Tag Archives: Summer Fantasy Movie League

Summer Movie League – Three Paths Forward

Week five of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is now done and recorded.

This week was another pause in the big release schedule, so the lineup held a mix of carry overs and new titles at the top.

Incredibles 2              $591
Jurassic World SAT         $356
Jurassic World SUN         $278
Uncle Drew                 $275
Jurassic World FRI         $266
Sicario 2                  $201
Ocean's 8                  $97
Tag                        $64
Deadpool 2                 $41
Solo                       $31
Sanju                      $30
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $24
Hereditary                 $24
Superfly                   $22
Avengers: Infinity War     $18

The Incredibles 2 was at the top again, but Jurassic World was still expected to be big enough to need to be split into three days.  Uncle Drew was expected to be the bigger of the two new films, with Sicario 2 a bit down the list.  Then there was a gap and the filler kicked in.

I came into the week stung by ignoring the dinos in Jurassic World so, as noted last week, I jumped onto that with my Monday Hot Takes league picks, anchoring on two Saturday screenings.

Of course, as the week went on more details and more theories began to appear.  In the TAGN chatter channel dinos were a thing, but I started to think I was overestimating how much Jurassic World would bring in.

So, while I went with dinos on Monday night, by the time the TAGN lock time approached, I was leaning more towards a lineup anchored on The Incredibles 2 once again.  So I went with that plus six screens of the reasonably priced Tag, filling in the last spot with Hereditary.

Summer Movie League – My Week Five Pick

The last spot was a toss up between a Hereditary, a horror flick losing screens, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor at the same price, which was gaining screens but which seemed of limited interest to me to summer movie goers.

Corr ended up with mostly the same idea as I did, only he went with Mr. Rogers.  As it turned out, that was the better choice by $135,164.  Mr. Rogers would have been an even better pick with bonuses turned on, which would have given it an extra $2 million since it got the best performer award.  But we don’t play with bonuses here.

Then, after the TAGN league locked and Friday morning rolled around I saw the preview numbers for Uncle Drew and Sicario 2 and quickly re-did my lineups for everything else anchored on four screens of Sicario 2.

As it turned out, four screens of Sicario 2 was the go-to anchor for the week.  If only I had figured that out a day earlier.  For the TAGN League the perfect pick was 4x Sicario 2, 2x Tag, Deadpool 2, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor.  It was worth $93,788,152.

Summer Movie League – Week Five Perfect Pick

And somebody got the perfect pick.  Goat managed to get the right lineup and, while there is no bonus, they at least know they got the best possible score for the week.  The week five scores ended up looking like:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $93,788,152
  2. aria82’s Cineplex – $92,425,935
  3. I HAS BAD TASTE – $87,186,436
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $85,147,538
  5. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $84,124,122
  6. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $83,988,958
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $82,970,318
  8. Joanie’s Joint – $78,195,986
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $78,018,678
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $77,613,186
  11. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $74,689,271
  12. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $74,689,271
  13. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $73,673,508
  14. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $73,673,508
  15. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $72,591,123
  16. Kraut Screens – $71,986,662
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $71,695,833
  18. grannanj’s Cineplex – $66,746,828
  19. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $66,113,433

The weeks rankings go from the top two, who were all-in on Sicario 2, to the next two who played at least a pair of the film with dinos, to those of us who anchored on The Incredibles 2, (or Uncle Drew and a pair of Sicario 2 screens in one case), followed by those who only bet on Jurassic World as an anchor.

My Monday pick would have put me in 16th place while my Friday pick would have had me tied for second, so I guess I should be happy with sixth place overall.  It kept me in the running, as the week five overall ranking ended up looking like this.

  1. I HAS BAD TASTE – $494,244,960
  2. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $486,011,951
  3. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $481,296,634
  4. Goat Water Picture Palace – $480,901,172
  5. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $476,892,071
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $475,088,091
  7. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $467,831,033
  8. Kraut Screens – $462,006,518
  9. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $459,708,209
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $457,618,648
  11. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $452,026,794
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $445,933,072
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $433,314,075
  14. aria82’s Cineplex – $416,321,459
  15. Joanie’s Joint – $384,363,297
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $373,5560,729
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $368,417,335
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $287,596,163
  19. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $283,238,550

While Isey of I HAS BAD TASTE didn’t make first place for the week, but he didn’t have to in order to claim first position overall.  All he had to do was beat Vigo, which he did soundly.  So behold the new leader.

