Tag Archives: Fantasy Movie League

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Twelve

One of the problems, as the summer blockbuster season peters out and your into the dregs of the season, is that the movie press, ever keen to make predictions at the peak of the season, wanders off and stops giving you hints about what the given movies in a week might do.

Box Office Pro, one of the sites I watch, and the site that provides the official numbers for the weekly results, was providing two predictions posts a week, with updates in between, early in the season.  Late in the season… well, they might do one post… maybe.

Not that you don’t get some hints as to what should do well and what may not.  The weekly pricing scheme is essentially a set of predictions.  It is just a very early set, done before reviews or testing social media penetration or whatever other entrails the movie press examines in order to come up with numbers.

So for week twelve, the penultimate week of the season, we pretty much just had the pricing to guide us, which shook out as follows:

Hitman's Bodyguard  $254
Annabelle Creation  $216
Logan Lucky         $184
Dunkirk             $98
The Nut Job 2       $62
Spider-Man          $58
The Emoji Movie     $52
Girls Trip          $50
The Glass Castle    $48
The Dark Tower      $48
Wind River          $43
Kidnap              $38
Atomic Blonde       $34
Planet of the Apes  $29
Despicable Me 3     $28

Meanwhile, enthusiasm within our own ranks was dwindling as well.  Three members have effectively dropped out, Braxwolf went all-in on The Emoji Movie, and leader of the pack Liore forgot to make her picks, so had to roll with her selections from the previous week.

Of course, Lucky Liore’s past picks were all still valid, leaving her with no empty screens, making me wonder if there was a strategy there.  It wasn’t obvious to me that she hadn’t picked until the first numbers came in.  Then she was at the bottom of the list, a position she held right through until the official numbers were announced.

The top movie of the week was The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which was not unexpected, and I was in on that with three screens, rounding out the rest with five screens of Wind River.

My picks for Week 12

The Hitman’s Bodyguard actually did a bit better than expected, given its low score with the critics, and at one point looked to be the best price/performer of the week, which would have been a nice bonus for me.  However, with the final count, it turned out that The Emoji Movie took the price/performance prize.

And so, a special mention goes to Braxwolf for managing to pick eight screens of the best price/performing movie of the week and still managing to be last place among those who bothered to pick at all this week.

Brax all-in on The Emoji Movie

That left the weekly numbers looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $79,032,172
  2. Void’s Awesomeplex – $75,556,725
  3. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $75,178,012
  4. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $73,771,730
  5. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $65,247,704
  6. Ocho’s Octoplex – $58,620,296
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $51,528,224
  8. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $44,312,427 (Forgot to pick)

I managed a first place finish, but the gap wasn’t that big, and was primarily because I was the only one to go with three screens of The Hitman’s Bodyguard.  That was the winning anchor move of the week.

If only Brax and I had combined our thoughts, me going with three screens of The Hitman’s Bodyguard and him heavy on The Emoji Movie, because those two, plus a screen of Despicable Me 3 were the perfect pick for week 12.

Week 12 – The Perfect Pick

However, as a sign of how chaotic and/or dissolute this week was, only 16 people managed the perfect pick.  I think that is a record low.

The overall scores after week 12 were:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $1,224,086,213
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $1,179,008,520
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $1,074,532,158
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $1,059,475,800
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $1,033,195,465
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $1,020,148,883
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $977,956,202
  8. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $918,601,684

Nobody moved up or down in the rankings this week, the usual state of affairs.  I did managed to close the gap between myself and Liore by $35 million.  However, given that the gap was over $80 million last week, that still leaves a sizable distance between us.

I joked that my only hope was if Liore forgot to pick again, but then I looked at the lineup for the 13th and final week of the competition.

 Hitman's Bodyguard  $203
 Annabelle Creation  $143
 Birth of the Dragon $99
 Dunkirk             $74
 Logan Lucky         $73
 Leap!               $68
 All Saints          $67
 The Nut Job 2       $58
 Emoji Movie         $53
 Spider-Man          $52
 Wonder Woman        $50
 Girls Trip          $40
 The Dark Tower      $33
 Baby Driver         $32
 Kidnap              $30

That’s it.

