Week eight of our Fantasy Movie League has come and gone. I am in a day earlier than usual for this post because I already have the usual month in review post slated for tomorrow and in the probably vain hope that if I post a day earlier less people will forget to pick.
This week we saw Disney expected to dominate the box office again with The Lion King, while Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was set to open for a different audience.
There didn’t seem an obvious anchor, so I started off the week with what I considered a safe pick, 2x Saturday The Lion King, because it was still expected to be big enough to be worth splitting across three days.
I bounced back and forth between that and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but was not convinced that a long, R-rated QT film was going to break out despite the glowing reviews it was getting. There are few things Hollywood loves more than itself, so the buzz felt like it could be as much about that as anything. By the time the Thursday lock hit, I was back on The Lion King as I started.
And then Friday morning rolled around and showed Hollywood doing very well, so I quickly changed all of my unlocked picks to be to anchor on 1x Hollywood and 2x Spider-man, which did better than The Lion King as an anchor. As the weekend bore on Hollywood seemed to be the winning anchor, with both Saturday and Sunday estimates going that way.
Of the people who picked this week, and only seven of us got our picks in on time, four went with Hollywood as an anchor while three went with The Lion King.
The results for the week looked like this:
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $78,670,869
- Joanie’s Joint – $74,238,403
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $74,164,982
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $70,680,359
- Too Orangey For Crows – $70,010,961
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $69,797,719
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $68,964,454
- Conical Effort – $64,618,622
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $35,905,264
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $19,178,404
Even with Hollywood being a requirement of the perfect pick, for our league the rankings were mixed together, with less than $10 million between first and seventh place. The clincher was the best and worst performers, Annabelle Creation and The Farewell respectively, which each brought $2 million more per screen with them.
Hamster won the week, boosted by three screens of Annabelle followed by Joanie who had two screens of The Farewell. SynCaine, in third place, was the outlier anchor, with one screen of The Lion King and then four screens of Toy Story 4 as his anchor.
The bottom three on the list did not pick, though Conical Effort got a bit of luck in that his pick from last week rolled over and wasn’t completely out of the ballpark. It was good that The Lion King remained split across three days.
That left the overall season scores looking like this:
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $790,780,136
- Too Orangey For Crows – $743,627,126
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $712,874,832
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $701,614,990
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $698,207,783
- Joanie’s Joint – $661,988,708
- Conical Effort – $658,395,093
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $605,167,976
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $545,631,866
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $514,738,873
Despite having the worst actual pick of the week, I maintained my lead, though Bhagpuss closed the gap a bit. Hamster pulled out in front in the race for third place with their win this week. Two weeks of not picking have put Goat and Grannanj well behind the pack.
The alternate scoring is also changing up some:
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 57
- Too Orangey For Crows – 53
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 49
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 43
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 43
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 43
- Conical Effort – 33
- Joanie’s Joint – 32
- grannanj’s Cineplex – 32
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 27
Because the alternate scoring dampens the effect of big wins and losses, I’m just four points ahead of Bhagpuss, a gap that could be closed in a single week, while Goat is still mid-pack, in a 3-way tie for fourth place, even after two weeks missing picks.
So that is the way things rounded out for week eight, which means that we are off to week nine.
The week nine lineup is:
- Lion King – $572
- Hobbs & Shaw FRI – $483
- Hobbs & Shaw SAT – $353
- Hobbs & Shaw SUN – $284
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $276
- Spider-man: Far From Home – $108
- Toy Story 4 – $97
- The Farewell – $53
- Yesterday – $42
- Crawl – $34
- Aladdin – $30
- Annabelle Comes Home – $13
- Stuber – $10
- Avengers: Endgame – $9
- The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $9
This week the only thing to drop off the list was Midsommar, while the one new addition was Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
I was probably premature is saying that The Lion King was the last blockbuster in the season because we have a Fast & Furious movie here. The problem for me, which may apply elsewhere, is that it has been billed as just Hobbs & Shaw various places, which didn’t spark any recognition.
Still, this spin-off from the main F&F story, featuring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, with Idris Elba as the villain, is slated to make around $90 million this coming weekend according to Box Office Pro, enough for the film to be split across the three days.
That leaves The Lion King as the most expensive pick, as it is expected to do better than any single day of Hobbs & Shaw, though Friday will be close. That leaves a lot of variety in anchoring options.
My main question is how strong will Hobbs & Shaw really be? I must be the wrong demographic because I cannot recall seeing any ads or trailers for this, and this summer I have been waist deep in ads for stuff like Stuber or the upcoming Angry Birds 2 movie. So has there been enough build-up to support a $90 million weekend? An early studio forecast had it at only $60 million. Is just being related to F&F good enough for a 50% in the forecast? Will this be another failure to meet expectations?
My Monday night lineup was 1x The Lion King, 1x Hobbs & Shaw Saturday, 1x Aladdin, and 5x The Secret Life of Pets, that last because it feels like it ought to have fallen off the list, so even at a $9 price it seems likely to be the worst performer, and we all love that $2 million bonus. That seems like a safe-ish lineup.
But if Hobbs & Shaw is getting more hype than I have seen… are they running ads on League of Legends Twitch or some other place I never venture… then Friday could be a day worth picking. Friday, Saturday, and then some filler… and we have lots of cheap filler this week… would be strong.
Anyway, whatever you pick, pick soon. Don’t forget to pick this week. This could be the last big weekend, as there is nothing else on the long range forecast for the season expected to bring in more than $20 million. It will be all The Lion King as anchor after this.