Tag Archives: Spring Movie League

Fantasy Movie League Paused for Now

Two weeks into the spring Fantasy Movie League season, the whole thing is being suspended.

I suggested in my Awards Season wrap up that there might be issues come the spring because of the Coronavirus.   Me of two weeks ago was somewhat more optimistic than me of today, sitting at home under a three week long “shelter in place order” that covers most of the SF Bay Area.

Because of FML I have a few movie relates feeds in my reader, and come Monday there was a slow drum beat of bad news.  People were rightly afraid of somebody sneezing in a crowded theater, so the industry reported a 20 year low number for the past weekend box office despite having sent out reassuring press releases about sanitizing venues and spacing out patrons to maintain social distancing.

It also seemed clear that local governments might start closing non-essential business, especially those that packed groups of people into confined spaces for extended periods of time.

So the large chains began to announce they were temporarily closing all their venues.  Regal, Landmark, Alamo Drafhouse, and finally AMC all announced they were going to remain closed for at least a few weeks.  At last report it is estimated that 4,000 theaters are shut down across the country, about 80% of the national total.

And without that, there isn’t much of a box office to play against, so late Monday FML announced that the spring season was going to be paused.  The text of the announcement, since I think you need an account to get to that link:

Temporarily Pausing Fantasy Movie League
@fmlqa · FML Quality Assurance
Mar 16, 2020, 4:20pm PDT

Dear FML Community,

Like you, we have been monitoring the changes being put into place to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Given the impact on the movie industry, including changes in premiere dates and movie theater closures, we’re anticipating challenges in being able to provide you with up-to-date box office information in the coming weeks. We also want to make sure we’re doing everything in our power to help our employees stay healthy and safe.

Due to this, we have come to the difficult decision to temporarily pause Fantasy Movie League.

You’ll be able to see the final results for the weekend of March 13-15, and your standings within your leagues will update based on that. That standing will remain until we resume. We don’t know quite yet when we will be able to start up again, but we will let you know as soon as we do.

Thank you for being part of the FML community. During this hiatus, we encourage you to stay connected with others through Chatter and on noovie.com.

Stay safe,
The FML Team

Another sign of the growing crisis here.  And it isn’t clear when things will return to normal or if there will be a new normal.

Spring 2019 FML Results

The long spring FML league… it ran 14 weeks, which felt like two weeks too many to me… finished up the past weekend.  The summer league is here now, and I will get to that in the next post.  But I figured I would spend a few minutes on the spring run.

While I did not write about it as it progressed, a small group of regulars played almost every week.  I think eight people managed to get a pick in almost every week, and the top five players for the season were fairly tightly packed score-wise, at least compared with other seasons.

I did almost all of my picks on Monday evening when week’s unlocked, usually based purely on gut response to pictures rather than any research at all.  This failed me a few weeks.  I was particularly down on Aladdin in week 13, which cost me.

On the other hand, I got the perfect pick in week 12, a big win that revived my otherwise modest fortunes.  Overall the scores for the top ten players for the season ended up looking like this:

  1. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $1,425,273,371
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – $1,410,622,811
  3. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $1,379,179,921
  4. Too Orangey For Crows – $1,372,973,416
  5. grannanj’s Cineplex – $1,367,523,445
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $1,335,897,444
  7. Joanie’s Joint – $1,288,023,932
  8. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $1,058,566,243
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $1,019,273,600
  10. I HAS BAD TASTE – $448,199,463

Week 13 was important to Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex.  They went with Aladdin while Goat and I avoided it, a situation that vaulted the Hamsterplex into first.  Even Goat’s win in week 14 was not enough to catch back up.

The alternate scoring was a bit different:

  1. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 102
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – 102
  3. Too Orangey For Crows – 92
  4. grannanj’s Cineplex – 89
  5. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 84
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 80
  7. Joanie’s Joint – 76
  8. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 55
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 49
  10. I HAS BAD TASTE – 22

Goat and Hamster, close in the overall scores, ended up tied for the alternate scoring.

Goat won three of the weeks, but five people won at least two weeks during the season, and two others won one week a piece.

The alternate scoring smoothed out my perfect pick week, pushing me down to fifth place.

