Category Archives: Fantasy Movie League

Fall Movie League – Blogger Win

We’re now past week two of our Fall Fantasy Movie League, which means I have to start doing season scores as well as weekly.  One week of relative ease.

Week two saw a host of new films, five in all or a full third of the lineup, opening up a range of choices.  The list looked like:

The Predator         $408
The Nun              $338
A Simple Favor       $257
White Boy Rick       $137
Crazy Rich Asians    $131
Peppermint           $86
The Meg              $43
Unbroken 2           $40
Searching            $40
Christopher Robin    $31
Mission: Impossible  $28
BlacKkKlansman       $22
Operation Finale 2   $21
Alpha                $18
The Wife             $18

With five anchor options it was tough to nail down just how to start a lineup.  For the Monday Hot Takes league I decided that Anna Kendrick as a crime solving blogger was too much of a hint to pass on, so went with 3x A Simple Favor and 5x Searching.

And if I had copied that to all my leagues and just walked away, I’d have been better off.  Well, I would have beaten Corr and ended up in ninth place rather than tenth.

Instead I did research, and the research options for week two were all over the map.  Box Office Pro and Deadline have both given up on making predictions for the top ten, concentrating mostly on new releases or, when feeling generous, the top five, leaving me with at least ten price points to simply guess at.  Other sites are rather notoriously extreme in their picks, wishcasting as opposed to forecasting.  Then there was the hurricane battering the east coast, sure to diminish the box office.  No power and rising water do not a movie night make.

So I ended up with a bunch of options.  I can say that, at one point, I did have the perfect pick as one of my lineups.  But, in the end, I went with 1x The Nun, 1x CRA, and 6x Peppermint, the latter seeming like it might have a shot at best performer.

Instead the pick to go for was 3x A Simple Favor and 5x The Meg, which was the perfect pick for the week.

That left the week’s scores looking like this:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $82,349,322
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $68,053,892
  3. Joanie’s Joint – $65,202,555
  4. I HAS BAD TASTE – $65,202,555
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $64,580,993
  6. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $64,507,781
  7. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $64,261,740
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $64,261,740
  9. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $62,975,918
  10. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $62,951,994

Goat got the perfect pick which put them way ahead of the pack, while Bhagpuss secured a solid second anchoring on Predator and A Simple Favor.  7x White Boy Rick as an anchor claimed four spots out of the top ten, the dividing point being what went into that eighth screen.  And then there was Corr who slipped ahead of me by just about $24,000.

All of that left the season top ten looking like this:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $166,930,575
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $149,878,965
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $147,557,171
  4. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $145,107,210
  5. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $144,750,058
  6. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $142,709,003
  7. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $140,020,941
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $139,324,840
  9. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $138,593,155
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $127,690,233

Goat, in a three way tie for first last week and all alone in first this week starts to open up a lead for the season.

Meanwhile, the alternative seasonal scoring looks like this at the end of week two.

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – 18
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – 16
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 12
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 10
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 9
  6. Joanie’s Joint – 8
  7. I HAS BAD TASTE – 7
  8. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 6
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 6
  10. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 5
  11. Ben’s X-Wing Express – 5
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 5

I ended up listing out a dozen this week as there was a three-way tie for tenth place.  One thing missing from my plan is a tie-breaker, though if it turns out we need one at the end of the season I suppose the seaon box office total for each player will work.

As with the end of last season, the top three scores are the same people, but after that the group gets shuffled a bit.

But another week looms, with the choices being:

The House with a Clock   $476
The Predator             $216
A Simple Favor           $202
The Nun                  $173
Life Itself              $143
Crazy Rich Asians        $127
Fahrenheit 11/9          $115
White Boy Rick           $98
Peppermint               $75
Assassination Nation     $69
The Meg                  $49
Searching                $41
Christopher Robin        $25
Mission: Impossible      $25
Unbroken 2               $24

Week three sees four titles dropped from the list, BlacKkKlansman, Operation Finale, Alpha, and The Wife.

Replacing them are The House with a Clock in its Walls, Life Itself, Fahrenheit 11/9, and Assassination Nation.

The House with a Clock, because, like your local theater, I am dropping the last three words off the marquee, is a fantasy about a boy going to live with a loony relative who happens to be a warlock, so magical adventures ensue.  I have to assume some comedic nature to the film as it stars Jack Black.  Long range tracking has it good for about $22 million and if you go see it IMax you also get to see a 3D version of the Michael Jackson Thriller music video.

Life Itself is a tale of couples across generations tied together by a single event, though that event is left out of the description.  Sort of a couples Cloud Atlas maybe?  It is getting horrible reviews and nobody has bothered to cover it for long range tracking, so I am going to assume it is over-prices at $143.

Fahrenheit 11/9 is the one new film this week that I had some inkling of before I started writing this post.  I haven’t liked Michael Moore since Roger & Me, but he has a following and he plays to it once again, this time with Donald Trump and his election as the target.  And while that is a worthwhile target, I am not sure what he’ll deliver that hasn’t been beaten half to death or that I’m not getting from Last Week Tonight.  Long range tracking has it at $5 million.  Will play okay on the coasts, not so well in the heartland.

Finally there is Assassination Nation.  Described as a dark comedy, it is also a dark horse in the running this week with mediocre reviews and not much in the way of name recognition.  There isn’t even a theater count estimate for it yet.  I suppose it does have one of the Skarsgård clan in it, if one of the lesser members.  I’m not sure if that is enough to hang your hat on.

Overall, sitting at this end of the week, I don’t have a strong feeling as to which way things will go.  There are a lot of variables.  If Fahrenheit 11/9 does $7 million then seven screens of that with The Nun would be a winner.  It is, as of this writing, the least picked film of the week, so that would be a real outsider bet.   If The Nun or CRA manage another low drop week, then you might consider those as anchors.  I tried that last week and, while they did land softly, it wasn’t enough.  And maybe Jack Black is a big enough draw to make The House with a Clock a worthwhile choice.  However, his work tends to require a strong cast for him to play off of.

