It's that time again!
If any of you were around for the old days at Screened, you'll recall that we used to run a contest called Box Office Winners League when we got the feeling to do so. It's a simple premise: guess how much money a movie is going to make in a given weekend, and if you're the closest guess, you win! There's a bit of skill in it, since box office is roughly predictable, and there are tracking companies that are paid quite a bit to do so, but there's also a lot of luck, since almost no one is able to consistently guess a box office weekend with any degree of accuracy or precision.
Last time around, we asked people to predict Black Hat, which wound up superbombing with a mere 3.901 million dollars over the three-day weekend. That sucks! The winners, according to my estimation, are @driam on the premium side, with a guess of $3.99 million, and @eddiephlash on the non-premium side with a guess of $2.2 million. Congratulations! Eddie wins two months of premium while Driam will net himself a super-special prize of: a Borderlands 2 game code for the Vita! Enjoy in good health.
Anyway, while I would've loved to do one of these for Fifty Shades of Grey, I'm heading out of town this weekend and there isn't enough time to set it up regardless. So let's look forward to next weekend, when The DUFF, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Macfarland USA all hit wide release.
The rules are pretty simple.
1. Guess how much money the movies The DUFF, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Macfarland USAwill make in their opening weekend in the U.S. We'll count all the money they make through the Sunday after they come out, which includes the Thursday night previews. You don't have to make individual guesses (unless you want); just guess how much all three of them will make together. Just throw it in as a reply to this post, e.g.: $56.79 million (be as specific as you like).
Commentary: All of these movies look kind of poopy. John Cusack's presence is generally enough to make me stay away from a movie he's in, so I can't really speak to HTTM, but you can count me out of this one. MacFarland USA is yet another in a series of Totally Inspirational sports movies Inspired By Real Events from Disney, featuring a Coach That No One Believed In grouping together his Ragtag Team and Winning The Championship. I'm sure it'll be enjoyable enough, but that's like the seventh movie along those lines in the last decade.
The DUFF might be the most off-putting of all of these, featuring Mae Whitman from Arrested Development in a high-school drama where she discovers that she's the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I mean, Mae Whitman is attractive by any reasonable standard, or am I wrong? Casting her as some hideous third wheel that pretty girls keep around as amusement seems like a great way to give a whole bunch of high school girls a psychological complex. At least Easy A had the decency to just imply that Emma Stone was withdrawn or introverted and not some horrific hambeast. This movie kind of creeps me out, at a glance, but as it is a product of CBS Films™ I am compelled to recommend that you see it multiple times. Bring your daughters.
2. Make your guesses as a reply to this thread, and make sure that they're in by Thursday 2/19 at 9 PM PST/Midnight EST/whatever crazy clock time you have in your crazy timezone. I won't count anything after that. IMPORTANT NOTE: Any post that is labelled as "edited" will be disqualified. If you want to change your vote, delete your original post and make a new one, up until the time limit. Just don't make a million posts trying to read the tea leaves; keep it to two or three at most.
3. The winners will be determined the Monday or Tuesday after the weekend ends, when actual box office figures are released at boxofficemojo.com. Weekend estimates are often released on Sunday afternoon, but we'll wait for the real numbers to determine a winner. I'll compare that number to see who's closest; over or under doesn't matter. In case of any ties, I'll decide between the entries with either a coin flip or some other randomized method.
4. There'll be two winners. The closest Premium member will win something cool I'll figure out tomorrow and edit in here. The closest non-Premium member will get two months of Premium access.
That's pretty much it! Go forth and prosper, or something. I'll reserve the right to change any of these rules as I see fit before the deadline, but I doubt that'll be necessary. (Don't be a dick and make it necessary, in other words.)