Category Archives: Movies

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!

Summer Fantasy Movie League – Now With New Rules!

The time of transition is here.  Our Spring Fantasy Movie League ended yesterday and the final scores were posted earlier today.  Now the Summer League is upon us, a time for new picks, new deadlines, and new rules.

Thanks to the changes that FML made earlier this year, leagues can go their own way.  Going with my whim and the results of a poll I posted l two weeks back, the TAGN league will be departing for the FML default to charts its own path.  I give you the summer season!

The rules for the season, as you can probably guess from the graphic above, are:

  • No bonuses – Raw box office take only
  • Early lock – Thursday at 9am Pacific Time

The early lock will keep people from being able to pick based on the Thursday night previews that are usually available before the standard 9am Friday lock time.  It will also keep the final theater count out of the running, since that usually doesn’t finalize until Thursday around noon Pacific Time. (New arrivals usually have a theater count before then, but you might not know which older titles are going to drop theaters.)

And then there is the no bonuses thing.  People seemed in agreement on cutting out the $5 million weekly perfect pick bonus.

But I also decided to go against the grain and kill the best performer bonus, which is $2 million a screen, so capable of adding as much as $16 million to a weekly pick, as it did with the Baby Driver lineup last summer.  I can see the upside of it, but I felt a no bonus league would be better, or at least more interesting.  We shall see.

There is still a $2 million per screen penalty for blank screens, but I did not add in a penalty (or bonus) for getting the worst performing pick each week.

The hope is for there to be more volatility and variety in the picks with less time to research without leading to insurmountable scoring gaps with the absence of the bonuses.  We shall see.

So if you are up for it, let the summer games begin.

The opening week of summer, coming after the three day Memorial Weekend is a bit of a let down.

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

There are three new movies on the list this week, Adrift, Action Point, and Upgrade, but none of them are in the summer blockbuster league.  The best of them, Adrift, only made it to third on the price list.  Instead Solo, now condensed to a single day, tops the list for the weekend, followed by Deadpool 2.  And I feel like Avengers is a better pick than Adrift for the pricing.

At the filler end of things is almost all of the same old stuff we’ve been looking at for at least a few weeks… aside from Upgrade, which made the filler end of things in its first week.  But it might be the wild card if it does better than the $2.5 million that the long range forecast has it pegged to do.

This week’s surprising bit is the return of the Best of the Rest at $19, putting it ahead of two picks.  When Best of the Rest isn’t the cheapest pick, it always makes me wonder.  If there is some movie that they expect will be better than others already on the list, why not just put that movie on the list?  And if there is not, what justifies Best of the Rest being more expensive than RBG and Rampage.

So those are the choices for week one of the summer.

If you want to join in, now is the time.  I will put a link in the comments that you can click on to get into the league.  You will need to create an account, but that doesn’t take much.

You also have an extra day to join.  On weeks that start with a Monday holiday all lock times are pushed back a day, so the lock time for the league this week will be the usual Friday at 9am Pacific Time.  Starting next week the league picks will lock on Thursday at 9am.

Spring Movie League – Kessel Also Ran

The time has come, the season has drawn to a close, the last week is over, it is now time to count up the final scores.

Yes, our Spring Fantasy Movie League ended with Solo: A Star Wars Story over the US Memorial Day weekend.

Alas, poor Solo, what went wrong with him?  Was Marvel Universe still too much of a draw?  Have we become over saturated with Star Wars movies?  Did The Last Jedi sour too many fans on the franchise?  Is Han Solo just not that popular?  Were there no back story questions we felt needed to be answered?  Did the whole thing feel like an expensive attempt to again validate that “Kessel run in 12 parsecs” gaff from A New Hope? Was everybody just out camping over Memorial Day?

Yes, there is something odd about the headlines decrying the failure at the box office of a movie that brought in over $100 million over the four day weekend.  But this is a Star Wars movie, and that means that there are expectations.

Still, some of us were not fooled.  Liore and I were discounting Solo in MCats Slack early in the week, where I was calling it $100 million over four days due to a lack of excitement in the force.  And I stuck to that, opting to anchor on Deadpool 2.  Liore couldn’t resist Solo though and anchored on it all the same.

