Week six of our Spring Fantasy Movie League has come and gone.
This week saw a surprise as A Quiet Place exceeded forecasts by quite a margin. The options for the week were:
A Quiet Place $460 Ready Player One $334 Blockers $217 Black Panther $108 Tyler Perry's Acrimony $103 I Can Only Imagine $96 Isle of Dogs $62 Pacific Rim $58 Sherlock Gnomes $57 The Miracle Season $53 Chappaquiddick $50 Love Simon $39 A Wrinkle in Time $39 Tomb Raider $34 Paul, Apostle of Christ $26
My early week gut pick of Ready Player One and The Miracle Season was swept by the wayside as the first few forecasts started to show up. I was initially sweet on Pacific Rim Uprising as a potential best performer option, if it would drop less that 50% week over week.
But eventually I became focused on Blockers, the teen sex comedy that seemed to be getting favorable comments and was being compared to American Pie for its first week out. Long range forecasts had the film pegged for maybe $15 million, and it was priced in the lineup based on that. But as Friday moved closer and closer people started getting more and more optimistic about it. The number $20 million was bandied about, at which it was a clear winning choice, all other things being equal. On that hype became my choice as an anchor.
The question was, how many screens of Blockers? Three screens gave flexibility in picking subsidiary items, but four screens seemed to offer the best outcome if it did as well as some were predicting. It had a shot of even being the best performer if that happened, leaving the other picks more window dressing… though, such window dressing can often make or break your attempt to get the perfect pick.
While this was going on people were also warming up to A Quiet Place. Reviews were good and it got some acclaim at its SXSW preview, so estimates for it were rising out of the mid-to-high $20 million range into the $30 million bracket. A couple of rash people said $40 million might be within its reach. That gave me pause, and I did swap back and forth between Blockers and A Quiet Place a few times just to try on both movies for size, but I ended up with Blockers in the end. You could only get a single screen of A Quiet Place without leaving several empty screens as a result, so Blockers seemed better.
Even the Thursday night previews didn’t move me. A Quiet Place did three times what Blockers did, but Blockers was solid all the same. I didn’t think A Quiet Place would end up doing three times Blockers overall for the three days, and I was at least correct on that.
I ended up going with 4x Blockers, 3x Tomb Raider, and 1x Paul, Apostle of Christ.
But as the estimates started rolling in on Saturday it became clear that the forecasts for A Quiet Place over the week were well short of its potential. Estimates were past $40 million on Saturday and, come the Sunday estimates, that went to a call at $50 million.
Meanwhile, Blockers was close to $21 million. That was a very good number. Going with four screens of wasn’t a bad deal. I wasn’t far off the pack. But it wasn’t the perfect pick. Out of left field, so to speak, came Chappaquiddick, the tale of the Ted Kennedy cover up that I suspected might play in some red states, but which otherwise seemed to be old news, water over the bridge and all that. Instead it nearly doubled the forecasts that put it at around $3 million, hitting the $5.7 million mark over the weekend, making it the best performer and worth $7.7 million for each screen picked after adding in the bonus.
And with that, the perfect pick turned into 1x A Quiet Place, 1x Blockers, 6x Chappaquiddick, a lineup that held that spot from Saturday estimates through to the final numbers.
267 people managed to get the perfect pick this week, worth $122,355,036, including Ben in the Meta League, putting him solidly in first place for the week. The results looked like:
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $122,355,036
- Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $99,866,567
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $99,866,567
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $97,090,783
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $94,793,838
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $94,463,824
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $92,118,290
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $91,794,305
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $91,303,858
- DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $90,427,768
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $89,776,571
- JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $89,525,294
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $88,849,390
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $88,256,038
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $86,385,630
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $86,285,654
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $82,545,705
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $79,250,966
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $77,803,508
- Kraut Screens (T) – $75,723,006
- Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $74,103,186
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $26,306,868 (did not pick)
The Meta League Legend:
- TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
- MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)
Ben clearly took the MCats league while Goat Water and SynCaine tied for first in the TAGN league, both having picked the right anchors at least, with the win going to Goat Water based on the new tie breaker system that came in this week. Then there is the pack trailing out behind without much pattern in picks with Vigo, who missed picking this week, trailing back at the end.
Ben’s perfect pick led to a change in the lead this week.
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $600,111,093
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $595,259,677
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $573,303,754
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $566,143,090
- Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $550,164,402
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $546,015,745
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $542,740,396
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $531,011,088
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $526,771,186
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $526,627,429
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $520,784,559
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $513,345,132
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $468,007,536
- Kraut Screens (T) – $467,904,695
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $454,419,647
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $453,497,158
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $442,777,932
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $434,688,309
- DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $414,084,317
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $402,022,784
- JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $344,210,611
- Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $341,307,219
Po fell back to second place, though he is less than $5 million behind Ben so the race is tight, and doubly so with seven weeks left to go. A lot could happen still. Meanwhile Goat Water, already ahead of me last week, jumped up two more spots, passing Corr and Liore.
So with those standings set we look on to what week seven brings. The pick list looks like this:
Rampage $535 A Quiet Place $361 Truth or Dare $207 Ready Player One $167 Blockers $147 Isle of Dogs $105 Black Panther $74 I Can Only Imagine $62 Tyler Perry's Acrimony $52 Chappaquiddick $47 Sherlock Gnomes $46 The Miracle Season $29 Pacific Rim $27 A Wrinkle in Time $25 Love Simon $18
Falling off the list this week are Tomb Raider and Paul, Apostle of Christ.
Coming into the lineup to replace them are two new releases, Rampage and Truth or Dare.
Rampage is a monster movie that feels a bit in the style of King Kong, featuring a giant ape and all, while Truth or Dare is a new horror flick about a game of Truth or Dare that starts being mediated by supernatural forces.
I am not sure how I feel about either.
Rampage does star The Rock who does seem to have something of a golden touch with many of his films… mostly… there was Empire State. Long range forecasts for it were a bit past $31 million as of last week, though they were up from earlier looks.
Truth or Dare on the other hand doesn’t have a big name actor as a draw… at least nobody I recognize… and is coming into a market where another horror film, A Quiet Place, just burst out beyond expectations. The long range forecast for it was $15 million, and the pricing reflects the idea that it won’t beat its horror competitor.
Of the four possible anchors this week, it feels like a choice between Rampage and A Quiet Place, and honestly A Quiet Place has such good word of mouth right now that it just has to keep from dropping more than 45% week over week to seem like the obvious choice.
Or so says me on Monday night.
And then there is the filler. So many choices this week. I’m going to need to see some forecasts before I even wade into that pool.