Overall, choosing the winner came down to the final week.  A slightly better pick would have gotten Hamster a win in both measures, while grabbing the perfect pick would have put Goat back in first place in the overall scoring.

With that covered, it is time to move on to the summer 2019 league and a look at the opening week, which I will cover in the next post later today.

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!

Spring Movie League – Troopers Filling In

Week ten of the Spring Fantasy Movie League is done and gone now.

It was another big weekend for The Avengers: Infinity War as expected, with the film spending a second week split into three days.  The lineup for week ten looked like this:

Avengers SAT       $560
Avengers SUN       $418
Avengers FRI       $335
Overboard          $167
A Quiet Place      $94
I Feel Pretty      $63
Tully              $56
Rampage            $52
Black Panther      $42
Bad Samaritan      $40
Blockers           $21
Truth or Dare      $18
Super Troopers 2   $17
Ready Player One   $16
Traffik            $10

The anchor choices for the week were again limited to a few variations on a theme with The Avengers.  To get the most Avengers for your budget you could get, with Saturday projected to be the big day, the option was really only Sat/Fri.  The Sat/Sun combo required much faith and a pile of empty screens.  Sun/Sun could have been possible, maybe, but Sat/Fri seemed much more likely to be a winner.

That was if you believed The Avengers were the only way to go.  If you saw upside in some of the new films hitting theaters, like Overboard or Tully, you could always trim back on the big fish to rely on cheaper choices.

Personally I wasn’t buying that.  I went big on The Avengers with the Saturday/Friday combo as my anchor, a pair that allowed me fill my remaining screens with low cost filler.  With $105 left over to spend, or about $18 a screen for my six remaining screens, I actually had a few choices.  I could mix and match a combo made up of the last five films on the price list.  But which to pick.

After dropping 75% in its second week I put Super Troopers 2 off my list.  I fiddled around a bit with different options, but ended up with 1x Sat, 1x Fri, 1x Blockers, and 5x Ready Player One.

Spring Week Ten – My Picks

My thoughts were that Blockers still seemed to have some life left in it and Ready Player One, which I actually went to see the previous week, seemed to be falling more slowly than Super Troopers 2 was.  Plus this combo spent my entire $1,000 budget which, as I have said before, if pricing was accurate ought to net me the best result.  I know that isn’t necessarily true in practice, but something in my brain likes spending my whole budget.

And then when picks locked on Friday morning I began to feel like I might have made an error.  Almost everybody in the MCats league was heavy on Super Troopers 2 as filler, as were key players in the TAGN league.  And the report that comes out that tracks the Top 500 FML players each week reported that 271 of them had gone with 1x Sat, 1x Fri, 6x Super Troopers 2, making it the most popular pick by far in that group.

The Saturday estimates had that lineup as the perfect pick.  Sunday reinforced it.  And while there was a little bit of anxiety that a change in the final numbers might upset that trend, in the end it was the perfect pick, chosen 1,426 player, including five from the Meta League.

Spring Week Ten – Perfect Pick

Clearly I had not been paying attention to the right signs.

So that turn of events left the weekly scores looking like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $106,358,272
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $106,358,272
  3. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $106,358,272
  4. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $106,358,272
  5. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $106,358,272
  6. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $100,866,896
  7. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $99,088,766
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $92,430,509
  9. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $90,186,882
  10. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $88,954,446
  11. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $86,532,009
  12. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $86,301,883
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $85,795,344
  14. Kraut Screens (T) – $83,860,998
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $82,817,241
  16. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $82,437,360
  17. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $81,809,352
  18. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $78,459,313
  19. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $71,321,061 (did not pick)
  20. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $69,654,975
  21. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $65,008,538 (did not pick)
  22. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $56,098,105 (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)

The big winners this week were Corr, Ben, Dan, Biyondios, and Goat Water Picture Palace, all of who got the perfect pick.

The rest of the lineup stratified pretty much based on which days of The Avengers they chose and how many screens of Super Troopers they had.  Then there were the mid-pack players who had no screens of ST2, followed by those who skimped on The Avengers and/or bet heavily on one of the week’s new titles.

Heartbreak of the week probably goes to Po Huit whose line up of 1x Sat, 7x Tully was beat by Bean Movie Burrito, the latter who forgot to pick so just rolled over his previous week’s pick with 1x Sat and 1x Sun of The Avengers.

