Week ten of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is done and gone.
This week saw a match up between a new release and a title in its second week with the choices looking like this:
Christopher Robin $513 Mission: Impossible $512 The Spy who Dumped Me $268 The Darkest Minds $154 Mamma Mia 2 $136 The Equalizer 2 $126 Hotel Transylvania 3 $131 Teen Titans GO! $93 Ant-Man and the Wasp $88 Incredibles 2 $76 Jurassic World $70 Death of a Nation $55 Skyscraper $45 Eighth Grade $32 The First Purge $16
The pricing indicates that somebody at FML expected Christopher Robin to best Mission: Impossible, if only by a small amount. So for the top end anchors it depended on whether or not you believed FML or not.
I was not buying the FML line however, at least not at the start of the week. My Monday Hot Takes pick anchored on Mission: Impossible, followed up by six screens of The Incredibles 2, with the last slot taken up by Eight Grade.
And then it was something of a busy week and I spaced a bit on the movie front and forgot to change anything up before Thursday morning at 9am Pacific Time, when the TAGN League locked. So my Monday picks were also my Thursday picks.
Of course, about an hour later I realized that I had missed my window for change on the TAGN League, but figured I had better do some poking about for the Friday leagues. One thing that came up over at Box Office Mojo was that Eighth Grade was getting a much bigger theater expansion that was expected, going from 158 to almost 1,100, which made it suddenly look like a a shoe-in for best performer of the week.
I was also coming around on Christopher Robin. Box Office Pro seemed to think it was going to be close between Christopher Robin and Mission: Impossible, so I flopped over to CR, put seven screens of Eighth Grade behind it, then removed one and replaced it with the highest value title that would fit, which turned out to be The Spy Who Dumped Me and copied that to all my remaining lineups.
My picking methodology exposed.
But I just couldn’t stick with CR and flipped back, replacing it with Mission: Impossible and called it closed just before the wire on Friday morning.
As it turned out my gut pick for Mission: Impossible was correct, giving me about $10 million over CR. My TAGN pick wasn’t perhaps what I would have gone with by Thursday, but it was anchored on Mission: Impossible as well and without bonuses the fact that I wasn’t all-in on Eighth Grade didn’t really matter.
The perfect pick for the week ended up being 1x Mission: Impossible, 1x The Equalizier 2, 3x Ant-Man and the Wasp, and 3x Eight Grade.
Nobody in the league got the perfect pick this week. The scores for the week ended up like this:
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $71,097,943
- Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $68,056,099
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $66,159,041
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $65,268,895
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $64,376,188
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $63,914,522
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $63,147,833
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $60,660,286
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $58,689,526
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,781,124
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $48,786,336
- Joanie’s Joint – $47,808,556
- Too Orangey For Crows – $46,688,999
I decided just to list people who made their pick on any given week, so that list may vary in size relative to the overall score, where I am listing everybody who hasn’t totally disappeared.
Goat got the top spot and, through much of the weekend looked like they had the perfect pick as well. But come the final numbers a different lineup took the honors. I managed second and wasn’t too far behind.
The top three all anchored on Mission: Impossible, but amongst the first eight there were people who anchored on Mama Mia 2 and Hotel Transylvania 3 who were competitive.
Those who anchored on Christopher Robin or The Spy Who Dumped Me fell to the back of the pack, with the poor performing The Darkest Minds acting as an extra anchor on a couple of people.
That left the overall scores for the season looking like this:
- Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $903,828,835
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $892,694,361
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $876,537,592
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $870,040,067
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $847,579,299
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $825,583,341
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $819,170,145
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $817,537,519
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $801,307,407
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $782,565,597
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $781,282,567
- Too Orangey For Crows – $738,662,905
- Joanie’s Joint – $727,376,847
- Kraut Screens – $689,378,141
- Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $641,653,028
- Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $639,347,136
- aria82’s Cineplex – $605,936,381
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $586,269,435
Corr and I went on different paths for anchors, with Corr choosing Christopher Robin over Mission: Impossible, though at least in one league we had otherwise identical picks. That put a little more daylight between Corr and I, though we are still close enough that either could end up ahead for the season.
Likewise, Isey in third place is not out of the running, nor is Goat with a couple more winning weeks. But beyond the top four somebody has to win very big while the top four makes some extremely poor picks in order to win the season.
There are only four more weeks left, and week eleven has the following options:
The Meg $334 Mission: Impossible $260 Christopher Robin $177 Slender Man $171 BlacKkKlansman $84 The Spy who Dumped Me $83 Dog Days $69 Mamma Mia 2 $65 The Equalizer 2 $63 Hotel Transylvania 3 $62 Ant-Man and the Wasp $52 The Darkest Minds $38 Incredibles 2 $41 Teen Titans GO! $31 Jurassic World $29
This week we lose Skyscraper, The First Purge, Eighth Grade, and the unfortunate Death of a Nation off the list of options.
In their place we have The Meg, Slender Man, BlacKkKlansman, and the aptly named for this time of year Dog Days. Were are certainly in the dog days of summer around here.
The Meg is not, as I first thought, a movie version of The Mick. This is the sort of logical jump your brain makes when you leave reruns of The Simpsons running in the background on FX while you build up a new computer; the commercials seep into your brain. The title actually refers to the star of the movie, a 23 meter long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.
So, yes, it is a Jaws knock-off, with its twist being the shark is really, really big. It is practically Jurassic Shark.
But Jason Statham is the co-star, so I am going to guess that he catches the shark by going to its house, opening its front door a crack, ringing the doorbell then, when he sees the peephole darken, he kicks the door in, stunning the beast and proceeding to beat the shit out of it. Also, there is a car chase. I’d watch that on TV on a Friday night, but I am not sure I need to see it on the big screen.
Then there is Slender Man, which I thought was Slenderman, but I guess either usage is okay. Originating as a meme on Something Awful, the Slender Man has made it to the big screen, though it has been referenced in things from Minecraft to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The plot sums up as two girls investigating the disappearance of a friend who then end up being haunter by the Slender Man. That might sound familiar due to the 2014 case where two girls obsessed with Slender Man attempted to murder a friend to appease the made up horror. There is an HBO documentary about that.
BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee film about the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department who sets out to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan to expose them for what they are.
And finally there is Dog Days, tagged as a comedy-drama, which follows four people and explores how their dogs influence their lives. It was directed by Dan Marino, who has been in many things over the years, but whom I mostly associate with the now 25 years in the past show The State.
I suppose you can tell by my descriptions that I am not excited for anything showing up this week, though I imagine that the internet fame of Slender Man, and the lack of recent summer horror films in the options, might make it exceed expectations. But it is a real wild card, and the long range tracking for it has been trending down sharply, currently standing at about $15 million, but with a possible range as high as $25 million.
The Meg, which is expected to open on almost four thousand screens, is estimated to pull in almost $24 million for the weekend, while Dog Days is shooting for a modest $4 million and BlacKkKlansman has no revenue estimate at the moment, but should open on about 1,500 screens.
So my Monday Hot Takes league pick is a conservative one, going with 3x Mission: Impossible, 2x Equalizer 2, and 3x Teen Titans GO!. But if the vibe for Slender Man picks up this week, I might swap to 5x Slender Man, 2x Ant-Man, and 1x The Incredibles 2 before the Thursday lock. I think that is the “go for broke” play this week.
As always, the Thursday lock is less than 24 hours from when this post goes live, so make your picks soon!