There is a temptation to run with a rework of last week’s perfect pick and go with 4x A Simple Favor, 3x The Meg, and 1x Searching, but the first two need to really hold on for that to be a winner and FML tends to punish best performers the week after.

In the end, my Monday Hot Takes league pick was 5x The Nun, 1x Peppermint, 2x Mission: Impossible.  We’ll see how I feel about that as the week goes on.

Fall Movie League – Nun the Less

The first week of our fall Fantasy Movie League is now done.  The post is a day early this week as I have a bloated mega-post planned for tomorrow already.

It looks like we have 16 people ready to go for the season based on the first week’s picks including at least one new player.  This first week saw a new film back at the top of the box office after a couple of weeks of carry overs dominating.  The lineup for the week looked like this:

The Nun                     $615
Crazy Rich Asians           $218
Peppermint                  $205
The Meg                     $88
Mission: Impossible         $62
Searching                   $62
Operation Finale            $52
God Bless the Broken Road   $48
Christopher Robin           $42
BlacKkKlansman              $37
Alpha                       $32
Happytime Murders           $30
Mile 22                     $26
Incredibles 2               $26
Hotel Transylvania 3        $16

On Monday I was still thinking Crazy Rich Asians might continue to be the right pick for anchor.  But then I read up on The Nun and found out that it was part of a whole series of very successful horror movies, including last year’s Annabelle Creation.  That, the growing projections over the week, and the Thursday night preview take got me to swap to The Nun as my anchor.  However, I did next to no research on filler titles which was my downfall for the week.  Right anchor, wrong filler.  I ended up with 1x The Nun and 7x The Incredibles 2.

Not the worst pick, but The Incredibles 2 dropped a lot with the passing of Labor Day and the start of school in the US.

The Nun was the best performer for the week, exceeding expectations by a fair margin, so was the anchor you had to go with to be a contender.  The perfect pick for the week was 1x The Nun, 1x The Meg, 2x Searching, and 4x Christopher Robin.  Nobody in the TAGN league managed to get the perfect pick.

The top ten scores for the week were:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $84,581,253
  2. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $84,581,253
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $84,581,253
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – $81,825,073
  5. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $81,551,873
  6. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $80,242,277
  7. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $77,068,947
  8. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $76,451,282
  9. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $75,063,100
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $63,428,493

As I said, this season will be top ten lists only.  Also, since this is the first week I don’t have to do a season score as well.

Corr, Po, and Goat all picked the same lineup.  For the box office scoring the ranking doesn’t make any difference unless you want to brag about having won the week.  But for the new scoring system order matters, so getting the tie breaker correct suddenly matters.

With the new scoring system the stack is the same but the scores are different.

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 10
  2. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 9
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – 8
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – 7
  5. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 6
  6. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 5
  7. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 4
  8. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 3
  9. Ben’s X-Wing Express – 2
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 1

I decided to go with just awarding points to the top ten, as in the example I posted last week.  With 16 players in the season I considered more points, 12 or 15, but decided against that for now.  I can change it later, but more points seemed likely to stretch the gap between first place and last.  Right now first place can only ever gain 10 points on somebody in a week, rather than 12 or 15.

The two scoring systems on week one do look very different.  The box office score doesn’t show a huge gap between first and ninth place, while the new scoring has first place gaining 10x the points of 10th spot.  I suspect that as we get towards the end of the season the the box office scoring system will effectively have a much wider gap while the new scoring system will lead to a tighter race at the end.  We shall see.

Coming up for week two we have:

The Predator         $408
The Nun              $338
A Simple Favor       $257
White Boy Rick       $137
Crazy Rich Asians    $131
Peppermint           $86
The Meg              $43
Unbroken 2           $40
Searching            $40
Christopher Robin    $31
Mission: Impossible  $28
BlacKkKlansman       $22
Operation Finale 2   $21
Alpha                $18
The Wife             $18

Going away this week are Happytime Murders, God Bless the Broken Road, Mile 22, Hotel Transylvania 3, and the long lasting The Incredibles 2

New this week are The Predator, A Simple Favor, White Boy Rick, Unbroken 2, and The Wife.

The Predator.  Is there precedent for remaking a movie that featured two actors who later went on to be state governors?  The original Predator was in the sweet spot of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting career (defined as between Scavenger Hunt and Last Action Hero) and had a bunch of spin offs, including a branch that somehow managed to pit the predator against the alien from the Aliens series, the best part of which was, in my opinion, the Alien Loves Predator web comic.

So there is a lot of history and The Predator is actually a continuation of the series rather than a reboot or remake.  It might as well be though since, aside from the web comic, the only bit I can recall was the original movie, and that mostly involves former Navy Seal, pro-wrestler-cum-actor, and future governor of Minnesota Jessie “The Body” Ventura wielding a backpack mini-gun that was probably the inspiration for including such weapons in every shooter from Doom forward.

Enough baggage.  How will it do?  It is a toss up between its history, being the shiny new action film, and it playing in ~3,800 theaters versus crappy reviews and it being a bit more nerd trivia than mainstream at this point.  Also, the 107 minute run time likely means they are padding out a minimal story.  Estimates put it between $25 and $35 million.  At the low point you don’t want it, while at the high end it has to be your anchor.

A Simple Favor is a murder mystery about a blogger and it stars Anna Kendrick which is all I need to know as I am now all-in on this.  Yes, it has a bit of the same tech-mystery vibe as Searching, but it gives bloggers their time in the sun.  Might be good for $14 million, if you need to get into numbers to pick this.

I recall the trailer for White Boy Rick coming up in the 25 minutes of trailers… including a red card trailer… that ran before BlackKklansman when we saw that.  There were apparently a lot of films who felt the Spike Lee demographic was vital to the success.

Anyway, it is about a kid who gets involved in the drug trade then becomes an FBI informer, all before he becomes of legal age.  Neither the story (based on true events, as they say) nor the kid has much draw for me, but the adults around him feature some big names including Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, and Piper Laurie.  Maybe good for $9 million if the long range forecast is accurate.

