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.

I’m Taking a Sabbatical…Sort Of

The lesser known but highly awarded Hitchcock classic, Rebecca, is one of three movies on my Watch List this week that women will probably “really like” more than men will.

With Memorial Day on the horizon and summer days not far behind, I’ve decided it’s time for a sabbatical, of sorts. Merriam-Webster defines “sabbatical”  as “a break or change from the normal routine” and that is what I’m doing. I’m discontinuing my Thursday post for the summer. Between a busy summer planned and a desire to make more progress on my objective database than I have so far, I’ve decided two posts a week is too much for now. I do plan on continuing my Monday Box Office Top Ten recommendations as my schedule permits. If an idea grabs me, I may even post it. This is why I call it a “sort” of sabbatical.

I’ve got a lot of ideas but a fair test of those ideas really needs a completed objective database. That will be my focus over the summer months. One idea that I’m playing with is developing a separate objective “really like” probability for men and women. My movie watch list for this week is a first pass at the idea. Presently, women like Avengers: Infinity War as much as men do even though it is a male oriented movie. With the exception of Do the Right Thing, the remaining movies on the Watch List are movies that women will probably like more than men will . Rebecca, an Alfred Hitchcock lesser known classic with ten Oscar nominations, is the best of the bunch. The last two movies appeal to women of different ages. Amanda Knox appeals to the younger set while Still Mine is aimed at AARP female members.

One of the things you’ll notice is that there isn’t much of a gap between the male and female probabilities for each movie. This gets to the point I made earlier about needing to pick up the pace in terms of completing the database. There isn’t enough data yet to create much space between the probabilities. I’m anxious to really get this moving so that the gender differences can become a more meaningful tool. That means more time spent on data and less on writing.

On to the sabbatical. Sort of.

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.

Why I Write.

Not enough of our big budget summer movie options measure up in quality to the Marvel or Star Wars franchises.

Everyone expects Avengers: Infinity War, which is widely released in the U.S. tomorrow, to dominate the box office for the next four weeks until Disney’s other can’t miss blockbuster, Solo: A Star Wars Story, takes over on May 25th. Disney moved Infinity War up a week from its original release date to give the movie one additional week to dominate the box office before other big budget competition begins to divide up fans of the big screen.

I will admit that I am excited about seeing Avengers: Infinity War. I grew up a Marvel comic book geek and so far MCU has successfully translated the humor and the humanity of the characters from their pages to the screen. Too often though movies with big budgets spend much of those budget dollars trying to convince us that we should “really like” the movie they created rather than creating the movie we will “really like”. When the expensive product created doesn’t match the creative vision, they plan advertising campaigns to induce the viewing public to bail them out.

As we crash headlong into another blockbuster season, I hope that the industry has more surprises for us this summer. I hope that there are more under the radar summer classics such as Hell or High Water or The Big Sick that overcome the hype of the big budget movie ad campaigns to capture the attention of lovers of quality films. I hope that there are several of these movies and not just one or two. I hope that audiences reject the big budget films that aren’t of the quality of the Marvel and Star Wars franchises. That is how the overall quality of the films available for us to see get better. Movie producers make the movies that they think that people will go to see. If we go to the theater to see more “really like” movies, they will make more “really like” movies.

This is my mission. I want to warn you off of the over-hyped mediocrity of big budget misfires and lead you to the gems that are hidden in plain sight. I do this, not by solely telling you what movies I’ve seen and “really like”, but by consolidating and analyzing the data from the movies that you and other lovers of film have seen and “really like”. In this way, I hope to do my little part in improving the quality of what’s available for us to see and suggest to you what other enthusiasts are identifying as movies that you might “really like”.

This is why I write.