That left the season scores looking like this:

  1. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,142,283,893
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,118,374,167
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $1,080,746,730
  4. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $1,065,705,771
  5. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $1,059,401,443
  6. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $1,057,140,554
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $1,044,350,921
  8. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $1,044,182,143
  9. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $1,035,717,667
  10. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $1,035,521,077
  11. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $1,026,745,575
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $962,919,848
  13. Kraut Screens (T) – $938,703,985
  14. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $925,312,663
  15. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $911,020,331
  16. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $901,852,488
  17. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $894,673,543
  18. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $874,833,766
  19. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $853,015,041
  20. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $834,331,450
  21. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $825,058,671
  22. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $721,272,174

Despite the range of scores for week ten there was not a lot of movement in the overall rankings.  Aure, Goat, and Dan all moved up, but otherwise the weight of the previous nine weeks of scores held most people in place.  It just wasn’t a big enough week to shake things up this late in the game.

Which leads us to week eleven, which also seems like a modest week in the making, with the pricing looking like:

Avengers           $580
Life of the Party  $225
Breaking In        $131
Overboard          $85
A Quiet Place      $50
I Feel Pretty      $33
Rampage            $26
Black Panther      $22
Tully              $21
RBG                $13
Blockers           $9
Truth or Dare      $9 
Super Troopers 2   $9
Bad Samaritan      $7
Ready Player One   $6

New on the list are Life of the Party, Breaking In, and RBGLife of the Party is a vehicle for Melissa McCarthy antics and, great character actor though she is, I am not sure is going to be a huge draw.  It will be on a lot of screens, but I am not sure I’d throw over The Avengers for it.  Long range forecasts have it passing $20 million, which is good for that sort of film, but not a blockbuster.

Breaking In is a action adventure crime drama with no big names as a draw and a long range forecast putting it in the low teens.

And then there is RBG, a feature looking at the life and career of supreme court associate justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  It did very well last week on a per screen dollar basis, but was only at 34 venues nationwide.  It feels like a very niche title to me, something I’d watch on a Sunday afternoon, but not something I’m going to schlep over to the local art house cinema to catch.  How it does probably depends greatly on how many more screens it gets this week.

Because of The Avengers collapsing down to one pick this week, the only film from last week bumped off the list is Traffik.

But the all-in-one package of The Avengers still seems like the starting place for lineups, with estimates in the $60 million range, unless Life of the Party starts getting a lot of buzz.  Meanwhile, the filler pricing is at an all time low for the season, with Ready Player One just six bucks a screen.

My Monday night gut pick was 1x The Avengers, 2x Overboard, and 6x A Quiet Place, but that is not a line up I am wed to in anyway and I expect to change that up once some mid-week forecasts show up along with theater counts.

This might not be a big week, but after this we face the openings of Deadpool 2 and Solo: A Star Wars Story.   Mistakes on those weeks could shake up the final standings.

Spring Movie League – To Infinity and Beyond!

Week nine, a huge week for our Spring Fantasy Movie League, has wrapped up.

The list of films on the menu for the week had a decided Marvel theme.

Avengers FRI       $620
Avengers SAT       $411
Avengers SUN       $334
A Quiet Place      $70
Rampage            $55
I Feel Pretty      $47 
Super Troopers 2   $33
Black Panther      $32
Truth or Dare      $21
Blockers           $21
Ready Player One   $21
Isle of Dogs       $13
Traffik            $11
I Can Only Imagine $8
Chappaquiddick     $6

The Avengers: Infinity War was clearly expected to dominate, the only question was by how much.

Well, there was another question.  Having done the traditional three day split for such blockbusters, there was also a question as to which days to pick.

I’ve gone back and forth on the three day thing.  I decided early on that Friday, always priced the highest, was a mugs game.  But then a few releases proved that idea to not always be the case.  Friday gets the Thursday night previews lumped in, so a popular film playing on enough screens with a rabid, must-see-it-now fan base can pack in a lot of viewings on Thursday night, inflating the Friday number beyond expectations.

So the question was whether or not The Avengers had that sort of fan base and if the pricing supported it.

Friday was expensive.  You could only have one screen of Friday, and if you wanted two screens of The Avengers, you could only add on Sunday, which would not leave very much left in the budget for filler.