And it might be a good week to pull into the lead as the summer is starting to slow down a bit.  This week has a semi-blockbuster coming on this week in the form of Ant-Man and The Wasp, leaving a lineup looking like this:

Ant-Man and the Wasp      $804
Jurassic World            $267
Incredibles 2             $229
The First Purge           $201
Sicario 2                 $89
Uncle Drew                $71 
Ocean's 8                 $48 
Tag                       $34
Won't You Be My Neighbor  $23
Deadpool 2                $20
Solo                      $13
Hereditary                $12
Sanju                     $11
Avengers: Infinity War    $11
Superfly                  $6

In addition to the Marvel movie Ant-Man and The Wasp we also get The First Purge.

Ant-Man is “only” expected to reach about $80 million over the weekend, a lot for most movies, but summer blockbusters have been good for over $100 million this year, so it is slightly tame on that scale.

Meanwhile The First Purge is the fourth installment in The Purge franchise, is supposed to be good for a bit more than $20 million, a decent start for a normal movie.  But that puts it in fourth place this week.  Also, it opens today rather than on Friday, which means it might lose steam early and there won’t be any Thursday night previews to pad its totals.

With Jurassic World slimming down to a single day we didn’t lose any titles this week.  However, there is now a lot of very similarly priced low-end filler to choose from.

Going forward from this week all the openings are expected to decrease in size.  The only big launch after this week is Mission Impossible at the end of the month.  After that we’ll be looking for the next Baby Driver.  So if you need a big week, this might be the time to do a little extra research.

My own Monday Hot Takes league picks were 4x The Incredibles 2 and 4x Deadpool 2, a lineup that left me with $4, which I took as a sign that it was meant to be.  We shall see if I change my mind between now and when the league locks.

The league locks in less than 24 hours from the time this post goes live, so make your picks soon.


Summer Movie League – Clever Girl

Week four of our Summer Fantasy Movie League saw me floating down the coast of Mexico on a cruise ship, so last week’s post covering week three had to be written before Saturday preview numbers were even posted.  No scores listed.

Likewise, I had to make my picks for week four while at sail in the Pacific over a satellite WiFi option that cost daily what an MMO subscription generally costs monthly and which ran about as fast as a 1999 modem connection in the middle of the night when nobody else was using it, and barely ran at all during the day when everybody was trying to update their Facebook status.

Still, there was unlimited soft-serve ice cream, so it wasn’t all bad.

Late Monday night, when the internet was semi-usable I did manage to get onto FML and see the results for Week 3, where I managed to hold on to first place in the TAGN league despite not exactly hitting it out of the park.  I did okay, but only in the defensive sense that I did not screw up badly.  I made it to fifth while grannanj’s Cineplex took first place.  So congrats go out for that.

I was also able to make my picks for week four.  As I noted, I was not keen on dinos, a personal bias of mine.  Generally I try to at least explore such a bias to see if I am cheating myself out of a good pick by “wishcasting” a future that comes out like I think it should rather than how I might actually.

But with my connectivity such as it was, there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for research.  I couldn’t even make my picks with the FML app on my phone, I had to log into the web site, the latter seeming much more tolerant when it comes to timeouts.  If the app can’t get the JSON payload in about 20 seconds it gives up, and nothing was happening over that connection in 20 seconds.

The choices I had to work with in my narrow window of active connection time were… um… I’m not ever sure I can recreate the list at this point.  When the new week goes live a lot of the data on the last week disappears.

Anyway, Jurassic World was split in the usual three way across the weekend while The Incredibles 2 was an expensive ticket, ringing in at budget busting $725.  But it also over-performed on its opening weekend and looked to be a strong contender again, so I went with it as my anchor.

That didn’t leave me much additional room for filler, so I loaded up on the filler that would fit, with three screens of Ocean’s 8 in the mix.  Initially I had more and A Wrinkle in Time as my final filler, it running at only $6.  Then I pulled back from that, wondering how A Wrinkle in Time was even on the list.

It turns out the distributor pushed it out with a discount rate to a bunch of dollar threaters and drive-ins in hopes of getting the film over the $100 million mark for the domestic box office.  Somebody’s bonus was probably riding on that.  However, the film did not deserve to be a pick this week.  Hell, they were showing it on the cruise ship at the mid-deck pool one night along side a lot of films from last summer. (I finally saw Black Panther on the ship sitting by the pool.)  There were at least a dozen films that deserved to make the cut ahead of A Wrinkle in Time, and it did poorly enough that I was glad to have avoided it.  My final lineup ended up with 1x The Incredibles 2, 3x Ocean’s 8, 1x The Avengers, 3x Book Club.

