The first week of our fall Fantasy Movie League is now done. The post is a day early this week as I have a bloated mega-post planned for tomorrow already.
It looks like we have 16 people ready to go for the season based on the first week’s picks including at least one new player. This first week saw a new film back at the top of the box office after a couple of weeks of carry overs dominating. The lineup for the week looked like this:
The Nun $615 Crazy Rich Asians $218 Peppermint $205 The Meg $88 Mission: Impossible $62 Searching $62 Operation Finale $52 God Bless the Broken Road $48 Christopher Robin $42 BlacKkKlansman $37 Alpha $32 Happytime Murders $30 Mile 22 $26 Incredibles 2 $26 Hotel Transylvania 3 $16
On Monday I was still thinking Crazy Rich Asians might continue to be the right pick for anchor. But then I read up on The Nun and found out that it was part of a whole series of very successful horror movies, including last year’s Annabelle Creation. That, the growing projections over the week, and the Thursday night preview take got me to swap to The Nun as my anchor. However, I did next to no research on filler titles which was my downfall for the week. Right anchor, wrong filler. I ended up with 1x The Nun and 7x The Incredibles 2.
Not the worst pick, but The Incredibles 2 dropped a lot with the passing of Labor Day and the start of school in the US.
The Nun was the best performer for the week, exceeding expectations by a fair margin, so was the anchor you had to go with to be a contender. The perfect pick for the week was 1x The Nun, 1x The Meg, 2x Searching, and 4x Christopher Robin. Nobody in the TAGN league managed to get the perfect pick.
The top ten scores for the week were:
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $84,581,253
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $84,581,253
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $84,581,253
- Too Orangey For Crows – $81,825,073
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $81,551,873
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $80,242,277
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $77,068,947
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $76,451,282
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $75,063,100
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $63,428,493
As I said, this season will be top ten lists only. Also, since this is the first week I don’t have to do a season score as well.
Corr, Po, and Goat all picked the same lineup. For the box office scoring the ranking doesn’t make any difference unless you want to brag about having won the week. But for the new scoring system order matters, so getting the tie breaker correct suddenly matters.
With the new scoring system the stack is the same but the scores are different.
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 10
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 9
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 8
- Too Orangey For Crows – 7
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 6
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 5
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 4
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 3
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – 2
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 1
I decided to go with just awarding points to the top ten, as in the example I posted last week. With 16 players in the season I considered more points, 12 or 15, but decided against that for now. I can change it later, but more points seemed likely to stretch the gap between first place and last. Right now first place can only ever gain 10 points on somebody in a week, rather than 12 or 15.
The two scoring systems on week one do look very different. The box office score doesn’t show a huge gap between first and ninth place, while the new scoring has first place gaining 10x the points of 10th spot. I suspect that as we get towards the end of the season the the box office scoring system will effectively have a much wider gap while the new scoring system will lead to a tighter race at the end. We shall see.
Coming up for week two we have:
The Predator $408 The Nun $338 A Simple Favor $257 White Boy Rick $137 Crazy Rich Asians $131 Peppermint $86 The Meg $43 Unbroken 2 $40 Searching $40 Christopher Robin $31 Mission: Impossible $28 BlacKkKlansman $22 Operation Finale 2 $21 Alpha $18 The Wife $18
Going away this week are Happytime Murders, God Bless the Broken Road, Mile 22, Hotel Transylvania 3, and the long lasting The Incredibles 2
New this week are The Predator, A Simple Favor, White Boy Rick, Unbroken 2, and The Wife.
The Predator. Is there precedent for remaking a movie that featured two actors who later went on to be state governors? The original Predator was in the sweet spot of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting career (defined as between Scavenger Hunt and Last Action Hero) and had a bunch of spin offs, including a branch that somehow managed to pit the predator against the alien from the Aliens series, the best part of which was, in my opinion, the Alien Loves Predator web comic.
So there is a lot of history and The Predator is actually a continuation of the series rather than a reboot or remake. It might as well be though since, aside from the web comic, the only bit I can recall was the original movie, and that mostly involves former Navy Seal, pro-wrestler-cum-actor, and future governor of Minnesota Jessie “The Body” Ventura wielding a backpack mini-gun that was probably the inspiration for including such weapons in every shooter from Doom forward.
Enough baggage. How will it do? It is a toss up between its history, being the shiny new action film, and it playing in ~3,800 theaters versus crappy reviews and it being a bit more nerd trivia than mainstream at this point. Also, the 107 minute run time likely means they are padding out a minimal story. Estimates put it between $25 and $35 million. At the low point you don’t want it, while at the high end it has to be your anchor.
A Simple Favor is a murder mystery about a blogger and it stars Anna Kendrick which is all I need to know as I am now all-in on this. Yes, it has a bit of the same tech-mystery vibe as Searching, but it gives bloggers their time in the sun. Might be good for $14 million, if you need to get into numbers to pick this.
I recall the trailer for White Boy Rick coming up in the 25 minutes of trailers… including a red card trailer… that ran before BlackKklansman when we saw that. There were apparently a lot of films who felt the Spike Lee demographic was vital to the success.
Anyway, it is about a kid who gets involved in the drug trade then becomes an FBI informer, all before he becomes of legal age. Neither the story (based on true events, as they say) nor the kid has much draw for me, but the adults around him feature some big names including Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, and Piper Laurie. Maybe good for $9 million if the long range forecast is accurate.
Unbroken 2, which is the sequel to the 2014 film Unbroken, and which has a longer name, but I am going to call it Unbroken 2 because it is easier. This film follows former Olympian and freed prisoner of war Louis Zamperini through his post-war struggle and his becoming an evangelical Christian. Short, made by a team that does faith focused films, and none of the original cast returns. Memory of the first film might trick enough people into seeing it for it to get to $3 million.
And then there is The Wife, which actually premiered in the US a year ago, but which is out for a return run because… reasons. I don’t know. An art house film with a strong cast, it probably tries to make people think or something, which is never a box office draw unless you throw in enough explosions or gun shots to drown that out a bit. But they are traveling to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, so gunshots, explosions, or a kidnapping are probably out.
Still, there it is, priced down with Alpha, which made $2.5 million last week, so somebody thinks it is worth about a million I guess.
With all of that my Monday Hot Takes pick ended up being 3x A Simple Favor and 5x Searching. See, I wasn’t kidding about being all-in. Tech thrillers for the win I hope. Whether I will stick with that lineup through the Friday lock is another question.