We’re now past week two of our Fall Fantasy Movie League, which means I have to start doing season scores as well as weekly. One week of relative ease.
Week two saw a host of new films, five in all or a full third of the lineup, opening up a range of choices. The list looked like:
The Predator $408
The Nun $338
A Simple Favor $257
White Boy Rick $137
Crazy Rich Asians $131
The Meg $43
Unbroken 2 $40
Christopher Robin $31
Mission: Impossible $28
Operation Finale 2 $21
The Wife $18
With five anchor options it was tough to nail down just how to start a lineup. For the Monday Hot Takes league I decided that Anna Kendrick as a crime solving blogger was too much of a hint to pass on, so went with 3x A Simple Favor and 5x Searching.
And if I had copied that to all my leagues and just walked away, I’d have been better off. Well, I would have beaten Corr and ended up in ninth place rather than tenth.
Instead I did research, and the research options for week two were all over the map. Box Office Pro and Deadline have both given up on making predictions for the top ten, concentrating mostly on new releases or, when feeling generous, the top five, leaving me with at least ten price points to simply guess at. Other sites are rather notoriously extreme in their picks, wishcasting as opposed to forecasting. Then there was the hurricane battering the east coast, sure to diminish the box office. No power and rising water do not a movie night make.
So I ended up with a bunch of options. I can say that, at one point, I did have the perfect pick as one of my lineups. But, in the end, I went with 1x The Nun, 1x CRA, and 6x Peppermint, the latter seeming like it might have a shot at best performer.
Instead the pick to go for was 3x A Simple Favor and 5x The Meg, which was the perfect pick for the week.
That left the week’s scores looking like this:
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $82,349,322
- Too Orangey For Crows – $68,053,892
- Joanie’s Joint – $65,202,555
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $65,202,555
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $64,580,993
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $64,507,781
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $64,261,740
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $64,261,740
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $62,975,918
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $62,951,994
Goat got the perfect pick which put them way ahead of the pack, while Bhagpuss secured a solid second anchoring on Predator and A Simple Favor. 7x White Boy Rick as an anchor claimed four spots out of the top ten, the dividing point being what went into that eighth screen. And then there was Corr who slipped ahead of me by just about $24,000.
All of that left the season top ten looking like this:
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $166,930,575
- Too Orangey For Crows – $149,878,965
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $147,557,171
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $145,107,210
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $144,750,058
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $142,709,003
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $140,020,941
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $139,324,840
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $138,593,155
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $127,690,233
Goat, in a three way tie for first last week and all alone in first this week starts to open up a lead for the season.
Meanwhile, the alternative seasonal scoring looks like this at the end of week two.
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 18
- Too Orangey For Crows – 16
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 12
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 10
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 9
- Joanie’s Joint – 8
- I HAS BAD TASTE – 7
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 6
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 6
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 5
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – 5
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 5
I ended up listing out a dozen this week as there was a three-way tie for tenth place. One thing missing from my plan is a tie-breaker, though if it turns out we need one at the end of the season I suppose the seaon box office total for each player will work.
As with the end of last season, the top three scores are the same people, but after that the group gets shuffled a bit.
But another week looms, with the choices being:
The House with a Clock $476
The Predator $216
A Simple Favor $202
The Nun $173
Life Itself $143
Crazy Rich Asians $127
Fahrenheit 11/9 $115
White Boy Rick $98
Assassination Nation $69
The Meg $49
Christopher Robin $25
Mission: Impossible $25
Unbroken 2 $24
Week three sees four titles dropped from the list, BlacKkKlansman, Operation Finale, Alpha, and The Wife.
Replacing them are The House with a Clock in its Walls, Life Itself, Fahrenheit 11/9, and Assassination Nation.
The House with a Clock, because, like your local theater, I am dropping the last three words off the marquee, is a fantasy about a boy going to live with a loony relative who happens to be a warlock, so magical adventures ensue. I have to assume some comedic nature to the film as it stars Jack Black. Long range tracking has it good for about $22 million and if you go see it IMax you also get to see a 3D version of the Michael Jackson Thriller music video.
Life Itself is a tale of couples across generations tied together by a single event, though that event is left out of the description. Sort of a couples Cloud Atlas maybe? It is getting horrible reviews and nobody has bothered to cover it for long range tracking, so I am going to assume it is over-prices at $143.
Fahrenheit 11/9 is the one new film this week that I had some inkling of before I started writing this post. I haven’t liked Michael Moore since Roger & Me, but he has a following and he plays to it once again, this time with Donald Trump and his election as the target. And while that is a worthwhile target, I am not sure what he’ll deliver that hasn’t been beaten half to death or that I’m not getting from Last Week Tonight. Long range tracking has it at $5 million. Will play okay on the coasts, not so well in the heartland.
Finally there is Assassination Nation. Described as a dark comedy, it is also a dark horse in the running this week with mediocre reviews and not much in the way of name recognition. There isn’t even a theater count estimate for it yet. I suppose it does have one of the Skarsgård clan in it, if one of the lesser members. I’m not sure if that is enough to hang your hat on.
Overall, sitting at this end of the week, I don’t have a strong feeling as to which way things will go. There are a lot of variables. If Fahrenheit 11/9 does $7 million then seven screens of that with The Nun would be a winner. It is, as of this writing, the least picked film of the week, so that would be a real outsider bet. If The Nun or CRA manage another low drop week, then you might consider those as anchors. I tried that last week and, while they did land softly, it wasn’t enough. And maybe Jack Black is a big enough draw to make The House with a Clock a worthwhile choice. However, his work tends to require a strong cast for him to play off of.
There is a temptation to run with a rework of last week’s perfect pick and go with 4x A Simple Favor, 3x The Meg, and 1x Searching, but the first two need to really hold on for that to be a winner and FML tends to punish best performers the week after.
In the end, my Monday Hot Takes league pick was 5x The Nun, 1x Peppermint, 2x Mission: Impossible. We’ll see how I feel about that as the week goes on.