You know a week is dead when the new movies on the list, in this case Leap! and All Saints, aren’t even in the top five when it comes to cost per screen.  So I am actually pretty sure if Liore forgot to pick again this week she would likely still take the season.  In a week where my only hope is a huge, huge win the total gross is likely to be barely enough to equal the gap between Liore and I.

Anyway, we shall see.  Tune in next week for the final score of the summer blogger fantasy movie league.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Eleven

When things start falling apart.

The edge was clearly coming off the contest.  Not only was Liore so far out in front as to be unassailable, but even in the pack changes in overall standings seemed unlikely.  Add in a week with no blockbuster launches and it was no wonder that two people forgot to even make their picks for the week.

Yes, there were a few new movies this past weekend, but when you have been through weeks with 50, 70, and even 100 million dollar openings, the opening of Annabelle: Creation, predicted to be in the $25 million range isn’t exactly stirring.  Plus I knew nothing about the film.  Still, I had a $1,000 budget and eight screens to fill, so I went down the list trying to make a stab at some sort of line up.

 Annabelle Creation $380
 The Nut Job 2      $176
 Dunkirk            $143
 The Dark Tower     $106
 Girls Trip         $89
 The Emoji Movie    $77
 Spider-Man         $75
 Kidnap             $72
 Detroit            $56
 Atomic Blonde      $54
 The Glass Castle   $52
 Despicable Me 3    $44
 Planet of the Apes $43
 Baby Driver        $21
 Wonder Woman       $20

In the end, for no good reason, I decided an all female leads theme was the way to go, so I went with two screens of Annabelle Creation, a screen of Kidnap, two screens of Atomic Blonde, and three screens of Wonder Woman.

As the weekend estimates came in, it looked like Liore was going to win another week.  She only went with one screen of Annabelle Creation, but she had three screens of The Glass Castle, which looked likely to get the best price/performance boost of $2 million per screen, enough to boost Liore ahead of the pack yet again.

And then the final numbers came in and Annabelle Creation, which beat estimates by $10 million, ended up being the best price/performance pick of the week, bolstering my selection and pushing Liore down into third place for the week, behind myself and Ocho.

My Week 11 Picks and their Revenue

I won the week, the rankings shaking out as:

  1. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $92,413,326
  2. Ocho’s Octoplex – $91,063,841
  3. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $85,743,232
  4. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $77,611,192
  5. Void’s Awesomeplex – $75,807,974
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $74,817,084
  7. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $74,252,899
  8. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $66,138,438
  9. Bel’s House of Horrors – $26,866,850
  10. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $14,924,605

Bel and Murf both failed to pick, so rolled with the previous weeks picks, which left them each with two empty screens as some of their picks were no longer on the list.

Nobody in our league got the perfect pick of the week, which consisted of two screens of Annabelle Creation, three screens of the Glass Castle, a screen of Planet of the Apes, and two screens of Wonder Woman.  261 people managed to get the perfect pick overall on the site, which netted them $99,547,100.

Perfect Picks for Week 11

As noted, there isn’t much that can be done at this point to shake up the rankings, save forgetting to pick for a couple of week.  At the end of week 11 the overall seasonal rankings looked like this:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $1,179,773,786
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $1,099,976,348
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $1,015,911,862
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $983,919,075
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $959,423,735
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $944,970,871
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $926,427,978
  8. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $853,353,980
  9. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $833,121,646
  10. Bel’s House of Horrors – $799,170,850

The only change in ranking was Syl climbing up another spot after Murf failed to do his picks.

Beating Liore by about $7 million this week still leaves me $80 million behind.  That is way too much ground to cover with only two weeks remaining, and all the more so when one looks at the week 12 line up.

Hitman's Bodyguard $254
Annabelle Creation $216
Logan Lucky        $184
Dunkirk            $98
The Nut Job 2      $62
Spiderman          $58
The Emoji Movie    $52
Girls Trip         $50
The Glass Castle   $48
The Dark Tower     $48
Wind River         $43
Kidnap             $38
Atomic Blonde      $34
Planet of the Apes $29
Despicable Me 3    $28

On the bright side, I suppose, there are no $5 titles on the list.  However, there also isn’t a single title ranked over $300 either, making it look like a pretty thin week.  I’ll be lucky to get $80 million out of these picks, much less close the gap between Liore and myself.

