In which we really start to see systemic optimization.
Week three of our blogger Fantasy Movie League once again seemed to present two possible paths forward.
The choice seemed to be between Wonder Woman, still going strong at the box office having outperformed last week’s big release, The Mummy, and Cars 3, the new challenger.
It seemed pretty clear that Cars 3 would take the top spot. But FML isn’t about picking the box office winner, but picking eight movies based on a budget, with a bonus available for picking the best price/performance movie of the week. Cars 3 might do better, but would it be worth the price? It would limit what other movies one could pick. And you couldn’t pick Cars 3 AND Wonder Woman.
Cars 3 $719 Wonder Woman $478 All Eyez On Me $327 Rough Night $243 The Mummy $167 47 Meters Down $105 Captain Underpants $78 Pirates $71 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $60 It Comes At Night $34 The Book of Henry $31 Baywatch $29 Megan Leavey $25 Alien Covenant $11 Everything, Everything $10
I decided to take a chance this week.
As often happens, as the week progressed I changed my mind and redid my picks. I do that enough that I would like to be able to save my “shadow” picks just to see how they would have done.
Way back on Tuesday of last week there was a lot of optimism around Rough Night. Initial guesses put it at $16 million for the week, but that surged past $20 million at one point. With Cars 3 pegged at $50 million and Wonder Woman less than that, putting Rough Night up on three screens would likely beat either and still leave me room for decent secondary picks.
I was down with three screens of Rough Night. And then Wednesday rolled around and people who saw previews started talking and reviews started coming out and estimates fell dramatically and ended up being optimistic even then.
So I tinkered around with some other picks. My daughter was determined to pick Wonder Woman and All Eyez on Me, the latter based on what she was seeing on social media, which turned out to be a decent call.
I ended up sticking with my desire to avoid the two leading contenders. So when the week’s picks were finalized on Friday morning, the Blogger league had six people going with Cars 3, found people sticking with Wonder Woman, and me all-in on The Mummy.
The Mummy, on five screens!
My logic was that all The Mummy had to do was 50% of its opening week, not an over-optimistic level of performance to my mind, and it could be the optimum pick for the week.
As it turned out, Tom Cruise couldn’t carry that much water and it fell short of the mark, leaving me in 5th place for the week. However, I was not that far behind the pack as none of us picked the optimum lineup for the week, which was Wonder Woman and seven screens of Pirates of the Caribbean. PotC turned out to be the optimum price/performance choice of the week, rewarding an extra $2 million per showing.
A hell of a way to run a multiplex.
The scores for the week ended up being:
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $95,601,042
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $89,038,632
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $88,324,978
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $87,349,717
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $85,782,636
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $80,261,527
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $79,249,812
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $76,340,371
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $75,251,356
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $74,075,088
- Clockwork’s Cinesplosion – $50,587,837
Surprisingly, Liore did not finish on top this week, with Braxwolf taking the top spot.
Wonder Woman was not a panacea this week. While it was the main pick of the top two finishers it was also the anchor of the last place entry. Picking neither Wonder Woman nor Cars 3 got me 4th place.
Weekly wins so far:
- Liore – 2
- Braxwolf – 1
Liore did not, however, lose much ground by coming in third and remains firmly out in front of the pack. Season totals after week three.
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $327,705,530
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $294,905,717
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $294,546,672
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $286,728,185
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $281,706,342
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $279,942,008
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $277,486,309
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $260,469,411
- Clockwork’s Cinesplosion – $252,962,484
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $243,483,792
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $203,347,469
I managed to just hold on to second place, while Braxwolf’s strong finish for the week jumped him up to fifth. The race remains for second place as the gap between first and second place is about the same as the gap between second and eighth place.
Still ten weeks left to go, which leads us to the week four lineup.
Transformers $560 Wonder Woman $286 Cars 3 $278 All Eyez On Me $104 The Mummy $73 Pirates $58 47 Meters Down $55 Captain Underpants $45 Rough Night $39 Tubelight $34 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $32 Beatriz at Dinner $17 Megan Leavy $16 It Comes At Night $13 The Book of Henry $11
Transformers: About Last Night is the big fish in this week’s pond with box office estimates ranging between $60 and $75 million. That is enough to make it the likely anchor for most picks this week I suppose. If you do go with it you then have to back fill with what you hope will be this week’s Pirates of the Caribbean.
But if you avoid Transformers: The Last Goodnight, then you have considerably flexibility to experiment with screen builds… as I will now call them.
So we shall see if this is a transformative week or not.
I will follow my usual practice of picking what I think is a good screen build, then I will look at the box office predictions and see how badly I have likely erred.