Category Archives: Fantasy Movie League

Summer Movie League – No Chance for Ants

Week seven of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is now in the books.

The week brought us into the post-blockbuster part of the summer, where the films expected to garner $100 million or more on their first weekend were in the rear view mirror and the league was going to have to duke it out in a battle between smaller new releases and the residual power of the big launches. The lineup for the week looked like this:

Hotel Transylvania 3       $523
Skyscraper                 $394
Ant-Man and the Wasp       $387
Incredibles 2              $201
Jurassic World             $174
The First Purge            $111
Sorry to Bother You        $74
Sicario 2                  $45
Ocean's 8                  $40
Uncle Drew                 $38
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $30
Tag                        $21
Three Identical Strangers  $16
Whitney                    $14
Deadpool 2                 $11

At the top of the anchor list was the new Hotel Transylvania 3, which was expected to top the box office over the weekend and vie for the kids market with The Increcibles 2. But it also came with a fairly steep price. You could have one screen of that. It wasn’t so expensive that your couldn’t mix and match, but you couldn’t depend on just it.

Next, trying to score on the action adventure from was Skyscraper, where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson battles a burning building that has taken his family hostage… or something… I’m not sure, really. That is the impression the trailer left with me. Whatever it was, I wasn’t buying it.

Then there was Ant-Man and the Wasp. It did not do as well as hoped its first week out, but it still seemed a viable choice if only it could keep to about a fifty percent drop in revenue.

After that we have The Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World battling it out. Last week they were in nearly a dead heat, but The Incredibles 2 lower price point made them the pick. This week it looked like the situation could be reversed.

Then we get into the filler, which ranged from the expensive end with The First Purge was down to Deadpool 2.

For an anchor I went with four screens of Incredibles 2 for my Monday hot take pick, making it the fifth consecutive week I went with the film in at least one of my leagues. I couldn’t get behind Hotel Transylvania 3. I just don’t like the franchise, which makes me believe the worst when it comes to box office. Skyscraper seemed like a risky bet. The trailer was muddled, as noted, and not compelling at all, unless you have to see every picture The Rock makes.

I considered Ant-Man for a bit, but the buzz was that the movie was going to suffer a serious second week drop off. Which left me down with Jurassic World and The Incredibles 2.

In the end I wasn’t shaken from my streak when it came time for the TAGN League to lock. I went with 4x The Incredibles 2 and 4x Sicario 2, a double quad sequel pick.

Unfortunately for me, Jurassic World was the anchor to go with. For not much more than my 4 screens of The Incredibles 2 I could have gotten five screens of dinos. Again, when the estimates started coming in the two movies were neck in neck for revenue, which meant spoils for the cheaper of the two.

There was a stretch of time during the estimates when Three Identical Strangers had the best performer bonus, but in a no bonuses league that didn’t make much of a difference. In the end the league results for the week looked like this:

  1. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $89,719,218
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $86,544,778
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $86,217,724
  4. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $86,217,724
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $83,686,706
  6. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $83,625,423
  7. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $81,544,984
  8. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $80,575,792
  9. Kraut Screens – $74,997,493
  10. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $72,506,522
  11. I HAS BAD TASTE – $72,506,522
  12. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $72,169,038
  13. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $72,143,824
  14. aria82’s Cineplex – $66,907,804
  15. Joanie’s Joint – $64,160,163
  16. grannanj’s Cineplex – $61,162,190
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $61,162,190

SynCaine was the only one to go with 5x Jurassic World, so he won the week. He didn’t have the perfect pick, but he was still out in front by over $3 million.

After SynCaine there was Corr, Goat, and Pak who all went with Hotel Transylvania 3 and three screens of Jurassic World. Then Vigo, Ben, and Darren were a step behind them, anchoring on Hotel Transylvania 3 but without dinos, so it seems like that franchise was a reasonable choice for anchor. After that, mid pack, came me and my four screens of The Incredibles 2, $9 million back from first.  I was the only one all-in on Pixar this week.

Behind me was a group who either anchored on Ant-Man or who went with Hotel Transylvania 3 but sank themselves by betting on Whitney. That got the worst performer nod this week, dragging down an otherwise solid anchor. Whitney was in 17th place in the overall box office rankings.

And, finally, there were the final four who bet on The Rock only to find that Skyscraper seriously under performed, the bottom two who also bet on Whitney, for a double whammy. Ouch.

All of that left the season scoring looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $683,641,387
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $676,893,229
  3. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $663,451,223
  4. I HAS BAD TASTE – $660,325,535
  5. Goat Water Picture Palace – $653,427,734
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $651,729,082
  7. Kraut Screens – $643,798,519
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $637,656,707
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $628,872,961
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $624,110,761
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $621,961,128
  12. grannanj’s Cineplex – $594,509,349
  13. aria82’s Cineplex – $579.687,945
  14. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $568,115,307
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $546,096,525
  16. Too Orangey For Crows – $550,949,081
  17. Joanie’s Joint – $542,749,314

I managed to hold on to the top spot despite a mid-pack finish, but Corr is closing in on me. SynCaine also benefitted from his clear victory this week, moving up a bit. But with a lower scoring week the ability to make drastic changes was diminished. That leads us to week eight and the choices we have.

Mamma Mia 2               $526
The Equalizer 2           $403
Hotel Transylvania 3      $334
Ant-Man and the Wasp      $210
Skyscraper                $167
Incredibles 2             $149
Jurassic World            $135
Unfriended 2              $103
The First Purge           $61
Sorry to Bother You       $42
Sicario 2                 $29
Ocean's 8                 $24
Leave No Trace            $23
Uncle Drew                $21
Won't You Be My Neighbor  $20

With four new films making the cut, four older ones are dropping off. Week eight says good-bye to Tag, Three Identical Strangers, Whitney, and Deadpool 2.

In their place we have Mamma Mia 2, The Equalizer 2, Unfriended 2, and Leave No Trace.