So there we stand with two weeks left to go in the season.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Ten

The tenth of thirteen weekends has now passed for our Fantasy Movie League.

The time of the summer blockbusters has clearly passed and the time of opening weekends vaulting past the $50 million mark is in the rear view mirror.  And so we had to make do with these choices for the tenth weekend.

The Dark Tower          $343
 Dunkirk                $201
 Girls Trip             $176
 The Emoji Movie        $171
 Detroit                $167
 Atomic Blonde          $127
 Spider-Man             $100
 Planet of the Apes     $70
 Kidnap                 $63
 Despicable Me 3        $62
 Valerian               $38
 Baby Driver            $33
 Wonder Woman           $32
 The Big Sick           $27
 An Inconvenient Sequel $13

Gone as well are the titles priced such that you can only pick a single screen.

The weekend saw four new titles make it onto the list of choices, and each had something to speak against it being a break-out performer.  The Dark Tower is a 90-minute version of a Stephen King book… I think it takes more than 90 minutes to read the preface in his books… that declined to give early access for critics, never a good sign.

Then there was Kidnap with Halle Berry that had been lingering in production for a couple of years and also avoided the critics before its premier.

Detroit was critically acclaimed, but isn’t the sort of escapist topic that gets a huge audience.

And then Al Gore was back with An Inconvenient Sequel slipping in at the bottom of the list.  Do I have to explain the narrow demographic that will go watch his presentation?  Well, let me add that it was only showing on 180 screens in the US as well.

Given that, my preference was to eschew all of the new titles on the list and to build up a selection out of past performers.  To this end I anchored my selection with four screens of Dunkirk, followed by one screen of Spider-Man, wrapped up with three screens of Wonder Woman.

Week 10 Picks

This turned out to not be a horrible selection.  It certainly avoided the catastrophic returns of my Atomic Blonde strategy in week nine.

In fact, it was good enough to put me back in my perennial second place position for the week.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $105,146,663
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $84,245,964
  3. Void’s Awesomeplex – $78,549,186
  4. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $71,670,435
  5. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $70,916,256
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $70,462,720
  7. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $62,380,206
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $61,262,837
  9. Ocho’s Octoplex – $61,155,377
  10. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $45,707,946

However, the path to winning was not compatible with avoiding the week’s new titles.  Specifically, Kidnap outperformed the modest expectations set for it.  It earned $10 million at the box office, to which one could add another $2 million for being the best price/performance title for week ten.

So the week’s perfect pick was three screens of Dunkirk and five screens of Kidnap, which 959 players managed to correctly select.

Week 10 Perfect Pick

Liore did not get the perfect pick this week, but she came close.  She had two screens of Spider-Man taking up valuable space that could have gone to Kidnap.  Still, that was enough for her to pick up her seventh weekly win so far this season, and by a fair margin too.

Further down the list, Void joined me in going with four screens of Dunkirk and was suitably rewarded.  After that the next six anchored on The Dark Tower, which under performed.  And then there is Murf who went as deep as he could on Detroit, putting it on five screens.

That leaves the season scores after week ten as:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $1,094,030,554
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $1,007,563,022
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $924,848,021
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $908,111,101
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $885,170,836
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $870,153,787
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $848,816,786
  8. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $818,197,041
  9. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $787,215,542
  10. Bel’s House of Horrors – $772,304,000

Liore opened up the gap even further, sitting $86 million out in front of me, while Ocho’s picks let me pull further ahead of him.  However, the ordering did not change from last week, people just got a little more spread out.  There could be some low-to-mid-pack changes of position in the last few weeks, but I think we can already see who will win. (And who will come in second and likely third place.)

That leaves us looking at Week Eleven’s line up.

