Fall Movie League – First Man Third Place

The results for week six of our Fantasy Movie League are present and accounted for.

The week saw a host of new entries, leaving us with a fairly fresh lineup of options, with more than half the titles in their first or second week.  Even Best of the Rest was in play, usually a sign that the team at FML needs a wildcard to cover all of the possibly pricing possibilities.

The choices for week six were:

Venom                    $501
A Star is Born           $412
First Man                $371
Goosebumps 2             $265
Smallfoot                $150
Bad Times                $149
Night School             $109
The House with a Clock   $57
A Simple Favor           $27
The Nun                  $21
Colette                  $21
The Hate U Give          $21
Crazy Rich Asians        $19
Free Solo                $14
Best of the Rest         $12

The top of the list saw Venom and A Star is Born pegged to hold first and second place, but new contenders First Man and Goosebumps 2 were lined up after them, with some enthusiastic talk about First Man maybe pulling even with A Star is Born.

Buoyed by that enthusiasm, my Monday Hot Takes pick was anchored on First Man, the lineup being 1x First Man, 1x Goosebumps 2, 2x Bad Times, 1x A Simple Favor, and 3x Best of the Rest.

That was a pretty fresh lineup, and I was especially enthusiastic about Best of the Rest back at the far end of the week.

My mood changed on anchors, and I eventually opted for A Star is Born as my choice, but I kept working on getting more Best of the Rest in my lineup.  And then for some reason I soured on Best of the Rest around Thursday afternoon, instead jumping on The Nun in the three way $21 derby.  (The more puerile reader is likely giggling about “jumping on The Nun” and the mention of a three way… yeah, me too.)

My final lineup ended as 2x A Star is Born, 1x House with a Clock, 1x A Simple Favor, and 3x The Nun.

And that seemed like a solid choice come the Saturday estimates.  A Star is Born was, as expected, holding on to a smaller drop than Venom, while First Man seemed to be disappointing estimates and looked to fall shy of even the $20 million conservative predictions.

The problem was that the Saturday estimates had a zero for Best of the Rest.  By Sunday, when the picture started to resolve into clarity, Best of the Rest got its number from Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, which well enough to place ahead of Colette, Crazy Rich Asians, and Free Solo.

And then Venom held on to more than I expected over the previous week, leading my lineup to fall from first place with the Saturday estimate to eighth position come the Sunday update.  The final count brought me up one, to seventh place.

The anchor of the week was Venom and A Star is Born, with the perfect pick adding six screens of Best of the Rest to that.  The scores for the week ended up as follows:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $87,429,240
  2. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $87,429,240
  3. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $80,456,605
  4. Joanie’s Joint – $78,330,845
  5. Too Orangey For Crows – $72,430,676
  6. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $68,795,872
  7. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $67,445,771
  8. grannanj’s Cineplex – $67,130,097
  9. I HAS BAD TASTE – $66,999,704
  10. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $64,868,616

Goat and Darren both go the perfect pick this week, with most of the top ten sorted out by how close you were to that pick.

Those scores shook up the overall scores for the season a bit.

  1. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $432,386,219
  2. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $417,642,696
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $417,012,063
  4. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $406,111,199
  5. Too Orangey For Crows – $402,666,970
  6. I HAS BAD TASTE – $400,407,421
  7. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $385,624,711
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $377,496,203
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $377,320,030
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $375,101,045

I managed to hold on to first place overall, however Darren and Goat jumped up from sixth and seventh to second and third places respectively based on their strong finish this week.  Cyanbane’s unfortunate lineup anchored on First Man and Bad Times dropped him out of the top ten while SynCaine’s third place vaulted him into seventh spot.

The alternate scoring ended up looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 37
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – 33
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 33
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – 30
  5. I HAS BAD TASTE – 29
  6. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 28
  7. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 22
  8. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 21
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 19
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 16

There are fewer ties with this scoring as we move along.  I managed to hold on to first here as well, while Goat and Corr are now vying for second, Goat ahead due to the overall box office score tie breaker.  All in all, the top six are within a single first place finish of each other and even tenth position could catch up give the volatility of this system.

Which leaves us looking ahead to the options for week seven.  The options are:

Halloween FRI            $394
Halloween SAT            $352
Halloween SUN            $217
A Star is Born           $252
Venom                    $218
The Old Man and the Gun  $217
First Man                $148
Goosebumps 2             $143
The Hate U Give          $118
Smallfoot                $80
Bad Times                $48
Night School             $59
The House with a Clock   $28
Free Solo                $14
Beautiful Boy            $12

Gone from the list this week are Crazy Rich Asians, A Simple Favor, The Nun, Colette, and Best of the Rest.

New this week are just three films, Beautiful Boy, The Old Man and the Gun, and Halloween.

Halloween is supposed to be big enough this week that it is broken out into individual days.  This is a direct sequel to the original 1978 classic John Carpenter film and features Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle reprising their Laurie Strode/Michael Myers roles forty years down the road. The film ignores/disavows all of the intervening films made since then, including that strange period where Myers turned into a retro British super spy.

I will never stop making this joke

So can a return to the roots of the series succeed?  The original was a pretty big deal back in its day and arguably launched a series of knock-offs in the 80s including the Friday the 13th films.

On the other hand, this isn’t the first time Jamie Lee Curtis has been back to the franchise, including the 20 year celebration sequel with the awkward name Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, which also disavowed some of the titles after the original.  That did well enough to get its own sequel, after which the next run at the series was a reboot.

Well, it is certainly the right time of year and the score on Metacritic is better than one might expect.  Of course, as we saw with Venom, the opinions of critics don’t always sway movie goers.  Still, a good score can only help.  So that, along with nostalgia for the original will probably mean it will do well enough.  The long rage tracking had it at around $65 million for the three day weekend at last check.  The question is just which day to pick.

I have a love/hate relationship with Friday.  It is either the worst choice or the only choice most times we have a three day split.  This time I am leaning towards Friday though.  The pricing gap isn’t that huge, you can get two screens of Friday with room for filler, and I think this will be a heavily front loaded run.

But I could make an argument for 4x Sunday and some filler too.  We’ll see.

Then there is Beautiful Boy, a story of a father and son and the son’s struggle with a meth addiction.  This stars Steve Carell, who can play serious roles very well, but who is mostly known for his comedic roles.  It is an Amazon production and opened last week in four theaters, making $200K.  It is likely expanding this week, but there is no word on how many more screens it will get.

And then there is The Old Man and the Gun, Robert Redford’s final film by his own word.  It is coming into its fourth week, and last weekend it was in fifteenth place with just 228 theaters, making just over $900K.  It is expect to boost into about 600 theaters this week.

Also worth mentioning is The Hate U Give, which is getting its wide release this week, going from 248 theaters to about 2,300.

So there it is.  My Monday Hot Takes league pick was 2x Friday, 2x Night School, and 4x The Old Man and the Gun.

Of course, I haven’t run that through FML’s new Cineplex Builder tool yet.  That looks very interesting. It is more user friendly than my spreadsheet, and will let you copy your simulated picks directly into your various leagues.