Mamma Mia 2, or Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again to give it the name on the title card, is the sequel to the 2008 movie which was based off of the 1999 musical that involved taking a bunch of ABBA songs from the 70s and early 80s, and trying to weave them into a story. The original movie made bank so it seemed likely that somebody in Hollywood would try to force a sequel, so here we are. They managed to secure most of the key cast and even have Cher on board. The long range forecasts for the new film have it hitting about $35 million for the opening weekend. The original only hit $27 million its opening weekend, but it was up against The Dark Knight, just to put into perspective how far back that was. Mamma Mia 2 doesn’t have to compete against Batman this time around, so I suppose the real question is whether or not there are any ABBA songs left that didn’t make it into the first movie.

Opening up against Mamma Mia 2 is The Equalizer 2, the sequel to The Equalizer from 2014, which itself was based off of the late 80s crime drama of the same name. But hey, it has Denzel Washington in it. The first movie opened to about $34 million four years back, but the current film is tracking closer to $27 million, putting it a little shy of the “85% rule” for sequels.

Unfriended 2 is down in the filler tier and is, of course, a sequel. Ten out of fifteen titles this week are. And people complain about video games being mired in sequels. Unfriended, a social media horror story (as if that isn’t reality every day now) was a Blumhouse production, a company that specializes in low budget films, hoping to strike it big with an occasional big success. (There was a Planet Money episode about how they work.) The original brought in over $60 million on a $1 million budget, so with name recognition a sequel was a natural. Unfriended 2 is not directly tied to the original and tracking puts it at just $7 million for the weekend. But as low budget films sometimes bring big returns, so do low priced FML picks.

Finally there is Leave No Trace, which should have been on the list last week since it did better than Deadpool 2 or Whitney. This will be its fourth week of release and I am not sure if it is expanding its theater count this week. In the bottom end $20 to $24 pack it feels like the least likely one to pick unless it has some card to play I am not seeing.

So there we go.

For my Monday night hot takes I went with 6x The Incredibles 2, because how often do you get to anchor on the same film six weeks running, mated with a screen each of The First Purge and Sicario 2. Still, by the time I need to finalize picks for week eight I might swap to Jurassic World because the two films have been so close in revenue the last couple of weeks and dinos are cheaper again this week.

Make your picks soon. The league locks in less than 24 hours after this post goes live.

Addendum: Or, since I accidentally published this early, you have more than 24 hours.  Once again I hit the publish button instead of the save button.

Summer Movie League – Still Incredible

Week six of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is in the books now.

This past week saw yet another film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit the screens as Ant-Man and The Wasp opened up on Friday.  That left the weeks choices looking like this:

Ant-Man and the Wasp      $804
Jurassic World            $267
Incredibles 2             $229
The First Purge           $201
Sicario 2                 $89
Uncle Drew                $71 
Ocean's 8                 $48 
Tag                       $34
Won't You Be My Neighbor  $23
Deadpool 2                $20
Solo                      $13
Hereditary                $12
Sanju                     $11
Avengers: Infinity War    $11
Superfly                  $6

Ant-Man was clearly called to dominate the box office, something that was never in dispute.  But when you’re filling up eight screens and have a limited budget there are more factors in play.

Also on the list was The First Purge, the fourth installment in that franchise, which felt a bit over-priced to me.  Also, as I noted in last week’s post, it opened on Wednesday, so for FML purposes it wouldn’t even get a boost from Thursday night previews, as it previewed on Tuesday night.  Priced where it was, so close to The Incredibles 2, I felt it was a non-starter.

So the choice of anchor seemed to me to be between Ant-Man, Jurassic World, and The Incredibles 2.  Estimates for the latter two were pretty close, putting them near $30 million each, at which point my back of the envelope calculation indicated that Ant-Man would have to get close to $96 million to me a worthwhile anchor.  That was above the high estimate for the weekend, which was $88 million.  So unless somebody was really underestimating Ant-Man, it wasn’t a viable pick.

And in the match up between Jurassic World and The Incredibles 2 I felt that the price advantage of the latter, which would let me spend more on filler, overcame any box office advantage the former would present.  Estimates were far closer than the price difference on that chart.

Back on Monday night I was all-in on 4x The Incredibles 2 as my anchor.  Even after the Thursday night previews came out on Friday morning showing Ant-Man doing pretty well, I stuck to my picks in other leagues while many jumped onto Ant-Man at the last minute.  In the MCats league, which locks Friday morning, those who picked The Incredibles 2 in the TAGN league changed on the preview news.

On the filler front I wavered.  On Monday I was all for 4x Deadpool 2, not knowing that the film was facing a steep drop in theater count.  It disappeared from my local AMC multiplex for the weekend.  I guess I will wait for it to hit cable.

Eventually I settled on 4x The Incredibles 2, 1x Ocean’s 8, 3x Hereditary, a lineup that spent exactly $1,000, something that probably holds too much sway over me.

Summer Movie League – My Week Six Pick

And after the lock it was time to watch the weekend unfold.

Ant-Man did $11.5 million in Thursday night previews, which was pretty good.  It needed to do about 8.5x that to own the weekend.  Meanwhile the ticket pre-sales were being compared to Spider-Man: Homecoming, which did $117 million its opening weekend.

But Ant-Man ain’t no Spider-Man.  Arachnids own insects and after all of that Ant-Man managed a very respectable, but not exactly blockbuster, $76 million for the weekend.

Meanwhile, The Incredibles 2, which had been neck and neck with Jurassic World in the daily box office all week long/  They pulled ahead for while, but ended up in third place, just $250K behind the higher priced dinos.  That made The Incredibles 2 the anchor to have, with the perfect pick for the league looking like this.

Summer Movie League – Week Six Perfect Pick

The First Purge, having gotten its initial wave of fans earlier in the week, came in fourth with $17.3 million.