Annabelle Creation $380
The Nut Job 2      $176
Dunkirk            $143
The Dark Tower     $106
Girls Trip         $89
The Emoji Movie    $77
Spider-Man         $75
Kidnap             $72
Detroit            $56
Atomic Blonde      $54
The Glass Castle   $52
Despicable Me 3    $44
Planet of the Apes $43
Baby Driver        $21
Wonder Woman       $20

I really don’t have much to say.  Annabelle Creation, The Nut Job, and The Glass Castle join the list, but I don’t know anything about any of them.  The end of summer is nigh and we’re getting to the dregs of the season.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Nine

We are getting close to the end of the thirteen week Fantasy Movie League summer season, so if anybody is going to change their place on the standings they need to do it soon.  The last week will be too late, unless Liore just doesn’t pick that week.  And I am not sure that would be enough.

I started out the week the way I generally do; I looked down the list of options and made my gut pick.  The options were:

The Emoji Movie          $400
 Dunkirk                 $373
 Atomic Blonde           $289
 Girls Trip              $219
 Spider-Man              $151
 Planet of the Apes      $126
 Despicable Me 3         $100
 Valerian                $99
 Baby Driver             $52
 The Big Sick            $44
 Wonder Woman            $39
 Wish Upon               $15
 Cars 3                  $14
 Transformers            $6
 Guardians of the Galaxy $4

My gut favored Atomic Blonde at those prices.  The Emoji Movie seemed likely to under perform, I wasn’t sure that Dunkirk was good for more than a week at the top, and Girls Trip seemed like a one-week wonder from which Atomic Blonde might steal viewers.  So I was in with three screens of Atomic Blonde, two of The Big Sick, and three of Cars 3.  That spent $997 of my $1,000 budget.  I could have hit $1,000 if I had gone with Wish Upon, but that hasn’t lived up to an expectation so far.

The gut pick is always just that, my baseline.  Then I start looking at reviews and update my spreadsheet to tinker with estimates and run “what if” scenarios.  That is the reason I use the spreadsheet, so I can see what happens if something goes over or under estimate and where the line is when it comes to choosing.

My spreadsheet took the estimates out there and told me that I should be all-in on Girls Trip, supported by Wonder Woman, and Transformers to fill in the last screen.  Never leave a screen empty if you can avoid it.

However, I kept seeing opinions that Atomic Blonde was going to out perform its estimates, that it was the only new action picture for the week and with a strong female protagonist it might be the R-rated Wonder Woman this week.  You see enough of this and you start to believe it.  So rather than going with what the spreadsheet told me I went with my gut.

My Monday gut pick locked in on Friday

Then, when the picks were locked on Friday, I saw Liore had gone with the same Girls Trip anchored set of picks my spreadsheet had been pointing at.  Nothing to worry about yet.  Maybe she was playing conservative.  Atomic Blonde might out perform.

I followed up by checking the “All Week 1 Starters” league, which lists out everybody who has been playing for the full season.  There I went through the first few pages and just about everybody there… the people winning, the people vying for first place overall on the site… was down with Girls Trip.  There wasn’t an Atomic Blonde contrarian anywhere near the top.  Not a good sign.

And then the Saturday estimates for the weekend showed up and I was in last place, just behind Belghast, who also anchored his picks on Atomic Blonde.  The Sunday estimates did nothing to improve the situation as Girls Trip and Dunkirk seemed to be over performing, The Emoji Movie seemed to be doing better than expected, and Atomic Blonde was  way under performing, running $8-10 million the estimates I was working with.

And so, when the official results hit, I had lost a lot of ground to Liore.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $91,164,740
  2. Ocho’s Octoplex – $79,717,900
  3. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $79,258,853
  4. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $79,097,410
  5. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $78,522,139
  6. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $75,924,105
  7. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $74,889,695
  8. Void’s Awesomeplex – $74,626,920
  9. Bel’s House of Horrors – $64,311,729
  10. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $64,083,255

So yeah, bottom of the list are the two people who went with three screens of Atomic Blonde, while two ahead of us is the person who went with two screens of Atomic Blonde.  Syl did better with one screen of Atomic Blonde, but she also had two screens of Girls Trip.

Still, it could have been worse.  I could have run with The Emoji Movie.

