Can you identify the the top five grossing films in America for the weekend of October 25th 2013, based only on their distributor and revenue? Probably not, I'd wager. Thankfully the Box Office Game, a new browser-based Wordle-like, lets you trade points for further clues: the first billed actor, the director, the tagline, and so on.
In doing so, it becomes a more broadly accessible movie guessing game than Framed, and I'm enjoying it a lot.
If your answer to my rhetorical question up top was "Yes, actually," then your name might be Griffin Newman. (Hi, Griffin). The Box Office Game is inspired by a segment played at the end of each episode of Blank Check with Griffin & David, a great podcast about the filmographies of directors who are granted a blank check early in their career to make whatever crazy passion projects they want. Griffin has supernatural recall when it comes to box office receipts from 30 years ago.
I never had the knowledge to begin with, let alone the ability to recall it, but I do have a sense of which company released what film and when. I do remember what movies Dwayne Johnson and Matt Damon made last year, and what Ridley Scott was doing in the early 2010s. This turns out to be enough.
The Box Office Game gives you ten guesses to identify all five films, but for each film you've also got 200 points you can spend to reveal extra pieces of information. It's going to lower your final score more than if you identified the films based on their gross revenue alone, but I see it more as raising my score from the zero it would be if I failed to identify even a single film.
Otherwise, it's got all the trappings of the Wordle craze. You're given just one weekend per day; it's the same weekend for everyone; there are little squares for easy post-game sharing; and it's free to play in your browser right now. My score today was 690.