We are about a third of the way through the 13 week summer Fantasy Movie League, but there are still a host of potential blockbuster movies out there.
This week saw most of our group making the decision between Transformers: About Last Night and Wonder Woman to anchor their picks.
As with last week, it seemed pretty clear who would take the top spot in the box office. Transformers was set to win, but would it win by enough to make it a viable pick. As noted previously, you have eight screens to fill and a $1,000 budget. If you invest most of it in a big movie, it has to pay off. The prices of the week four picks:
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
As the week began, estimates for Transformers were up in the $70 million range, which made it a safe pick. Grab that and a few good cheaper picks to back it up, and you’re set. And then the reviews hit and the early opening numbers came in and estimates fell through the floor, with its weekend pull down at $45 million.
Meanwhile Cars 3 and Wonder Woman were both being estimated at around $27 million. Pick two of those and you beat Transformers for about the same price. It was something of a toss up between Cars 3 and Wonder Woman for me. Wonder Woman was still going strong, but Cars 3 was still the big kids movie and only in its second week.
I decided to go with Cars 3 on three screens. Then I started picking and choosing what the other five picks ought to be. I ended up with this selection.
I wasn’t totally sold on this set, but I couldn’t come up with anything better and then I realized it was after 9am on Friday, selections were locked, and I was stuck with it.
9am is the big reveal, when you get to see what everybody else picked. Nobody picked Cars 3 aside from me. Everybody else was down with Transformers and Wonder Woman or else they picked Wonder Woman to fill two or three screens.
The closest mirror to my own picks was Liore, who went with three Wonder Woman, two Captain Underpants, and three Beatriz at Dinner. Given her ringer status in the group, I felt a bit encouraged by at least the shared pattern.
As it turned out, Wonder Woman did about a million dollars more over the weekend than Cars 3. However, my savior was 47 Meters Down, which not only clocked in at $7 million, but which got the nod as the best price/performance pick of the week, boosting my total by $2 million per screen showing it. That was enough to put me at the top of the list for the week.
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $95,679,946
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $88,567,091
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $87,759,467
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $87,244,395
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $85,011,942
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $84,410,311
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $81,825,392
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $81,603,369
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $80,899,156
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $76,460,030
- Clockwork’s Cinesplosion – $17,190,425
Clockwork apparently started to pick, filling in two screens, but then didn’t finish, leaving six empty screens. Each empty screen comes with a $2 million penalty, so Wonder Woman and Captain Underpants teaming up were not enough to save the day.
Of course none of us picked the optimum selection, which was Transformers and seven screens of 47 Meters Down.
Weekly wins so far:
- Liore – 2
- Braxwolf – 1
- Wilhelm – 1
Liore not taking the week did not do much to shake her from her leading position in the overall season running. At the end of week four the totals are:
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $416,272,621
- Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $390,585,663
- Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $382,306,139
- Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $371,138,496
- Ocho’s Octoplex – $364,953,950
- Void’s Awesomeplex – $364,730,70
- Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $358,166,372
- Bel’s House of Horrors – $342,072,780
- Murf’s Matinee Mania – $325,309,184
- Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $284,246,625
- Clockwork’s Cinesplosion – $270,152,909
I am holding on to second place, but am $26 million behind Liore. That means I need to beat her total by at least $3 million each week for the next nine weeks of the summer season. Or I need a really big score one week… or she needs to go on vacation and forget to do her picks.
And those in the mid-pack need to beat her by double that every week to overtake.
One of the interesting side notes is how well Moderate Peril is doing, holding on to fourth place, all the while doing his picks like he is running an actual theater, showing each movie only once most weeks (he doubled up on a film once) and not min/max optimizing.
Anyway, we are on to week five and the options are:
Despicable Me 3 $840 Transformers $175 The House $198 Cars 3 $102 Wonder Woman $131 Baby Driver $110 47 Meters Down $36 The Mummy $26 Pirates of the Caribbean $26 All Eyez on Me $19 Rough Night $23 Captain Underpants $19 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $15 Beguiled $32 Beatriz At Dinner $12
Despicable Me 3 is tracking for a safe $90 million this coming weekend. However, if you pick that, your other seven screens end up pretty weak. Meanwhile, Baby Driver is getting some buzz and the the FML site stats show it is being picked heavily. That might be the sign that those in the know feel it is going to be the optimum pick of the week. So it might be a better plan to pick a lessor anchor film and pile on that. But which title would you pick as an anchor? And how deep do you go with Baby Driver? Six screens? Seven? All eight?
We shall see how the week goes.