All of which left the scoring for this week at:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $122,517,418
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $122,410,754
  3. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $121,768,961
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – $121,369,556
  5. Kraut Screens – $106,794,508
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $104,134,469
  7. grannanj’s Cineplex – $100,033,084
  8. aria82’s Cineplex – $96,458,682
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $95,301,183
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $94,323,075
  11. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $94,323,075
  12. Joanie’s Joint – $94,225,854
  13. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $93,752,566
  14. I HAS BAD TASTE – $93,574,053
  15. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $86,308,838
  16. Goat Water Picture Palace – $86,308,838
  17. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $986,730 (did not pick)

The four at the top of the list were the four that went for four screens of The Incredibles 2 as their anchor.  Nobody got the perfect pick, but with the right anchor choice the four of us were not far off of that number.

The next four were people who favored dinos as an anchor.  Then there were the people who anchored on Ant-Man.  And, finally, Goat and SynCaine, who both went with four screens of The First Purge.

Oh, and Pak, who didn’t get home in time to pick.  That has been a problem this season.  While I have seen a change in picks from people, based on what they pick in other leagues that lock on Friday, the Thursday morning lock, along with the new multi-league picking interface, is causing people to miss picking.  I dropped a couple more people off the board as they had missed three weeks in the season.  And so it goes. (If you got dropped and want back on, let me know.  I just don’t want anybody to feel set upon because their score is way down the standings.)

This left the season totals looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $603,065,595
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $590,348,451
  3. I HAS BAD TASTE – $587,819,013
  4. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $579,764,517
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $579,222,560
  6. Kraut Screens – $568,801,026
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace – $567,210,010
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $554,031,284
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $551,941,723
  10. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $547,327,977
  11. grannanj’s Cineplex – $533,347,159
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $532,241,910
  13. aria82’s Cineplex – $512,780,141
  14. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $495,971,483
  15. Too Orangey For Crows – $489,786,891
  16. Joanie’s Joint – $478,589,151
  17. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $477,878,801

As I noted last week, you don’t have to be number one for the week to get ahead, you just have to do better that those ahead of you. Corr and I both managed that and, while he got the win for the week, I managed to jump into first place overall.

With that over, we are now looking at week seven and some new choices.

Hotel Transylvania 3        $523
Skyscraper                 $394
Ant-Man and the Wasp       $387
Incredibles 2              $201
Jurassic World             $174
The First Purge            $111
Sorry to Bother You        $74
Sicario 2                  $45
Ocean's 8                  $40
Uncle Drew                 $38
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $30
Tag                        $21
Three Identical Strangers  $16
Whitney                    $14
Deadpool 2                 $11

After a few static weeks where we didn’t lose many films, this week saw a purge of a third of last weeks options. The Avengers: Infinity War, Solo, Hereditary, Superfly, and Sanju all got the chop.

Replacing them are Hotel Transylvania 3, Skyscraper, Sorry to Bother You, Three Identical Strangers, and Whitney.

Hotel Transylvania 3 is the big opening this week. Summer time is big for kids movies, as we have seen with The Incredibles 2. But as a franchise, Transylvania doesn’t have the clout of Pixar. In a weak week, at least as far as the summer so far goes, its projected $45 million-ish opening makes it the big dog. If you run with it as your main anchor you can only have a single screen, but you’ll have lots of room for filler.

I suppose is says something that a film featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is playing second fiddle to Transylvania. Skyscraper, the previews for which give me a Die Hard vibe for some reason, doesn’t have horrible reviews. It is in the zone with Tag and Transylvania. But I don’t think anybody is going to be fooled into thinking it is anything for than a vehicle to show The Rock doing crazy things on an exploding building. I’m pretty sure I’ll watch it when it hits cable. But for its launch tracking has it at $35 million or so, not a blockbuster, but well into the “good for just normal movies” zone.

Sorry to Bother You, as with the next two pictures, has already been available in limited release and is making the list due to an expansion of their theater count. Sorry brought in $725K last week across just 16 theaters, making it the top per screen earner. While critically acclaimed it does strike me as a bit of a blue state feature, and its pricing seems to indicate that FML does not see it going past $7 million for the weekend. Still, a lot of good buzz makes me wonder if it might exceed expectations.

Three Identical Strangers is a documentary… a strike against any Summer film right there most days of the week… about triplets separated at birth who later are reunited. Again, out for a couple weeks now in limited release, it is expanding.

Whitney, the Whitney Houston biopic, should have been on the list last week, as its earnings would have put it ahead of Solo, The Avengers, Hereditary, and Superfly. (There should have at least been a Best of the Rest option last week, though that is hindsight speaking.) This week it is down in the 14th slot and its value depends a lot on whether or not it will see an expansion in its theater count. Still, it is ahead of Deadpool 2, which I expect will see a further collapse in its theater numbers this week.

So what do you go with? Is Ant-Man really going to drop more than 50% in its second week, as the pricing seems to indicate? Is Hotel Transylvania 3 going to be able to stake out enough of the kids market to make The Incredibles 2 tumble this week? Does The Rock have more draw than forecasts allow?

My Monday Hot Takes league pick this week was 4x The Incredibles 2, 1x Sorry to Bother You, 3x Ocean’s 8. I strongly suspect I will change that before Thursday.

And, as I always say this season, picks lock in less than 24 hours from when this post goes live, so go make them now!

Summer Movie League – Three Paths Forward

Week five of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is now done and recorded.

This week was another pause in the big release schedule, so the lineup held a mix of carry overs and new titles at the top.

Incredibles 2              $591
Jurassic World SAT         $356
Jurassic World SUN         $278
Uncle Drew                 $275
Jurassic World FRI         $266
Sicario 2                  $201
Ocean's 8                  $97
Tag                        $64
Deadpool 2                 $41
Solo                       $31
Sanju                      $30
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $24
Hereditary                 $24
Superfly                   $22
Avengers: Infinity War     $18

The Incredibles 2 was at the top again, but Jurassic World was still expected to be big enough to need to be split into three days.  Uncle Drew was expected to be the bigger of the two new films, with Sicario 2 a bit down the list.  Then there was a gap and the filler kicked in.

I came into the week stung by ignoring the dinos in Jurassic World so, as noted last week, I jumped onto that with my Monday Hot Takes league picks, anchoring on two Saturday screenings.

Of course, as the week went on more details and more theories began to appear.  In the TAGN chatter channel dinos were a thing, but I started to think I was overestimating how much Jurassic World would bring in.

