be next on your list.

 

Recommendations from the May 6 Weekend Box Office Top Ten

Overboard made a splash this weekend but Tully is the movie you should see.

I posted the weekend Box Office update this morning. Three new movies moved into the top ten this week. Overboard made the biggest “splash” with its second place finish. Women seem to like this remake of the 1987 Goldie Hawn/ Kurt Russell film of the same name but they don’t love it.

The horror thriller Bad Samaritan opened in tenth place. There’s not enough data to make a definitive assessment of the film but early on its appeal is to women.

The third new movie of the weekend, Tully, finished a disappointing sixth with $3.2 million in receipts for the weekend. For my money, though, this is the movie with “really like” potential. This is the third collaboration of director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody (JunoYoung Adult). It has received strong ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Even though it has drawn and audience of predominately women over thirty, other demographic groups have given it solid ratings on IMDB.

If you’re going to the movies this week to see something other than Avengers: Infinity War, throw the other movies “overboard” and buy tickets for Tully.

Recommendations From the Weekend Box Office Top Ten for the Weekend Ending April 29, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War overwhelmed the box office this past weekend. Should everyone go out and see it?

I’ve begun a weekly exercise of looking at the weekend’s movie box office results and making recommendations based on the feedback data from critics and audiences. Many of you receive this blog by email and don’t visit the site and may be missing these updates. Starting this week I’m posting a link to the results, usually on Monday, with a brief commentary. Here’s the link.

Obviously, the big news of the week is the incredible $250 million that Avengers: Infinity War brought in over the weekend. The box office for the remaining nine movies was on life support in comparison. The second place movie, A Quiet Place, took in only $10.7 million in receipts.

Despite this dominance, I’m not ready to recommend this movie for all audiences yet. Don’t get me wrong. This is a strong movie with solid critical support and a “really like” response from all demographic groups who’ve seen the movie. The casual moviegoer, though, hasn’t checked in yet. Almost 50% of the IMDB data so far is from Males under 30. I’d like to see a little more of a diverse sample before giving a full throated endorsement. The IMDB data for Black Panther, by comparison, is made up of only 35% males under 30. For now, I’m comfortable saying that, if you think you’ll like Avengers: Infinity War, you probably will. If you’re not sure, check in next week for my update.

If You Are Going to the Movies, What Should You See?

Rampage is an action movie that you would expect to be a “guy movie” but should guys go out and see it?

Last week I introduced the concept of a demographic footprint for individual movies. Nice idea, but what good is it? The Way We Were is on my watch list this week. It’s this week’s Friday Night Movie with my wife. Here’s its demographic footprint:

The Way We Were
Gender Target Gender Friendly Age Target Age Friendly Objective “Really Like” Probability
Female Female 30+ 30+ 72.6%

Not much of an insight is it? It’s telling you that it’s a “chick flick”. And, because it was released in 1973, it has greater appeal to older women who nostalgically remember the way it was the first time they saw the movie. The reality is that, if you are familiar with a movie, you know who the movie appeals to without having that knowledge confirmed statistically. But, what about movies you’re not familiar with?

Rampage was the number one movie at the Box Office last weekend. From trailers you might have seen, you know that it is an action movie that you expect to be a “guy movie” but should guys go out and see it? The early data feedback might suggest otherwise.

Beginning this week, I’m using Objective “Really Like” Probability data and Demographic Footprint data to advise you whether going to a movie in last weekend’s Box Office Top Ten is a good bet and, if it is, who is it a good bet for. Here’s this week’s list:

Recommendations for the Weekend Box Office Top Ten 
Weekend Ending April 15, 2018
Movie Weekend Box Office “Really Like” Probability? Who Should See it?
Rampage $34.5 62.9% Nobody Yet
A Quiet Place $32.6 70.4% Fans of Horror Thrillers
Truth or Dare $19.1 51.2% Nobody Yet
Ready Player One $11.2 71.7% Fans of Action Adventures
Blockers $10.3 70.4% Young Adult Fans of Comedies
Black Panther $5.3 74.0% Everyone
Isle Of Dogs $5.0 72.2% Fans of Quality Animated Movies
I Can Only Imagine $3.9 69.6% Fans of Faith Based Movies
Acrimony $3.8 54.3% Nobody Yet
Chappaquiddick $3.0 70.4% Grown-Ups Familiar with the Events

In future weeks you’ll find this list on the sidebar of this page.

The “Really Like” Probability column suggests that there are a number of potentially good options at the movies this week. I use 65% as the cut off for whether I recommend a movie or not. Under that criteria there are seven movies worth seeing by someone. The question is whether these seven movies are worth seeing by everybody.

When a movie is first released it takes a little time to develop fully credible data. Rampage was just released last Friday. The jury is still out as to whether it is more than a mediocre movie for even its target demographic. The data for Black Panther is robust. I can say with a lot of confidence that all demographic groups will probably “really like” the movie. For the remaining six recommended movies, there isn’t enough data to recommend the movie beyond the segments identified here.

Movies recently released in the theaters are the movies you are most unfamiliar with. When Rotten Tomatoes gives a new movie a Certified Fresh and IMDB develops an average rating of 7.5 or higher, you can usually feel confident that the movie is a good movie. Those ratings, though, can’t tell you whether it will be a good movie for you.

With this new weekly list I’m introducing, I’m confident that you can go down this list and increase your odds of seeing a movie this week that you will “really like” . Let me know if you agree. Also, let me know if you like the new blog format I’m experimenting with.