Fall Movie League – The Week of the Empty Screen

We are through week eight and into the back half of our Fantasy Movie League season now.

This week’s price list saw a range of options as anchors.

Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween    $411
Happy Death Day              $202
Only the Brave               $201
Geostorm                     $186
The Snowman                  $167
Blade Runner 2049            $128
The Foreigner                $105
It                           $57 
Same Kind of Different As Me $53
American Made                $50 
The Mountain Between Us      $49
Kingsman                     $47
LEGO Ninjago Movie           $42
My Little Pony               $35
Victoria & Abdul             $31

When I wrote up my projection for this week… or what passes for a projection anyway… I thought anything between Boo! 2 and Blade Runner 2049 could possibly be an anchor, though I felt that those two titles were the least likely to be so.  Boo! 2 seemed over-priced while Blade Runner 2049 has been a heart break of under performance since it launched.

After buying into Blade Runner 2049 heavily in Week 7 I was saying, “Won’t get fooled again!”

…nobody is going to convince me that seven screens of Blade Runner 2049 are a good idea after the current results.

-Me, just a week ago

And then, of course, the reviews and the projections for the weekend started showing up.  The reviews for The Snowman were especially biting, not that anybody let Geostorm off the hook either.  Those two and Boo! 2 made up a trifecta of red pen scores on Metacritic.

Only The Brave got good reviews but was expected to be a slow performer.  That left only Happy Death Day and Blade Runner 2049 without something to speak directly against them… aside from past performance.  But you know, there I was, sitting there thinking that if only Blade Runner could just drop less than 50% week over week this time it could be a contender.  All it really had to do was bring in about $8.5 million to make it a solid pick at that price.  Given the competition, that seemed like it could happen… I mean, if I still bought into that whole “slow burn” idea for Blade Runner.

I hemmed and hawed and changed up my picks as many times before the lockout last week as I have probably ever done.  I went back and forth, but in the end I doubled down on Blade Runner 2049.  It hurt me last week, surely it would make it up to me this week, right?  Seven screens of Blade Runner plus a screen of It was my pick.

My Fall Week Eight Picks

My alternate pick for the week, entered into my daughter’s account, was two Happy Death Day, two Geostorm, and four Same Kind of Different As Me.

With those locked I settled in to wait for the numbers to roll in.

Saturday looked bad.  Blade Runner 2049 was trending to just $6 million for the weekend.  Meanwhile, nobody seemed to have paid attention to reviews, at least in the case of Boo! 2 and Geostorm, as both were booming.  But both The Snowman and Only The Brave seemed to be falling behind expectations.  A Geostorm heavy pick seemed to be the optimum.

People just don’t pay attention to reviews any more.

But I refer to Saturday as the day of false hope for a reason.  The projections you get are only based off of Friday night and more than a few times I have seemed to have a winning pick on Saturday, only to find that the update projects and final tally go a different direction.

And it was true that, in the end, Blade Runner 2049 revived a bit from its Saturday estimate.  My daughter and I went to see it, which I am sure helped a little.  But the winning pick of the week was something of an anomaly, being five screens of Geostorm, two screens of Victoria & Abdul, and one blank screen.  It was nearly two screens of My Little Pony and a blank screen, but Victoria overcame the ponies in the end.  Either way though, the winning combo required you to take a $2 million hit off the bat by leaving a screen blank.

Fall Week Eight Perfect Pick

I am not sure I could ever quite make it that far in dedication to my pick.  But for 37 people, leaving a screen empty was no big deal, and they all got $85,789,110 for their effort. (There was also a blank screen contingent that went with My Little Pony rather than Victoria & Abdul, and which would take the prize was a near run thing.)