In fact, in the MCats League I was the only one not to bet on Star Wars, which is why I won the week there.  In the TAGN League there was less enthusiasm for Han Solo, so seven of us went with Deadpool 2, though a couple hedge with a Monday Solo pick as well.

But in the end, while Deadpool 2 wasn’t even the winning anchor, it was The Avengers backed up by five screens of Book ClubDeadpool 2 was second best and Solo was in third.  How crazy a week was this?

Sure, it was the pricing and studio predictions that set this course, but who would have pegged a Star Wars movie only running to $103 million on an opening 4-Day weekend?

And then there was the filler picks.  There was a lot of discussion as to what would be the best performer.  Rampage, A Quiet Place, and Life of the Party all had their fans.  Even Show Dogs, which was causing some controversy, had supporters.  But in the end, Overboard took the best performer slot, acing out Life of the Party.

But that didn’t make it a good pick.  It was better to have as much Book Club as could, it held strong from last week, then fill with just two screens of Overboard at the end, a choice it looks like only two people made.

Spring Week Thirteen – Perfect Pick

Nobody in the Meta League had the perfect pick.  The winner for the week was SynCaine, one of those who anchored on Deadpool 2.

  1. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $91,661,374
  2. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $85,559,599
  3. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $84,922,565
  4. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $82,869,211
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $80,463,749
  6. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $80,463,749
  7. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $79,848,296
  8. Kraut Screens (T) – $78,075,953
  9. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $77,414,439
  10. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $76,334,572
  11. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $76,334,572
  12. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $75,485,422
  13. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $74,869,036
  14. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $72,970,209
  15. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $71,451,624
  16. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $69,176,242
  17. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $68,730,172
  18. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $66,575,638
  19. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $65,051,142
  20. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $62,496,157 (Did not pick)
  21. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $60,209,580 (Did not copy picks)
  22. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $41,139,005 (Did not pick)

The Meta League Legend:

  • TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
  • MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)

That was a pretty crazy shake up of the usual order of things, with Biyondios, Ben, and Corr way down the list.  SynCaine took the week, his Life of the Party filler lineup giving him the edge.

But the final season standings, with came out as:

  1. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,461,821,220
  2. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,436,682,416
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $1,420,901,968
  4. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $1,405,745,374
  5. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $1,388,655,028
  6. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $1,381,421,102
  7. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $1,365,385,176
  8. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $1,357,376,973
  9. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $1,342,783,242
  10. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $1,302,008,386
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $1,289,493,645
  12. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $1,286,471,231
  13. Kraut Screens (T) – $1,226,445,994
  14. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $1,216,573,742
  15. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $1,178,875,806
  16. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $1,173,846,467
  17. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $1,166,013,150
  18. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $1,152,016,914
  19. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $1,122,435,526
  20. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $1,108,293,580
  21. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $1,095,907,569
  22. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $994,744,898 (Adjusted for main pick)

Given far down the weekly list some top players were, there was very little change in the final ranking.  The week just wasn’t big enough to let people jump more than maybe one spot on the list.  Just $105 million for the perfect pick on a four day weekend with a Star Wars movie opening was not what I expected back at the start of the season.  Sorry Solo, you just didn’t give us the big, dramatic finish we were expected.  A metaphor for the film?

Anyway, congrats to Biyondios who won the spring season after passing Ben a couple of weeks back!  Victory is yours!

This is the end of the Spring season and the end of the Meta League.  With rule changes everybody seems to be going their own way.  So, if nothing else, I won’t have to color a bunch of letters every week.

A post will go up a little bit later for the Summer league plans and rules, with a link if you wish to join.

Spring Movie League – Papal Fallibility

Week twelve of our Spring Fantasy Movie League has come and gone, with another blockbuster opening.

However, this time around there was a change up compared to how things usually play out.

Coming into the summer blockbuster season, the early entries are already upon us.  We had The Avengers: Infinity War already, and it made bank.  Week twelve brought us Deadpool 2, a big enough title to be split three ways, giving us the following price choices.

