Week three of our Fall Fantasy Movie League is in the books and it was a strange week indeed.
Well, the main bit of strangeness was that I was actually correct in my logic when it came to picking my anchor this week. The Nun looked to have the best chance to out-perform its pricing given how big of a drop that pricing seemed to anticipate relative to other returning titles. The pricing looked like this for week three.
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 Peppermint $75 Assassination Nation $69 The Meg $49 Searching $41 Christopher Robin $25 Mission: Impossible $25 Unbroken 2 $24
Granted, I had no idea how The House with a Clock was going to do. Screen Junkies, in their review, liked the movie a lot but seemed to confirm my impression that the word was out as far and wide as it could have been, plus they seemed to think that the trailer did not do the film justice. Since I believe everything Roth Cornet and Dan Murrell tell me when it comes to movies, that was enough to steer me clear of Jack Black as an anchor this week.
I was leery of The Predator, after its first week out and rightfully as it came to pass. While it was priced at second place it ended up coming in fourth behind A Simple Favor and The Nun.
I was likewise suspicious of Life Itself, an release from Amazon Studios. Again, a good call as it really failed to get anywhere close to the numbers it needed to justify its price.
I suppose CRA was an anchor option, but I never really considered it.
And then there was the momentary flirtation with Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 11/9, where I was telling myself it “only” had to exceed projections by 50% to be the clear choice. I reigned myself in on that one pretty quickly and, as it turned out, the film barely made two thirds of its $5 million projected weekend box office.
Which left me with A Simple Favor and The Nun. As I said, I was tempted to re-run week two’s perfect pick and anchor on A Simple Favor filled in with The Meg. But FML tends to punish perfect pick films with more aggressive pricing the following week, so I ended up with The Nun.
For the Monday Hot Takes league I went with 5x The Nun, 1x Peppermint, 2x Mission: Impossible.
As the week went along and I thought about it more, I changed my lineup to 5x The Nun, 2x The Meg, 1x Mission: Impossible.
Of course, as happened the previous week, my Monday picks did better than my late picks. Not a ton better, but some. Nobody got the perfect pick however, which ended up being 5x The Nun, 1x The Meg, 2x Searching.
That left the top ten scores for the week looking like this:
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $65,521,864
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $54,176,991
- Too Orangey For Crows – $50,622,934
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $49,955,967
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $49,955,967
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $47,460,646
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $47,319,063
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $42,459,713
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $39,553,652
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $37,765,801
Being the only one who went with 5x The Nun as an anchor put me ahead of the pack.
Corr and Bhagpuss followed up anchoring on The House with a Clock, after which the pack was a mix of anchors on The Predator or The House with a Clock.
That left the overall season box office scores as:
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $205,542,805
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $201,734,162
- Too Orangey For Crows – $200,501,899
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $192,664,970
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $192,210,704
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $190,999,079
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $178,132,786
- Ben’s X-Wing Express – $177,090,641
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $174,776,578
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $173,141,080
My performance was enough to pop me up into first place for the overall seasonal score, though my lead is fairly thin. Corr did well enough to just skirt past Bhagpuss, taking second place.
The big hits went to Goat and Po, both of who made large bets on Fahrenheit 11/9 which, as I said, failed to perform. That dropped Goat from first to sixth and Po from fourth to seventh place.
The alternate scoring count however is starting to diverge, looking like this at the end of week three:
- Too Orangey For Crows – 24
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 21
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 18
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 15
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 15
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 13
- I HAS BAD TASTE – 13
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 10
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 9
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 8
- Joanie’s Joint – 8
Again, I have more than ten on the list because tenth spot was a tie. There are actually three ties currently in the top 11, which I have sorted using the season box office total as the tie breaker.
While the season box office rankings swung wildly for a couple of us, the alternate scoring was less volatile as the weight of the win doesn’t matter, only the ranking for the week. Bhagpuss is showing himself as the most consistent contestant so far, kicking him up into first place despite not having won a week yet. The first three weekly winners are all behind him, with Goat only dropping to third place, having missed the cut for any points.
So there we go. Now on to week four which has the following options:
Night School $616 Smallfoot $363 The House with a Clock $318 A Simple Favor $148 Hellfest $128 The Nun $102 Crazy Rich Asians $85 The Predator $83 White Boy Rick $55 Peppermint $41 Little Women $33 Fahrenheit 11/9 $30 Searching $25 The Meg $24 Life Itself $20
Leaving the list this week are Christopher Robin, Mission: Impossible, Unbroken 2, and the Amazon Studios one week wonder Assassination Nation.
New to the options this week are Night School, Smallfoot, Hellfest, and Little Women.
Night School is a Kevin Hart vehicle. You either like his schtick or you don’t, but it doesn’t really change from movie to movie. The current forecast has this somewhere past $30 million, and it is probably good for it. Unless something is drastically wrong Kevin Hart is a pretty reliable draw.
Smallfoot is this week’s kids movie, and the title made me think of The Land Before Time series, which my daughter watched when she was little. (Littlefoot, Smallfoot, whatever. I can also still sing the Wonder Pets theme song.) Instead it features a Yeti who, I guess, has small feet, thus debunking the “bigfoot” nickname. The studio was projecting it in the $22 million to $27 million range which, if true, make this an obvious price per screen winner over Night School, which would have to get to $40 million to complete. Likewise, The House with a Clock looks way over-priced if Smallfoot is good for that range. So maybe Smallfoot isn’t?
Hellfest is a Halloween night horror flick getting on the seasonal action a little early. Long range tracking on it has been down and the floor for it seems to be at about $6 million now.
And then there is Little Women, which breaks the pattern this week, being a four syllable title in a list of otherwise two syllable entries. It makes me wonder how much title length affects box office. Anyway, enough time has gone by since the last movie based on the work by Louisa May Alcott that we needed a new one it seems. Every generation needs their own version. There is no long range forecast on this, but pricing makes this a filler choice in maybe the $2 million range. Could be a wild card.
With all of that, my Monday Hot Takes league pick was 6x A Simple Favor, 1x CRA, and 1x Searching. We’ll see if I change up for the worse again this week. I likely will as, after that league locked I realized that A Simple Favor had to drop less than 35% to be worth it as an anchor.