Unbroken 2, which is the sequel to the 2014 film Unbroken, and which has a longer name, but I am going to call it Unbroken 2 because it is easier.  This film follows former Olympian and freed prisoner of war Louis Zamperini through his post-war struggle and his becoming an evangelical Christian.  Short, made by a team that does faith focused films, and none of the original cast returns.  Memory of the first film might trick enough people into seeing it for it to get to $3 million.

And then there is The Wife, which actually premiered in the US a year ago, but which is out for a return run because… reasons.  I don’t know.  An art house film with a strong cast, it probably tries to make people think or something, which is never a box office draw unless you throw in enough explosions or gun shots to drown that out a bit.  But they are traveling to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, so gunshots, explosions, or a kidnapping are probably out.

Still, there it is, priced down with Alpha, which made $2.5 million last week, so somebody thinks it is worth about a million I guess.

With all of that my Monday Hot Takes pick ended up being 3x A Simple Favor and 5x Searching.  See, I wasn’t kidding about being all-in.  Tech thrillers for the win I hope.  Whether I will stick with that lineup through the Friday lock is another question.

Fall Movie League – New Season, Original Rules, New Scoring

I am committing to at least one more season of Fantasy Movie League.  We will see how the fall season goes before I try to predict further out into the future.

There will be some changes for the Fall 2018 season.

First, the league will be moving back to the standard rules.  Most importantly, the league will go back to locking at 9am Pacific Time on Friday morning in the hope that fewer people will forget to pick.

Likewise, the bonus structure will return for best performer and perfect pick.  I think not having the bonuses was an interesting experiment and, in small way, kept people from opening up huge leads or falling way behind based on a bad pick.  But the change wasn’t all that great and didn’t do much for people who fell too far behind as there was still no way to catch up.  Malcanis again.

Also, I was expecting the perfect pick to be different for a no bonus league a lot more often.  Instead it was the same overall most weeks.

Second, the Fall season will have two forms of seasonal scoring, the traditional cumulative box office score as well as a well as a weekly point rank system.  This is another experiment and, if it works out well, I could see adopting the new scoring method as a differentiator.

The way it will work, as was discussed in TAGN FML Chatter, is that with every week’s score lineup, players will receiver a point based on their ranking.  First place will get 10 points, second 9 points, third, 8 points, and so on with everybody below ten getting a zero.

Testing this on the Summer League scores, it didn’t change things radically.  The top three places were still the same people, the order changing on the final week showing the “catch up” potential of the system.  And it did bubble at least one person who had a few good weeks up into the top ten.  Here is what the top ten looked like with that scoring system:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – 91
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 88
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – 76
  4. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 62
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 55
  6. I HAS BAD TASTE – 49
  7. Too Orangey For Crows – 48
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – 43
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 38
  10. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 35

The gap between Corr and I was such that it wasn’t decided until the week 14 scores were final.  Up through the Saturday morning estimates he seemed poised to win with that scoring system.

Compared that to the raw box office score ranking:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $1,233,260,784
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $1,192,800,479
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $1,168,442,901
  4. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $1,099,917,789
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $1,068,381,300
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $1,053,023,190
  7. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $1,050,270,086
  8. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $1,046,285,672
  9. Too Orangey For Crows – $1,012,717,545
  10. Joanie’s Joint – $1,012,254,458

The system eliminates the “big win” weeks which have, in the past, seen people open up insurmountable leads or fall so far behind that they are completely out of the running.  It also does away with the flat weeks, like week fourteen, where we’re all so close in score that only those who failed to pick changed in ranking. The new scoring system makes winning the week, or at least getting into the top ten, more important.

The question will be how many points should be given out each week?  My run through last season’s scores with the 10 point scale worked in part because there were only 12-14 people playing consistently over the season, so only a few people got a zero on any given week. (Everybody got at least one zero. Nobody made the top ten every week.)

I am not sure a 10 point scale would work if we had 25 people and 15 people got no points on any given week.  If that were the case it might have to be a 15 point scale, or maybe a 20 point scale.  Or maybe not.  I am, as I said, not sure how this ought to play.  But that is why this will be an experimental scoring system this week, and it may very well get changed as the season progresses. (If you have any insight into this, please pipe up in the comments.)

Third, I am going to try and cut down on the length of the weekly league update posts.  These are starting to get into the 2,000 word zone and that really isn’t necessary.  So I will try to simplify them largely by omitting the narrative about how I ended up with my picks for the week.  I am not sure anybody reads that besides me and, honestly, I am not sure I even care that much.  My need to write stories just gets the better of me some days.

So I am going to try, starting next week, to keep things to a much more terse style, with the movies in play, which, if any, did better or worse than expected, the scores, a summary of what picks did well, the overall scores, the experimental overall scores, then a summary of what is coming up for the next week.

Also, for scores, I am only going to list out the top ten when it comes to scores every week.  That, if nothing else, will keep me from having to figure out who picked badly versus who forgot to pick but their whole lineup rolled over to the next week.

We shall see if it sticks.  Some days I am overcome by the desire to write excess narrative.

And, since this is the first post of the season, let’s get on to the movies in play.  The choices this week are:

The Nun                     $615
Crazy Rich Asians           $218
Peppermint                  $205
The Meg                     $88
Mission: Impossible         $62
Searching                   $62
Operation Finale            $52
God Bless the Broken Road   $48
Christopher Robin           $42
BlacKkKlansman              $37
Alpha                       $32
Happytime Murders           $30
Mile 22                     $26
Incredibles 2               $26
Hotel Transylvania 3        $16

We are not quite to the point where candidates for the Oscars are hitting the screens yet.  That will be at the back end of the season, since the academy can only remember movies from November and December when nomination time shows up.  We’re entering the pre-Halloween zone first.

Gone from the list this week are Kin, A.X.L., and Ya Veremos.

New this week are The Nun, Peppermint, and God Bless the Broken Road.