Liore did well, winning the week, but at least she didn’t get the perfect pick of the week, which would have added another $7 million to her score.  Transformers was the filler pick of the week.

Perfect Pick for Week 9

Only 14 people got the perfect pick this week, the lowest count I have seen so far this season.  But a lot of people got close and those going with four screens of Girls Trip still dominate overall.

So at the end of week nine the standings look like this.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $988,883,891
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $923,317,058
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $863,692,644
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $829,561,915
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $813,500,401
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $799,691,067
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $777,900,530
  8. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $772,489,095
  9. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $724,835,336
  10. Bel’s House of Horrors – $711,041,163

Aside from Syl and Bel changing positions again, the rankings stayed pretty much the same though, as noted, Liore is even more solidly in first.  I am now $65 million behind Liore… more than my score for this week… and Ocho is $125 million back.  That is a long way to go with just four weeks left to go.

So now we are looking at the picks for week ten.

 The Dark Tower         $343
 Dunkirk                $201
 Girls Trip             $176
 The Emoji Movie        $171
 Detroit                $167
 Atomic Blonde          $127
 Spider-Man             $100
 Planet of the Apes     $70
 Kidnap                 $63
 Despicable Me 3        $62
 Valerian               $38
 Baby Driver            $33
 Wonder Woman           $32
 The Big Sick           $27
 An Inconvenient Sequel $13

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is off the list again, one would think for good at this point.  I’d ask who was still even showing it, but a couple of our local multiplexes have a couple shows running in evening still.

There are four movies opening this week that made the list.

At the top is The Dark Tower, based off of a Stephen King novel that is part of a series that I may have read some of ages ago… or maybe not.  I might be confusing it in my head with The Talisman, but I couldn’t say for sure.  Some of it sounds vaguely familiar.

Anyway, The Dark Tower is at the top of the chart as the only big opener this week.  Stephen King has a huge following, but movies adaptations of his works haven’t always translated well to the screen.  It is cheap enough that you can anchor your lineup with two screens of it and still have enough budget to get a few more solid titles in behind it.

Then there is Detroit, which depicts the events that sparked the 1967 riots in the city of Detroit.  Being long, rated R, and depicting unhappy events will probably limit its box office appeal, though I expect it will fare well in Oscar nominations.

Third on the list is Kidnap.  It stars Halle Berry, which ought to be something of a draw.  However, the movie wrapped up filming three years ago and the team has been trying to salvage something watchable out of it ever since.  Unlikely to find a spot on any of my screens.

Finally, Al Gore is back with An Inconvenient Sequel which has reviewed well and seems likely to outperform based on the current political climate, as it doing well at the box office can be spun as a rebuke of the current administration.  Also, it is the cheapest flick on the list, so I expect it will round off many a pick.

Looking at all of that, my early week gut is that the standard pick will be two screens of The Dark Tower at one end, a screen or two of An Inconvenient Sequel at the other, and then figuring out what to sandwich in between.  There are a lot of paths forward from there.  Of course, The Dark Tower doesn’t have to slip much to make four screens of Dunkirk an attractive proposition.  And how the hell do you get a Stephen King novel to fit into 95 minutes?

So the options for the week seem more varied that usual.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Eight

What happens when you and your main rival both throw a “Hail Mary” pass?

My eventual picks for week eight were something of a risk, but I felt that risk was really the only way forward in catching up with Liore.

I started off the week’s picks the way I always do, without looking at any predictions or forecasts from the various movie industry pundits.  That led me to a lineup anchored on Dunkirk, which seemed very likely to be the top box office draw for the week.  That justified its top position on the week eight price list.

 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

However, its price meant you could only play it once which required loading up the other seven screens with cheaper items.

Then I started looking into what the industry watchers were saying.

The three new movies out this week were Dunkirk, Girls Trip, and Valerian.  Early in the week the estimates were strong for Dunkirk, at about $55 million, while Girls Trip and Valerian were both close to the $20 million mark for estimates.

Then as the week wore on, estimates began to vary.  At one point Variety was practically damning Dunkirk with faint praise, saying that it would make at least $35 million in the US weekend box office.  Mired in the sands, I sought to emulate the movie and get elsewhere.

