Week eleven of our Fantasy Movie League went on past and it is clear that I should have been paying more attention.
Being the leader overall I sought to play something of a conservative lineup. Back on Monday night that meant 3x Hobbs & Shaw and 5x Hollywood, because the early estimates put that as pretty safe. The was even a hint that it might be the top earner again, confidence in the new titles being somewhat sketchy.
And then… well… I am blaming the coming of WoW Classic for distracting me because I didn’t really go back and look at forecasts or which way the wind was blowing for the weekend. And given that everybody else seemed to have picked up on where the week was headed… well, it was a bad week for me.
Bhagpuss even gave me a hint, mentioning that Good Boys seemed to be looking very good on Wednesday of last week, but I didn’t take the clue, so when the league locked and became visible on Friday, I was clearly the odd man out. Everybody else who picked had at least one screen of Good Boys.
When the Saturday estimates came it, I was in 7th out of seven who picked, a situation that only got worse come Sunday. The final results did not make things better, with Good Boys piling up $21.4 million, well past all estimates, so the results for the week ended up looking like this:
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $128,365,213
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $125,762,910
- Too Orangey For Crows – $125,633,270
- Conical Effort – $107,071,667
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $89,391,600
- Joanie’s Joint – $86,197,240
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $80,944,180
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $44,487,408
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $30,509,473
Remember week 4, where I was the only one who went all-in on Yesterday? Well, this was the opposite of that week. A least I stayed ahead of the two people who did not pick but still had some viable screens carried forward.
The perfect pick for our league was 5x Good Boys, 1x Lion King, and 2x empty, worth a little over $134 million, which made it more valuable than the perfect pick for the standard rule set, which rang in a million behind.
But nobody got the perfect pick, though SynCaine was close. The scores then go down based primarily on how many screens of Good Boys people went with, with filler separating the close picks.
All of that left the the overall scores looking like this:
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $1,051,585,775
- Too Orangey For Crows – $1,031,812,091
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $941,115,614
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $918,351,656
- Conical Effort – $873,997,889
- Joanie’s Joint – $871,510,090
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $848,776,622
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $826,649,988
- grannanj’s Cineplex – $731,422,446
- Goat Water Picture Palace – $557,351,870
I stayed in the lead, but Bhagpuss is now less than $20 million behind me and, as we just saw, during a chaotic week jumps of that amount are totally possible. He just closed the gap between us by $40 million after all, so I need to pay attention.
SynCaine got a solid jump as well. He would need another big week to be a threat to first place, but it could happen. Without any big moves, the nearest fight seems to be for fifth position.
The alternate scoring looks like this:
- Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 80
- Too Orangey For Crows – 77
- Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 64
- SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 62
- Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 59
- grannanj’s Cineplex – 52
- Conical Effort – 48
- Joanie’s Joint – 48
- Goat Water Picture Palace – 45
- Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 41
I did make the executive decision that I would award no points for a zero score, which means that Goat is no longer accruing alternate scoring points.
Bhagpuss closed the gap between us here as well and, frankly, could have made it a tie race if he had made it to first. The buffering effect of the alternate scoring means that there is still a tight race for third place, with Cyanbane holding onto that spot for the moment.
And so it goes.
All of which brings us to week twelve, the next to last week, and a lineup of choices that looks like this:
- Angel has Fallen – $253
- Ready or Not – $175
- Good Boys – $167
- Overcomer – $148
- Hobbs & Shaw – $114
- Lion King – $114
- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – $81
- Angry Birds 2 – $78
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold – $71
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $69
- 47 Meters Down 2 – $59
- The Art of Racing in the Rain – $38
- Blinded by the Light – $33
- The Peanut Butter Falcon – $26
- Spider-man: Far From Home – $25
Gone from the list are Toy Story 4, The Kitchen, The Farewell, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, while last week’s top priced picks are decidedly mid-pack, save for Good Boys, which got the usual pricing punishment that best performers tend to receive.
At the top of the list this week is Angel has Fallen, which is the sequel to London has Fallen and Olympus has Fallen, though the films have been so chaotic that, despite having seen both, I did not realize that London and Olympus were actually connected movies.
Shows what I know.
Olympus grossed $30 million its opening weekend, while London hit $20 million. The LRF puts Angel has Fallen at around $18 million. That seems a little optimistic for a third sequel, but it is also opening up against less direct competition than the previous two titles.
Next up is Ready or Not, a “black comedy” that sees a possibly Victorian era bride (just judging by the poster) who realizes her soon-to-be in-laws’ plan for a game of hide-and-seek has turned into a game to hunt and kill her. She turns the tables and hilarity ensues.
Didn’t we have another Most Dangerous Game rip-off already planned for this summer? The Hunt I think? It was pulled due to recent mass shootings, or because the president criticized the idea, or possibly because preview audiences didn’t like it. But Victorians killing each other is fine. Most people killing each others in movies is fine I guess. I’m sure Angel has Fallen will be knocking off more than a few.
There is no LRF for Ready or Not, but given the Angel estimate and the FML pricing, $12-13 million seems like what somebody thinks it ought to do. I guess. There are B-list names in the cast, but nobody who is a draw in and of themselves, so I really don’t know.
Then there is the Overcomer, a Christian faith-based drama about a high school basketball coach finding himself in Christ. Written, directed, and starring a former pastor who is on his sixth such film, the LRF is calling for $3-8 million depending on how things play out. The films by this group have never done less than $6 million, while the FML pricing seems to indicate $10 million is expected, so maybe count on that end of the spectrum?
And, finally, there is The Peanut Butter Falcon, a retelling of Huckleberry Finn staged around a man with Down’s Syndrome who runs away to achieve his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
Already in limited distribution in 47 theaters, it is expanding this week. The theater count will influence this. The reviews are excellent, so it is a wild card, though the name might be fighting against it as much as anything. It’s position near Spider-man: Far From Home seems to predict at least a $1.5 million box office for it, and its low price means that it doesn’t need to go beyond $2 million to be a best performer contender.
So what to pick?
Safe seems to be an anchor on Angel, but there is a gap where Ready or Not could under-perform just enough, around $11 million, to grab worst performer, which would ironically make it an excellent choice. Good Boys could pull that off as well, thanks to the rules of the league. But that is a pretty thin line to walk.
(Also, I was wrong previously, or it got changed, but the FML Cineplex Builder takes the odd rules of our league into account so long as you select our league from the drop down.)
A mix between Angel and Peanut Butter could work, if you believe the latter will break out. That is my Monday night lineup. We’ll see if I stick with that. All I know is that I need to pay more attention this week.
Anyway, get your picks in soon. The league locks late tomorrow night.