I predicted every one of these would be hits. Also, "Pixels."

I predicted every one of these would be hits. Also, “Pixels.”

Sometimes I wonder, ”Why doesn’t Hollywood call to ask my opinion about what kinds of movies they should be releasing? Surely I have the type of incisive man-on-the-street insight they’re looking for.” And then I think about the movies I predicted would be hits this year, and I remember that I’m an idiot.

If you recall, last January I came up with a list of 10 movies that didn’t have ”Star Wars,” ”Avengers” or ”Jurassic Park” in the title that I predicted would be the box office hits filling in the blanks around those tentpole blockbusters. What I learned from that endeavor is that it’s probably not a good idea to base your pre-release opinion of a movie on the official studio descriptions. Apparently they’re notorious for failing to mention when the movie will suck.

But don’t take my word for it — here are the 10 films I picked, along with a roundup of how they actually performed. (Grosses via Box Office Mojo.)

1) “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%
Gross: $163 million

I actually did pretty well out of the gate with this one — opening to generally good reviews it managed to finish in the top 20 highest grossing films of the year. Of course, it had a talking sponge and Antonio Banderas, so predicting its success wasn’t really too much of a stretch.

2) ”Maps to the Stars“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 60%
Gross: $350,741

You somehow missed ”Maps to the Stars,” you say? Apparently you weren’t the only one, since, despite it being rated R for ”strong disturbing violence and sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some drug material” — in other words, a real crowd pleaser! — its gross probably wouldn’t pay for Brylcreem in John Cusack’s trailer. Let’s move on.

3) ”Deli Man“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 79%
Gross: $502,294

That’s actually not too bad for a documentary, and it’s worth noting that it outgrossed ”Maps to the Stars,” probably because it had Fyvush Finkel, whose name I will now repeat several times. Fyvush Finkel Fyvush Finkel Fyvush Finkel.

4) ”Far From the Madding Crowd“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
Gross: $12 million

If ”Madding” gets a few Oscar noms I’m taking credit for a win on this one. It’s a prestige picture!

5) ”Ricky and The Flash“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 64%
Gross: $27 million

People didn’t flock to see Meryl Streep as a washed-up would-be rock singer, and I still have NO IDEA WHY.

6) ”Pixels“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 17%
Gross: $79 million

Yes, I thought this was going to be Adam Sandler’s big crowd-pleasing blockbuster comeback, because, let’s face it, it featured a giant Pac Man. (No, not Kevin James.) DAMN YOU FOR LEADING ME ON ADAM SANDLER!

7) ”Scouts Vs. Zombies“ (released as ”Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 45%
Gross: $4 million

Seems to me if they had kept the original name it would have grossed at least as much as ”Ricky and the Flash.” Or at least they should have put an apostrophe somewhere — anywhere! — in ”Scouts.”

8) ”The Peanuts Movie“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
Gross: $127 million

Clearly my prognosticative abilities are strongest when it comes to children’s cartoons, maybe because desperate parents will take their children to anything that isn’t a blank screen for 90 minutes. (I know because I’ve been there.) But a lot of people thought this would be horrible, so yay me for predicting (correctly!) otherwise.

9) ”Rock the Kasbah“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 8% (8%!)
Gross: $3 million


10) ”Sisters“
Rotten Tomatoes score: 61%
Gross: $16 million in first week — opening against ”Star Wars” — so it will probably do pretty well.

Everyone loves Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, even in a movie that, according to RT, is only a tiny sliver better than ”Maps to the Stars.” If only it had a sponge and/or Antonio Banderas, it could really clean up.

Granted, the movies I predicted would flop — including ”Victor Frankenstein,” ”Chappie“ and ”Poltergeist“ — didn’t exactly set the world on fire, so maybe I’m better at picking what WON’T work at the box office. If you need input on that, Hollywood, my line is open. You too, John Cusack.

About the Author

Pete Chianca

Pete Chianca is a humor and music writer and author of Glory Days: Springsteen's Greatest Albums. He lives north of Boston with his wife, two kids and an indeterminate number of dogs and cats. Read more Pete at Pete's Pop Culture, Parenting & Pets Blog.

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