But if The Avengers were the anchor was all that would matter, that still seemed like a decent bet.

If, however, The Avengers on Saturday went big enough, the extra room a pair of those as anchor would allow for better filler might tilt things in that direction.

I flipped flopped between anchor choices a few times, but settled on Friday.  Then the Thursday night previews came in and had them at $39 million.  That seemed enormous.  I was sold on Friday and, wanting to pass along info to those who cared to listen, I posted the Thursday preview results in the TAGN Chatter on the FML site, which got Po Huit to swap to a Friday anchored lineup as well.

The pickings were slim enough with a Friday/Sunday anchor that we both ended up with the same lineup, 1x Friday, 1x Sunday, 2x Traffik, 4x Chappaquiddick.

Spring Week Nine – My Picks

However, what we might have asked ourselves before committing was whether or not this Thursday night surge meant that the other two days might also see a boost beyond the expected revenue.

My evolving opinion on Friday in a three day split now includes evaluating the pricing gap between Friday and the other days relative to the amount the Thursday night previews might add.

The pricing this week showed that the expectation was already that Thursday + Friday would be huge.  The pricing predicted a front-loaded weekend.  Saturday and Sunday, by comparison, were priced low enough that they had room to go up from expectations.  And going with two Sundays, which both exceeded expectations and left lots of room for filler, was the best bet of all it seemed.

Having Sunday as the other half of my anchor insulated me a bit the rise of the latter two days, but not enough to offset the filler potential, so the perfect pick ended up anchored on that.

Spring Week Nine – Perfect Pick

That left the Meta League lineup for the week looking like this:

  1. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $202,180,246
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $202,180,246
  3. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $202,180,246
  4. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $195,674,304
  5. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $193,757,577
  6. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $190,660,000
  7. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $190,517,706
  8. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $190,142,084
  9. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $188,640,353
  10. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $188,596,516
  11. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $187,988,334
  12. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $187,988,334
  13. Kraut Screens (T) – $186,175,104
  14. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $184,336,934
  15. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $184,336,934
  16. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $184,336,934
  17. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $184,336,934
  18. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $183,655,915
  19. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $183,655,915
  20. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $182,468,791
  21. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $182,150,105
  22. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $169,228,678

The Meta League Legend:

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

Ben, Biyondios, and JHW all got the perfect pick this week.

The ranking is influenced by which days of The Avengers you went with.  Those heavy on Sunday were at the top, Saturday in the middle, and people who went with Friday at the bottom.  As you can see I managed to drag Po down this week, so if you were competing with him you’re welcome I guess.

That left the season rankings looking like this:

  1. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $1,035,925,621
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $1,012,015,895
  3. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $996,050,796
  4. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $974,388,458
  5. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $958,534,547
  6. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $952,900,426
  7. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $950,782,282
  8. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $948,989,068
  9. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $945,093,377
  10. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $944,308,215
  11. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $937,992,649
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $870,489,339
  13. Kraut Screens (T) – $854,842,987
  14. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $843,503,311
  15. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $832,561,018
  16. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $812,898,042
  17. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $808,878,199
  18. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $788,531,883
  19. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $778,233,345
  20. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $762,828,159
  21. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $760,050,133
  22. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $649,951,113

In the end, while some people popped up to the top of the list for the week, the gap between first and last wasn’t enough to change the rankings significantly.  There were a few position swaps, but mostly people who did well caught up to, but didn’t overtake, those ahead of them.

The big winner of the week was Ben who not only extended his lead a bit against most competitors, but who also came in first place in the April Monthly Match Up.  Congrats!  I believe there is a cash prize for that.

I think my big win for the week was successfully predicting a sharp drop for Super Troopers 2 after its big opening.  Going down 75% week over week was a serious blow.

And the season is not over.  There are four weeks left and at least three (possibly four) of them will have a film with a Friday/Saturday/Sunday split.  The Avengers will still be so dominate that it is split again for week ten and might be for week eleven.  After that we have Deadpool 2 that will surely be split unless The Avengers is simply crazy, while the final week of the season will anchor on Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will be split for sure.

