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Jurassic Results Prove the Perils of Estimation

July 7, 2015

 

Movie_Quality_Index_Data_20150706

 

7/3/2015 - 7/5/2015

Movie TitleIndex Value
Jurassic World68.00
Inside Out92.67
Terminator Genisys45.67
Magic Mike XXL62.00
Ted 255.00
Max52.67
Spy81.67
San Andreas53.00
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl79.33
Dope79.00
Misix Movie Quality Index Value66.90

 

After every weekend, Hollywood types release two sets of box-office results. The first are the estimates, which is how we order the list of movies at the top of every MQI post. On this one, for example, you can see Jurassic World (68.00 index value) at the top, presumably lording over every other film in its bid to become just the third movie in MQI history to record four straight weeks atop the domestic earnings. We put it at the summit because that’s what studios reported in their estimates, according to trusty source Box Office Mojo:

  1. Jurassic World — $43,800,000.
  2. Inside Out — $30,105,000.
  3. Terminator: Genisys — $28,700,000
  4. Magic Mike XXL — $11,600,000
  5. Ted 2 — $11,000,000.

 

That is a huge margin between the top two entries. Super big. Big enough to think that even when the second set of results came in — actual earnings — the likelihood of swapping places was almost zero. And then the second set of results came in, and the likelihood soared to 100%:

  1. Inside Out — $29,771,224.
  2. Jurassic World — $29,242,025.
  3. Terminator: Genisys — $27,018,486.
  4. Magic Mike XXL — $12,857,184.
  5. Ted 2 — $11,171,520.

 

What we have here is a case of tremendous optimism on the part of Universal. Studios simply don’t overshoot actual earnings by that much — ever. We did a little research to find out how this happened and came up with two theories.

First, it’s possible there was a reporting error. This seems pretty likely because we checked a couple reputable sources that provide results every week and discovered two different numbers tied to Jurassic World: the $43.8 million stated above and $30.9 million. Obviously, the second number is more realistic given the final tally, so we posit that the larger total was a mix-up related to the fact that Terminator: Genisys (45.67) and Magic Mike XXL (62.00) both debuted last Wednesday. The duo provided results for the Wednesday-through-Sunday period, so it’s possible Universal did the same for Jurassic World.

Second, Universal messed up. Regardless of the discrepancy, we’re fairly certain it’s safe to say the four-timers club will remain at just two members: Furious 7 and The Hunger Games.

It’s also safe to say Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL were massive disappointments for very different reasons. MMXXL suffered from the fact that it appealed to a very particular demographic — namely, people who want to see attractive men grind their unmentionables against anything and everything. According to one report, audiences for the movie were 96% female. On the plus side, it had a miniscule budget.

Meanwhile, Terminator: Genisys suffered from the fact that it was a dumb movie that made no sense. It also had a massive budget of $155 million, plus whatever Universal spent on an idiotic marketing campaign that GAVE AWAY THE PLOT TWIST. It’s possible the studio will make up the difference in foreign earnings, but if it doesn’t, good riddance.

The weekend ahead: OK, enough ragging on the movies that debuted last weekend. Let’s rag on the movies that will debut this weekend. We have Minions, which we can’t throw too much shade at because early reviews are solidly above average. However, it’s hard to imagine this one having the broad appeal of Inside Out, so it’s probably best to temper financial expectations. Then there’s Self/less, which based on early reviews is yet another poor choice by Ryan Reynolds. After this, he might have just one more chance to prove he can carry a movie all by his lonesome, and it’s called Deadpool.

The first newbie we mentioned has the best shot at competing with the dinosaurs and anthropomorphic emotions for moviegoers’ money, but we imagine it’ll be another close grouping at the top of the box office come Monday morning.

 

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