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You may remember a competition that commenced a few months back, pitting /Film against The Totally Rad Show in their annual Summer Movie Game. The purpose of the game was to predict the top ten highest grossing domestic films of the summer—and in order, no less.

The teams?

/Film’s Peter Sciretta, David Chen and Russ Fischer vs. TRS’s Dan Trachtenberg, Alex Albrecht, and Jeff Cannata.

Well gentlemen, the summer is over. The bets were placed—some wise, some considerably less wise—and now, I’ve taken on the mantle of judge, jury and executioner.

Find out who won after the break.

We’ll get to the top 10 of the summer in a bit, but first let’s review:

The Rules

The rules for the game come from TimeTravelReview’s Summer Movie Pool:

The object is to pick the films that you think will be the top-ten grossing films of the summer, in order of box-office performance. As I’ve said, that means only films released from May 7th 2010 to the Labor Day weekend, counting only the money those films make domestically (US and Canada) in that period. In other words films from March or April might still be making money after May 1st, but they don’t count; films released from May on could start racking up foreign B.O., but that doesn’t count; films released from May on could still be making money into September, but that doesn’t count either. Box Office numbers are generally available late Monday or Tuesday after the weekend closes. For the last seven or so years, I have been using box office numbers from Yahoo Box Office which gets their numbers in turn from Box Office Mojo. So what you will be doing is figuring out what 10 films will make the most money, and putting them in order of what you think they will gross at the box office. BUT, in addition to your top 10, you get to pick 3 “Dark Horses”- films you think *might* make it, but that you are not confident enough about to put into the top 10 proper.

The Scoring:

  • Getting number 1 or number 10 dead-on gets you 13 points (each).

The rest of the scoring goes like this:

  • 10 points for numbers 2-9 dead-on
  • 7 points if your pick was only one spot away from where it ended up
  • 5 points if it was two spots away
  • 3 points if your pick is anywhere in the Top 10
  • 1 point for each dark horse that makes it into the Top 10

The scoring is tabulated so that you get the SINGLE HIGHEST point value for each pick- that is, if you get number ten right, you don’t get 13+3, you only get 13.

Now for the good stuff.

Watch as Peter appears on the Totally Rad Show to discuss the results:

Top 10 Summer Box Office Results

Rank Movie Title (click to view) Studio Total Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Open Close
1 Toy Story 3 BV $410,019,427 4,028 $110,307,189 4,028 6/18 -
2 Iron Man 2 Par. $312,128,345 4,390 $128,122,480 4,380 5/7 8/19
3 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Sum. $299,696,897 4,468 $64,832,191 4,468 6/30 -
4 Inception WB $282,423,176 3,792 $62,785,337 3,792 7/16 -
5 Despicable Me Uni. $243,600,965 3,602 $56,397,125 3,476 7/9 -
6 Shrek Forever After P/DW $238,395,990 4,386 $70,838,207 4,359 5/21 9/9
7 The Karate Kid Sony $176,464,965 3,740 $55,665,805 3,663 6/11 -
8 Grown Ups Sony $160,678,105 3,534 $40,506,562 3,534 6/25 -
9 The Last Airbender Par. $131,408,951 3,203 $40,325,019 3,169 7/1 -
10 Salt Sony $116,451,621 3,612 $36,011,243 3,612 7/23 -

The numbers were taken from the 2010 domestic grosses listed at Box Office Mojo. Obviously, many of the films are still in theaters, so these aren’t the final box office grosses. In accordance with the rules of the game, however, these are the final placements for the films.

So how did our teams fare with their predictions? Check out their scores below.

/Film:

Peter Sciretta’s List:

1. Iron Man 2 (+7)
2. Toy Story 3 (+7)
3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (+10)
4. Sex and the City 2 (+0)
5. Shrek Forever After (+7)
6. Inception (+5)
7. Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time (+0)
8. The Last Airbender (+7)
9. The Karate Kid (+5)
10. Despicable Me (+3)

Dark Horses

  • The A-Team (+0)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (+0)
  • Knight & Day (+0)

POINT TOTAL: 51 pts.

David Chen’s List:

1. Iron Man 2 (+7)
2. Shrek Forever After (+3)
3. The Last Airbender (+3)
4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (+7)
5. Toy Story 3 (+3)
6. Inception (+5)
7. Sex and the City 2 (+0)
8. Knight and Day (+0)
9. The Karate Kid (+5)
10. The A-Team (+0)

Dark Horses

  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (+0)
  • Robin Hood (+0)
  • Predators (+0)

POINT TOTAL: 33 pts.

Russ Fischer’s List:

1. Iron Man 2 (+7)
2. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (+7)
3. The Last Airbender (+3)
4. Toy Story 3 (+3)
5. Sex and the City 2 (+0)
6. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (+0)
7. Knight and Day (+0)
8. Inception (+3)
9. The Karate Kid (+5)
10. The A-Team (+0)

Dark Horses

  • Scott Pilgrim (+0)
  • The Other Guys (+0)
  • Eat Pray Love (+0)

POINT TOTAL: 28 pts.

