Spring Movie League – Player One Denied

With week eleven now in the past we are down to the final two weeks of our Spring Fantasy Movie League.

Week eleven saw the likely last of the reign of The Avengers as the summer blockbuster season looms.  After two weeks split into three days The Avengers consolidated into a single expensive pick.

Avengers           $580
Life of the Party  $225
Breaking In        $131
Overboard          $85
A Quiet Place      $50
I Feel Pretty      $33
Rampage            $26
Black Panther      $22
Tully              $21
RBG                $13
Blockers           $9
Truth or Dare      $9 
Super Troopers 2   $9
Bad Samaritan      $7
Ready Player One   $6

The Avengers still seemed to be the best anchor for the week.  Neither of the two new anchor priced titles on the scene, Life of the Party and Breaking In, seemed like they had the wherewithal to take on The Avengers and its likely $60+ million take.

Or so it seemed on Monday night, with the forecasts as they stood.  But then the week went on and people started getting more and more optimistic about Breaking In.  Originally slated in the low teens, by Thursday people were calling it closer to $18 million, with some of the more exuberant saying they wouldn’t be surprised if it passed both the $20 million mark and Life of the Party.

With its pricing, a low teens Breaking In wasn’t worth considering.  But at $18 million it was cheap enough that you could load up seven screens of it and it seemed very likely to get the best performance nod, giving it a $2 million boost per screen.

What seemed like a gamble on Monday turned into a stampede by lockout time on Friday as 440 of the top 500 cineplexes went with the lineup 7x Breaking In, 1x A Quiet Place.

I was on board with that, as were seven others in the Meta League.  It seemed to be a very good bet.

And then the weekend came and with both the Saturday and Sunday estimates had a different lineup as the perfect pick.  Both Pak and Vigo were probably feeling pretty good through the weekend as their pick of 1x The Avengers, 3x Breaking In, 4x Ready Player One was on top.

The Avengers were doing about as expected, Breaking In was up near some of the high estimates, but seemed to be good for only about $16.5 million, while Ready Player One popped up relative to its $6 pricing to loom as the best performer.  A film looking to only bring in about $850K suddenly had $2 million added to its value.

The estimates stayed there through the weekend and it wasn’t until Monday afternoon when final numbers started replacing studio estimates that the real winner began to emerge.

The Avengers rang in about as expected, Life of the Party didn’t get past the $20 million mark as was forecast, ending up at about $17.9 million, and Ready Player One managed to hold onto its best performer crown.  But Breaking In popped up almost a million dollars, finishing at $17.6 million, which was just enough to make the 7x Breaking In 1x A Quiet Place lineup the perfect pick for the week.

Spring Week Eleven – Perfect Pick

It does seem a bit odd that the winning lineup lacks the best performing picture.  I am sure it has happened before, but in checking back through this season and the previous three, I didn’t see a single occurrence.  Corr pointed out that Week 9 of the Spring 2017 season had such a case, so it seems on the order of a once a year thing maybe.

There was actually a bit of rage in the FML forums about this from somebody who didn’t seem to know what the phrases “group think” or “echo chamber” seemed to actually mean.  They had the pick that got aced out in the end.  Such is life.

Another oddity for the week was the resurgence of A Wrinkle in Time, which showed up in 1,600 more theaters for week eleven for reasons that escape me.  FML missed it as well, so while it made 11th place in the box office it had nothing to do with us.  And then there was Isle of Dogs, which was in 14th place overall.  If the pricing lineup had had perfect information, Ready Player One, in 16th overall, and Bad Samaritan, in 18th place overall, shouldn’t have even made the cut for the week.

It feels like a week where there should have been a Best of the Rest option at the bottom.

