The penultimate week of the winter round of our Fantasy Movie League has come and gone.
The question of the week wasn’t whether or not Black Panther was going to dominate the box office, but rather which day would be optimum to play. With the opening of a blockbuster on a holiday weekend (President’s Day in the US) there ended up being four different ways to play Black Panther, one for each day.
Black Panther (FRI) $501 Black Panther (SAT) $451 Black Panther (SUN) $348 Black Panther (MON) $220 Peter Rabbit $186 Fifty Shades Freed $155 Jumanji $87 The 15:17 to Paris $68 The Greatest Showman $51 Early Man $49 The Maze Runner $39 Samson $32 Winchester $31 The Post $26 The Shape of Water $25
I bounced around with a few possible variations, with Friday generally as my anchor. My past reluctance to back Friday night on split weeks was tempered when I found out that Thursday night previews get included in that number. It still isn’t an automatic choice, but it is definitely in the running.
But given the hype around Black Panther Friday did seem like a decent choice. I started out with that, Peter Rabbit, and six screens of Early Man. I wasn’t sold on that, with the main question being whether or not Peter Rabbit would out-do Black Panther’s Sunday take. Things often slow down come Sunday for a new release, with the truly interested having gotten in on the first few nights.
However, as the week went along the estimates for Black Panther kept creeping up, so I started looking into how to get more of that into my lineup. I played with various combos of Saturday and Sunday, but steered clear of Monday believing, as the pricing indicated, that interest would have slackened some even on a holiday weekend.
As often happens, I didn’t settle on my final pick until Friday morning. I waited to see what they were saying about the Thursday night previews. Those were strong enough that I wanted Friday in my pick along with at least one additional day. I ended up with Friday, Sunday, and six screens of The Shape of Water which was not only a selection mentioned in TAGN chatter but the same pick my wife made for our home league the night before.
Then the time was up, picks were locked, and I could see what everybody else went with. I shared my pick with two other people, I HAS BAD TASTE and Logan, and was off by one screen from Corr, but there was some variety in picks especially in the TAGN league where all four days of Black Panther were anchors for somebody.
Then as the weekend passed the estimates started to roll in. On Saturday it looked like Friday was the good choice for anchor. On Sunday it was mixed. By Monday the Sunday box office looked to make that day the best performer. Then there was the question as to how well Monday would do. I wrote in the chatter for the TAGN league that if Monday went crazy and hit $40 million then Darren, who anchored on four screens of Monday, would have a great week.
And, of course, Monday turned in a box office of $40.15 million, making it the anchor for the perfect pick of the week, which was four screens of Monday, one screen of The 15:17 to Paris, two screens of The Post, and one empty screen.
To show how wild the week was, the summary says that only four people got the perfect pick, and I only see three people with that pick in the overall FML League. This was a tough week to forecast compared to a few weeks back when nearly a thousand people got the perfect pick.
Darren had four screens of Monday and four screens of The Shape of Water, so did not get perfect, but it was enough for him to dominate the Meta League scores for the week.
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $176,827,124
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $156,901,972
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $155,650,217
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $154,765,562
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $148,721,837
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $148,338,897
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $148,338,897
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $148,338,897
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $145,695,766
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $145,695,766
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $145,695,766
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $145,695,766
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $141,649,479
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $133,748,148
- Kraut Screens (T) – $132,982,268
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $124,884,965
The Meta League Legend:
- TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
- MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)
Darren was almost $20 million out in front of the pack, followed up by a group of three in the $155 million range, who all steered clear of the dead weight that Friday turned out to be. And then things taper down, with the last three being people who only picked a single screen of Black Panther. Basically, the more Black Panther you had, the better you did.
That led to a bit of change in the overall season rankings.
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,270,679,042
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $1,262,788,453
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $1,214,022,737
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $1,197,218,790
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,192,403,275
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $1,178,278,619
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $1,168,880,531
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $1,135,310,164
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $1,113,047,984
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $1,102,001,841
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $1,044,004,547
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $1,043,456,510
- Kraut Screens (T) – $1,019,676,291
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $1,002,940,883
- Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $997,039,452
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $981,098,524
Corr managed to edge up a bit closer to Ben, so the race for first place is still on with less than an $8 million gap between the two of them.
The single screen of Black Panther picked for Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema let me pull back into third place and, while my position is not unassailable, my next pick has to be bad, or Pak has to ace his pick, for me to lose it. As we saw this week, a $20 million margin isn’t impossible.
Two people were dropped from the scoring totals, Liore and the Filthy Fleapit due to both having failed to pick for three weeks over the course of the season.
All of which leads us to the final week of the season.
Black Panther (SAT) $534 Black Panther (SUN) $395 Black Panther (FRI) $334 Game Night $201 Peter Rabbit $167 Annihilation $154 Fifty Shades Freed $100 Jumanji $87 The 15:17 to Paris $62 The Greatest Showman $55 Every Day $45 Early Man $26 The Maze Runner $17 The Post $16 The Shape of Water $15
This week Winchester, Samson, and the Monday option for Black Panther fell off of the list.
Replacing those are three new films on the list, Game Night, Annihilation, and Every Day. But none of them are going to be big enough to assail Black Panther this weekend or, looking at that pricing, even a single day of Black Panther this weekend. That means Black Panther remains split into three days.
Friday, being a work day and lacking the bonus of Thursday night previews this time around, is the lowest priced on the list. Saturday is expected to be the big day, so you can only have one screen of that, with Sunday expected to be closer to Friday in take. So it again looks like a question of how many screens of Black Panther can you get?
This being the last week of the season, next week’s post will be the final scores. My plan has been to then skip the Spring season and come back with a series of posts for the roller coaster of the Summer blockbuster season. However, I thought I would take a poll about it. Doing the posts themselves every week isn’t a big deal. I know I am writing them every week and it can be very much a template to fill out with some commentary around it. But I am not sure that makes for exciting reading week after week. So, a poll!
Either way I will still pick every week for Spring, so the TAGN League will be alive. I will put a link in the comments after this post goes live that will let you join the league. You do need to go create an account at Fantasy Movie League to play and, as I recall, it is marginally easier if you do that first, then join the league.