Week seven of the Fall Fantasy Movie League went by, setting some records in the process.
The week had the following choices lined up for us.
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
The big dog for the week was the return of Halloween which, as I noted in last week’s post, was a direct sequel to the original, eschewing past sequels, including past revivals that also had the same plan.
While it was clearly going to dominate, Halloween was divided up into three days, so the question was back to the usual one about which day will be the best.
I have, in the past, run hot and cold on Friday for these sorts of splits. While it gets the Thursday night previews added in, the pricing often offsets that advantage. But the previews are a pretty big variable, and FML has underestimated the Friday take dramatically in the past.
This time around I decided Friday felt good. Halloween seems like a good Friday night movie. So for my Monday Hot Takes league picks I went with 2x Friday, 2x Night School, and 4x The Old Man and the Gun.
The Old Man and the Gun seemed set to be the best performer. Robert Redford has that kind of draw with an older demographic. And Night School filled in the middle to eat up some of the excess budget.
Then as the week went on I was pretty busy at work and getting ready for EVE Vegas, so I didn’t think much about my picks until Thursday evening. And even then I couldn’t come up with a better lineup. I tinkered a bit with the new Cineplex Builder Tool that FML offers, dropping in some numbers from a few forecasts, but nothing else struck my fancy. So I let my picks ride and the league locked as I was sitting at the airport waiting for the flight to Las Vegas.
This turned out to be a decent plan. For once my Monday picks didn’t outperform my Thursday picks, that is for certain. Halloween did okay in previews, but stormed on Friday night, making two screens of Friday the anchor to have. At the other end, The Old Man and the Gun made the best performer mark as I expected. My only mistake was having two screens of Night School in the middle.
The perfect pick ended up being 2x Friday, 1x Smallfoot, and 5x The Old Man and the Gun. Still, my choices were good enough to lead the league this week, with the scores shaking out as:
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $92,489,014
- Too Orangey For Crows – $87,003,081
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $85,141,380
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $84,848,599
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $81,489,202
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $80,126,485
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $76,571,870
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $76,571,870
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $76,440,883
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $76,289,136
The rankings reflected how much Halloween and The Old Man and the Gun you had in your lineup. Only SynCaine and Ben bet on something else as an anchor, 5x First Man for both of them, and that hurt their scores.
That left the season scores looking like this:
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $524,875,233
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $493,583,933
- Too Orangey For Crows – $489,670,051
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $487,600,401
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $476,696,557
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $458,888,717
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $457,446,515
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $451,672,915
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $449,937,791
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $446,298,878
Darren fell from second place out of the top ten because he forgot to pick, bumping up Goat and Bhagpuss into second and third. While I have opened up a gap, it isn’t that big and the main pack behind remains pretty tight, even down to fifteenth place.
The alternate scoring looked like this.
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 47
- Too Orangey For Crows – 39
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 39
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 36
- I HAS BAD TASTE – 30
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 28
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 28
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 27
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 23
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 16
A first place finish gave me a nice ten point boost, but the top four positions remain pretty close, with six weeks left to go the ranking could still change radically.
All of which now brings us to the week eight choices.
Halloween $666 A Star is Born $243 Hunter Killer $202 Venom $201 Goosebumps 2 $128 The Hate U Give $100 First Man $89 Mid 90s $88 Smallfoot $86 Night School $57 Indivisible $39 The Old Man and the Gun $36 Bad Times $34 Johnny English Strikes Back $33 The House with a Clock $16
Dropping from the list are just Free Solo and Beautiful Boy, along with the alternate days for Halloween.
New on the list are Hunter Killer, Mid 90s, Indivisible, and Johnny English Strikes Back.
Hunter Killer is the tale of a group of US Navy SEALs on a submarine on a mission to save the Russian president from terrorists. I’m not sure this is a story that really resonates, but it does have Gary Oldman in it… so I might watch it when it comes to cable. The last long range estimate put its take at about $7 million and falling.
Mid 90s is about a 13 year old boy who gets away from his home life by hanging out with his skater buddies. That was what we used to do before the internet. I sure as hell got out of the house to get away from my parents. It is set in LA, it is retro for a time both past and still in memory, and it has no long range forecast. But FML pricing puts it mid-pack.
Indivisible is a foreign language film. They say Italian is close enough to Spanish to get the essence of the other if you speak one, but I don’t speak either. The story is about a man deployed to Iraq and leaving his wife and kids behind. The long range forecast was last at $2 million.
And then there is Johnny English Strikes Back. What to say. Despite Rowan Atkinson’s protestations, in 2003 the first movie sure felt like an attempt to get in on the popularity of the Austin Powers series. Only it was awkward and poorly paced rather than vulgar and self-aware. It certainly wasn’t a Ben Elton level of effort. It didn’t do well in the US, nor did the first sequel in 2011, which brings us to ask why there is a second sequel now in 2018. I guess it must do well in the UK. Is this something they show on Boxing Day or what? Anyway, long range has it at about $3 million, but I wouldn’t touch it.
Which leaves me with my Monday Hot Takes picks. Fiddling around with the new Cineplex Builder, I ended up with 1x A Star is Born, 1x Venom, and 6x Mid 90s.
I know Halloween will stay at the top, but it does seem expensive at a perhaps too on point price of $666, while Hunter Killer doesn’t thrill me. We shall see.
I am curious to know who else has played with the Cineplex Builder Tool and what you think about it.