So, while I went with dinos on Monday night, by the time the TAGN lock time approached, I was leaning more towards a lineup anchored on The Incredibles 2 once again.  So I went with that plus six screens of the reasonably priced Tag, filling in the last spot with Hereditary.

Summer Movie League – My Week Five Pick

The last spot was a toss up between a Hereditary, a horror flick losing screens, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor at the same price, which was gaining screens but which seemed of limited interest to me to summer movie goers.

Corr ended up with mostly the same idea as I did, only he went with Mr. Rogers.  As it turned out, that was the better choice by $135,164.  Mr. Rogers would have been an even better pick with bonuses turned on, which would have given it an extra $2 million since it got the best performer award.  But we don’t play with bonuses here.

Then, after the TAGN league locked and Friday morning rolled around I saw the preview numbers for Uncle Drew and Sicario 2 and quickly re-did my lineups for everything else anchored on four screens of Sicario 2.

As it turned out, four screens of Sicario 2 was the go-to anchor for the week.  If only I had figured that out a day earlier.  For the TAGN League the perfect pick was 4x Sicario 2, 2x Tag, Deadpool 2, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor.  It was worth $93,788,152.

Summer Movie League – Week Five Perfect Pick

And somebody got the perfect pick.  Goat managed to get the right lineup and, while there is no bonus, they at least know they got the best possible score for the week.  The week five scores ended up looking like:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $93,788,152
  2. aria82’s Cineplex – $92,425,935
  3. I HAS BAD TASTE – $87,186,436
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $85,147,538
  5. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $84,124,122
  6. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $83,988,958
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $82,970,318
  8. Joanie’s Joint – $78,195,986
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $78,018,678
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $77,613,186
  11. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $74,689,271
  12. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $74,689,271
  13. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $73,673,508
  14. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $73,673,508
  15. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $72,591,123
  16. Kraut Screens – $71,986,662
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $71,695,833
  18. grannanj’s Cineplex – $66,746,828
  19. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $66,113,433

The weeks rankings go from the top two, who were all-in on Sicario 2, to the next two who played at least a pair of the film with dinos, to those of us who anchored on The Incredibles 2, (or Uncle Drew and a pair of Sicario 2 screens in one case), followed by those who only bet on Jurassic World as an anchor.

My Monday pick would have put me in 16th place while my Friday pick would have had me tied for second, so I guess I should be happy with sixth place overall.  It kept me in the running, as the week five overall ranking ended up looking like this.

  1. I HAS BAD TASTE – $494,244,960
  2. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $486,011,951
  3. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $481,296,634
  4. Goat Water Picture Palace – $480,901,172
  5. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $476,892,071
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $475,088,091
  7. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $467,831,033
  8. Kraut Screens – $462,006,518
  9. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $459,708,209
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $457,618,648
  11. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $452,026,794
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $445,933,072
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $433,314,075
  14. aria82’s Cineplex – $416,321,459
  15. Joanie’s Joint – $384,363,297
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $373,5560,729
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $368,417,335
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $287,596,163
  19. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $283,238,550

While Isey of I HAS BAD TASTE didn’t make first place for the week, but he didn’t have to in order to claim first position overall.  All he had to do was beat Vigo, which he did soundly.  So behold the new leader.

And it might be a good week to pull into the lead as the summer is starting to slow down a bit.  This week has a semi-blockbuster coming on this week in the form of Ant-Man and The Wasp, leaving a lineup looking like this:

Ant-Man and the Wasp      $804
Jurassic World            $267
Incredibles 2             $229
The First Purge           $201
Sicario 2                 $89
Uncle Drew                $71 
Ocean's 8                 $48 
Tag                       $34
Won't You Be My Neighbor  $23
Deadpool 2                $20
Solo                      $13
Hereditary                $12
Sanju                     $11
Avengers: Infinity War    $11
Superfly                  $6

In addition to the Marvel movie Ant-Man and The Wasp we also get The First Purge.

Ant-Man is “only” expected to reach about $80 million over the weekend, a lot for most movies, but summer blockbusters have been good for over $100 million this year, so it is slightly tame on that scale.

Meanwhile The First Purge is the fourth installment in The Purge franchise, is supposed to be good for a bit more than $20 million, a decent start for a normal movie.  But that puts it in fourth place this week.  Also, it opens today rather than on Friday, which means it might lose steam early and there won’t be any Thursday night previews to pad its totals.

With Jurassic World slimming down to a single day we didn’t lose any titles this week.  However, there is now a lot of very similarly priced low-end filler to choose from.

Going forward from this week all the openings are expected to decrease in size.  The only big launch after this week is Mission Impossible at the end of the month.  After that we’ll be looking for the next Baby Driver.  So if you need a big week, this might be the time to do a little extra research.

My own Monday Hot Takes league picks were 4x The Incredibles 2 and 4x Deadpool 2, a lineup that left me with $4, which I took as a sign that it was meant to be.  We shall see if I change my mind between now and when the league locks.

The league locks in less than 24 hours from the time this post goes live, so make your picks soon.

 

Summer Movie League – Clever Girl

Week four of our Summer Fantasy Movie League saw me floating down the coast of Mexico on a cruise ship, so last week’s post covering week three had to be written before Saturday preview numbers were even posted.  No scores listed.

Likewise, I had to make my picks for week four while at sail in the Pacific over a satellite WiFi option that cost daily what an MMO subscription generally costs monthly and which ran about as fast as a 1999 modem connection in the middle of the night when nobody else was using it, and barely ran at all during the day when everybody was trying to update their Facebook status.

Still, there was unlimited soft-serve ice cream, so it wasn’t all bad.

Late Monday night, when the internet was semi-usable I did manage to get onto FML and see the results for Week 3, where I managed to hold on to first place in the TAGN league despite not exactly hitting it out of the park.  I did okay, but only in the defensive sense that I did not screw up badly.  I made it to fifth while grannanj’s Cineplex took first place.  So congrats go out for that.

