Daily Archives: July 12, 2017

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Six

In which a gamble does not pay off.

This week the third reboot of Spider-Man in recent memory hit screens in the United States, dominating the box office.

With Spider-Man expected to top $100 million and no other serious contenders on the bill, the FML team made things interesting by splitting up the box office results for the web-slinger into Friday, Saturday, and Sunday options.  The pricing for the week was:

 Spider-Man FRIDAY         $501
 Spider-Man SATURDAY       $448
 Despicable Me 3           $404
 Spider-Man SUNDAY         $339
 Baby Driver               $143
 Wonder Woman              $104
 Transformers              $70
 Cars 3                    $47
 The House                 $46
 47 Meters Down            $30
 The Big Sick              $28
 The Beguiled              $21
 The Mummy                 $14
 Pirates                   $13
 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $8

You couldn’t get all of the Spider-Man box office, though you could get some pairings of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I stared off with my picks trying to decide between Spider-Man on Friday and Sunday or doubling up on Saturday.  But as I dabbled with my spreadsheet and looked at various predictions, I noticed that Baby Driver might be an option.

While the price had been bumped up from week five, when all-in with Baby Driver was the perfect pick, it still seemed to have potential.  I could no longer get it on eight screens, but if predictions of it hitting $15 million on its second week out it seemed likely to be the best price/performance title of the week again, which would grant it another $2 million per screen.  $17 million times six screens would give Spider-Man a run for its money, since it was sliced up into three picks.

So I decided to roll the dice and went with six screens of Baby Driver and two screens of Transformers.

However, Baby Driver ended up not having $15 million in box office in it for its second week.

Baby Driver dominated my week six picks

$13 million wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t enough to get the bonus.  Instead, the bonus went to The Big Sick.  While it only only cleared $3.6 million at the box office, the bonus plus the right Spider-Man picks were enough to pull way ahead of my Baby Driver plan.

The perfect pick for the week, which 324 people went with, was Spider-Man on Friday and Sunday, five screens of The Big Sick, and Pirates of the Caribbean, a selection good for $114 million.

The Week Six Perfect Pick

The good news… for everybody besides Liore… was that Liore did not have the perfect pick.

The bad news… again, for all but Liore… was that she missed the perfect pick by a single screen, going with The Mummy instead of Pirates.  That was enough to make her far and away the winner for the week.  The week six scores were:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $109,051,414
  2. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $97,942,099
  3. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $97,825,990
  4. Bel’s House of Horrors – $94,559,299
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $92,986,346
  6. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $90,769,482
  7. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $87,981,801
  8. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $87,783,408
  9. Ocho’s Octoplex – $87,724,019
  10. Void’s Awesomeplex – $83,549,342

Liore was $11 million ahead of second place for the week.  But the win had even more impact on the overall season standings.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $710,750,595
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $666,781,705
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $619,683,659
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $594,470,061
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $574,929,942
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $559,255,453
  7. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $552,400,538
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $544,825,221
  9. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $539,791,244
  10. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $492,373,061

The actual ranking order did not change compared to the previous week.  What did change was the extent of Liore’s lead.  She jumped ahead from being a little over $25 million out in front of second place to nearly a $46 million lead, a gap that went from “insurmountable unless she stumbles” to “could probably roll with her week six picks for a few weeks and still win easily.”

My Baby Driver plan was solidly mid-pack, so I am still secure in second place, but first place is just a distant spark on the horizon from where I stand.

In our home league, my wife got her first weekly win, rolling past $100 million for the week, trouncing my daughter and I and our Baby Driver fixation.

And so we come to week seven and the second half of the season.  Spiders and Apes are battling for week seven, with the list of options looking like this:

Planet of the Apes $705
Spider-Man         $586
Despicable Me 3    $201
The Big Sick       $143
Baby Driver        $93
Wish Upon          $92
Wonder Woman       $68
Cars 3             $33
Transformers       $30
The House          $26
47 Meters Down     $17
The Beguiled       $12
Pirates            $6
The Mummy          $5
Best of the Rest   $5

Spider-Man is down to a single pick, but you can still only get him on one screen.  Planet of the Apes is estimated to bring in more than $50 million currently.

There are also enough low estimate movies in play that the Best of the Rest wild car is in play for week seven as well.

I am not sure what I will go with this week yet… I am usually not sure until Thursday night… but I probably won’t be all in on Baby Driver again.  With the current estimates it looks like Wish Upon is a likely candidate for best price/performance, so expect to see that on a lot of picks.  But if Baby Driver could just pull out $9 million though… hrmm…

Captain’s Quarters Soon to be Gone

First off we have Incarna, an amazing technological and artistic achievement. A vision from years ago realized to a point that no one could have imaged but a few months ago. It rolls out without a hitch, is in some cases faster than what we had before, this is the pinnacle of professional achievement. For all the noise in the channel we should all stand proud, years from now this is what people will remember.

CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson on the launch of Incara

CCP has announced that the Captain’s Quarters will be removed from EVE Online with the August release. (Also, we’ll be getting an August release this year.)  The Captain’s Quarters underwhelmed when launched with the Incarna expansion (my tour from back then) and has remained stagnant since then.

Captain’s Quarters

The letdown of the Captain’s Quarters was greatly aggravated by removal of the hangar view that was long the staple of being in a station.  Instead, if you didn’t want the resource hogging new quarters you got a static door.

The Immobile Hanger Door

Then Hilmar’s derisive comment about “ship spinning” poured gasoline on that fire.  Spinning had nothing to do with it, being able to see your active ship was the point.

CCP eventually relented and put the hangar view back with the Cruicible expansion, an update that saw the company begin to focus on long neglected features already in the game.  A lot of features in the game have improved greatly since then… though CCP still seems lost when it comes to creating a useful in-game map.

Usage of this minimalist pseudo-housing, the one place in the game where you could walk around with your avatar, was never huge once the hangar view returned.  And with the advent of citadels, which do not have that as an option (and docking in a citadel changes your default view to hangar), usage plummeted even further.  CCP even has a chart.

Game time spent in Captain’s Quarters

So the Captain’s Quarters has lingered for six years, the “amazing technology” stopped in time. (Well, we got “themed” quarters, but that was about it.)

However, the code is in the game and needs to be maintained and updated as things change.  Furthermore, the middleware developed to be used with that code is out of date and is standing in the way of getting a real 64-bit game client.  Per CCP:

One of the first things that we want to investigate is to release a 64-bit EVE client to better utilize your available system memory when playing. Compiling a 64-bit client has been held back by the outdated middleware that was needed by captain’s quarters.

And so it goes.

I won’t be sorry to see the departure of the Captain’s Quarters come August.  I have long maintained that avatar play and the idea of “walking in stations” was a distraction from the core of EVE Online.  With limited resources, if a feature doesn’t somehow involve spaceships, it should be avoided.

Of course, as I have also noted on past occasions, any given feature in an MMO, no matter how bad, awkward, or simply useless, is somebody’s absolute favorite aspect of the game.  The fans of the Captain’s Quarters will no doubt stand up to be counted.  But they will be hard pressed to argue that this lingering feature is more important than a 64-bit client.

In a reality where CCP is spending more time and effort on their VR projects, leaving fewer resources to work on EVE, simplifying by removing the superfluous makes sense.

Along with the Captain’s Quarters the integrated Twitch option is also slated to be removed come August due to low utilization.  There are other options for using Twitch with the game, and it seems like streamers are already using them.

Addendum: Reddit seems to be mostly on board with this change.

Others on the topic: