Week ten of our Fantasy Movie League has now passed and the mighty Thor has left his mark.
As with many big blockbuster weekends, the main man, Thor, was divided into Friday, Saturday, and Sunday picks because, with a weekend estimated take in excess of $100 million, each one of those days was expected to top all other films playing.
And so the choices for the week were as follows.
Thor - Friday $479 Thor - Saturday $443 Thor - Sunday $300 Bad Moms Christmas $201 Jigsaw $71 Boo! 2 $46 Geostorm $27 Happy Death Day $26 Blade Runner 2049 $23 Thank You for Your Service $22 Only the Brave $21 The Foreigner $20 It $18 Subrubicon $16 Victoria & Abdul $14
In addition, in the ongoing holiday creep, Bad Moms Christmas was also opening in the first weekend in November. You can barely get the Halloween decorations down in time for Christmas. Its predecessor, Bad Moms, did well, but I was dubious that it would be a contender this week even with the reduced price.
Everything else was too cheap to be an anchor, so for me it really came down to what flavor of Thor to go with.
My going theory has been that Friday is a sucker’s bet, that while it generally has the biggest take, it has not been, in my limited observations enough to offset the high price of that day. So Friday was off the list. I was looking for some combo of Saturday and Sunday.
In the end I decided that three Sundays would get me the most bang for my buck. It was the filler that was the tough choice. I went with two screens of Blade Runner 2049… I do pick with my heart a little too often… and three screens of It.
Of course, after the picks were set it came out from our resident expert that, when it comes to Friday, the Thursday night previews… and there was some discussion as to what constitutes a preview as opposed to simply opening on Thursday, the answer to which seemed to be that it is a preview if the studio says it is and that is that… count towards the Friday take.
So Friday was going to get Thursday night as well, and Thor’s Thursday night take was substantial. As an experiment concerning Friday I had set my daughter’s account the two screens of Friday Thor and three screens of Victoria & Abdul, leaving three screens empty, just to test my Friday theory. On learning about the Thursday aspect of it, I wondered if I was going to lose to my alternate pick yet again.
As it turned out, my theory about Friday was proven somewhat correct. The dollars per FML buck spent was worst on Friday and best on Sunday.
- Sun – Take $32.1 million – $ per FML buck $107,000
- Sat – Take $44.2 million – $ per FML buck 99,774
- Fri – Take $46.5 million – $ per FML buck 97,077
So in the Thor contest, Sunday won.
However, Thor did not take the best price/performance prize. That went to Geostorm, which turned into the spoiler when it came to my nice little theory. Despite Sunday being the best for just Thor, the perfect pick required Thor and as many screens of Geostorm as you could fit. That ended up being Thor Firday, Thor Sunday, Jigsaw, and five screens of Geostorm, a selection good for $116,069,538.
121 people share that pick, none of which were in the Meta League.
That pick was barely more than $5 million ahead of the second place pick, which was built on three screens of Sunday Thor… or basically a gap equal to the perfect pick… and even one person in our Meta League topped $110 million, so it wasn’t a huge winner.
As for the Meta League, we shook out like this for week ten:
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $110,014,123
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $105,076,239
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $105,076,239
- Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $103,857,511
- Kraut Screens (T) – $102,448,226
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $101,301,375
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $99,569,296
- I HAS MOVIES (T) – $99,547,397
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $99,526,715
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $95,735,316
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $94,415,232
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $92,011,615
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $91,960,520
Meta League Legend:
- TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
- MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)
Pak took top honors with a pick based on three screens of Sunday Thor and a pair of Geostorm screens securing his lead. Going with three Sunday screens put people at the top of the list. Betting on Bad Mom’s Christmas put you at the bottom.
That left the overall scores for the Meta League as such:
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $809,310,881
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $801,550,566
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $762,276,268
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $764,676,191
- Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $746,392,299
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $741,472,899
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $729,422,844
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $716,828,962
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $705,173,268
- Kraut Screens (T) – $623,644,150
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $605,949,338
- I HAS MOVIES (T) – $603,112,111
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $460,227,050
Corr remains at the top, but his lead has shrunk considerably and Aure could catch him before the season is through. Otherwise first place is pretty much secure from the rest of the pack at this point, barring a huge week where both Corr and Aure forget to pick.
SynCaine’s Bad Moms Christmas pick let me pass him once again and take the lead in the TAGN league. Again, not a huge gap between us.
And then Pak, who won the week in the TAGN league for the third time, but started a week late, has passed another person who was in the Meta League for the whole season. It is not impossible for Pak to catch up and take first, which would be an amazing feat, but both SynCaine and I have to screw up considerably to make that happen. We shall see.
So we are on to week eleven and the following picks.
Thor: Ragnarok $659 Murder on the Orient Express $284 Daddy's Home 2 $266 Bad Moms Christmas $105 Jigsaw $34 Boo! 2 $25 Geostorm $19 Thank You for Your Service $18 Happy Death Day $16 Blade Runner 2049 $14 Only the Brave $13 Victoria & Abdul $10 The Foreigner $9 It $6 Subrubicon $6
Thor, given the standard first week slip of about 50% should still be good for more than $50 million, making it an obvious anchor.
Then there are two new titles, Daddy’s Home 2, which holds no appeal for me personally, and Murder on the Orient Express, which features Kenneth Branagh and some of the most outrageous facial hair ever to grace a lead character. I mean, I know that Poirot is very much about his facial hair, but I always pictured him as extremely fastidious about it. Branagh looks like he has two gray privet bushes trying to escape from his face. Every time I see the trailer I reach instinctively for my hedge trimmer.
Then again, almost every modern Poirot is spoiled by the fact that I first saw him played by Peter Ustinov, whom I adore, in Death on the Nile and a few further Agatha Christie titles. For me it would be like seeing somebody other than Alan Arkin play Yossarian in Catch-22; I might accept it, but it would never be the same.
So those are possible anchors, followed by all the dregs of the past weeks. We have two choices at the $6 level, if you need to squeeze in one last screen. We’ll see if I manage to get Blade Runner 2049 into my lineup yet again.