The week we had all been waiting for finally arrived for out Winter Fantasy Movie League run.
The Star Wars: The Last Jedi premier weekend promised to be a high rolling weekend for totals. The options for the week were as follows:
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
As expected, Star Wars was split into three days to keep other movie picks viable. But at that pricing and with the initial estimates the only viable anchor outside of Star Wars seemed to be Ferdinand.
Initially pegged to hit as much as $25 million on its opening weekend, Ferdinand was priced such that it was the obvious pick… if you believed that estimate. I wasn’t buying it and my skepticism was reinforced by an decline in the estimates for the picture as the week went on.
At least when sites could be bothered to pay Ferdinand a moments notice. That annoyance of the week was mostly the inability to get much news about other possible pictures in light of all the focus on Star Wars.
My initial, Monday afternoon at 5pm pick was two screens of Sunday Star Wars and six screens of Thor, a selection I did not budge from until Friday morning. I have long harbored the bias that Friday was a sucker’s play, and the pricing for Friday for Star Wars did little to assuage that feeling.
Then on Friday morning I saw the Thursday night preview numbers come in for Star Wars. The 7pm to midnight run of the movie brought in about $45 million.
As we learned previously, Thursday night preview numbers get added into the Friday total for FML, so Star Wars was going into Friday, its first full day, with $45 million on the books. That was enough to get me to change my picks with less than an hour to go.
But then what should the filler be? I could see that seven screens of Thor or Daddy’s Home 2 would be easy enough. Biased against the latter, I went with Thor. And then, seeing how much of my budget was left, I ended up injecting Justice League and The Star into the mix at the cost of two screens of Thor.
That was where I sat when time ran out and the picks were locked.
Then it was time to contend with FML.
For some reason they decided to update their user interface on the biggest week of the season, changing up how information was presented to the user and hiding away something that used to be easy to see; the picks of others.
You could still click on individuals to see what they picked for the week, but previously if would show the whole league listing for the week with all the picks.
That issue got addressed when they put in the first weekend estimates on Saturday morning, but that still left a 24 hour gap where you couldn’t easily eyeball your league’s pick as a whole. I hope they will fix that before the coming week. That is the first thing I like to do when the picks get locked, check to see what everybody went with.
And then there was the point in time when they updated the estimates and somebody keyed in $54 million instead of $5.4 million for Wonder and the rankings were suddenly upended.
Things did settle down though and as the results were updated it looked like anchoring on Friday might have been the best call. My secondary picks however… not so much. Seven screens of Daddy’s Home 2 were the winning add ons to the Friday anchor, the Perfect pick, which one of the Meta League players got.
So the Meta League scores for the week looked like this come the final numbers:
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $150,374,259
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $126,618,403
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $126,391,492
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $122,295,706
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $122,200,948
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $121,527,861
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $121,260,528
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $119,959,574
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $119,841,499
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $117,530,074
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $117,514,309
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $113,954,953
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $113,556,221
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $113,556,221
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $111,856,907
- Kraut Screens (T) – $108,270,492
- Movies Movies Movies (T) – $100,930,447
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $92,035,164
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $92,035,164
Meta League Legend
- TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
- MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)
At the top end was Corr with the perfect pick, with Elly in second place with what was my second to last pick… and then I decided I was leaving too much of my budget behind so swapped it out. That put me in third.
After Corr the top half of the pack was pretty tight, with less that a $10 million gap. There were a couple of empty screen gambles in that group, including Po Huit, who left two screens unfilled for his pick.
Then things start to tail off. Overall the rankings followed the general pattern of Friday, then Saturday & Sunday, then Sunday & Sunday, then Saturday only, and finally SynCaine and Liore who both went all-in on Ferdinand.
That led to some changes in the overall season ranking.
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $263,991,676
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $246,902,611
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $239,243,948
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $236,054,049
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $236,045,807
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $234,910,614
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $233,602,345
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $230,221,059
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $229,567,773
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $225,903,099
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $221,434,424
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $221,352,862
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $220,689,176
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $218,314,767
- The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $218,084,149
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $214,612,291
- Kraut Screens (T) – $209,585,483
- Movies Movies Movies (T) – $206,590,950
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $205,022,899
Corr’s perfect pick was enough to move him from 7th to 1st place overall in the Meta League, pushing ahead of Ben. On the flip side, SynCaine’s opting for Ferdinand dropped him from 2nd to 14th spot on the list. My betting on Friday was able to get me from 15th to 9th position, but the pack is still pretty tight. Corr does not yet have anything like an unassailable lead and a good or bad week for people could still shake up the ordering quite a bit.
Which brings us to week four, the Christmas Holiday weekend which includes Monday in the results. The options are:
Star Wars $815 Jumanji $275 Pitch Perfect 3 $251 The Greatest Showman $110 Downsizing $72 Ferdinand $67 Father Figures $54 Coco $51 All the Money in the World $31 Wonder $28 Justice League $17 Daddy's Home 2 $20 The Shape of Water $23 Darkest Hour $16 Best of the Rest $15
Star Wars sits at the top again, priced so you can only have one screen of that and some low priced filler. Is the force that powerful? I think it might well be and my Monday evening gut pick was anchored on it. It did an all time top ten Monday take this week scoring $21 million. Maybe I was sensing that.
But if you’re feeling a disturbance in the force, there are other plays available. This coming weekend sees a lot of new titles showing up looking to cash in on holiday magic and vacation time. Jumanji, Pitch Perfect 3, The Greatest Showman, Downsizing, Father Figures, and All the Money in the World are new this week.
Meanwhile The Star, Three Billboards, Murder on the Orient Express, Lady Bird, The Disaster Artist, and Thor: Ragnarok have all fallen off as options. Having The Star go missing this week is a bit ironic I suppose.
Then there are the lingering few. I clearly do not understand the movie going world if Daddy’s Home 2 is not only still on the list, but not even at the bottom yet. Ferdinand and Coco also seem poised to pick up some kids out of school business.
And then there is the wild card, with Best of the Rest appearing on the picks for $15. That means whatever other movie out there performs the best will take that spot. Historically that play seems more likely than not to be the best/price performer since it rewards any film that exceeds a certain amount. This could be the way The Star works itself back on the list. A $2 million showing for it would make it viable.
So you have to ask yourself, is this going to be a Star Wars Christmas or not?