The Nun is a “Gothic supernatural horror” genre entry about an demonically possessed undead Romanian nun.  I think.  The copy I saw included the line “…the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned…” which certainly seems exciting, if not exactly what the Catholic Church really wants on screen these days… or ever.  There has been some buzz about the film, enough that even I have seen bits of it.  It is also part of a sucessful horror franchise, though I only figured that out when I looked it up.  And FML has it priced high, so it should top the charts.  But the horror genre and what succeeds and fails in it remains a mystery to me.

Peppermint is an action revenge story in the I Spit on Your Grave genre where I gather people die horribly.  But it stars Jennifer Garner, which could give the venture the gravitas it needs to succeed.  Maybe.

Then there is God Bless the Broken Road, which is based off the country western song Bless the Broken Road.  I mean sure, films have been inspired by flimsier themes than a song.  Hell, The Gambler ended up launching a five movie series for Kenny Rogers, and most of us only remember the chorus to the damn song.  But this tale of a window and her daughter getting caught up with a race car driver isn’t as popular as The Gambler, doesn’t have any big names, isn’t exactly trending, and the only review I have seen so far puts it below Happytime Murders.  Ouch.

My Monday Hot Takes league pick was 4x CRA and 4x Alpha, mostly because it spends an even $1000.

So there it is.  The league is back to locking on Friday at 9am Pacific Time, which is 16:00 UTC, so you have time to do some research and make your picks.

If you want to join the league I will put a link in the comments after this posts.

Summer Movie League – With a Whimper

And so it goes, week fourteen, the final week of our summer Fantasy Movie League is done.

And with that we have but to tally up the scores and declare the winner.  The choices for the final week were:

Crazy Rich Asians     $460
The Meg               $204
Mission: Impossible   $143
Operation Finale      $133
Christopher Robin     $116
Searching             $111
Happytime Murders     $108
Alpha                 $97
BlacKkKlansman        $92
Mile 22               $89
Kin                   $82
Incredibles 2         $62
Ya Veremos            $56
Hotel Transylvania 3  $49
A.X.L.                $44

And none of them really shook expectations, save for The Incredibles 2, which turned out to be the best performer for the week.  To answer last week’s question, I guess it is kids who go to see movies on Labor Day.  Or maybe not.  CRA still topped the box office.

I vacillated on picks over the course of the week.  On Monday I was in with 4x The Meg and 4x A.X.L. as my pick.  Come Friday morning I was spooked by some optimistic predictions and jumped on 7x Operation Finale and 1x The Incredibles 2.

But on Thursday morning my mind was set on 3x The Meg, 2x Alpha, and 3x The Incredibles 2.

Summer Movie League – My Week Fourteen Picks

As it turns out, even with no bonuses in the TAGN league, that was my best scoring pick.  It also wasn’t a bad pick overall.

The perfect pick for the league was a bit better, but not a ton better.  Three screens of The Meg appeared to be the best anchor when it came down to it.

Summer Movie League – Week Fourteen Perfect Pick

The thing is, this was a week without a huge winning or losing pick.  Everybody who picked this week ended up within a $11 million band of choices, which wasn’t enough to dislodge many people for their spots in the ranking.  The scores among those who were in for the final week looked like this:

  1. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $68,033,788
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $67,688,509
  3. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $65,327,962
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – $61,869,121
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $61,846,280
  6. Goat Water Picture Palace – $59,840,549
  7. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $59,840,549
  8. Joanie’s Joint – $59,840,549
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $59,840,549
  10. grannanj’s Cineplex – $58,819,921
  11. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $57,381,443

Only eleven people picked this week.  Vigo led the pack anchored on The Meg, while I was just behind with the same anchor but different filler.  Then Ben with a heavy bet on Mission Impossible, Bhagpuss with CRA as his anchor, and Miniature with and anchor on The Meg and Mission Impossible.

After that there was everybody who went with seven screens of Operation Finale, less Grannanj, who had a CRA anchored lineup.  That left the final scores for the season looking like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $1,233,260,784
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $1,192,800,479
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $1,168,442,901
  4. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $1,099,917,789
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $1,068,381,300
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $1,053,023,190
  7. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $1,050,270,086
  8. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $1,046,285,672
  9. Too Orangey For Crows – $1,012,717,545
  10. Joanie’s Joint – $1,012,254,458
  11. grannanj’s Cineplex – $1,003,319,433
  12. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $996,001,692
  13. I HAS BAD TASTE – $890,174,972
  14. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $743,497,331

The narrow gap between first and last this week meant not much change, with the first eight spots a duplicate of last week.  Bhagpuss snuck back into the top ten by virtue of acing out Joanie by a hair and due to Po being out of town and not picking.

So there it is, the final score.  Corr takes the crown for the summer season!

And that is it for the summer blockbuster season.  As usual, it starts big but loses steam before Labor Day.  Look for another post in a bit about the updates for the Fall season.  Yes, there will be a Fall season.

Summer Movie League – The Mediocre Muppet Caper

Our summer Fantasy Movie League is coming to a close soon as we are now through week thirteen, the penultimate week of the season.

I like the word “penultimate” and will use it every chance I get.

For week thirteen we had the following choices for our lineups.

Crazy Rich Asians     $318
Happytime Murders     $264
The Meg               $201
Mile 22               $129
Mission: Impossible   $127
Christopher Robin     $106
Alpha                 $102
BlacKkKlansman        $84
A.X.L.                $58
Hotel Transylvania 3  $45
Slender Man           $40
Mamma Mia 2           $35
Ant-Man and the Wasp  $29
The Equalizer 2       $28
Incredibles 2         $27

Crazy Rich Asians was still slated to take the top spot in its second week, but second place was expected to go to Happytime Murders, with The Meg coming in third.

I was not enthusiastic at all for Happytime Murders however.  As I said in league chatter, to me it seemed like a picture in search of an audience.  The clips and trailers, along with the R rating, were pushing it as an adult feature, so you couldn’t expect too many kids going to see it.

