Run enough tournaments and eventually, you’ll see everything.
Case in point: The 2000s Winter / Spring Blockbuster Tournament, in which every #16 seed took out a #1 seed in the first round. Yep, The Passion of the Christ, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 300 and Monsters vs. Aliens all got trounced early by, respectively, Along Came a Spider, Sin City, Coraline and Old School. And if that wasn’t enough, two of them squared off in the Final Four and one of them went on to compete for the championship.
But after a while, it’s time to say: Stop trying to make Sin City happen. And thus, #10 seed Mean Girls put Marv, Nancy, Hartigan and company in their Burn Book to win the tournament by a margin of 33 to 10.
The Tina Fey-scripted satire savaged its competitors from the start, taking down Norbit, The Rookie (2002) and Man on Fire (2004), followed by The Scorpion King in the Elite Eight and Erin Brockovich in the Final Four.
Meanwhile, on its Cinderella run, Sin City took down Greek, Save the Last Dance and Cloverfield, followed by 2009’s Watchmen in the Elite Eight and fellow #16 seed Coraline in the Final Four.
As Final Four contenders, Coraline and Erin Brockovich will be back in the Battle Royale Tournament (as will Sin City), while The Scorpion King, Hannibal, Hitch and Watchmen will get one last shot at redemption in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boom Tournament.
As for what’s next? Only one tournament stands between us and truly epic throwdowns to come this summer. Before we get to those Bibbidi Bobbidi Boom and Battle Royale clashes, though, we’ve got the 2010s Winter / Spring Blockbuster Tournament that goes live at noon EDT today on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/midwestfilmjournal) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/mwfilmjournal). Be sure to vote and then come back for the second round next week.
Will we go back to a #1 seed with a victory? Your top contenders are Black Panther, Beauty & the Beast (2017), Captain Marvel and The Hunger Games. But as always, there are plenty of spoilers lurking among the field of 64.
Until then, here are some notes on the 2000s Winter / Spring Tournament, with a final bracket embedded at the bottom.
Not too many films with 10 or fewer votes in the first round this time, but the unceremonious departures here were Eight Below (10 votes), Disturbia (9), The Ring Two (7), Wild Hogs (7) and Are We There Yet? (3).
Slightly more parity, though, across the board, as the highest-percentage vote-getters were not runaways in each round. Sixth-seeded Spy Kids came the closest to a full house with 95% of the vote against #11 Are We There Yet? In the first round. In the second round and Elite Eight, respectively, #16 upstart Old School and eventual champion Mean Girls took 86% of the vote against #9 Scary Movie 4 and #8 The Scorpion King. The Sweet Sixteen was especially competitive, and the largest vote percentage there went to eventual runner-up Sin City with 67% of the votes against #13 Cloverfield.
As always, the close matches are more fun, and we had some doozies this time — including two ties (in which a win goes to the higher seed). In the second round, #4 Robots edged out #5 Ghost Rider on a tie, with #2 Hitch advancing past #6 Spy Kids in the same way in the Sweet Sixteen. Eventual Final Four contender Coraline had the closest first-round match of all the #16 seed upsets, ousting #1 300 by a margin of 38 to 35. It also had the closest call in the Elite Eight, sending Hitch home alone 28 to 21.
Meanwhile, nearly half of all first-round matches were upsets — led by the historic #16 seed sweep. They were:
- #16 Along Came a Spider over #1 The Passion of the Christ
- #16 Sin City over #1 My Big Fat Greek Wedding
- #16 Coraline over #1 300 (where the Twitter vote pushed Coraline to victory)
- #16 Old School over #1 Monsters vs. Aliens
- #15 Constantine over #2 Ice Age
- #15 The Rookie (2002) over #2 Wild Hogs
- #14 Man on Fire over #3 Paul Blart: Mall Cop
- #14 We Were Soldiers over #3 Horton Hears a Who!
- #13 Cloverfield over #4 Bringing Down the House
- #11 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed over #6 The Pacifier
- #10 Inside Man over #7 Daredevil
- #10 Mean Girls over #7 Norbit
- #10 Starsky & Hutch over #7 Meet the Robinsons
- #9 Scary Movie 4 over #8 10,000 B.C.
2000 was the year with the fewest competitors, fielding just three (Scream 3, U-571 and eventual Final Four contender Erin Brockovich). Meanwhile, 2009 yielded 10: Fast & Furious, Hannah Montana: The Movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, Knowing, Madea Goes to Jail, Monsters vs. Aliens, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Taken, Watchmen (2009) and eventual Final Four contender Coraline.