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.

In February, Hope for the Unexpected

Unless you are still catching up with the Oscar nominated movies that you haven’t seen, February can be a tricky month for finding “really like” movies at the theaters. The winter months of January, February, and March don’t lure many moviegoers to the cinema. The average domestic box office gross for a movie widely released in February is a little over $28 million. For the entire year the average gross for a typical movie is in excess of $38 million. As a result, movie producers don’t release many movies that they’ve invested heavily in. You can see this in the size of the production budgets for February releases. The average February movie has a production budget of around $36 million compared to an average for the year of around $46 million. So should we just stay home and watch “really like” movies available on our streaming services? That’s actually not a bad strategy. I’m kidding! Well maybe a little bit

Unless you are still catching up with the Oscar nominated movies that you haven’t seen, February can be a tricky month for finding “really like” movies at the theaters. The winter months of January, February, and March don’t lure many moviegoers to the cinema. The average domestic box office gross for a movie widely released in February is a little over $28 million. For the entire year the average gross for a typical movie is in excess of $38 million. As a result, movie producers don’t release many movies that they’ve invested heavily in during the month of February. You can see this in the size of the production budgets for February releases. The average February movie has a production budget of around $36 million compared to an average for the year of around $46 million. So should we just stay home and watch “really like” movies available on our streaming services? That’s actually not a bad strategy. I’m kidding! Well maybe a little bit.

Seriously though, February is a tricky month but it’s not hopeless. Movie producers are skilled at finding a strategy that works at different times of year and sticking with it. For example in recent years, February has proven to be a good month to successfully kick off franchises for lesser known comic book characters like Deadpool and  Kingsman: The Secret Service. This year Marvel is kicking off the new franchise Black Panther in February. It premiered in Los Angeles on January 29th and opens overseas on February 13th before opening widely in the United States on February 16th. The early IMDB score is a promising 7.5. We won’t know if that rating is holding up until we get closer to the US opening. Stay tuned.

Many Oscar nominated movies for Best Foreign Language film weren’t released in the United States until the February after their overseas release to see if they could transform Oscar buzz into US Box Office success. The foreign classic Life is Beautiful was released in the United States in February. This year it is A Fantastic Woman, which opens in the US tomorrow, that is getting the buzz. The good thing about this foreign slice of February releases is that they already have a significant body of data from their prior year release overseas. A Fantastic Woman is Certified Fresh 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, has a Metacritic score of 90, and an IMDB average rating of 7.5.

If you are looking for an Oscar caliber movie in February, the odds are against you. Silence of the Lambs is the only movie released for the first time in February (not a prior year holdover) to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. If Get Out wins Best Picture this year it will become the second February release to do so. The one thing that both movies have in common is that they both had modest production budgets. Silence of the Lambs had a budget of $19 million and Get Out had a budget of $4.5 million. The other thing that they have in common is that they are both from the Horror/Thriller genre. The third thing they have in common was that their success was unexpected. I don’t see any movie on the February release schedule that I would expect to be this year’s Get Out, which, I guess, would make the emergence of such a movie, well, unexpected.