But even with Melissa McCarthy at the helm it looked like a rip-off of homage to Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a film with a PG rating back in the 80s, done with muppets rather than animation.  Or puppets rather, as muppets are a registered trademark of the Disney corporation.  The film was clearly trying to ride on that association however, along with children’s television with the tag line “No Sesame, All Street,” for which they were sued by the Children’s Television Workshop.

So I was staying away from that.  I was also down on A.X.L. which, despite its low threshold for success based on its FML pricing, seemed trite and uninspired.

At the beginning of the week I was keen on CRA and my Monday Hot Takes League saw me anchor on two screens of that along with some filler that was mostly picked to spend my budget and avoid A.X.L.

As the week went on though, I began to feel like CRA wasn’t going to do it, that to be worth that price it would have to have an almost unprecedentedly small drop in earnings week over week as to be unlikely.

I decided that since I could get three screens of The Meg for less than the price of two screens of CRA that I would go with sharks for my anchor.  So I ended up with 3x The Meg, 1x Mile 22, 2x BlackKklansman, and 2x Hotel Transylvania for the TAGN league pick.

Summer Movie League – My Week Thirteen Picks

That wasn’t a bad pick.  I did okay for the week.  But if I had just stuck with my Monday pick I would have won the week in the TAGN league because CRA only dropped 6% week over week, which was just the sort of unprecedented result that was needed to justify the price.  Anchoring on two screens of CRA was the path to the perfect pick.

Summer Movie League – Week Thirteen Perfect Pick

While I failed to get on board with CRA, at least I didn’t go with Happytime Murders which, in addition to confused marketing and poor reviews, also fell into third place overall for the week behind The Meg.  And that wasn’t because The Meg was suddenly on fire, but because Happytime Murders just didn’t have the draw.

On the other hand A.X.L. did okay, at least based on its FML pricing.  It ended up just about where it needed to be so if you used it as a filler item it didn’t drag you down.

Thus the week ended up with scores looking like this:

  1. Joanie’s Joint – $71,400,125
  2. grannanj’s Cineplex – $70,978,648
  3. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $70,706,218
  4. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $62,887,75
  5. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $60,735,430
  6. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $60,084,033
  7. Too Orangey For Crows – $53,041,276
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $49,660,699
  9. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $42,582,979
  10. Goat Water Picture Palace – $42,550,095
  11. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $40,224,039
  12. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $39,238,157

Joanie won the week, their first win of the season, though grannanj and Vigo were close behind.  All three of them anchored on a pair of CRA screens.  After that we get into people who anchored on The Meg.  Corr had four screens of it, Ben had two, and I had three.  Go figure.

After that Happytime Murders start figuring in lineups, dragging them down, though SynCaine went all in on Mile 22, so stands out in the pack in that regard at least.

That left the overall scores for the season looking like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $1,175,879,341
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $1,125,111,970
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $1,108,602,352
  4. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $1,034,589,827
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $1,000,347,512
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $993,182,641
  7. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $988,423,806
  8. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $986,412,699
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $974,990,413
  10. Joanie’s Joint – $952,413,909
  11. Too Orangey For Crows – $950,848,424
  12. grannanj’s Cineplex – $944,483,300
  13. I HAS BAD TASTE – $890,174,972
  14. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $707,708,993

Corr widened his lead against Goat and myself, though I was able to reclaim second place from Goat.  Vigo jumped up several spots on a strong performance and Joanie pushed Bhagpuss off of his hard earned tenth place spot with their week winning finish.

Now we are headed into the fourteenth and final week.  While Corr has first place locked, Goat and I are still battling over second, while fifth position still could change hands as well.

To get there we have the following choices.

Crazy Rich Asians     $460
The Meg               $204
Mission: Impossible   $143
Operation Finale      $133
Christopher Robin     $116
Searching             $111
Happytime Murders     $108
Alpha                 $97
BlacKkKlansman        $92
Mile 22               $89
Kin                   $82
Incredibles 2         $62
Ya Veremos            $56
Hotel Transylvania 3  $49
A.X.L.                $44

Falling off the list for the final week are Slender Man, Mamma Mia 2, The Equalizer 2, and Ant-Man and the Wasp.  I am a bit surprised that The Increadibles 2 held on for another week since it was the bottom pick for week thirteen.  Pixar magic I guess, as it has made the cut twelve weeks running now.  That is no Black Panther run, but it is damn good.

New this week are Operation Finale, Searching, Kin, and Ya Veremos, none of which I had heard of until I started working on this post.

Operation Finale follows the story of the Israeli abduction and trial of Adolph Eichmann in 1960.  This tale has been done before as The House on Garibaldi Street , The Man who Captured Eichmann, Eichmann, and Operation Eichmann.  The latter stands out in my mind especially since it featured Werner Klemperer as Eichmann and John Banner as Rudolph Hoess, roles made somewhat surreal due to their characters on the show Hogan’s Heroes.  I remember seeing it on TV at one point and not being able to tell if it was serious or not for quite a stretch due to the actors and how they played it.

Operation Finale was pegged at about $7 million on the last long range forecast I saw, though it was trending upward.  It should be at about 1,800 theaters in the US.

Searching is a thriller starting John Cho, of whom I am a big fan, about a father whose daughter is kidnapped and as the police find no leads he goes off after her, following her digital footprint.  A technological Taken maybe?  I don’t know, but there is no long range forecast for it, so maybe not at the Liam Neeson scale.  It is supposed to be in 1,100 theaters, expanding from just 9, and is in its second week so won’t get any boost from Thursday night previews.

Kin is… well… I will let the ad copy spell it out:

Armed with a mysterious weapon, an ex-con and his adopted teenage brother go on the run from a vengeful criminal and a gang of otherworldly soldiers.

So we have that.  It was called at $5 million on the latest long range forecast and was estimated to be in 2,100 theaters.

And then there is Ya Veremos, a Spanish language film, with no long range forecast either.  While it has done very well in Mexico foreign language films are always a bit of a wildcard here.

On top of all of that, we have a holiday weekend coming up in the US.  Viva Labor Day and all that.  Time to put away the white shoes.