Totally Rad Show:

Alex Albrecht’s List

1. Shrek Forever After (+3)
2. Prince of Persia (+0)
3. MacGruber (+0)
4. Iron Man 2 (+5)
5. Twilight: Eclipse (+5)
6. Toy Story 3 (+3)
7. Robin Hood (+0)
8. The Last Airbender (+7)
9. Inception (+3)
10. The A-Team (+0)

Dark Horses

  • Knight & Day (+0)
  • Get Him to the Greek (+0)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (+0)

POINT TOTAL: 26 pts.

Jeff Cannata’s List

1. Toy Story 3 (+13)
2. Twilight: Eclipse (+7)
3. Shrek Forever After (+3)
4. Iron Man 2 (+5)
5. The Last Airbender (+3)
6. Knight & Day (+0)
7. Prince of Persia (+0)
8. Sex and the City 2 (+0)
9. Robin Hood (+0)
10 Despicable Me (+3)

Dark Horses

  • Karate Kid (+1)
  • Predators (+0)
  • Inception (+1)

POINT TOTAL: 36 pts.

Dan Trachtenberg’s List

1. Iron Man 2 (+7)
2. Shrek Forever After (+3)
3. Toy Story 3 (+5)
4. Prince of Persia (+0)
5. Sex and the City 2 (+0)
6. Twilight: Eclipse (+3)
7. The Last Airbender (+5)
8. The A-Team (+0)
9. Knight & Day (+0)
10. Letters to Julia (+0)

Dark Horses

  • Inception (+1)
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (+0)
  • The Other Guys (+0)

POINT TOTAL: 24 pts.

/FILM’S TOTAL SCORE: 112 pts.

TRS’s TOTAL SCORE: 86 pts.

/Film is the winner!

Our prize: The satisfaction of a job well done. And strippers.

More interesting than who won though, is discovering how wildly the final box office results varied from the two teams’ predictions, and what those results say about the summer’s films and the audiences who watched them.

It seems everyone but Jeff Cannata underestimated the appeal of the Toy Story franchise, as he was the only to guess that it’d take the top spot. Even Peter, who scored the highest by far, favored Iron Man 2 to win the summer box office. And based on the track record of the rest of the summer’s top 10, he (as well as the three others who picked it) should’ve been right.

In all but two cases, the weekend openings of the films were accurately reflective of how well the movies did overall, resulting in a consistent downward slope of the openings from Rank 1 to 10 (as can be observed in the results listed above). The two exceptions were family films: Shrek Forever After, and yes, Toy Story 3. While Shrek Forever After opened big and then quickly dropped—making it the least successful Shrek film in the seriesToy Story 3 found continued success in the following months, eventually going on to overtake Iron Man 2, which had a significantly bigger opening weekend. In fact, despite Iron Man 2 opening with $30 million more than its predecessor, its overall gross came in just under that of the first film’s.

The biggest surprise of the summer, however, wasn’t Pixar’s ability to yet again captivate audiences, but rather the allure of Adam Sandler and his merry band of cohorts. Not a single person predicted that Grown Ups would break the top 10, nor did anybody list it as one of their Dark Horse candidates. With $160 million in its coffers, the film joins Big Daddy and The Waterboy as Sandler’s most successful outings. But then, he also had Kevin James to help him draw a crowd this time around.

Other surprises of the summer include: Despicable Me, which despite only making the lists of two people—both times in the #10 spot—ended up ranking #5 for the summer; Salt, which not a single person voted for, yet managed to just barely squeeze past the competition to round out the summer’s top ten; and Inception, which nobody thought would rank higher than 6th place, but impressively made it to #4.

There were also several films that were expected to make the top 10 but didn’t, such as: Sex and the City 2 (predicted by 5 out of 6 people), Knight and Day (predicted by 4 people, and listed as a Dark Horse by the other two), The A-Team (predicted by 4, and once more as a Dark Horse), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (by 4), Robin Hood (by 2, and once more as a Dark Horse), and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (by only 1, but 3 times as a Dark Horse).

The most inaccurate prediction was MacGruber, which Alex Albrecht selected as his #3 pick. The film was a disastrous bomb at the box office, making a total of $8.5 million. As of now, it’s placed at #90 for the top film grosses of 2010.

That’s it for observations on this year’s summer box office predictions. Join us next year for another round.

You might have won too! /Film and TRS weren’t the only participants of this game; many of you guys joined in as well. If you submitted one of the 200+ predictions from the original post, find your comment and use the scoring method listed above to calculate the total amount of points you earned. Post your score in the comments (of this article, not the original), preferably along with your predictions so people can see what you chose. The U.S.-based /Film reader with the highest score will win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

If there is a tie, we will choose one of the winning entries based on their reasonings for the film placings and award that person with the prize. Each person was allowed one (and only one entry), and was required to leave their full name, city/town, and state of residence. Entries were only accepted until Friday, May 14th 2010 at midnight. If your comment from the original post has been modified after the fact (if you edited your entry, we can easily tell), it is disqualified.  The full rules must have been followed in order to win.

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