Week twelve of our Spring Fantasy Movie League has come and gone, with another blockbuster opening.
However, this time around there was a change up compared to how things usually play out.
Coming into the summer blockbuster season, the early entries are already upon us. We had The Avengers: Infinity War already, and it made bank. Week twelve brought us Deadpool 2, a big enough title to be split three ways, giving us the following price choices.
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
The Avengers, in their third week, had settled down from blockbuster range to being predicted to bring around $30 million, something that would otherwise be a good opening week for a film of less spectacle and ambition. Deadpool 2, being estimated between $130-150 million was expected to bring in more than that on any of its three days and was priced accordingly.
So way back on Monday evening when the picks unlocked and I was writing last week’s post, the question seemed to be which days of Deadpool 2 should you take. Being the blockbuster of the week, of course you should anchor on it and of course you should take two days of it, because of course you should.
Then there was something of a disturbance in the quiet contemplation of the week. Book Club, of which I was somewhat dismissive on Monday night, started getting forecasts that seemed to put it as the likely best performer of the week. It seemed to be priced in expectation of doing about $9 million or so, but was quickly buoyed up past $12 million. At that price it seemed like the best lineup might be 1x The Avengers 7x Book Club.
I had that selection in my list of possible lineups. While the new multi-league picking interface is awkward, it does let me keep several lineups in play with a plan to copy the one I eventually pick to the other leagues.
Meanwhile, another wildcard seemed to be in play in the form of Pope Francis. Religious films having done fairly well this year, as well as bio-pic RBG, the allure of the pope caught on a few places. It seemed to be priced conservatively, as befitting his holiness, and you could get in Deadpool 2 Friday and Sunday and six screens of it.
I was tempted by that lineup for a bit, and had it up on my list. However, in the end, I was more sold on women reading Fifty Shades than the leader of the holy mother church of Rome as a box office draw.
So it was down to that mix of The Avengers and Book Club or some load out of Deadpool 2, as much Book Club as I could get, and some filler. I was fine with a single screen of Deadpool 2 at that point.
Then on Friday morning the numbers for the Thursday night previews came out and showed Deadpool 2 had drawn $18 million, a number that would be added to the Friday totals, which sold me on Deadpool 2. My final pick was 1x Friday, 4x Book Club, 1x Life of the Party, 2x RBG.
And it wasn’t a bad pick I suppose. I ended up pretty high up the list on most leagues relative to my performance over the last couple of weeks. But it wasn’t the perfect pick. The perfect pick was the lineup I had been considering earlier in the week, 1x The Avengers, 7x Book Club.
As it turned out, Deadpool 2 didn’t live up to that Thursday night rush. (And the Thursday night numbers for Book Club didn’t seem all that spectacular.) While I can hardly bring myself to say it “only” made $125 million over its opening weekend, a huge number that secures its spot in the league of blockbusters, especially as an R-rated title, that was still less than I (and many others) had calculated on.
But at least I didn’t bet on the Pope. Pope Francis only brought in half a million, less than half of what RBG brought in, despite the fact that RBG was half the price. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have even made the list.
Super Troopers 2 and Black Panther should have been retained as they both outperformed Pope Francis and Tully.
The picks in the Meta League were quite varied and the scored for week twelve ended up looking like this:
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $143,528,520
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $143,528,520
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $132,317,638
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $125,473,035
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $124,708,463
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $119,401,760
- JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $105,188,471
- Kraut Screens (T) – $105,078,227
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $100,045,032
- Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $99,332,982 (Did not copy picks to the TAGN League)
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $98,105,435
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $95,651,071
- DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $94,334,631
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $94,334,631
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $91,456,556
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $91,268,046
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $88,467,250
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $88,079,508
- Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $88,079,508
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $88,079,508
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $84,825,769
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $84,257,700
The 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, both Biyondios and Pak got the perfect pick, so led the week. The rankings from that point down pretty much follow how many screens of Book Club people went with, the top lineup with any of it being SynCaine at $100 million.
Two people bet heavily on Pope Francis, Ben and Goat, and they suffered for their sins. Meanwhile, Liore went all-in on Deadpool 2, going with Friday and Saturday, 2x RBG, and four empty screens, but the merc with the mouth failed to back up his talk, leaving her in the lurch.
All of which led to some changes in the overall Meta League lineup:
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,396,770,078
- Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,365,230,792
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $1,347,931,759
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $1,325,281,625
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $1,305,785,817
- Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $1,295,861,503
- Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $1,290,801,335
- Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $1,285,536,880
- Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $1,267,297,820
- Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $1,227,139,350
- Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $1,223,975,074
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $1,197,832,271
- Kraut Screens (T) – $1,148,370,041
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $1,136,109,993
- Joanie’s Joint (T) – $1,110,145,634
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $1,096,836,908
- DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $1,096,432,028
- I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $1,075,682,342
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $1,054,768,564
- JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $1,037,512,961
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $1,031,959,008
- Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $934,535,318 (adjusted to reflect main league pick)
Biyondios getting the perfect pick combined with Ben betting on Pope Francis meant a change in the number one spot, putting Biyondios solidly in first place. Pak, also with the perfect pick, moved ahead of me, but I also moved ahead of Aure, Liore, and Goat.
So we go into the final week of the season with Biyondios in a strong first place position, Ben within striking range of Corr, Pak maybe eyeing Po, and a bloodbath still possible in the fight for fifth or sixth place.
And so it is appropriate that we are going into a big, big final week for the season. Week thirteen has the following options available.
Deadpool 2 $680 Solo FRI $587 Solo SAT $371 Solo SUN $334 Solo MON $271 Avengers $252 Book Club $133 Life of the Party $57 Show Dogs $52 Breaking In $49 A Quiet Place $35 Overboard $33 RBG $16 Rampage $10 I Feel Pretty $8
The big new film on the block is Solo: A Star Wars Story. It is expected to open big enough to be split. But since this is a holiday weekend, it has been split into four days for your lineup amusement/confusion.
Four slots of Solo means that nothing else new made the list, while the Pope Francis and Tully were knocked off. As I mentioned above, they should have even made the cut last week given their performance.
At first glance you might think it will be all about Solo this week, but then you notice that Deadpool 2 is at the top of the price list. Having done $125 million last week, its combined take over four days should easily eclipse any single day of Solo unless Solo breaks out and exceeds expectations.
And there is still The Avengers out there and Book Club, which might be the counter pick as it isn’t a big budget action adventure film.
Meanwhile, at the low end there is still a pretty reasonable selection of filler options at prices to suit what remains of your budget after your anchors take most of it.
So it seems to come down to how much you believe in Solo this week. Something in my gut says that it being another Star Wars filler story after Rogue One (the “why did we need to make this?” movie) and following on The Last Jedi (the “screw everything you knew about Star Wars” movie) is going to lead it to being at the low end of expectations… expectations that have been dropping week after week in long range forecasts.
But some part of my brain still asks, “Who bets against Star Wars?” And who bets against Han Solo… or young Lando?
Anyway, it will be a big week, a week where the right pick could change your standing dramatically.
Also, remember to make your tiebreaker pick and to apply your picks to all your leagues, unless you’re going to be like me and play something odd in a couple leagues. (I may be in too many leagues.)
Finally, be ready to pick next week. The summer blockbuster season starts next week and, thanks to a four day weekend, picks will only unlock on Tuesday evening while the new rules for the TAGN League (not fully set yet) will require you to pick by Thursday. (Though, for week one, that will be pushed to Friday as any holiday week gets their picks pushed back a day.) There will be no Meta League for summer, only the TAGN League. (So I can stop coloring letters every week!)
Good luck with your picks!