I was also able to make my picks for week four.  As I noted, I was not keen on dinos, a personal bias of mine.  Generally I try to at least explore such a bias to see if I am cheating myself out of a good pick by “wishcasting” a future that comes out like I think it should rather than how I might actually.

But with my connectivity such as it was, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for research.  I couldn’t even make my picks with the FML app on my phone, I had to log into the web site, the latter seeming much more tolerant when it comes to timeouts.  If the app can’t get the JSON payload in about 20 seconds it gives up, and nothing was happening over that connection in 20 seconds.

The choices I had to work with in my narrow window of active connection time were… um… I’m not ever sure I can recreate the list at this point.  When the new week goes live a lot of the data on the last week disappears.

Anyway, Jurassic World was split in the usual three way across the weekend while The Incredibles 2 was an expensive ticket, ringing in at budget busting $725.  But it also over-performed on its opening weekend and looked to be a strong contender again, so I went with it as my anchor.

That didn’t leave me much additional room for filler, so I loaded up on the filler that would fit, with three screens of Ocean’s 8 in the mix.  Initially I had more and A Wrinkle in Time as my final filler, it running at only $6.  Then I pulled back from that, wondering how A Wrinkle in Time was even on the list.

It turns out the distributor pushed it out with a discount rate to a bunch of dollar threaters and drive-ins in hopes of getting the film over the $100 million mark for the domestic box office.  Somebody’s bonus was probably riding on that.  However, the film did not deserve to be a pick this week.  Hell, they were showing it on the cruise ship at the mid-deck pool one night along side a lot of films from last summer. (I finally saw Black Panther on the ship sitting by the pool.)  There were at least a dozen films that deserved to make the cut ahead of A Wrinkle in Time, and it did poorly enough that I was glad to have avoided it.  My final lineup ended up with 1x The Incredibles 2, 3x Ocean’s 8, 1x The Avengers, 3x Book Club.

Summer Movie League – My Week Four Pick

I copied that to all my leagues, after which I was back to the cruise, hanging out with the family, and trying to drink my weight in Pacificos at every port of call, a venture helped along by the fact that it seemed impossible to order just one.  They seemed only available in pairs or by the bucket.

We returned home Saturday afternoon to find the cats scolding us for being away and the weather considerably warmer than what we left in Mexico.  It was in the high 80s south of the boarder but near 100 at home.  But it was, as they say, a dry heat.

Then the folly of my disregard for dinos became apparent as Jurassic World did better than expected.  Not as wildly as The Incredibles 2 did the week before, but sufficient to make all the best picks require an anchor on a pair of its days.

The TAGN league, without bonuses, ended up with a different perfect pick than the normal league.   With bonuses 2x Sunday and 6x Ocean’s 8 was the perfect pick, the latter getting the best performer boost.  Without bonuses though, the best best was 2x Saturday, 4x Ocean’s 8, and 2x Will You Be My Neighbor.

Summer Movie League – Week Four Perfect Pick

The week’s scores ended up looking like this:

  1. I HAS BAD TASTE – $149,011,139
  2. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $148,790,862
  3. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $145,559,483
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $143,810,831
  5. Kraut Screens – $143,621,570
  6. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $142,299,162
  7. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $141,474,176
  8. Too Orangey For Crows – $139,293,799
  9. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $138,485,522
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $132,639,108
  11. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $132,639,108
  12. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $120,433,130
  13. Goat Water Picture Palace – $118,288,783
  14. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $117,948,704
  15. grannanj’s Cineplex – $112,270,121
  16. Joanie’s Joint – $109,582,467
  17. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $108,103,696
  18. aria82’s Cineplex – $106,527,489
  19. Bean Movie Burrito – $13,087,528 (did not pick)
  20. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $0 (did not copy picks)

Isey of I HAS BAD TASTE won the week and also got the best possible score for the league having grabbed the perfect pick.

Darren was close behind having gone with what ended up being the perfect pick for leagues with bonuses.

After that, down to 11th place, are the people who anchored on two days of Jurassic World.  There there is a $12 million gap and the start of the people who anchored on The Incredibles 2, or who did not pick or forgot to copy.  I guess, sitting there at 12th place, I can take solace in the fact that I had the best Incredibles 2 lineup.

The sad trombone for the week goes to SynCaine who forgot that I left the empty screen penalty on for the league when I removed the bonuses.  His two screen lineup of The Incredibles 2 and Friday Jurassic World scored pretty well, but eight empty screens pulls $16 million off of his total.

That left the league standings looking like this after week four:

  1. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $413,420,828
  2. I HAS BAD TASTE – $407,058,524
  3. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $403,218,563
  4. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $397,307,676
  5. Kraut Screens – $390,019,856
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $389,940,553
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace – $387,113,020
  8. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $383,706,911
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $382,929,377
  10. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $376,737,891
  11. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $374,008,116
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $368,319,886
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $366,567,247
  14. aria82’s Cineplex – $323,895,524
  15. Joanie’s Joint – $306,167,311
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $299,887,221
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $296,721,502
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $221,482,730
  19. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $208,549,279
  20. Bean Movie Burrito – $168,373,959

This week saw some shifting in the standings, but I still think my working theory/plan for the season, that the removal of bonuses would keep the pack tighter and the competition closer, seems to be working out… sort of.  The changes with how FML works with the whole need to copy picks across leagues, plus the early lock time, plus the not clearly indicated rule set have all hampered the league, and there is no change of rules that will help somebody bounce back after they miss a week.  Only Liore seems to have that power, as she missed a week last summer and still won the season.

I did drop a couple of people from the standings who have missed a few weeks already, so we are down to 20 players in the league.

And that brings us to week five.

Incredibles 2              $591
Jurassic World SAT         $356
Jurassic World SUN         $278
Uncle Drew                 $275
Jurassic World FRI         $266
Sicario 2                  $201
Ocean's 8                  $97
Tag                        $64
Deadpool 2                 $41
Solo                       $31
Sanju                      $30
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $24
Hereditary                 $24
Superfly                   $22
Avengers: Infinity War     $18

It is an odd week.  After two successive blockbuster opening weekends we have a bit of a quiet week for new features.  There are three new titles on the list this week, Uncle Drew, Sicario 2, and Sanju, none of which are expected to break any records or threaten the current big titles in play.