I tinkered with four screens of Valerian since they were cheaper than any of the alternatives in that estimate range, but the review were soft and the estimates began to sag.

Meanwhile, Girls Trip was suddenly the hot item with excellent reviews.  I had said in last week’s post that it needed to bring in $30 million to justify the price on the list, and the estimates were heading that way while its rivals were shrinking.

I went back and forth on what to pick, not finalizing until Thursday morning with two screens of Girls Trip and six screens of The Big Sick.  The latter I picked because it seemed to be a shoe-in for best price/performance (and the accompanying $2 million per screen bonus) if only it could get to $5 million.  It seemed risky, but I figured that the only way I was ever going to catch Liore was to take a risk to get a big win.

And with the final numbers in, it looked like my picks paid off.

At least I kicked the Baby Driver habit

Alas, The Big Sick failed me, but Girls Trip won it the bonus instead.  Still, a winning combo as it added up to the perfect pick of the week, a win I shared with 655 other players.

Week 8 perfect pick

Unfortunately, it did not do me a bit of good because Liore was one of those 655 other players who got the perfect pick.  So I neither caught up nor fell further behind.  Instead, the gap between Ocho, in third place, and myself widened as nobody else doubled down on Girls Trip.  The left the scores for the week as:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $101,452,698
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $101,452,698
  3. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $80,224,322
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $79,914,548
  5. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $79,879,251
  6. Bel’s House of Horrors – $79,690,570
  7. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $78,720,086
  8. Ocho’s Octoplex – $78,477,848
  9. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $77,657,470
  10. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $76,164,575

Liore and I are over $20 million ahead of the pack, but after that less than $5 million separates third from tenth place.  And there were a variety of picks in that group, anchored off of four different movies.  None of them were Girls Trip however.

That leaves the overall standings at the end of week eight as:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $897,719,151
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $859,233,803
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $783,974,744
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $754,934,995
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $737,576,296
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $721,168,928
  7. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $698,641,677
  8. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $697,599,400
  9. Bel’s House of Horrors – $646,729,434
  10. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $645,737,926

The standings did not change much with this week’s results, save for Belghast overtaking Syl.  Liore remains solidly in first place, with me struggling to close the $38 million gap between her and myself in second place.  Then there is Ocho in third place, facing a $76 million gap between us, and $114 million barrier between him an first place.  But his own third place position is fairly secure as he himself is ahead of Void by a good $38 million.  Void in turn is $17 million in front of Moderate Peril.

The upper rankings are spaced well enough that they seem unlikely to change due to the cumulative nature of the contest.  Unlike more traditional sports standings, where a win has a constant set value, here the bigger your win the bigger your lead in the season.  It doesn’t mean people cannot catch up, but it requires both a big win for the person behind and a bad week… or weeks… for the person up front.  So for Syl to catch Liore, as an example, she has to close a $252 million gap, which means beating Liore for the remaining five weeks of the competition by at least $50 million every single week.

That seems unlikely in the extreme.

Even my $38 million gap means beating her by almost $8 million a week for the remainder of the season which, considering I have beaten her twice so far, seems beyond my grasp.

But we carry.  I, for one, have enjoyed the season so far which, in part, explains why it has gotten about a thousand words a week on the site.

Moving on, for Week Nine we have the following options:

The Emoji Movie          $400
 Dunkirk                 $373
 Atomic Blonde           $289
 Girls Trip              $219
 Spider-Man              $151
 Planet of the Apes      $126
 Despicable Me 3         $100
 Valerian                $99
 Baby Driver             $52
 The Big Sick            $44
 Wonder Woman            $39
 Wish Upon               $15
 Cars 3                  $14
 Transformers            $6
 Guardians of the Galaxy $4

It is a sad weekend in summer when the estimated king of the box office is The Emoji Movie, featuring Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji.

The other big release for the week is Atomic Blonde.  I plan to see it.  However, it is rated R in the US, which limits its audience as the summer movie season favors kids and families, which is why it opens behind both The Emoji Movie and Dunkirk this week.

