About a week ago Liore of Totally Legit Publishing (formerly Herding Cats) invited some bloggers to form up a Fantasy Movie League for the summer blockbuster movie season. This was formed on Twitter, so if you were left out it was probably because you don’t hang out in that particular den of iniquity. Or Liore doesn’t like you. You’ll have to check with her.
There ended up being 11 of the usual suspects total in for the idea.
As it turns out, there is a site for this. There is a site for everything on the internet, isn’t there?
The site lacks subtlety and is called Fantasy Movie League and lives at the domain fantasymovieleague.com.
Akin to a fantasy football league, the fantasy movie league is driven by real world events which reward or punish player decisions.
The essential story is this: You run an 8 screen theater. Each week of the 13 week season you have to pick which movies to show on the eight screens of your theater. Easy enough.
But there is a catch. You have a budget of 1,000 FML Bux to spend each week, and your movie choices each have a per screen price. For example, last week Wonder Woman was on the list, but had a price of 845 FML Bux. That means you can only show Wonder Woman on a single screen. Not only that, but investing 84.5% of your budget into one movie severely limits what else you can show. You could not, for example, show another of the week’s new releases, Captain Underpants, as it cost 239 FML.
So that is constraint, fill 8 screens but stay within your budget. You can leave a screen blank, but that costs you $2 million off of your total. Your score is the US box office take of the movies you picked times the number of screens you have them on.
We all created our accounts and dove in.
The way it works is you get all week to tinker with your picks… I redid mine six times… in private. When 9am Pacific time on Friday rolls around all picks are locked and become visible to everybody else in your league. Then you wait for the results. You get an estimate result on Saturday and Sunday, and the final results when the studios release the numbers on Monday. Our choices for the week were:
Wonder Woman $845 Captain Underpants $239 Pirates of the Car. $193 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $74 Baywatch $62 Alien Covenant $31 Everything, Everything $22 Diary of a Wimpy Kid $17 3 Idiotas $17 Snatched $14 King Arthur $12 Boss Baby $7 Beauty and the Beast $6 Fate of the Furious $5 Best of the Rest $5
“Best of the Rest” is a wildcard that will take the numbers from the best performing movie not on the list already.
I made some picks, then adjusted them, as noted, after reading some advice on the forums. The advice was somewhat general, use all your FML Bux if possible, since the price is an estimate of how well the movie is expected to do, and don’t feel you need to show every movie.
The question of the week seemed to be whether or not to go with Wonder Woman. Given that it was clearly going to win the week, I went with that and then back filled with 3 showings of Alien Covenant, 2 showings of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Wimp will Rise, and one each of 3 Idiotas and Beauty and the Beast. That left me with just a few FML Bux left and all screens covered.
When the picks locked on Friday I checked out what people chose. There was a lot of variety in most people’s picks. A few opted for Captain Underpants over Wonder Woman. But there were two extreme picks. Murf went for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on all screens while Liore went for Wonder Woman with Everything, Everything on the remaining seven screens.
And then the first estimates came out and Liore was way out ahead of the pack. I checked the overall rankings and the top 200 people, all tied for first place, had all picked the same thing.
There was that feeling you get when somebody suggests a game to play and then turns out to be very, very good at it. Liore the ringer!
She however claims to be innocent and that her picking the optimum lineup for the week was a fluke. We shall see. I ended up mid-pack, placing 8th with the Saturday estimate, 7th with the Sunday, and 6th with the final numbers. The rankings at the end of week one were:
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $145,361,033
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $121,805,513
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $121,577,524
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $121,445,850
- Clockwork’s Cinesplosion – $119,909,501
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $119,467,014
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $118,524,562
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $117,222,587
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $105,725,006
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $86,116,448
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $78,714,960
The mid-pack picks… leaving aside Liore the ringer, Syl who didn’t go with either Captain Underpants or Wonder Woman, and Murf who went all Guardians of the Galaxy 2… were pretty close. And I don’t think even Liore has a completely insurmountable lead unless she is the ringer she appears to be.
Anyway, that was the first week. Since it is a blogger thing I figure I can blog about it every week. This isn’t like Fight Club. The first rule of Blogger FML Club is more like, “Never not Boss Baby.”
I also made a home league for my wife, daughter, and myself. Your picks go for all leagues you are in, so the same movies apply in my case. My daughter edged me out there for first place, though just barely, while my wife fell into third place having bet on multiple Captain Underpants besting Wonder Woman.
And now we are on to week two. The options for that are:
Wonder Woman $613 The Mummy $526 Captain Underpants $198 Pirates $143 It Comes At Night $150 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $70 Baywatch $60 Megan Leavey $59 Everything, Everything $28 Alien Covenant $26 My Cousin Rachel $15 Snatched $9 Best of the Rest $9 Diary of a Wimpy Kid $8 King Arthur $7
This week the main choice looks to be whether or not you think Wonder Woman will continue to dominate or if Tom Cruise and The Mummy will take the top spot… or be close enough that the extra budget leeway will give you an advantage. You can’t pick both. And then, of course, what else do you put in your lineup?