8/28/2015 - 8/30/2015
|Movie Title||Index Value|
|Straight Outta Compton||81.67|
|Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation||82.00|
|The Man from U.N.C.L.E.||66.00|
|Hitman: Agent 47||31.67|
|Misix Movie Quality Index Value||60.23|
Man, this past weekend was brutal. How brutal? A movie we never heard of before Monday morning, one that presumably wasn’t advertised on any media outlet besides the Christian Television Network, came pretty darn close to winning the box office. And depending on how you look at it, it kind of did.
War Room is the story of … hold on, gotta look up the synopsis on IMDb … “a seemingly perfect family” that tries to “fix their problems with the help of Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman.” It’s a religious film, and beyond that we can’t really say too much more about it because we’ve never heard of it or any of its stars. We didn’t recognize the director’s name, either, but apparently Alex Kendrick has helmed several fairly successful God-centric movies, all of which posted similarly solid opening-weekend numbers:
|Alex Kendrick Opening Weekends||Earnings||Theaters||Per Screen|
|Facing the Giants (2006)||$1,343,537||441||$3,046.57|
|War Room (2015)||$11,000,000 (est.)||1,135||$9,691.63|
Clearly, Kendrick is trending in the right direction and will no doubt direct the religious version of the Star Wars sequel, which we suppose would be the follow-up to The Passion of the Christ. Wait. It looks like that’s already been made and has a trailer and everything. Well, we’re sure they’ll find something for Kendrick to do. Maybe something based on the letters from Paul to the Thessalonians.
Let’s get back to Kendrick’s current project. War Room did extremely well in just about every way except how good the movie actually was. Its Movie Quality Index value of 35.33 puts it among the worst we’ve ever seen, right between The Loft (33.33) and A Haunted House (35.57).
But that didn’t seem to matter to whoever managed to find out this film exists, then actually went out and saw it. With a marketing spend that Jesus himself would’ve appreciated, War Room posted a per-screen average that was by far the best of the weekend among widely released movies and second even when you include limited releases (Grandma finished first with $16,263.16 from 19 theaters).
Even better news for the many studios involved — four for production and two for distribution — Kendrick did it with a relatively meager production budget of just $3 million. That means War Room was in the black before Friday was over ($4,045,000 daily earnings), then just played with house money the rest of the weekend.
In much more fun news, We Are Your Friends did not play with house money this past weekend. Instead, it walked into the house, let loose a diarrheic warthog, walked out and sealed the exits. That’s a colorful way of saying this movie bombed. Actually, “bombed” doesn’t cover it. Among movies in the history of cinema that opened in more than 2,000 theaters, its estimated $1.8 million earnings were the third worst.
For the many, many people who didn’t see We Are Your Friends, the basic premise is that Zac Efron is a DJ and plays recorded music better than most people his age, so this other guy wants to make Zac famous but stuff goes wrong. We’re thrilled to say this very stupid idea for a film is currently being mentioned in the same sentence as Delgo ($511,920 opening weekend) and Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure ($443,901 opening). Why anyone thought it was a good idea to give the guy from Catfish: The TV Show $6 million to make a movie is beyond us, but it happened, and it was a disaster.
The weekend ahead: Speaking of disasters, The Transporter Refueled hits theaters Friday. If you’d like to know what we think of this movie, just go back to last week’s post and read the parts about fellow non-asked-for sequel Hitman: Agent 47. We’re pretty sure most of them will apply here, with the added screw-up of trying to do a Jason Statham movie without Jason Statham. You simply do not make a Statham-less Transporter film. When word of its utter failure reaches Statham next Monday morning, he will no doubt chuckle quietly and then resume punching his breakfast, which is how we imagine he prepares it.
For the next two weekends, we suggest placing an embargo on seeing anything new unless it’s at the artsy-schmartsy theater in town — the one with locally sourced popcorn topped with actual butter or perhaps an animal-friendly soy substitute. You can resume normal moviegoing activities Sept. 18. Thank you for your cooperation.
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