That means this week fourteen is a four day haul, Friday through Monday, and the forecasts I mentioned above were only for the first three days.  Forecasts and results always get messed up on these weeks, a situation made all the worse by this being the final week of the season.  You are pretty much on your own this time around as the forecasts won’t help much.

Meanwhile, the new season starts the following weekend, so there will be a busy transition as this season wraps up a day late while the new season starts.  Expect two posts, but the new season post might be on Wednesday with the old season results showing up on Thursday.  There are only so many hours in the day to write this stuff.

Also, the plan for next season is to return to the default FML rules, including screens locking at 9am Pacific Time on Fridays, so you’ll have an extra day to pick in the hope that fewer people will forget.  If you have any thoughts on next season leave a comment here or in the FML Chatter group for the league, which is where we are also talking about scoring alternatives.

But this season still is still going, though it effectively closes on Thursday at 9am, so you have less than 24 hours to make your final picks.  Go do them!  Now!

My Monday Hot Takes picks are currently 4x The Meg and 4x A.X.L., but you know I’ll change my mind by Thursday.  I am trying to figure out who goes to the movies on Labor Day weekend.

Summer Movie League – Crazy Rich Alpha

We are done with what I referred to as the penultimate penultimate week of our Summer Fantasy Movie league.  The way the calendar worked out this season has 14 weeks, so people who thought we only had one more week to go are going to have to suffer a bit longer than expected.

Meanwhile, this week 12 was another example of how you don’t need a big blockbuster release to get ahead, you just need to believe in a title that exceeds expectations and pricing.  The options were as follows:

Crazy Rich Asians      $358
The Meg                $356
Mile 22                $296
Mission: Impossible    $193
BlacKkKlansman         $129
Christopher Robin      $128
Alpha                  $89
Slender Man            $84
The Spy who Dumped Me  $61
Mamma Mia 2            $56
Hotel Transylvania 3   $55
The Equalizer 2        $51
Ant-Man and the Wasp   $43
Incredibles 2          $39
Dog Days               $23

Despite having been let down by long range forecasts for week 11 I chose to pay attention to them yet again for week 12.  Unfortunately, despite the concept of “once burned, twice shy,” there are not a lot of other options when trying to figure out what a film is going to do.  And the long range forecasts for the week 12 releases was pretty bearish, relative to the pricing.

The best of the lot, when viewed through that lens, might have been Mile 22, and I wasn’t keen on betting heavily on Mark Wahlberg.  Just a personal preference.  Alpha seemed okay.  The range of estimates was pretty wide for it, and it didn’t seem to have much media presence.

And then there was Crazy Rich Asians which got a lot of press and had a lot of people talking, but estimates were all over the map and it was opening on Wednesday, so there would be no Thursday night previews to boost its weekend take.  The Meg would have to drop a lot for CRA to be worth the extra two bucks in pricing.

For my Monday Hot Takes pick I wasn’t buying in on any of the new releases, going with 2x The Meg, 1x The Spy Who Dumped Me, and 5x Ant-Man and the Wasp.

I wasn’t wed to that lineup, but I couldn’t think of anything better on Monday night.  And so I swapped my picks around a lot more than usual over the course of the week, including a couple of times going with the winning pick of the week, 1x CRA and 7x Alpha.

But then CRA only did $6 million on its opening night, which didn’t seem like much relative to the buzz, while The Meg did $5 million the night before.  $5 million on a Tuesday night seemed like a sign of strength, so I started making lineups with enough slack in them that I could swap out CRA and The Meg.  But I wasn’t believing in Alpha at all and, by the Thursday morning lock I had to decide between CRA and The Meg and went with The Meg mostly because I knew Corr was going with CRA and I wasn’t going to catch up with him going with the same pick.

I ended up with 2x The Meg, 1x Alpha, 5x The Incredibles 2.

Summer Movie League – My Week Twelve Picks

Friday morning, before the other leagues closed, the Thursday night previews for Mile 22 and Alpha showed up, $1 million for the former and half that for the latter.  Those were low numbers for the anticipated box office, so I swapped out Alpha for Slender Man in the remaining lineups while Corr ditched his Alpha heavy lineup.

That was a bust.  As priced Alpha needed to do about $5-6 million to be worthwhile and the previews made $4-5 million seem more likely, and then it went an did $10 million for the weekend, making it the best performer and a necessary addition to any competing lineup.

That put it ahead of the more expensive BlacKkKlansman and Christopher Robin and up with the twice as costly Mission: Impossible.  The only redeeming virtue of my lineup this week was that at least I had one screen of Alpha in it.  The perfect lineup for both leagues with and without bonuses was 1x CRA and 7x Alpha.

Summer Movie League – Week Twelve Perfect Pick

That left the week’s scores looking like this.

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $98,977,724
  2. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $98,977,724
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $98,977,724
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – $80,239,775
  5. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $72,383,222
  6. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $70,569,026
  7. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $64,164,636
  8. Joanie’s Joint – $62,948,980
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $60,011,452
  10. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $59,303,508
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $57,488,433
  12. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $55,077,460
  13. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $45,600,034

At least 13 people remembered to pick this week, up from 10 last week.

Corr, Ben, and Goat all had the perfect pick this week, while Bhagpuss got to fourth through packing in five screens of Alpha.

After that things start to fall off.  Darren pulled off 5th place betting heavily on Christopher Robin plus a screen of Alpha.  Meanwhile Po’s mixed luck continued to haunt him.  While he got in four screens of Alpha, he anchored on two screens of the modestly performing 22 Mile and had two screens of the worst performer of the week, Dog DaysDog Days was in 16th place, behind Jurassic World, which was dropped from the list for this week.

And then there is me holding the bag, anchored on two screens of The Meg.  That 7th place finish, and my second poor week in a row, hurt my prospects for the season.

