Tag Archives: Despicable Me

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Seven

In which I play the same hand for the third week straight.

Going into week seven it looks like it might be time to break with the past.  There were enough newer movies over the last couple weeks to think about a completely fresh line up.  Here was the price list for our pretend theaters:

 Planet of the Apes $705
 Spider-Man         $586
 Despicable Me 3    $201
 The Big Sick       $143
 Baby Driver        $93
 Wish Upon          $92
 Wonder Woman       $68
 Cars 3             $33
 Transformers       $30
 The House          $26
 47 Meters Down     $17
 The Beguiled       $12
 Pirates            $6
 The Mummy          $5
 Best of the Rest   $5

Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man were clearly going to dominate the box office, and were priced as such.  After that though, there was a lot of room to play different combinations.

My process is to make my “gut pick” first and throw out a line up.  I picked apes over spiders and built up what seemed like a sound lineup for a theater.

Then I started looking at reviews and estimates and started tinkering in my spreadsheet to see if I could come up with something better.  As I put numbers in and changed them up, it became clear that Baby Driver was still priced pretty well and had a good chance of being the top price/performance pick.

Of course, that was my logic last week, and it did not serve me well.  And Baby Driver was not going to do well enough for me to go all-in on it again.  I needed a strong anchor for it.  Despicable Me seemed to fit the bill.  I could get a couple of those in and then load up on Baby Driver to fill out the selection.  So, I ended up with two screens of Despicable Me and six screens of Baby Driver.

Still obsessed with Baby Driver

As it turned out I was on the right track, I just had the wrong emphasis.  The optimum line up of the week was four screens of Despicable Me, two screens of Baby Driver, and two screens of Best of the Rest (which ended up being Guardians of the Galaxy), the latter winning the price/performance race with its $2 million per screen bonus.

Week Seven Perfect Pick

Failing to get on the right bus with the 78 other players who managed to get the perfect pick of the week put me $14 million behind their pace.

However, in our little blogger group it was a different story.  Here are the scores for the week:

  1. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $90,999,400
  2. Ocho’s Octoplex – $85,813,237
  3. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $85,515,858
  4. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $83,926,268
  5. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $82,685,858
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $82,034,224
  7. Void’s Awesomeplex – $80,550,386
  8. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $75,707,395
  9. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $64,974,540
  10. Bel’s House of Horrors – $22,213,643

While my picks were sub-optimal, they were still good enough to squeak out a win for the week.

Ocho also went with Baby Driver, but his second place slot was secured by dedicating two screens to Best of the Rest and its resulting bonus.  That put Liore in third place by just under $300,000 with what was the most picked lineup of the week, anchored on Spider-Man with six screens of the fading Wonder Woman and one screen of the now salty Pirates of the Caribbean.

At the bottom end of the list, Belghast didn’t pick for the week, so his entries rolled over from last week.  Unfortunately for him, three of his picks from week six were not available for week seven, leaving him with soft picks and three empty screens.  And then there was Murf who was the only other one to pick this week and not anchor on apes or spiders.  Four screens of The Big Sick and four screens of Baby Driver did not serve him well however.

And so, at the end of seven weeks, the overall scores sits thus:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $796,266,453
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $757,781,105
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $705,496,896
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $675,020,447
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $658,856,210
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $641,289,677
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $622,477,102
  8. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $617,375,078
  9. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $568,080,456
  10. Bel’s House of Horrors – $567,038,864

Liore maintained her lock on first place, while Ocho and I edged ever so slightly closer to her.  At our rate of advancement I think we need a lot more than six weeks to catch her.  Braxwolf made the only move of the week, jumping up a couple of spots based on this week’s performance, overtaking Syl and Murf.

And now we look forward to the week eight options, which are:

 Dunkirk               $667
 Girls Trip            $334
 Planet of the Apes    $299
 Spider-Man            $266
 Valerian              $219
 Despicable Me 3       $148
 Baby Driver           $70
 Wonder Woman          $57
 The Big Sick          $54
 Wish Upon             $33
 Cars 3                $22
 Transformers          $14
 The House             $10
 47 Meters Down        $6
 The Beguiled          $5

Dunkirk has great reviews so far and looks to be the sure fire box office winner for this coming weekend.  However, war movies are not usually date movies… I’ll probably have to go see it myself, as the wife and daughter won’t be interested… so it won’t open like Wonder Woman or Spider-Man, with estimates putting it over $50 million this week.  Girls Trip, also opening this week, seems likely to drain off some of the young adult female demographic. That is still very strong and it is priced accordingly.  Like the British Empire, you can only afford one Dunkirk.

The other big new arrival on the list is Valerian and the City of 1000 Planet.  While it is from acclaimed director Luc Besson and was promoted heavily as part of his Fifth Element 20th anniversary tour earlier this year, first week estimates are still somewhat soft based on middling reviews, putting it behind Girls Trip, which is slated for $20 million. (And it has better reviews as well.  So, despite it being new on the line up, it is down the list in pricing, which might make it a decent gamble if it does better than expected.  I know we are likely going to go see this over the coming weekend, so that is two tickets you can count one.

And then there is Girls Trip which my gut says is prices a little too high on the list, and you can only have two screens of it.  It needs to do $30 million to justify that price, and is only estimated to hit $20 million, so I will be interested to see if this makes it into many picks.

That is where we stand going into week eight.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Five

In which a perfect storm occurs.

Coming off of last week there was no doubt that Despicable Me 3 would rule the box office.  Nothing else huge was opening against it and the champions of the past weeks were worn out, still earning millions but no longer the dominate players.  And so it goes as the weeks of summer progress.

