Week four of the fall Fantasy Movie League gave us a few options when it came to filling out eight screens.
The three obvious anchors were It, which was entering its third week, Kingsman: Golden Circle, a sequel to the 2014 Kingsman: The Secret Service, and the third entry for big screen LEGO releases, LEGO Ninjago. The pricing was:
Kingsman: Golden Circle $511 LEGO Ninjago Movie $389 It $352 American Assassin $68 Friend Request $66 Mother! $34 Home Again $32 Brad's Status $22 Hitman's Bodyguard $19 Wind River $15 Leap! $13 Annabelle Creation $12 Spider-Man $11 Battle of the Sexes $8 Dunkirk $7
At the start of the week the studio estimates had It in at a solid, predictable $30 million. That would have been my guess if asked. Kingsman was being pushed as high as $45 million in predictions, while LEGO Ninjago was being considered for about $35 million.
With that sort of pricing spread and predictions, LEGO Ninjago seemed like the obvious anchor to me. No only was it sizing up as a better price/performer than the alternatives, but it seemed solid to me as it was the only kids movie to hit the screen. Of course, as somebody who loves LEGO, I might have been emotionally invested, but how could a LEGO movie miss?
The to fill in I went with two screens each of American Assassin, Home Again, and Battle of the Sexes. While the latter was only on 20 screens I figured it still might beat its price competitor, Dunkirk, and maybe even squeeze out a best price/performance if LEGO Ninjago didn’t grab that.
Even when the Thursday night totals came in, reinforcing Kingsman and It in their respective estimates, I did not swap. LEGO Ninjago did not have a preview night, which could have been a danger sign had the studio not glibly declared it a school night. I bought that even as I was tinkering with a line up that had one screen of Kingsman and seven of American Assassin. I have witness is Slack that I was contemplating such a line up.
That was the point in time when I could have been at least tied for first place for the week.
Instead I stuck with LEGO Ninjago and was let down. As you can see from the image above it barely crossed the $20 million mark, far from the early week estimate. I blame the lack of a Batman appearance, the hallmark of successful LEGO big screen ventures so far.
In the meta league a lot of people went with LEGO as well. We’re all down at the bottom while those who bet on Kingsman are at the top, with the top two tied using the Kingsman line up I was considering. Damn!
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $82,812,329
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $82,812,329
- Kraut Screens (T) – 80,896,439
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $80,388,701
- Ocho’s Octoplex (L) – $73,146,908
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $67,722,939
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $65,969,112
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $65,969,112
- I HAS MOVIES (T) – $65,969,112
- Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $64,872,588
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $61,124,362
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $60,610,822
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $58,501,206
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $48,421,081
Meta League legend:
- TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
- MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)
- Liore’s Summer League – players from it marked with an (L)
[We had one new addition to the TAGN league, Darren, and I dropped Bel from the Liore league as he stopped picking.]
Basically, if the score was over $67 million, that person went with Kingsman, and if it was under, they went with LEGO Ninjago. Also Dunkirk beat Battle of the Sexes. At least I got a bit of a boost from Home Again, the price/performance winner.
And yet there was a surprise twist. The perfect pick of the week included neither Kingsman nor LEGO Ninjago. It was the anchor of the perfect pick again, with a heavy helping of Home Again, a selection good for close to $98 million.
Damn meddling clowns!
That left the standings for the Meta League as follows:
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $354,348,845
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $344,853,444
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $333,425,631
- Ocho’s Octoplex (L) – $325,759,23
- Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $323,286,545
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $321,586,050
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $314,900,377
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $310,149,811
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $304,352,727
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $263,203,132
- I HAS MOVIES (T) – $258,240,572
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $232,327,410
- Kraut Screens (T) – $230,870,243
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $67,722,939
Reminder: The bottom of that list is (mostly) people who started a week or two… or three… late.
And so we head into week five where a number of new titles are joining the fray. The FML pricing for week five looks like this:
Kingsmen: Golden Circle $256 American Made $225 It $214 LEGO Ninjago Movie $168 Flatliners $143 Battle of the Sexes $72 A Question of Faith $42 American Assassin $40 Home Again $28 Mother! $21 Stronger $20 Hitman's Bodyguard $12 Friend Request $11 Wind River $10 Spider-Man $9
Somehow Kingsman in its second week is supposed to be a better performer than American Made, a Tom Cruise movie with him in a totally Tom Cruise role. What has this country come to when a Tom Cruise movie, with Tom Cruise in a role he was born to play, Tom Cruise, cannot top the charts on its opening weekend? (And stop bringing up The Mummy.)
In addition we have Flatliners, A Question of Faith, and Stronger making their debuts on the list while Battle of the Sexes is now out in general release.
I have to think Tom Cruise is the pick for anchor this week. It has decent reviews, it will be on many screens, and it is freakin’ Tom Cruise. It has got to do better than the initial $16 million projection. I guess you know where I stand right now. We’ll see if I change when updated estimates, social media penetration numbers, and Thursday night preview results come in.