That left the overall scores looking like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $1,112,991,590
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – $1,066,052,257
  3. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $1,065,027,937
  4. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $973,854,397
  5. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $947,174,542
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $945,840,827
  7. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $943,521,942
  8. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $934,766,374
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $929,641,294
  10. Too Orangey For Crows – $897,807,148
  11. I HAS BAD TASTE – $890,174,972
  12. Joanie’s Joint – $881,013,784
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $873,504,652
  14. Kraut Screens – $689,378,141
  15. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $670,782,009

Corr is now solidly in first and pretty much has to forget to pick at least one of the two final weeks to be in jeopardy.  Goat pulled into second place, though they are less than a million ahead of me, a gap narrow enough that either of us could end up in second.

Ben’s performance put him into a solid fourth place this week.  I don’t think he can make it into second or third, nor do I think he is likely to be displaced from fourth unless he fails to pick.  Fifth place however looks to be the hot spot, with possibly five people in contention.

So now we are on to week 13, the real, actual penultimate week of the season, and here are our choices.

Crazy Rich Asians     $318
Happytime Murders     $264
The Meg               $201
Mile 22               $129
Mission: Impossible   $127
Christopher Robin     $106
Alpha                 $102
BlacKkKlansman        $84
A.X.L.                $58
Hotel Transylvania 3  $45
Slender Man           $40
Mamma Mia 2           $35
Ant-Man and the Wasp  $29
The Equalizer 2       $28
Incredibles 2         $27

Dropping from the list this week are the poorly performing Dog Days as well as The Spy who Dumped Me .

Replacing them on the list are The Happytime Murders and A.X.L., and for once of late I was actually aware of both movies before they showed up.

The Happytime Murders has been all over the web, especially in my Twitter feed.  It comes in the vein of Who Framed Rodger Rabbit and Cool World where there is a crossover between humans and, in this case, the muppet-like puppets. (It is directed by Jim Henson’s son after all.)  I assume it will use the darker side of the lives of puppets as its primary humor vector.  After all, the tag line is “Sex. Murder. Puppets.”

While I like Meslissa McCarthy, who stars in the film, I’d have to see something a lot more appealing that has been shown so far to put it on my list of movies to see.  The long range forecast… and those haven’t been treating me well of late… has this coming in at around $14 million, while the FML pricing this week says that somebody believes it will do less than CRA in its second week.

And then there is A.X.L., which I saw as a “coming soon” trailer before The Increadibles 2 earlier this season.  My thought then was, “this is dumb.”  The main plot, as the trailer presented it, was a teen finds a robot dog and decides to keep it, but the evil corporation that built it wants it back.  Trite, silly, and dumb.

The last long range forecast for A.X.L. has it under $2 million.  It being in 9th position at that forecast points to this likely being a fairly weak week for the box office.

Given all of that my Monday Hot Takes league pick was 2x CRA, 1x The Meg, 3x Mama Mia 2, and 2x The Incredibles 2, based largely on the fact that it spent $996 of my $1000 budget.

As usual, the league locks less than 24 hours after this post goes live, so make your picks soon.

Summer Movie League – Gonna Need a Bigger Lineup

Week eleven of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is in the can and it was the sort of week that people long for, one where a film or two exceeds expectation allowing for a big score relative to the pack… if you make the right picks.

While we are past the blockbuster portion of the summer season, this past week looked like one on which an astute pick or a gamble might let a lucky player climb up the ranks.  The choices were as follows:

The Meg                 $334
Mission: Impossible     $260
Christopher Robin       $177
Slender Man             $171
BlacKkKlansman          $84
The Spy who Dumped Me   $83
Dog Days                $69
Mamma Mia 2             $65
The Equalizer 2         $63
Hotel Transylvania 3    $62
Ant-Man and the Wasp    $52
The Darkest Minds       $38
Incredibles 2           $41
Teen Titans GO!         $31
Jurassic World          $29

Last week when I was finishing up the week ten post I felt that Slender Man was the wild card for the week.  It was based on what is now a well known meme, horror movies always surprise me, generally doing much better than I expect, it didn’t have much competition on the horror front, and the box office projections for it were all over the map, running from $9 million to $25 million.

All of that seemed to indicate that it could do well… or not… which pretty much defines a wild card.

For my Monday Hot Takes league picks though I was not willing to risk it.  I went conservative, running with 3x Mission: Impossible, 2x The Equalizer 2, and 3x Teen Titans GO! for my pick.

The other possible wild card was Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, for which there was no long range forecast and no projections on Monday night when I was writing and doing my first round of picks.  It was priced by FML with the expectation that it could run to about $5-6 million, about half of what they seemed to be calling for Slender Man.

And then there was The Meg, which didn’t seem like much of a wild card at all.  Its long range forecast numbers had been sinking week after week, so that by Monday night it seemed like a toss-up as to whether it would out-perform Mission: Impossible, the latter going into its third weekend.

And I could see why projections for The Meg might be modest.  While not running with a statistically valid sample size, nobody I asked knew what The Meg was about.  I had to look it up myself on Monday night to get the brief on it.  And when I did read up on it, I wasn’t all that impressed by the idea of another shark movie in a world where the Sharknado series, set to release the sixth and promised last installment in the franchise, seemed to have sucked all the oxygen out of the shark tank.

I mean, I love me some Jason Statham, but I wasn’t sure he was going to be enough to carry The Meg very far given my perceived obstacles.

So I did my Monday night picks and felt I needed to keep an eye on Slender Man to see if it was going to hit the high end of expectations or not.  That was the anchor to which I was expecting I might swap.

The movie news sites seem to be past their summer box office obsession now that the blockbusters have passed as well.  It wasn’t until Wednesday that Box Office Pro showed up with some forecasts, and they only deigned to call a top five rather than the ten they were doing earlier in the season.

But in that top five there was BlacKkKlansman estimated at $12 million, ahead of Slender Man, which was only in for $10 million in their estimate.  If true, that made the Spike Lee film very much under-priced and a very likely candidate for the best performer of the week.  It was also clearly going to be the filler of choice, delivering the most box office for the buck.

They were less enthusiastic about The Meg however, calling it at just shy of Mission: Impossible, the latter expected to top the week.