Uncle Drew is a basketball… Comedy?  Parody?  Homage?  I’ve read the Wikipedia article and I am still not sure.  My getting anything isn’t a requirement for success, but it might be a measure of messaging I suppose.  Also I am not sure if it showing up after the annual Warriors/Cavaliers tournament… I mean the NBA championship… is good positioning or not.  The long range forecast puts it somewhere between $15 and $18 million, but I have no gut on this one.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, to give it its full name, is a sequel to 2015 film of the same base name about drugs, smuggling, and violence on the US/Mexican boarder.  The original has a slow September opening, only widening to 2,600 theaters on its third week when it brought in $12 million based on the positive buzz it created.

The sequel is going straight for the big opening, but has been referred to as a “hot mess,” while the long range forecast from last week pegs it under $15 million for the weekend.  While I liked the original, it is a bit niche and the follow on seems like an unnecessary appendage to the story.  But in Hollywood they figure a sequel is worth 85% of the original, and the first one did $84 million at the box office.

And then there is Sanju, a Hindi language biopic about Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt.  There was some controversy about a scene in the film to which the government of India objected, but I am not sure that is enough to propel a foreign language film high enough onto the US box office list to make the cut for 11th spot on the list.  Theater count is estimated at 350, which is about what Won’t You Be My Neighbor? had for week four, and it did $1.8 million… but it isn’t in Hindi and is about a US cultural icon.

The modest means of those three titles meant that Jurassic World stays split over three days again this week while The Incredibles 2 stays at the top of the price list.  Meanwhile there is some close prices filler from which to choose.

So there we go.  As usual, I will put my Monday Hot Takes league picks here.  I went with 2x Saturday, 1x Ocean’s 8, 4x Deadpool 2, and 1x Hereditary.   That is a pretty research free lineup, but I feared to avoid dinos for a second week running lest they surprise and bit me in the ass yet again.  Won’t You Be My Neighbor? might end up a better bet than Hereditary, depending on what the eventual screen count is for the week.

Get your picks in now, or copy them over.  The league locks in less than 24 hours from when this post goes live.

Summer Movie League – Incredible

Here we are at week four of our special rules Summer Fantasy Movie League and… well…

I’m actually away. So there is no score summary or lineup review this week.  But I am sure The Incredibles dominated the box office.  I doubt things went down hill from an $18.5 million Thursday night preview.  I might have considered a Friday/Sunday lineup with that bit of knowledge.  But I stuck with my Monday Hot Picks league lineup, 2x Saturday, 1x Deadpool 2, 5x Hotel Artemis.

This week we have Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

I have to admit that I am not really a fan of the Jurassic Park follow on movies.  Dinos been done since the first one for me; we don’t need this to turn into a CGI Land Before Time length series.  However I am something of an outlier on that front as, when I am writing this, the forecast is for a $130 million box office take, which would boost it well beyond Solo: A Star Wars Story.

But The Incredibles 2 is still on the scene and might be big enough to reign in the dinos a bit.

Meanwhile, one of the problems I thought might occur with an early lock time seems to be coming to pass; people are forgetting to make their picks in time.  Six out of 22 didn’t make the cut in time.  My own habit is to make an initial pick on Monday night and copy it to all the leagues, so at least if I forget or get distracted, I have something.  And, as noted, I stuck with my Monday night pick this week.

Anyway, if you’re looking for some insight on the coming week, check the TAGN league chatter channel on FML where Po often examines the week in detail.

My goal for this week is to find a decent signal or some WiFi so I can make my picks on my phone.  My stretch goal is to add a picture from my current location to this post from the WP.com app.

Make your picks soon!  The league locks in less than 24 hours from when this post goes live.

Summer Movie League – Hotel Arsonist

Week two of the Summer Fantasy Movie League and we get to see how the first eagerly awaited title of the season came along.

It was an interesting mix this week with a variety of anchor choices both old and new to choose from.  The lineup looked like this:

Ocean's 8               $626
Hereditary              $219
Solo                    $218
Deadpool 2              $201
Hotel Artemis           $138
Avengers: Infinity War  $93
Adrift                  $89
Book Club               $67
Upgrade                 $32
Life of the Party       $31
Breaking In             $24
Overboard               $16
A Quiet Place           $16
Action Point            $15
RBG                     $11

Ocean’s 8 was the big new title for the week, and while not expected to be a blockbuster, it was clearly set to top the week.

After that there was a range of options from the new slow burn horror film Hereditary, to multi-week retreads Deadpool 2 and Solo, to Hotel Artemis… which is referenced in this week’s title.

Yeah, things did not go well for Hotel Artemis this week.  While priced to exceed The Avengers it in fact was much closer to Upgrade in value when the final numbers, making it about $80 over priced.

Fortunately for me, I was in no way tempted by Hotel Artemis.  Likewise I was down on Solo as well.  That was not going to be my anchor.  Instead I was juggling around options with Ocean’s 8, Hereditary, and Deadpool 2 looking for the right mix.

As I said in last week’s post, for the Monday Hot Takes league I was in on Hereditary largely due to Liore’s enthusiasm for it.  However, as the week went on my enthusiasm for the title waned and I was weighing Ocean’s 8 versus Deadpool 2.  Eventually I split the difference, and for the TAGN league I anchored on Deadpool 2 while I used an Ocean’s 8 lineup in another league.

With three screens of Deadpool 2 I had enough room for four screens of The Avengers and one of Breaking In.  That was my choice.

Summer Movie League – My Week One Pick

And then the perfect pick ended up being anchored on Solo.

Not that my lineup was horrible.  Without bonuses it was the 7th best lineup possible.  But Solo was the anchor for the top lineup, which was 2x Solo and 6x The Avengers, both with and without bonuses.

