Week two of our Winter Fantasy Movie League is now in the can, so to speak, so it is time to see how we did.
It wasn’t expected to be a huge week. It is in the awkward gap holiday vacation gap when everybody is still at work or in school and the looming anxiety of holiday shopping is starting to grip. And there wasn’t exactly any big new titles hitting the screens, as the options for the week show.
Coco $390 Justice League $177 Wonder $169 Just Getting Started $152 The Disaster Artist $150 Thor: Ragnarok $126 Daddy's Home 2 $95 Murder on the Orient Express $88 Lady Bird $73 Three Billboards $68 The Star $58 Bad Moms Christmas $47 The Shape of Water $34 Roman J. Israel, Esq. $20 Darkest Hour $13
The biggest new item was Just Getting Started, the buddy comedy vehicle for Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones. I was upbeat on the concept in my last post, but at that point I knew next to nothing about the film itself, which likely should have been a red flag. It seems nobody else knew much either.
At its initial box office estimate of $8.5 million it was a contender that could have been somebody. By mid-week estimates were at $6 million and when Variety pegged it at an astute-in-hindsight $3.3 million, along with a scathing “why bother making such junk?” review, I abandoned any idea of going that route. It went from interesting wild card to dead man walking.
But what did that leave me with? A pile of the same old films from past weeks. Sure, The Disaster Artists was now in wider release, but suffered from the “last week’s best price/performer” punishment and seemed unlikely to be a path to victory. And my gut said that Wonder might be played out at this point.
So it was just a question of what combo to anchor on, and there were a lot of possible variations with Coco, Justice League, and Thor. In the end I played what felt like a conservative hand for anchor, running two screens of Coco and one of Thor, with a screen of Roman J. Israel, and four screens of Darkest Hour, hoping that the latter would break out just enough to give it the price/performance bonus. It didn’t have to stretch very far, but it was also still in limited release.
I didn’t think I was going to win the week with that pick, but I had no feeling for what might be better and this seemed like it would at least keep me from falling too far behind. When the picks were locked on Friday morning there was quite a bit of variety across the Meta League. The scores however ended up like last week, with no huge gap between mid-pack and either end of the list.
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $54,356,001
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $52,999,628
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $52,405,846
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $49,983,148
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $49,818,955
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $49,818,955
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $49,818,955
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $49,818,955
- Kraut Screens (T) – $47,441,559
- Movies Movies Movies (T) – $47,351,440
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $47,013,296
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $46,977,958
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $46,977,958
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $46,977,958
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $46,264,589
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $45,529,490
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $45,046,091
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $43,360,350
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $42,390,697
Meta League Legend
- TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
- MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)
SynCaine seems to be on a streak, winning his second week in a row in the TAGN league, while Ben from the MCats league was out in front for the week overall. Those out front anchored on Justice League, those of us who were in on Coco this week were further down the list, while those who thought that lightening would strike again for The Disaster Artist were at the back of the pack.
We had four people in on the same pick this week, two from each league, with 7x Thor and 1x Daddy’s Home 2 being the popular pick.
Nobody in the Meta League managed to get the perfect pick for the week, which was Coco, Justice League, Thor and five screens of The Star, a selection worth $67,923,421 with bonuses.
The overall Meta League scores now stands at:
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $126,943,037
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $126,279,603
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $122,497,828
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $116,948,242
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $116,204,308
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $116,072,271
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $113,617,417
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $112,987,735
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $112,346,878
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $108,292,211
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $108,020,111
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $106,734,223
- Movies Movies Movies (T) – $105,660,503
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $103,838,553
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $103,176,281
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $102,755,384
- Kraut Screens (T) – $101,314,991
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $100,173,896
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $96,556,288
SynCaine is holding his own as a solid second place as first place changes hands with Logan dropping to third and Ben popping up into first. Meanwhile I am way down the line in 15th position and in need of a strong week to catch up.
And so ends week two, leading into the first big week of the season with the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The selections for week three are:
Star Wars - Friday $823 Star Wars - Saturday $501 Star Wars - Sunday $422 Ferdinand $157 Coco $90 Wonder $40 Justice League $35 The Disaster Artist $45 Thor: Ragnarok $25 Daddy's Home 2 $25 Murder on the Orient Express $21 Lady Bird $19 The Shape of Water $18 The Star $17 Three Billboards $14
Naturally enough Star Wars, divided into three days, dominates the list. Also new to the selections is Ferdinand, while four titles dropped off; Roman J. Israel, Esq, Darkest Hour, Bad Moms Christmas, and the dismal Just Getting Started.
In addition to the usual issue of exactly which day of Star Wars will be optimal… you can have Friday, or you can have Saturday and Sunday, or a pair of Sundays… there is the wildcard that is Ferdinand this week.
Last week Box Office Pro was estimating $25 million for its opening three day weekend. Priced at a mere $157 for the week, six screens of Ferdinand could be a very viable alternative to Star Wars… if it gets close to that estimate… and if Star Wars does not exceed its estimates on any of the three days.
On the other hand, if Ferdinand drops south of $20 million, Star Wars is the only viable anchor unless there is a considerable disturbance in the force. You just have to pick your day or days.
My Monday at 5pm first run gut pick was two screens of Star Wars on Sunday and six screens of Thor to fill in the rest, but even now I doubt I will stick with that. Saturday and Sunday seems like a better plan now… we shall see.