Meanwhile, the perennial filler pick of the summer, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, made its way back onto the list again, having been pushed off last week.  Not bad for a movie that released in early May.  Take that The Mummy and Captain Underpants!

And a week with no clear champions offers some potential for interesting picks, or so I hope.  The FML research vault already shows Atomic Blonde as the most picked movie for week nine so far, while Valerian is at the bottom of the list, so an early pattern is developing.  Can I fine a lineup that will help me catch up to Liore?

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 Six

In which a gamble does not pay off.

This week the third reboot of Spider-Man in recent memory hit screens in the United States, dominating the box office.

With Spider-Man expected to top $100 million and no other serious contenders on the bill, the FML team made things interesting by splitting up the box office results for the web-slinger into Friday, Saturday, and Sunday options.  The pricing for the week was:

 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

You couldn’t get all of the Spider-Man box office, though you could get some pairings of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I stared off with my picks trying to decide between Spider-Man on Friday and Sunday or doubling up on Saturday.  But as I dabbled with my spreadsheet and looked at various predictions, I noticed that Baby Driver might be an option.

While the price had been bumped up from week five, when all-in with Baby Driver was the perfect pick, it still seemed to have potential.  I could no longer get it on eight screens, but if predictions of it hitting $15 million on its second week out it seemed likely to be the best price/performance title of the week again, which would grant it another $2 million per screen.  $17 million times six screens would give Spider-Man a run for its money, since it was sliced up into three picks.

So I decided to roll the dice and went with six screens of Baby Driver and two screens of Transformers.

However, Baby Driver ended up not having $15 million in box office in it for its second week.

Baby Driver dominated my week six picks

$13 million wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t enough to get the bonus.  Instead, the bonus went to The Big Sick.  While it only only cleared $3.6 million at the box office, the bonus plus the right Spider-Man picks were enough to pull way ahead of my Baby Driver plan.

The perfect pick for the week, which 324 people went with, was Spider-Man on Friday and Sunday, five screens of The Big Sick, and Pirates of the Caribbean, a selection good for $114 million.

The Week Six Perfect Pick

The good news… for everybody besides Liore… was that Liore did not have the perfect pick.

The bad news… again, for all but Liore… was that she missed the perfect pick by a single screen, going with The Mummy instead of Pirates.  That was enough to make her far and away the winner for the week.  The week six scores were:

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $109,051,414
  2. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $97,942,099
  3. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $97,825,990
  4. Bel’s House of Horrors – $94,559,299
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $92,986,346
  6. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $90,769,482
  7. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $87,981,801
  8. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $87,783,408
  9. Ocho’s Octoplex – $87,724,019
  10. Void’s Awesomeplex – $83,549,342

Liore was $11 million ahead of second place for the week.  But the win had even more impact on the overall season standings.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $710,750,595
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $666,781,705
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $619,683,659
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $594,470,061
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $574,929,942
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $559,255,453
  7. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $552,400,538
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $544,825,221
  9. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $539,791,244
  10. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $492,373,061

The actual ranking order did not change compared to the previous week.  What did change was the extent of Liore’s lead.  She jumped ahead from being a little over $25 million out in front of second place to nearly a $46 million lead, a gap that went from “insurmountable unless she stumbles” to “could probably roll with her week six picks for a few weeks and still win easily.”

My Baby Driver plan was solidly mid-pack, so I am still secure in second place, but first place is just a distant spark on the horizon from where I stand.

In our home league, my wife got her first weekly win, rolling past $100 million for the week, trouncing my daughter and I and our Baby Driver fixation.

And so we come to week seven and the second half of the season.  Spiders and Apes are battling for week seven, with the list of options looking like this:

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

Spider-Man is down to a single pick, but you can still only get him on one screen.  Planet of the Apes is estimated to bring in more than $50 million currently.

There are also enough low estimate movies in play that the Best of the Rest wild car is in play for week seven as well.

I am not sure what I will go with this week yet… I am usually not sure until Thursday night… but I probably won’t be all in on Baby Driver again.  With the current estimates it looks like Wish Upon is a likely candidate for best price/performance, so expect to see that on a lot of picks.  But if Baby Driver could just pull out $9 million though… hrmm…