Deadpool 2 FRI      $501
Deadpool 2 SAT      $452
Deadpool 2 SUN      $337
Avengers            $280
Show Dogs           $99
Book Club           $98
Life of the Party   $76 
Breaking In         $73
Overboard           $50
A Quiet Place       $45
Pope Francis        $25 
I Feel Pretty       $21 
Rampage             $19
Tully               $13
RBG                 $13

The Avengers, in their third week, had settled down from blockbuster range to being predicted to bring around $30 million, something that would otherwise be a good opening week for a film of less spectacle and ambition.  Deadpool 2, being estimated between $130-150 million was expected to bring in more than that on any of its three days and was priced accordingly.

So way back on Monday evening when the picks unlocked and I was writing last week’s post, the question seemed to be which days of Deadpool 2 should you take.  Being the blockbuster of the week, of course you should anchor on it and of course you should take two days of it, because of course you should.

Then there was something of a disturbance in the quiet contemplation of the week.  Book Club, of which I was somewhat dismissive on Monday night, started getting forecasts that seemed to put it as the likely best performer of the week.  It seemed to be priced in expectation of doing about $9 million or so, but was quickly buoyed up past $12 million.  At that price it seemed like the best lineup might be 1x The Avengers 7x Book Club.

I had that selection in my list of possible lineups.  While the new multi-league picking interface is awkward, it does let me keep several lineups in play with a plan to copy the one I eventually pick to the other leagues.

Meanwhile, another wildcard seemed to be in play in the form of Pope Francis.  Religious films having done fairly well this year, as well as bio-pic RBG, the allure of the pope caught on a few places.  It seemed to be priced conservatively, as befitting his holiness, and you could get in Deadpool 2 Friday and Sunday and six screens of it.

I was tempted by that lineup for a bit, and had it up on my list.  However, in the end, I was more sold on women reading Fifty Shades than the leader of the holy mother church of Rome as a box office draw.

So it was down to that mix of The Avengers and Book Club or some load out of Deadpool 2, as much Book Club as I could get, and some filler.  I was fine with a single screen of Deadpool 2 at that point.

Then on Friday morning the numbers for the Thursday night previews came out and showed Deadpool 2 had drawn $18 million, a number that would be added to the Friday totals, which sold me on Deadpool 2.  My final pick was 1x Friday, 4x Book Club, 1x Life of the Party, 2x RBG.

And it wasn’t a bad pick I suppose.  I ended up pretty high up the list on most leagues relative to my performance over the last couple of weeks.  But it wasn’t the perfect pick.  The perfect pick was the lineup I had been considering earlier in the week, 1x The Avengers, 7x Book Club.

Spring Week Eleven – Perfect Pick

As it turned out, Deadpool 2 didn’t live up to that Thursday night rush. (And the Thursday night numbers for Book Club didn’t seem all that spectacular.)  While I can hardly bring myself to say it “only” made $125 million over its opening weekend, a huge number that secures its spot in the league of blockbusters, especially as an R-rated title, that was still less than I (and many others) had calculated on.

But at least I didn’t bet on the Pope.  Pope Francis only brought in half a million, less than half of what RBG brought in, despite the fact that RBG was half the price.  In hindsight, it shouldn’t have even made the list.

Super Troopers 2 and Black Panther should have been retained as they both outperformed Pope Francis and Tully.

The picks in the Meta League were quite varied and the scored for week twelve ended up looking like this:

  1. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $143,528,520
  2. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $143,528,520
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $132,317,638
  4. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $125,473,035
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $124,708,463
  6. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $119,401,760
  7. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $105,188,471
  8. Kraut Screens (T) – $105,078,227
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $100,045,032
  10. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $99,332,982 (Did not copy picks to the TAGN League)
  11. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $98,105,435
  12. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $95,651,071
  13. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $94,334,631
  14. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $94,334,631
  15. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $91,456,556
  16. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $91,268,046
  17. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $88,467,250
  18. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $88,079,508
  19. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $88,079,508
  20. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $88,079,508
  21. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $84,825,769
  22. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $84,257,700

The Meta League Legend:

  • TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
  • MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)

At the top end, both Biyondios and Pak got the perfect pick, so led the week.  The rankings from that point down pretty much follow how many screens of Book Club people went with, the top lineup with any of it being SynCaine at $100 million.

