Misix Library

New Movies, Bad Results, Good Riddance

August 24, 2015

Movie_Quality_Index_Data_20150824

 

8/21/2015 - 8/23/2015

Movie TitleIndex Value
Straight Outta Compton81.67
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation82.00
Sinister 232.67
Hitman: Agent 4732.00
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.66.00
America Ultra53.67
The Gift82.00
Ant-Man73.67
Minions59.00
Fantastic Four25.00
Misix Movie Quality Index Value58.77

 

This is the absolute worst time of the year to write about movies. It’s like the Major League Baseball All-Star Break of the cinema world. Here’s a quick rundown of why it’s so awful:

  • The tentpole releases everyone gets excited about (Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, etc.) are done. There is no tent. There is no pole. The circus has left town, and all we’re left with is a giant field full of animal feces. Speaking of which …
  • The movies that do get widely released are terrible, bordering on, “They must have green-lit this while drunk and then forgot about it until the director brought them the finished product.”
  • Finding anything remotely entertaining requires real effort. Going back to our All-Star Break analogy, it would be like if you were a sports fan who needed to fill the void so badly that you ended up on Fox Sports 8 at 2:15 a.m. and discovered that competitive cliff diving is oddly captivating.

More often than not, what we end up with during these couple of weeks before awards season is this past weekend’s box office over and over and over again.

It starts with a leftover earning the most money, in this case Straight Outta Compton with an estimated $26,760,000. Then whatever garbage new releases the studios tried to hide get scattered throughout the rest of the list with earnings as disappointing as the movies themselves. This past weekend gave us three newbies that definitely filled that bill while also covering a few clichés we’ve come to expect from the August refuse pile:

  • Low-budget horror sequel — Sinister 2 in third place with $10,633,000.
  • Video-game adaptation — Hitman: Agent 47 in fourth place with $8,200,000.
  • Weed movie as counterprogramming to the usual “safe” blockbusters we see all summer — American Ultra in sixth place with $5,500,000.

Clearly, all three of those movies were big losers. But which one is the biggest? We decided to find out using a carefully crafted methodology we’d be happy to explain as soon as we get done making it up as we go along.

 

BUDGET

This is the easiest category to quantify because the numbers are just sort of out there for the taking, assuming you take Wikipedia at face value. Sinister 2 and American Ultra hedged its bets with reported budgets of $10 million and $12 million, respectively. Hitman: Agent 47 broke the bank at $35 million and thus takes this category with the biggest net loss.

Loser: Hitman: Agent 47.

 

STAR POWER

This area is a little more difficult from a numbers perspective because the only widely accepted scoring system for public figures is Q Scores, which wanted us to read a bunch of things and request a pricing quote before we could access their data. Fortunately, our three candidates made this very easy by placing gigantic canyons between them as far as name recognition.

On the lowest end of the spectrum, we have Sinister 2. Everything you need to know about the star power in this movie is on its Box Office Mojo page, which lists just one person under “The Players” section that houses a film’s key contributors. That one person is Producer Jason Blum. Some deeper digging on IMDb revealed that this movie did, in fact, have a director and some actors, including Shannyn Sossamon of A Knight’s Tale fame.

Then we move up a notch and find Hitman: Agent 47, which counts among its cast Rupert Friend (uhhhhh), Hannah Ware (nope) and Zachary Quinto (hey, there’s someone we know). Only one out of three, although it’s still worth a few points because that one currently plays Spock.

Then there’s American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman, Walton Goggins and Tony Hale. For the purposes of our comparison, that’s a supernova and a very disappointing financial performance considering the talent involved.

Loser: American Ultra.

 

QUALITY

We saved our particular area of expertise for last because it’s more dramatic. And we weren’t really sure how to pick a loser. The easy way would be to just give it to the lowest-scoring movie according to our index values. But then we thought it would actually make more sense to give it to the one that did the least with a relatively decent product, which would involve determining the amount of money made per index point. The second one sounded more impressive and data-ish, so we went with that.

  • Sinister 2 — $10,633,000 / 32.67 = $325,466.79.
  • Hitman: Agent 47 — $8,200,000 / 32.00 = $256,250.00.
  • American Ultra — $5,500,000 / 53.67 = $102,478.11.

Loser: American Ultra.

 

And the biggest loser is …

With “victories” in two of the three categories, this week’s title goes to American Ultra. We sincerely wish Mr. Eisenberg better luck in the plucky little movie he’ll appear in next spring.

 

The weekend ahead: Hollywood has two new wide-release options for you this coming weekend. You can watch Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan punch people while trying to retain some semblance of their humanity in No Escape, or you can watch We Are Your Friends and resist the urge to punch Zac Efron in his pretty little face while trying to retain some semblance of hope for humanity in general.

Early reviews for the former have been fine but not glowing. The latter will probably pepper its commercials with positive things idiots said on Twitter because we can’t possibly imagine anyone with a functioning brain liking a movie as detestable as you would expect a movie about an aspiring DJ “set in the world of electronic music and Hollywood nightlife” to be. Basically, it’s Entourage for 20-somethings. Sounds awful. Do something outside instead. Maybe go to the zoo.

 

 

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