This summer league has made me pay more attention that usual to the movies and what is releasing when.  I like the movies, but aside from a few well promoted productions, I do tend to only know what is playing when I look up what is playing at the local cinema.  Now I am keeping an eye on what is opening every week and have the Variety film section in my RSS feed.

The week five options for the league were:

 Despicable Me 3           $840
 The House                 $198
 Transformers              $175
 Wonder Woman              $131
 Baby Driver               $110
 Cars 3                    $102
 47 Meters Down            $36
 Beguiled                  $32
 The Mummy                 $26
 Pirates of the Caribbean  $26
 Rough Night               $23
 All Eyez on Me            $19
 Captain Underpants        $19
 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $15
 Beatriz At Dinner         $12

Despicable Me 3, expected to earn over $90 million in its opening weekend was priced to match that goal.  Theoretically, if the Monday box estimates are correct, the pricing should reflect what the movie should do.  Or, to put it another way, if the estimates are dead on, spending your full budget should get you the same result no matter which movies you pick.  Given the list above, eight screens of Baby Driver ought to be worth just a bit more than one screen of DM3.

Of course, the estimates are just that.  They are industry guesses.

So DM3 was up at the top.  The House was expected to be in second place, slated to pull in about $20 million.  Then, in the $10-20 million range were the past champs, Transformers, Wonder Woman, and Cars 3.  Then there were the spent forces and lower earners, the movies that you would need to pad out your eight screens if you picked DM3.  From this lower end often comes the surprise pick of the week, the best price to earning champion that yields a $2 million per screen bonus in the game.

And in the middle was Baby Driver.  Pegged at $10-12 million at the start of last week, it looked like a movie you might consider for your mix because you couldn’t get eight screens of Wonder Woman or Transformers.

The week went on, reviews started to come in, early opening revenues started to be counted, and the field began to shift.  Estimates for DM3 started to soften some, but it was The House that got hit hard, with poor reviews.  Estimates dropped in half.  Meanwhile, Baby Driver was looking strong, with high marks on Meta Critic and a strong opening night.  It went from possibly the best performance pick to almost a sure thing.  The question was how many screens do you run it on.  If it was going to end up being the number two movie of the week, which looked like a distinct possibility, the answer had to be “all of them.”

All Baby Driver all the time

Thursday afternoon I was pestering my daughter to go do her picks.  As she looked at the choices she asked me what I chose.  I generally stay mum on that, but this time around I figured I would share.  I told her I decided to go with all Baby Driver.  She gave me that, “Old man, are you crazy?” look, but when I explained how the week had progressed, she had to admit I had something to back up my decision.   Still, she couldn’t bring herself to go all in on Baby Driver, and led with Transformers and seven screens of my pick.

And then Baby Driver pulled in a little more than $20 million over the weekend while DM3 “only” managed $72 million, both results quite a bit off from the view of the world at the beginning of the week… although it appears that the studios took a four day weekend like a lot of people in the US, so rather than getting the final numbers on Monday night for a Tuesday post, here I am on Wednesday night putting together a post just to make sure it is up before the week six deadline hits on Friday morning.

Anyway, that much pull in the US box office made going all Baby Driver the “perfect pick” of the week.  The perfect pick is the one that results in the highest score, and this week almost two thousand of the over sixteen thousand active player went with it, including both Liore and I.

Page after page after page of this…

So the scores for the week had the two of us at the top.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $185,426,560
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $185,426,560
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $167,005,690
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $146,190,015
  5. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $129,149,255
  6. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $120,144,635
  7. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $110,805,100
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $108,193,142
  9. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $89,165,906
  10. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $83,798,882

(Clockwork appears to have stopped playing, failing to update picks over the last two weeks, so has been removed from the list for now.)

The win for the week went to Liore because… I don’t know, it looks like a tie to me, but she got the credit.

If you are mathematically inclined you might look at the score Liore and I ended up with, subtract the amount earned by eight screens of Baby Driver, and find us with $21 million extra in our total.  That is because you get $2 million per screen for picking the best price/performer for the week, so eight screens gives you $16 million, plus $5 million overall for having the perfect pick for the week.

On the overall score front I managed to not fall further behind, but sharing the picks with Liore meant not gaining any ground on her lead either. The rest of the pack however saw the gap between them and first place grow by quite a bit, leaving the standings at the end of week five looking like this.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $601,699,181
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $576,012,223
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $531,959,640
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $510,920,719
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $481,943,596
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $471,472,045
  7. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $454,458,439
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $450,265,922
  9. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $441,965,254
  10. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $404,391,260

The main pack looks to be vying for fourth or fifth place now with Liore way out in front, while Ocho, Void, and myself bridge the gap, ahead of the pack but still way behind Liore as we go into week six.

For week six the line up looks like this.

 Spider-Man FRIDAY         $501
 Spider-Man SATURDAY       $448
 Despicable Me 3           $404
 Spider-Man SUNDAY         $339
 Baby Driver               $143
 Wonder Woman              $104
 Transformers              $70
 Cars 3                    $47
 The House                 $46
 47 Meters Down            $30
 The Big Sick              $28
 The Beguiled              $21
 The Mummy                 $14
 Pirates                   $13
 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $8

As you can see, Spider-Man has been broken up into three entries.  FML sometimes does this on weeks when there is only one big contender for the week’s box office, splitting the big movie into Friday, Saturday, and Sunday box office results.  So when picking one would likely want to anchor their screens on Spider-Man, but which one?  You can’t get all three days, and if you go with two of the days your other picks are strictly limited.  Do you go with two days and hope for a big run or pick just one and fill out your line up with pictures on the decline hoping for an optimum pick bonus?

Another thing to note is that, in an unusual yet expected turn, the screen price for Baby Drive went up compared to last week.  Since it far exceeded initial expectations it went up from $110 per screen to $143.

That is where things stand going into week six.