Two people bet heavily on Pope Francis, Ben and Goat, and they suffered for their sins.  Meanwhile, Liore went all-in on Deadpool 2, going with Friday and Saturday, 2x RBG, and four empty screens, but the merc with the mouth failed to back up his talk, leaving her in the lurch.

All of which led to some changes in the overall Meta League lineup:

  1. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,396,770,078
  2. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,365,230,792
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $1,347,931,759
  4. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $1,325,281,625
  5. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $1,305,785,817
  6. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $1,295,861,503
  7. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $1,290,801,335
  8. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $1,285,536,880
  9. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $1,267,297,820
  10. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $1,227,139,350
  11. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $1,223,975,074
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $1,197,832,271
  13. Kraut Screens (T) – $1,148,370,041
  14. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $1,136,109,993
  15. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $1,110,145,634
  16. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $1,096,836,908
  17. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $1,096,432,028
  18. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $1,075,682,342
  19. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $1,054,768,564
  20. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $1,037,512,961
  21. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $1,031,959,008
  22. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $934,535,318 (adjusted to reflect main league pick)

Biyondios getting the perfect pick combined with Ben betting on Pope Francis meant a change in the number one spot, putting Biyondios solidly in first place.  Pak, also with the perfect pick, moved ahead of me, but I also moved ahead of Aure, Liore, and Goat.

So we go into the final week of the season with Biyondios in a strong first place position, Ben within striking range of Corr, Pak maybe eyeing Po, and a bloodbath still possible in the fight for fifth or sixth place.

And so it is appropriate that we are going into a big, big final week for the season.  Week thirteen has the following options available.

Deadpool 2          $680
Solo FRI            $587
Solo SAT            $371
Solo SUN            $334
Solo MON            $271
Avengers            $252
Book Club           $133
Life of the Party   $57
Show Dogs           $52
Breaking In         $49
A Quiet Place       $35
Overboard           $33
RBG                 $16
Rampage             $10
I Feel Pretty       $8

The big new film on the block is Solo: A Star Wars Story.  It is expected to open big enough to be split.  But since this is a holiday weekend, it has been split into four days for your lineup amusement/confusion.

Four slots of Solo means that nothing else new made the list, while the Pope Francis and Tully were knocked off.  As I mentioned above, they should have even made the cut last week given their performance.

At first glance you might think it will be all about Solo this week, but then you notice that Deadpool 2 is at the top of the price list.  Having done $125 million last week, its combined take over four days should easily eclipse any single day of Solo unless Solo breaks out and exceeds expectations.

And there is still The Avengers out there and Book Club, which might be the counter pick as it isn’t a big budget action adventure film.

Meanwhile, at the low end there is still a pretty reasonable selection of filler options at prices to suit what remains of your budget after your anchors take most of it.

So it seems to come down to how much you believe in Solo this week.  Something in my gut says that it being another Star Wars filler story after Rogue One (the “why did we need to make this?” movie) and following on The Last Jedi (the “screw everything you knew about Star Wars” movie) is going to lead it to being at the low end of expectations… expectations that have been dropping week after week in long range forecasts.

But some part of my brain still asks, “Who bets against Star Wars?”  And who bets against Han Solo… or young Lando?

Anyway, it will be a big week, a week where the right pick could change your standing dramatically.

Also, remember to make your tiebreaker pick and to apply your picks to all your leagues, unless you’re going to be like me and play something odd in a couple leagues. (I may be in too many leagues.)

Finally, be ready to pick next week.  The summer blockbuster season starts next week and, thanks to a four day weekend, picks will only unlock on Tuesday evening while the new rules for the TAGN League (not fully set yet) will require you to pick by Thursday.  (Though, for week one, that will be pushed to Friday as any holiday week gets their picks pushed back a day.) There will be no Meta League for summer, only the TAGN League. (So I can stop coloring letters every week!)

Good luck with your picks!