That left the scores for the week looking like this:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $74,929,344
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $72,843,102
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $72,531,960
  4. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $70,582,538
  5. I HAS BAD TASTE – $67,754,584
  6. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $67,524,560
  7. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $67,243,494
  8. Too Orangey For Crows – $66,626,858
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $65,429,411
  10. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $65,429,411
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $64,018,260
  12. Bean Movie Burrito – $62,986,713
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $62,969,256
  14. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $62,969,256
  15. Kraut Screens – $62,896,688
  16. grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,064,376
  17. aria82’s Cineplex – $55,104,817
  18. JHW’s Cineplex – $27,370,850
  19. Joanie’s Joint – $23,682,815
  20. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $21,856,990 (did not copy picks)
  21. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $20,978,053 (did not pick)
  22. DumCheese’s Cineplex – $10,480,818 (did not pick)

Goat got the perfect pick which, even without bonuses put him at the top of the list for the week, while my 7th best got me into second.

The top half of the list was a mix of picks anchored on Solo, Hereditary, Deadpool 2, and Ocean’s 8.  The pricing on those was good enough to keep a variety of picks competitive in the no bonuses game.

Hotel Artemis however.  Joanie’s Joint was all in on Hotel Artemis and paid the price.  A tough week for Jodie Foster fans.

And then there is DumCheese.  At first glance I thought he picked this week, his lineup being 2x Upgrade and 6x Action Point.  It took me a bit to realize that this was his pick from last week which had rolled over.  It just looked different because last week Action Point was the anchor while this week it had been devalued so much that Upgrade was worth more.  Strange days.

So into the second week the overall lineup looks like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $145,366,336
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $143,454,008
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $137,953,188
  4. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $137,479,475
  5. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $134,307,401
  6. Too Orangey For Crows – $133,531,136
  7. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $132,363,247
  8. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $130,537,531
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $128,707,980
  10. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $126,171,761
  11. Kraut Screens – $126,047,334
  12. Bean Movie Burrito – $125,552,918
  13. I HAS BAD TASTE – $125,226,763
  14. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $122,328,210
  15. aria82’s Cineplex – $121,483,595
  16. grannanj’s Cineplex – $118,611,195
  17. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $111,168,339
  18. Joanie’s Joint – $85,803,863
  19. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $78,851,830
  20. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $76,087,549
  21. JHW’s Cineplex – $69,480,658
  22. DumCheese’s Cineplex – $34,163,612

I have managed to hold on to first place… so still rigged… but the gap between me and the the middle of the pack is only $20 million, something a big week could make disappear with the right (or wrong) picks.  And speaking of big weeks, we are finally getting one.  Week three has a blockbuster anchor showing up, with the options as:

Incredibles 2 FRI       $521
Incredibles 2 SAT       $427
Incredibles 2 SUN       $350
Ocean's 8               $201
Tag                     $145
Solo                    $89
Deadpool 2              $78
Superfly                $71
Hereditary              $62
Avengers: Infinity War  $48 
Adrift                  $26
Book Club               $25
Hotel Artemis           $13
Upgrade                 $11
Life of the Party       $11

The Incredibles 2 is on the scene and split across three days as it is expected to bring in… more than Solo did on its opening weekend. Also new on the scene are Tag and Superfly.

All of that meant somebody had to get dropped, and so we say farewell for now to Breaking In, Overboard, A Quiet Place, Action Point, and RBG.

As for what to pick… well, as I have said in the past, if the pricing was perfect just spending your full $1000 budget would be enough.  But we know pricing is imperfect, some times comically so.

For this weekend you have to be at least seriously considering a lineup anchored on one day, if not two, of The Incredibles 2.  The long range forecast puts it at about $140 million for the weekend, with the FML split at 40%/33%/27% for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  So that could be $56 million for Friday, $46 million for Saturday, and about $38 million for Sunday.  But the forecast is imperfect and the split is imperfect, and the prediction for all the other features are imperfect.  It could hit $150 million and be heavy on Saturday because it is a kids film.

Your other anchor options are Ocean’s 8, which is probably good for about $20 million, and Tag, which looks awful (as do a lot of movies these days, but I’m a grumpy old man on that front) with had a forecast of $13 million last week.

Then there is a lot of expensive filler.  The new Superfly, a remake of the famed 70s blacksploitation flick, second to Shaft in my mind, but still a thing in its day, which looks to be good for $8 million, and is cheaper than Solo or Deadpool 2, which I gather FML thinks are both going to have a gentle drop this week.

And at the cheap end there is competing filler.  In the dollar difference race between Adrift and Book Club I might take Book Club, while in the low end race between Hotel Artemis, Upgrade, and Life of the Party, I’d probably take Upgrade over Life of the Party, but Hotel Artemis might be correctly priced this week after last week’s debacle.

My Monday Hot Takes league pick this week is 2x Incredibles SAT, 1x Deadpool 2, 5x Hotel Artemis., which leaves me $3 to spare.  We’ll see if I change my mind on that before Thursday morning rolls around.

Go make your picks!  The league locks in less than 24 hours after this post goes live.

Summer Movie League – Action Punt

For the launch of the Summer Fantasy Movie League the first week out was not all that exciting.

The alleged season of blockbusters did not have anything big and new for us.  There were three new films, but none of them were expected to dominate, so it became a week of mix and match to try and find the optimum pick.  The list of options included:

Solo                    $514
Deadpool 2              $325
Adrift                  $215
Avengers: Infinity War  $167
Action Point            $143
Book Club               $126
Upgrade                 $62
Life of the Party       $49
Breaking In             $36
Overboard               $30
Show Dogs               $25
A Quiet Place           $21
Best of the Rest        $19
RBG                     $15
Rampage                 $7

On the anchor end of things, the question seemed to be whether or not Solo would collapse gently after a disappointing opening weekend, or if that lack of fan enthusiasm would continue to haunt it and cause a sharper fall.

Up against it was Deadpool 2 in its third week.  While an R-rating holds back its potential audience, it seemed likely to hold on a good chunk of the weekend, and you could get two screens of it.

And then there was Adrift, an ominous name for a film of uncertain potential, or possibly The Avengers.  You could also get five screens of The Avengers, or six screens of Action Point.  But that last seemed a big unknown.

