Daily Archives: July 17, 2019

Summer Movie League – Stuber Stumbles, Crawl Bawls

Week six of our Fantasy Movie League carried on the trend of new films failing to meet expectations.

In this case, the two new films for week six, Stuber and Crawl, both failed to hit the somewhat modest expectations set for them, keeping the summer theme going.

Stuber was expected to get in the range of $17 million, but ran out of gas about half way there, clocking in at $8 million.

Crawl was pegged at around $15 million and, while it didn’t fall off as badly as Stuber, it still came up short with $12 million, making it a less than ideal pick.

But I was fairly sure those were both bad anchors when I saw them.  And shortly after last week’s post went live the box office predictions began to sag dramatically, confirming that feeling.

That left Spider-man and Toy Story 4 as likely anchor candidates.  You could get 1x Spider-man and 1x TS4, or 3x TS4 before you had to start working through the filler.

Po, myself, and grannanj went with 3x TS4. while Bhagpuss, Hamster, and Cyanbane anchored on 1x Spider-man and 1x TS4.

With the Saturday and Sunday estimates, Cyanbane had the perfect pick, as he went with all Men in Black for his filler, which looked to be the best performer.  However, when the final numbers came in, Avengers: Endgame stole the best performer title, making the perfect pick 1x Spider-man, 1x TS4, and 6x Avengers: Endgame, and leaving the final scores looking like this:

  1. Too Orangey For Crows – $85,834,456
  2. grannanj’s Cineplex – $79,899,938
  3. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $79,610,550
  4. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $78,930,155
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $78,396,66
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $77,051,493
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace – $62,691,728
  8. Conical Effort – $61,416,139
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $56,409,113
  10. Joanie’s Joint – $47,641,960

In the end, 1x Spider-man and 1x TS4 or 3x TS4 seemed to be on par as anchors.  The top six positions alternate between the two.  The key was filler, and Bhagpuss took the week because he had 3x Avengers: Endgame in his.

Seventh and eighth position were both anchored on 4x Crawl, which put them behind the pack, while ninth and tenth were both anchored on 4x Stuber.  Those two positions were revived a bit because Stuber got the worst performer bonus of $2 million per screen, making them $8 million better than they otherwise would have been.  The bonus for worst performer might be the best thing about this season so far.

That left the season totals looking like:

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $570,994,029
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $510,045,355
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $495,685,430
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $480,480,754
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $479,074,658
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $468,431,378
  7. Conical Effort – $426,754,991
  8. Joanie’s Joint – $426,127,611
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $421,966,622
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $377,948,475

I managed to keep my lead, while Bhagpuss’ win this week, and Goat’s misfortune, had them swapping places.  Likewise, SynCaine and Joanie’s decisions to anchor on Stuber cost them in the overall ranking.

The alternate scoring looks like this at the end of week six:

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 49
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – 41
  3. Too Orangey For Crows – 38
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 34
  5. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 33
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 28
  7. grannanj’s Cineplex – 28
  8. Conical Effort – 20
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 18
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 16

I kept my lead going, though this week’s rankings put Bhagpuss and Goat in contention.

So now we get to see what week seven brings.  The lineup is:

  1. Lion King FRI – $481
  2. Lion King SAT – $399
  3. Lion King SUN – $341
  4. Spider-man: Far From Home – $177
  5. Toy Story 4 – $126
  6. Aladdin – $49
  7. Crawl – $43
  8. Stuber – $33
  9. Yesterday – $30
  10. Annabelle Comes Home – $23
  11. The Art of Self-Defense – $18
  12. Midsommar – $16
  13. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $13
  14. Avengers: Endgame – $11
  15. Men in Black International – $8

What week seven mostly brings is The Lion King. That gets split into three days which, along with the addition of The Art of Self-Defense, pushes Rocketman, John Wick 3, Child’s Play, and Godzilla off the list.

The Lion King is the latest in Disney’s effort to remake their entire animated back catalog into live action pictures.  It may also be the final $100+ movie debut of the summer. (It: Chapter Two, the next big thing on the horizon, opens on the first week of the Fall season.)

Whether or not you feel that the beloved 1994 animated version needed to be remade, this title is well known and being advertised heavily.  Long range forecasts are calling for as much as $200 million currently, which seems a bit crazy. FML, by their pricing, seems to be closer to $165 in its guess.  And even if it falls a bit shy of that, you will have to be pretty contrarian to not anchor on at least one screen of it this week.  Even critic comments like this:

…a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail…

…will probably not bring the movie down.

And then there is The Art of Self-Defense, about which I know little.  The Wikipedia entry on it uses the terms “dark comedy,” “off-kilter,” and “thriller-esque,” but I’m still at sea on it.  FML pricing, a dubious thing on which to hang your hat most weeks, puts it at less than half of Crawl, and Crawl is probably going to drop by 50%,  so maybe $2 million in box office over the three day weekend?

My Monday night gut pick, straight from the FML Cineplex Builder, is FRI, SAT, 1x Aladdin, 2x Midsommar, 3x TSLOP2.  That used up my whole budget, so it must be a winner.  We’ll see if I hold onto that until Thursday night.

If you want to bet against The Lion King, then anchors on 5x Spider-man or 7x TS4 are possible, as well as mixes of the pair.

Anyway, there we go.  The league locks tomorrow night, so get you picks in now.

Blaugust 2019 is Coming

Belghast’s annual blogging festival, Blaugust, is nearly upon us.

For the month of August the call is out for bloggers to unite.  New bloggers are encouraged to join in, faded bloggers asked to revive their sites, and those of us who run off at the keyboard regularly try to energize the event by sharing what keeps us going.

Bel has a post up with all the information you will need to join in on the event.  There is a sign up form, a link to join the Discord channel where we hang out, and various versions of the event artwork as part of a media kit that you can use on your site.

There is even a schedule of events.

Blaugust 2019 Schedule

The schedule is optional of course.  Nobody will tell you what to write, how to write, or when to write.  But if you are somebody who wrestles with the “what should I write about?” issue, this bit of structure can help organize your approach or narrow your focus.

Focus is my problem.  I never have a problem thinking up things about which to write.  I have a text file full of topics I hope to get to some day.  My problem is time and motivation and deciding what I am going to spend time writing about today.

But if ideas are an issue for you, the second week is dedicate to thinking up topics.  There is also a channel in the Blaugust Discord dedicated to writing prompts.

Anyway, if this at all appeals to you, I encourage you to go check out Bel’s post about the event.

Unlike early versions of Blaugust, there is no longer a push to post every single day over the course of the month… unless you’re just into that sort of thing.  We would rather you write a few fulfilling posts that burn yourself out trying to meet an arbitrary goal based on quantity.

And the event is not limited MMORPG blogs, or gaming blogs, or even blogs.  Your blog can be about other topics or you can jump in if you do video logs on YouTube or if you have a regular show on Twitch or whatever.

Anyway, it all kicks off next week.  Be prepared.