So I swapped by lineup around, going with 2x Mission: Impossible, 5x BlacKkKlansman, and 1x Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Summer Movie League – My Week Eleven Picks

Box Office Pro tends to be a bit optimistic on its calls, so I felt that my other plan, 1x Mission: Impossible, 7x BlacKkKlansman might not be optimal for a league with no best performer bonus.  However, that pick went to all my other leagues.

That is where I left things until I saw the Thursday night preview estimates pop up on Twitter.  Actually, I only saw one estimate before lock time for all of the other leagues, the estimate for The Meg, which was $4 million.

That seemed like a lot.

There is always the question as to how much one should value the Thursday night previews, with talk of multipliers between 5x and 8x depending on a range of factors.  But I was thinking that if Mission: Impossible did $6 million in its preview and topped $60 million, then The Meg was most certainly going to get well past the meager $20 million forecasts.

And so, minutes before the final lock, I swapped all my still unlocked leagues to 1x The Meg and 7x BlacKkKlansman.

And then, of course, The Meg did $45 million for the weekend, more than double Mission: Impossible.  Warner Bros. did a last minute social media campaign that helped lift it past modest projections.  The Meg was the way to go, with the optimum pick for the league being 2x The Meg, 3x BlacKkKlansman, 1x The Incredibles 2, 1x The Darkest Minds, and an empty screen!

Summer Movie League – Week Eleven Perfect Pick

A perfect pick with an empty screen is a pretty rare bird, so it isn’t surprising that nobody went for it, and only two people were on board with The Meg, leaving the scores for the week looking like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $121,319,505
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – $97,034,466
  3. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $97,034,466
  4. Joanie’s Joint – $90,687,957
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $81,631,751
  6. Too Orangey For Crows – $78,904,468
  7. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $74,657,452
  8. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $73,483,913
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $68,495,990
  10. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $55,706,528

Only ten people got their picks in for the week, which I think is a new low.  Ah well.

Corr won the week, with Goat and I tied for second with the same pick.  The tables were turned from last week, when Corr and I different in lineup only on the main anchor.  I chose right that time, going with Mission: Impossible over Christopher Robin.  This time he got the anchor right.

Meanwhile Po, who went with The Meg as anchor as well, was pulled down by betting heavily on the under-performing Dog Days. which was in seventh spot for pricing but ended up in twelfth for box office.

Slender Man, while about spot-on for the price, was not a good option in the face of two over performing titles.  So much for my wildcard theory.

The scores for the season now look like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $1,014,013,866
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $1,000,863,301
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $967,074,533
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $900,240,793
  5. I HAS BAD TASTE – $890,174,972
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $886,033,509
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $874,876,673
  8. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $874,791,320
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $874,563,834
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $864,197,348
  11. Joanie’s Joint – $818,064,804
  12. Too Orangey For Crows – $817,567,373
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $813,493,200
  14. Kraut Screens – $689,378,141
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $641,653,028
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $639,347,136
  17. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $611,478,501
  18. aria82’s Cineplex – $605,936,381

I am going to have to go back and note, for the final season scores, how many weeks people missed.  The cut to make the list this week was $600 million.  Next week I think it will be $700 million.

Last week I was $10 million ahead of Corr.  This week he is now $13 million ahead of me.  Again, we can see how quickly that close of a lead can change, though it does require the leader to make a mistake, so I am depending on Corr to blow it if I am to have a chance.

All of which brings us to week twelve of the season, the choices for which are:

Crazy Rich Asians      $358
The Meg                $356
Mile 22                $296
Mission: Impossible    $193
BlacKkKlansman         $129
Christopher Robin      $128
Alpha                  $89
Slender Man            $84
The Spy who Dumped Me  $61
Mamma Mia 2            $56
Hotel Transylvania 3   $55
The Equalizer 2        $51
Ant-Man and the Wasp   $43
Incredibles 2          $39
Dog Days               $23

This week sees Jurassic World, Teen Titans GO!, and The Darkest Minds fall off the list.

Coming in we have Crazy Rich Asians, Mile 22, and Alpha.

Crazy Rich Asians, another comdey-drama, this time set at a rich wedding in Singapore. It leads the pack in pricing this week, though only by a hair. The last long range forecast has it running at about $15 million for the week, though it has been trending up. Either somebody thinks it is going to do significantly better than that or they think that The Meg, priced two dollars less, is going to drop precipitously from its $45 million week eleven opening. In addition, Crazy Rich Asians opens today, so there will be no Thursday night previews to pile onto the weekend total, but we’ll be able to see how it does on its opening night before the league closes.

Mile 22 is Marky Mark back as an action hero. There is also John Malkovich in it as well.  Mark Wahlberg always strikes me as a stand-in for a real action hero, like he is somebody you go with when your first choice isn’t available.  But that might just be me.  Anyway, this is supposed to be the launch of a new action franchise, if the film does well. Long range forecasts had it at $18 million for the weekend, which I guess either means that such forecasts aren’t really worth mentioning or that the people who do FML pricing have better sources than I do (most likely the latter), because it looks like somebody thinks it will only do 83% of what Crazy Rich Asians will make over the weekend.

And then there is Alpha, a prehistoric tale of a boy and his dog. Seriously. It is about an ice age hunter who befriends a wolf. Early estimates put it in for around $7-10 million.  That puts it awkwardly in the crowded high end filler section.

Which leaves me trying to decipher the FML late summer pricing strategy. Last week FML got it badly wrong on two films, and while they have given BlacKkKlansman the usual over-perfomers pricing punishment I cannot figure out the plan for The Meg.

If The Meg drops 60% from its opening, which would be a big drop, it still lands at around $27 million, which is more than any estimate I can find for Crazy Rich Asians. Is The Meg a one-week-wonder, destined to collapse completely? I don’t know, but for my Monday Hot Takes picks I wasn’t inclined to believe that, so I went with 2x The Meg, 1x The Spy Who Dumped Me, and 5x Ant-Man and the Wasp. File that under “things that make sense on Monday night.”

But now it is Wednesday morning and the league is going to lock in less than 24 hours so be sure to go and make your picks.