After some hemming and hawing about Solo, I decided that two screens of Deadpool 2 was going to be my choice.  And I actually decided that very early in the week.

Due to the changes at FML, allowing leagues to set their own rules, I am now in a variety of leagues, including Liore’s Monday Hot Takes league, which locks on Tuesday at noon. (Wednesday last week, due to the Monday holiday.)  So I wanted to get a lineup for that set.

With two screens of Deadpool 2, my filler options were limited.  On a whim, I filled up with five screens up Upgrade, another new film this week, and something of a wild card, with estimates all over the place, filling in the last slot with a screen of Breaking In.

That set on Tuesday night, I copied it to all my other leagues… and then stopped paying attention.  It was a busy week at the office, forecasts were slow in coming and were not very solid, so I saw no reason change my early lineup and left it there until everything locked on Friday morning.

Which turned out to be a pretty good plan, as I came in first in all of the private leagues to which I belong.  It wasn’t a huge victory.  I ended up ahead by just a bit in all of them.  But a win is a win.

Deadpool 2 turned out to be the anchor of the week, and the perfect pick for normal rules was 2x Deadpool 2, 1x The Avengers, 1x Book Club, 1x Breaking In, and 3x Rampage, the latter getting the best performer nod.  An odd perfect pick, with that many different titles.

However, with no bonuses in the TAGN league, best performer doesn’t mean anything.  Meanwhile, the mobile app will show you the perfect pick for the rule set your league follows and, as it turned out, with no bonuses, my lineup was the perfect pick.

Max score for me.  You may now declare the whole thing rigged, since I chose the rules.

Summer Movie League – My Week One Pick

But, as I said, I didn’t end up way out in front.  With the no bonuses rule, I did not get anything special, like an extra $5 million boost, for getting the perfect pick.  The rest of the league looked like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $72,523,234
  2. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $72,050,064
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $70,922,048
  4. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $68,877,990
  5. Too Orangey For Crows – $66,904,278
  6. aria82’s Cineplex – $66,378,778
  7. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $64,838,687
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $64,689,720
  9. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $63,202,505
  10. Kraut Screens – $63,150,646
  11. Goat Water Picture Palace – $63,023,844
  12. Bean Movie Burrito – $62,566,205
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $62,546,819
  14. Joanie’s Joint – $62,121,048
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $59,954,993
  16. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $59,358,954
  17. I HAS BAD TASTE – $57,472,179
  18. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $56,994,840
  19. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $55,109,496
  20. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $43,924,845
  21. JHW’s Cineplex – $42,109,808
  22. DumCheese’s Cineplex – $23,682,794

No little colored letters now as we’re all in the same league.  There are still 22 players, as there were in the Meta League.   We added a few new players and a few came over from the MCats league to try out the early lock and no bonus fun.

The top six places went to people who anchored on two screens of Deadpool 2.  Then Solo and Deadpool 2 became viable, along with five screens of The Avengers, which anchored SynCaine’s lineup.

Dragging people down were some poorly performing filler.  As I expected, the Best of the Rest pick turned out to be a complete bust, and those who went with it suffered.

Adrift also didn’t hold up very well as an anchor.

Likewise, the new film Action Point disappointed and those carrying it felt the pain of its over optimistic price, especially DumCheese who was anchored on six screens of it.  I feel sorry for you man.

And so ended the first week.  I don’t even have to do two lists because the overall matches the weekly.  The scores are not that spread out, both because of a lack of bonuses, but also because it just wasn’t a big scoring week.  The perfect pick, with bonuses,  was just $79.5 million.

So on to week two and the choices it offers.

Ocean's 8               $626
Hereditary              $219
Solo                    $218
Deadpool 2              $201
Hotel Artemis           $138
Avengers: Infinity War  $93
Adrift                  $89
Book Club               $67
Upgrade                 $32
Life of the Party       $31
Breaking In             $24
Overboard               $16
A Quiet Place           $16
Action Point            $15
RBG                     $11

We shed Rampage and Show Dogs this week, as well as losing Best of the Rest as an option and added three new films to the list.

The big opener is Ocean’s 8, which I guess is the all women version of Ocean’s 11, once again demonstrating sexism in the workplace as the women have to do their heist with only 73% of the staff.

Actually, Ocean’s 8 takes place in the same universe as the Clooney helmed trio of 11, 12, and 13.  Sandra Bullock is Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean (Clooney), who is off to pull her own heist with an all female crew.  Given that my preference for this series has followed the rule of “the lower the number the better it is” Ocean’s 8 could be big, with forecasts running in the $40-50 million range.  You can have one screen of that.  Also, it is reported to be opening on limited screens on Wednesday night, so you might get some preview numbers for it on Thursday morning for the TAGN league, but they won’t count towards the weekend total.

Then there is a big gap in pricing to get to Hereditary, a new title opening this week and something in the horror genre, an area of film I always underestimate.  I need Liore to advise me on this.

After that we’re back to Solo.  Failing to make $30 million its second weekend out you have to ask whether it is due for a soft landing yet.  Are people going back to see it a second time?  Then there is Deadpool 2, now available as a four screen anchor package or something you can team up with other options.

And finally on the anchor list is Hotel Artemis, the third new item this week, featuring Jodie Foster as a nurse who runs a secret hospital for criminals.  I hope Debbie Ocean doesn’t need her services.

Down in the filler end of the list, there are a lot items with similar prices.  I would take Upgrade over Life of the Party, but I am not sure who will win out of the three way mix of Overboard, A Quiet Place, and Action Point.  And then there is RBG hanging in there at $11.

Since this post goes up on Wednesday I guess I can put my Monday Hot Takes league pick in, since that locks on Tuesday at noon Pacific.

This week I went with 4x Hereditary and 4x Life of the Party.

That is my Liore dedicated pick, because she says Hereditary is going to be big, and horror is her wheelhouse.  We shall see if I change that up for the TAGN league.

Get your picks in!  They’d due in less than 24 hours from when this posts!