But we’ll keep our eyes on week ten for the moment, the price list for which is:

Avengers SAT       $560
Avengers SUN       $418
Avengers FRI       $335
Overboard          $167
A Quiet Place      $94
I Feel Pretty      $63
Tully              $56
Rampage            $52
Black Panther      $42
Bad Samaritan      $40
Blockers           $21
Truth or Dare      $18
Super Troopers 2   $17
Ready Player One   $16
Traffik            $10

Joining the lineup this week are Overboard, Tully, and Bad Samaritan while Chappaquiddick, I Can Only Imagine, and Isle of Dogs fall off the low end and out of our reckoning.

The Avengers pricing now reflects a weekend take without previews influencing Friday night, so Saturday is now the most pricey of the three options.  You can only get a single screen of Saturday and a Saturday/Sunday lineup leaves scant room for filler, So a pair of Sundays or something with Friday mixed in seems like a more favorable anchor strategy.

Or, if you’re feeling daring, you could go all-in on Overboard as an anchor, the only other film on the list priced beyond the mere filler role.  The last long range tracking forecast I saw said it might be good for $14 million.

On the filler front, some of the pricing rose due to The Avengers not being expected to dominate the weekend quite as hard as its opening week.  Still, most of those films have had their time on the screen already so any surprises seem likely to come from the other two new titles, Tully and Bad Samaritan I suppose.  But neither were worth even putting on the long range tracking list over at Box Office Pro, so maybe not.

The new week is upon us and, as is often the case, I am not sure where to turn.

Spring Movie League – It’s All in the Filler

With week seven in the read view mirror we are now past the half way point for our Spring Fantasy Movie League.

For week seven we had a few new films in the lineup, which looked like this.

Rampage                      $535 
A Quiet Place                $361
Truth or Dare                $207 
Ready Player One             $167 
Blockers                     $147
Isle of Dogs                 $105
Black Panther                $74 
I Can Only Imagine           $62 
Tyler Perry's Acrimony       $52
Chappaquiddick               $47
Sherlock Gnomes              $46
The Miracle Season           $29
Pacific Rim                  $27
A Wrinkle in Time            $25
Love Simon                   $18

However, not very far into the week it started to become clear that the anchor of choice was going to be A Quiet Place.  Ticket sales over the course of the week, good reviews, and good word of mouth seemed to indicate that it would out perform its pricing for the week.

At the top of the price list was Rampage, which had a long range forecast of about $31 million.  But it seemed like A Quiet Place would do that much as well, and you could have two AQP as your anchor.

Meanwhile Truth or Dare felt to me like it was held back on a few levels.  It was a horror film coming in the shadow of A Quiet Place.  It was also a teen film facing competition from Blockers.  And it really didn’t have a huge name draw in the cast.

So with two screens of A Quiet Place locked in, it came down to the filler screens.  That is always a gamble because at the low end of the price range a shift of a $100K can make all the difference.

In the end I opted for 2x A Quiet Place, 3x I Can Only Imagine, 1x Acrimony, and 2x Love Simon.

Spring Week Seven – My Picks

This was mostly on gut because Imagine and Simon both had a record of dropping less than expected week over week, while Acrimony happened to fit nicely in the middle, leaving me with just $4 left over.

When lockout came on Friday I found myself in good company on the anchor picks.  And with the first estimates on Saturday morning A Quiet Place was in as the best performer, while Corr had the perfect pick.

But as I say over and over, Saturday is a day of false hope, and having the perfect pick on Saturday when the filler screens were going to make or break you made it even more so.

Sunday however threw things for a spin.  Truth or Dare, performing better than I expected, muscled in and took over the best performer spot, with four screens of it being the anchor for the perfect pick.  Suddenly Skar, who had anchored on one screen of AQP and two screens of Truth or Dare was leading the pack in the Meta League.

But Truth or Dare was ahead by just the width of a shadow and by the time the final numbers started coming in A Quiet Place was back on top as best performer.  The perfect pick ended up being 2x A Quiet Place, 2x Black Panther, 1x Acrimony, 2x The Miracle Season, 1x Love Simon.

Spring Week Seven – Perfect Pick

It is unusual for a winning lineup to have five different titles in it and the general recommendation is to try to keep it to three or four at most.  But when the anchor is also the best performer it is a matter of getting the most out of the filler no matter what.  Nobody in the Meta League got the perfect pick this week.