Fortunately… for some of us… nobody in the Meta League got the perfect pick or anything close to it really.  A few people picked one screen of Geostorm and that was it, leaving the weekly scores looking like this:

  1. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $57,247,405
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $56,324,221
  3. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $55,693,800
  4. Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $55,527,354
  5. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $55,048,267
  6. Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $54,923,720
  7. Kraut Screens (T) – $54,056,029
  8. The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $52,247,686
  9. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $51,441,248
  10. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $50,943,134
  11. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $39,623,861
  12. I HAS MOVIES (T) – $36,059,024
  13. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $34,968,514

Meta League Legend:

  • TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
  • MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)

There was not a lot of white space between first and tenth place on that list, spanning less than seven million dollars, with only Logan, Darren, and Isey paying the price for supporting their local firefighters.

With that most people advanced their totals in lock-step, neither gaining nor falling back, save for the aforementioned trio.

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $653,583,626
  2. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $637,278,428
  3. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $603,568,404
  4. Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $593,435,076
  5. Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $578,498,941
  6. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $578,286,485
  7. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $577,746,884
  8. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $555,824,640
  9. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $551,469,039
  10. The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $491,127,342
  11. Kraut Screens (T) – $469,577,629
  12. I HAS MOVIES (T) – $462,053,264
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $294,388,080

Corr remains out in front of the overall league, with Aure remaining a ways behind waiting for him to slip, while SynCaine and I remain neck and neck in the TAGN league.  A reminder that those past seventh place started late, save for Isey.  Pak though seems to be taking the one week handicap in stride and looks poised to pass Logan soon.

And so we face week nine, the weekend before Halloween.  Will people go to parties or the movies this coming weekend?

Jigsaw                        $277
Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween     $214
Subrubicon                    $150
Geostorm                      $126
Happy Death Day               $90
Thank You for Your Service    $89
Blade Runner 2049             $67
Only the Brave                $59
The Foreigner                 $55
It                            $38
American Made                 $31
Kingsman                      $29
Same Kind of Different As Me  $27
Victoria & Abdul              $27
The Snowman                   $26

The Mountain Between Us, LEGO Ninjago, and My Little Pony dropped off this week, replaced by the Saw revival Jigsaw, the Clooney/Coen brothers flick Suburbicon, and PTSD tale Thank You for Your Service.

For anchors you can build off of Jigsaw, Boo! 2, Suburbicon, or Geostorm, but I don’t have any sort of feel for which one might be well placed.  None of them seem likely to bring in big bucks.  Jigsaw, returning to an over played cult classic, might have some play due to Halloween I suppose.  The Coen brothers have made some great stuff, but they tend to be small market, film festival fare, even with big names headlining, so I am not sure how much pull Matt Damon will have with Suburbicon.  Meanwhile Boo! 2 and Geostorm are both in their second weeks, so may be spent forces.

My gut at this end of the week (Monday night as I write this) is to load up on Suburbicon and then figure out what low end fillers seem likely to exceed expectations… and to try not to mix in wish fulfillment with thoughts like, “If Blade Runner could just do…” when picking.  Replicants have let me down enough already.

The research vault seems to indicate that more people are jumping on Jigsaw however, and there is a claim in Chatter that no Saw movie has ever opened for less than $18 million on its first weekend.  If true, Jigsaw is very under priced.   We shall see.

Also, as a bonus, FML is having another four week contest league with a $1,000 prize for the winner.  You might as well join if you’re playing.  Click on the red banner currently on the site to get in on it.

2 thoughts on “Fall Movie League – The Week of the Empty Screen

  1. Isey

    My emotional pick was for Josh Brolin. His Instagram feed is deep and meaningful. Started following him because of Cable / Deadpool and he writes these long, rambly-on poetic views on well, the world through some artistic lens that is definitely not marketable in any way. One of these weeks the stars will align with my emotional picks. Jigsaw, probably.


  2. anypo8

    When I saw the week’s picks, I was trying to guess what a movie with a title like Subrubicon might be. Some military/political drama about a minor revolution, with a famous General heading toward the capital of his own country with conquest on his mind?

    Imagine my disappointment when I found out it was just Suburbicon, a Coen Brothers film. Your title is way better.


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