So that left the Meta League scores for the week looking like this:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $134,867,391
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $134,867,391
  3. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $134,867,391
  4. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $134,867,391
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $134,867,391
  6. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $134,867,391
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $134,867,391
  8. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $134,867,391
  9. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $127,217,432
  10. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $126,539,630
  11. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $126,539,630
  12. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $116,022,807
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $114,083,857
  14. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $113,930,162
  15. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $107,265,819
  16. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $106,171,002
  17. Kraut Screens (T) – $104,587,829
  18. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $103,648,088
  19. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $103,474,232
  20. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $102,894,868
  21. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $100,244,909
  22. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $81,531,546

The Meta League Legend:

  • TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
  • MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)

The top eight were all the same pick, followed by Aure and the theory that I Feel Pretty would get a boost from mother’s day, an idea that got crushed in the end.  Still, at least that kept it from being nine with the same pick I guess.  Then the two who got robbed when the final numbers came out, but weren’t too far behind in the end, which gets us to the halfway point of the list.

Dan had the most unfortunate selection, betting heavy on Life of the Party, I Feel Pretty, and RBG.  No Avengers and no Breaking In make Homer something something, and Dan was the only one without either.

That left the overall lineup looking like this:

  1. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,277,151,284
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,253,241,558
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $1,215,614,121
  4. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $1,200,573,162
  5. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $1,194,268,834
  6. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $1,179,218,312
  7. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $1,171,399,575
  8. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $1,170,388,468
  9. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $1,162,257,297
  10. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $1,138,672,100
  11. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $1,129,640,443
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $1,097,787,239
  13. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $1,051,852,293
  14. Kraut Screens (T) – $1,043,291,814
  15. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $1,014,494,563
  16. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $1,008,757,400
  17. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $1,002,097,397
  18. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $990,856,573
  19. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $956,663,129
  20. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $940,502,452
  21. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $932,324,490
  22. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $835,202,336

Now is the point in the season when I must again mention the seeming unassailable state of Ben’s lead.  Ben essentially has to stumble in the next two weeks.  But given his performance so far this season, with the perfect pick five weeks out of eleven so far, that seems a dim hope.

As for the rest of the list, when eight of us pick the same lineup, and most of those were in the top eight of the overall standings already, that doesn’t make for a lot of change.  Dan took the biggest hit, with a drop from sixth to tenth place.  A few other people changed a spot or two, but there was nothing like a shakeup.

The main competition seems to be for sixth spot overall, with four of us possibly in the running for that.

While leads us to week twelve, the penultimate week of the season and the options it provides:

Deadpool 2 FRI      $501
Deadpool 2 SAT      $452
Deadpool 2 SUN      $337
Avengers            $280
Show Dogs           $99
Book Club           $98
Life of the Party   $76 
Breaking In         $73
Overboard           $50
A Quiet Place       $45
Pope Francis        $25 
I Feel Pretty       $21 
Rampage             $19
Tully               $13
RBG                 $13

Deadpool 2 is the big dog this week, big enough to be split over three days.  In addition there is Book Club, which is literally about four women in their 60s reading Fifty Shades of Grey (Does them reading a bad book make for a bad movie?), Show Dogs, which is set in our world only dogs are sentient, and Pope Francis, which is, as you might expect, about Pope Francis.

With six slots being claimed by new films, there was a serious purge of the low end, with Blockers, Truth or Dare, Super Troopers 2, Bad Samaritan, Ready Player One, and Black Panther being dropped from the list.

Unless you have a serious counter programming inspiration here, it seems like some variation on Deadpool 2 is your anchor choice of the week, two screens preferred.  I have to imagine that The Avengers will tank all the more with another superhero flick hitting the box office.  It is just the usual decision about whether or not Friday is a mug’s game this time around.  For The Avengers FML was on the money for Friday, but underestimated Saturday and Sunday.  Will it go the other way this time around?

And then there are the changes to FML.

Go make your picks early just in case the new interface confuses you.  You now have the option to make different picks for each league you are in.  This will come into play next season when the special rules option shows up. (See Monday’s post about the options proposal.)  Once you see how to copy your picks from one league to the others it isn’t so bad, but if you want to keep all your picks in sync… and you change your mind a lot like I do… it can be annoying.

The new interface also means I can’t take the usual huge screen shot of my lineup.

The price of change.

So there we go, on to week twelve and Deadpool 2!

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