That left the scores for the week looking like:

  1. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $90,454,671
  2. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $90,348,718
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $89,790,581
  4. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $88,138,888
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $87,576,863
  6. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $87,576,863
  7. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $87,453,970
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $87,451,105
  9. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $87,016,918
  10. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $84,839,318
  11. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $84,368,064
  12. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $84,368,064
  13. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $82,681,813
  14. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $82,681,813
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $79,519,219
  16. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $73,102,608
  17. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $72,416,392
  18. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $71,851,296
  19. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $69,562,268
  20. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $69,183,935
  21. Kraut Screens (T) – $68,968,210
  22. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $65,658,324

The Meta League Legend:

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

SynCaine topped the Meta League this week, though not by much, with Biyondios just $105K behind him.  Corr missed out on his perfect pick and ended up in third place, leading the MCats League.  Then there was Skar, on top on Sunday, but back in 10th place on Monday.  So it goes.

The pack was very close in score this week, which did not make for much change in the season rankings.

  1. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $687,562,198
  2. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite (T) – $682,836,540
  3. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema (T) – $663,652,472
  4. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $645,662,309
  5. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes (M) – $633,592,608
  6. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $632,530,977
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace (T) – $622,580,794
  8. Wilhelm’s Broken Isles Bijou (T/M) – $619,149,976
  9. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $614,081,399
  10. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $613,788,104
  11. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $605,152,623
  12. Joanie’s Joint (T) – $582,529,067
  13. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $558,462,207
  14. I HAS BAD TASTE (T) – $538,787,711
  15. Kraut Screens (T) – $536,872,905
  16. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex (T) – $525,348,454
  17. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $512,340,200
  18. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex (T) – $500,346,633
  19. DumCheese’s Cineplex (T) – $496,766,130
  20. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies (T) – $486,862,102
  21. JHW’s Cineplex (T) – $426,892,424
  22. Bean Movie Burrito (T) – $414,409,827

Ben remained on top, with the gap between him and Po shrinking ever so slightly.  Otherwise nobody really pulled much in the way of distance on anybody this time around.

That leads us to week eight and the back half of the season.  The lineup for the week looks like this:

 A Quiet Place            $361
 Rampage                  $258
 I Feel Pretty            $251
 Truth or Dare            $126
 Blockers                 $98
 Ready Player One         $95
 Super Troopers 2         $84
 Black Panther            $72
 Traffik                  $68
 Isle of Dogs             $47
 I Can Only Imagine       $33
 Tyler Perry's Acrimony   $26
 Chappaquiddick           $25
 The Miracle Season       $19
 Sherlock Gnomes          $18

Dropping from the lineup are Pacific Rim, A Wrinkle in Time, and Love Simon.

Replacing them we have I Feel Pretty, Traffik, and Super Troopers 2.

I Feel Pretty is an Amy Schumer vehicle and I would say that it would probably do as well as those tend to do, except for some negative reactions to the trailer.  That may stunt its numbers for the weekend.  So I don’t think it is going to be a break out hit, and neither does the pricing for the week, which puts it behind A Quiet Place, going into its third week, and Rampage, going into its second.

Traffik is not the remake of the movie Traffic, which was a remake of the UK mini-series Traffik, that I thought it might be just from the title.  More is the pity, as I think that might have been a better plan.  Instead it is a new film with no big names showing up mid-pack.

And then there is Super Troopers 2.

What do you do when somebody makes a sequel… or, in this case a prequel… to a cult classic?  I mean, I love meow some Super Troopers on any Friday night after a few beers.  But can you make magic twice?  Could you?  Should you?  Would you?

I was thinking no, until I read the premise over on Wikipedia.  This represents the parents of the group in the original, back in the 70s, with even longer hair and mightier mustaches.  Also, to get it into production they had to crowd source it with an Indiegogo campaign which raised more than they expected and got the word out early that the film was coming.  That means there is a pre-set audience that has been waiting for this week for quite a while.  Not a Star Wars sized audience to be sure, but probably bigger than we expect.

So I am going to declare that this week will be the polar opposite of last week.

Last week you knew the anchors, you just had to figure out the filler.  This week I calling Super Troopers 2 as the filler in the perfect pick.  You just need to figure out how to anchor a lineup with five or six screens of the Super Troopers 2.  Get on it right meow!