The pre-Halloween week, the eighth in our Fall Fantasy Movie League, is now in the past, but not before a bit of a last minute surprise.
The options for the week were:
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
My gut last week as I wrote this said that the new stuff on the list was to be avoided. Sure, my Monday Hot Takes lineup went hard on Mid 90s, with 1x A Star is Born, 1x Venom, and 6x Mid 90s, but I got over that by mid-week.
Still, I was on the right track for an anchor. I couldn’t get on board with Halloween, even at the too-on-the-nose price of $666, and Hunter Killer was in the category of “new stuff” to be avoided, so I was left fiddling with variations of A Star is Born or Venom or some combination of the two.
In the end I decided to go all-in with Venom, anchoring on four screens of that, backed up with one screen each of Smallfoot, Night School, The Old Man and the Gun, and The House with a Clock.
Not a horrible selection, all things considered. The Saturday estimates put me in tenth place, while Sunday had me in ninth, but the gap between the whole sixteen player list wasn’t that big.
The perfect pick ended up being 3x A Star is Born, 1x Venom, 4x The House with a Clock. I was on the right track for an anchor at least. Nobody in the league hit that combo.
However, once the actuals thread announced the results I checked the league and found a surprise; a few people appeared to be doing much better than I expected.
Also, Johnny English was suddenly the best performer rather than The House with a Clock. A closer look showed Johnny English with a bit more than the $1.6 million box office it was alleged to have made.
That happened to be the same amount that Halloween made for the weekend, not to mention being about 20x what the Sunday estimate had it down for. This was clearly a data entry error, which led to a dream/nightmare scenario for somebody.
There were plenty of messages about that in FML chatter.
Once it was corrected, things shook out a little closer to how I expected, with the week’s top ten looking like this:
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $60,377,241
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $58,829,377
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $58,211,494
- Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $57,408,588
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $56,551,150
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,522,357
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $56,091,308
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $56,091,308
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $55,421,160
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $54,830,773
Po was on top with 1x Halloween, 1x Venom, and 6x The House with a Clock, the last being the best performer and worth an extra $2 million per screen in bonus. But the anchors in the top ten were pretty varied, and even 7x Goosebumps 2 as an anchor beat out my choice.
Still, the gap between first and tenth was less than $6 million, so the overall seasonal ranking did not change much.
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $580,296,393
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $549,675,241
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $544,151,551
- Too Orangey For Crows – $540,773,830
- I HAS BAD TASTE – $531,527,330
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $516,275,892
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $512,050,156
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $511,935,067
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $506,460,148
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $504,510,372
I think that is the same ten people as last week’s list, with a couple of positional changes.
The alternate score though, that ended up looking like this.
- Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 49
- Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 45
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 40
- Too Orangey For Crows – 39
- Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 36
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 33
- I HAS BAD TASTE – 31
- Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 31
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 28
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 24
Well, that was also the same ten people as last week with some changes in position, though not the same ten people as the overall seasonal score. Darren, who would be in eleventh in the overall score is in eighth with the alternate scoring.
Overall, everybody who has been playing has been in the top ten at least twice so far this season, so everybody has some score.
So that is how it stands at the end of week eight. Now to look forward to week nine. The options are:
Bohemian Rhapsody $510 The Nutcracker $260 Halloween $201 Nobody's Fool $180 A Star is Born $127 Venom $80 Goosebumps 2 $62 The Hate U Give $42 Smallfoot $42 Hunter Killer $39 First Man $35 Suspiria $31 Night School $24 Mid 90s $23 The Old Man and the Gun $17
Dropping off the list from last week are The House with a Clock , Indivisible , Bad Times, and Johnny English Strikes Back.
Replacing them are Bohemian Rhapsody, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Nobody’s Fool, and Suspiria.
At the top of the price chart is Bohemian Rhapsody. It has lots of buzz and a bit of controversy to go with it. It seems a likely anchor for the post-Halloween weekend, though it is priced so you can only get one screen of it. Long range forecasts had it at about $40 million for the three day weekend, and it seems likely to get there in my book.
Next up is The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which I am shortening to just The Nutcracker for ease of typing and maximum confusion. This is the movie version of the literary adaptation of the famed ballet, done by Disney, so who knows how the story ends up. But it has lots of famous names, including Morgan Freeman and is projected at somewhere in the $20 to $25 million range for the weekend. Seems priced a little low compared to Bohemian Rhapsody, so might be a better anchor if you think we’re close enough to the holiday season to get into this kind of movie.
Nobody’s Fool is yet another Tyler Perry production. The man is a machine. And he has a regular following, so this is probably good for the $12-$15 million being projected for it.
And then there is Suspiria, the plot for which is… complicated. At least it is beyond my ability to summarize. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is also being distributed by Amazon Studios, which means it won’t be on many screens. The expected count is 250 theaters. But I bet it will be on Amazon Prime soon!
Given all that and some tinkering with the Cineplex Builder, I ended up with the following picks for the Monday Hot Takes league; 1x Bohemian Rhapsody , 1x Halloween, 1x Nobody’s Fool, 1x First Man, 1x Mid 90s, and 3x The Old Man and the Gun.
That is kind of a shotgun pick in a world where the beginners guide suggest not having more than four or maybe five titles in your lineup, but it seems like that kind of week. Also, it used every dollar of my budget.