1999 Summer Box Office Blockbuster Contest Results

Here's the final results of the summer blockbuster contest announced about four months ago. To remind you, the point of the contest was to predict how well six big summer movies would do, and to choose the film not on that list that would do the best. The six films I chose and their final grosses were -

The film not on this list that performed best over the summer was Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me, which made $205 million, well shy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, but otherwise the highest grossing film of the summer. Actually, it won out pretty much because of the date the contest ended. Chances are that, come next weekend, The Sixth Sense will have eclipsed Austin Powers 2. The Sixth Sense shows extreme staying power, though almost certainly not enough to catch up to Star Wars.

This year, 30 people entered the contest, down from 40 last year.

And the winner is Andrew Johnston, with 60 points. Mr. Johnston achieved this total without correctly choosing the sleeper film. Apparently he, like I, lacked confidence in the power of a really good, big ad campaign. Second place goes to Adam Kohen, with 48 points. Third is Peace Electric with 45 points. An earlier miscount on my part gave third place to Muse Malade, who got 43 points.

Eleven of the participants chose Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me as the sleeper film, not repeating the mistake of myself and our winner. Other popular sleeper choices were Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, and Bowfinger. Not a vote for The Sixth Sense, which surprised our contestants (and the judge) just as much as everyone else. Also no votes for The Blair Witch Project, arguably the most profitable film of the summer.

Nobody guessed exactly correct on a single film, this year, so nobody gets the bonus points.

The special The Force Wasn't With You Nearly That Much Award, new this summer and not likely to get trotted out again for a couple more years, goes to Peter Beary, whose spectacularly overly optimistic guess of a $750 million gross for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was easily the furthest off guess in the contest. Two other contestants vied for the same prize, but their estimates of a $700 million gross lacked Mr. Beary's bold leap of faith in Mr. Lucas and his CGI universe.

Here are the complete results, in increasing point order:

  • Ben Niksos 4
  • Jason Seaver 14
  • Thomas Skogestad 14
  • Grep P 15
  • Skander Halim 18
  • Matthew Prins 19
  • Peter Beary 21
  • James Callan 21
  • Scott Tobias 22
  • Van Beery 23
  • Jesse Mason 24
  • Seamus Sweeney 25
  • Jon Lieht 26
  • Hillard Pouncy 28
  • Charles Odell 29
  • Denise Perry 30
  • Ken Rudolph 31
  • Andrew Wright 33
  • Erik Gregersen 34
  • Dennis Holly 34
  • Joshua Kreitzer 34
  • Jesse Kaplan 35
  • Yan Wong 35
  • Mike D'angelo 36
  • Mark Pittillo 40
  • Kaihau 42
  • Musemalade 43
  • Peace Electric 45
  • Adam Kohen 48
  • Andrew Johnson 60

    This was another fair year of choices for me. I got the top film of the summer in the list (yeah, that was a tough one, wasn't it?), and four of the six films I chose made over $100 million. Like everyone else, I had no idea that The Sixth Sense would clean up. I lacked faith in the ad campaign of Austin Powers 2. I didn't see The Blair Witch Project coming. I didn't guess that both Notting Hill and Runaway Bride would top $100 million. Nor did I have enough faith in the power of sex comedies, since American Pie made $99 million. And I haven't yet learned my lesson that Jan de Bont is a talentless flash in the pan. And, of course, I chose Eyes Wide Shut for the contest with my heart, not my head.

    I will try to post a companion piece describing my thoughts on the likely results of this summer's season at the box office in a day or two.

    Thanks to all who entered.

    Back to the film contest page.