Summer Movie League – My Week Four Pick

I copied that to all my leagues, after which I was back to the cruise, hanging out with the family, and trying to drink my weight in Pacificos at every port of call, a venture helped along by the fact that it seemed impossible to order just one.  They seemed only available in pairs or by the bucket.

We returned home Saturday afternoon to find the cats scolding us for being away and the weather considerably warmer than what we left in Mexico.  It was in the high 80s south of the boarder but near 100 at home.  But it was, as they say, a dry heat.

Then the folly of my disregard for dinos became apparent as Jurassic World did better than expected.  Not as wildly as The Incredibles 2 did the week before, but sufficient to make all the best picks require an anchor on a pair of its days.

The TAGN league, without bonuses, ended up with a different perfect pick than the normal league.   With bonuses 2x Sunday and 6x Ocean’s 8 was the perfect pick, the latter getting the best performer boost.  Without bonuses though, the best best was 2x Saturday, 4x Ocean’s 8, and 2x Will You Be My Neighbor.

Summer Movie League – Week Four Perfect Pick

The week’s scores ended up looking like this:

  1. I HAS BAD TASTE – $149,011,139
  2. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $148,790,862
  3. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $145,559,483
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $143,810,831
  5. Kraut Screens – $143,621,570
  6. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $142,299,162
  7. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $141,474,176
  8. Too Orangey For Crows – $139,293,799
  9. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $138,485,522
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $132,639,108
  11. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $132,639,108
  12. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $120,433,130
  13. Goat Water Picture Palace – $118,288,783
  14. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $117,948,704
  15. grannanj’s Cineplex – $112,270,121
  16. Joanie’s Joint – $109,582,467
  17. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $108,103,696
  18. aria82’s Cineplex – $106,527,489
  19. Bean Movie Burrito – $13,087,528 (did not pick)
  20. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $0 (did not copy picks)

Isey of I HAS BAD TASTE won the week and also got the best possible score for the league having grabbed the perfect pick.

Darren was close behind having gone with what ended up being the perfect pick for leagues with bonuses.

After that, down to 11th place, are the people who anchored on two days of Jurassic World.  There there is a $12 million gap and the start of the people who anchored on The Incredibles 2, or who did not pick or forgot to copy.  I guess, sitting there at 12th place, I can take solace in the fact that I had the best Incredibles 2 lineup.

The sad trombone for the week goes to SynCaine who forgot that I left the empty screen penalty on for the league when I removed the bonuses.  His two screen lineup of The Incredibles 2 and Friday Jurassic World scored pretty well, but eight empty screens pulls $16 million off of his total.

That left the league standings looking like this after week four:

  1. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $413,420,828
  2. I HAS BAD TASTE – $407,058,524
  3. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $403,218,563
  4. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $397,307,676
  5. Kraut Screens – $390,019,856
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $389,940,553
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace – $387,113,020
  8. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $383,706,911
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $382,929,377
  10. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $376,737,891
  11. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $374,008,116
  12. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $368,319,886
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $366,567,247
  14. aria82’s Cineplex – $323,895,524
  15. Joanie’s Joint – $306,167,311
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $299,887,221
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $296,721,502
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $221,482,730
  19. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $208,549,279
  20. Bean Movie Burrito – $168,373,959

This week saw some shifting in the standings, but I still think my working theory/plan for the season, that the removal of bonuses would keep the pack tighter and the competition closer, seems to be working out… sort of.  The changes with how FML works with the whole need to copy picks across leagues, plus the early lock time, plus the not clearly indicated rule set have all hampered the league, and there is no change of rules that will help somebody bounce back after they miss a week.  Only Liore seems to have that power, as she missed a week last summer and still won the season.

I did drop a couple of people from the standings who have missed a few weeks already, so we are down to 20 players in the league.

And that brings us to week five.

Incredibles 2              $591
Jurassic World SAT         $356
Jurassic World SUN         $278
Uncle Drew                 $275
Jurassic World FRI         $266
Sicario 2                  $201
Ocean's 8                  $97
Tag                        $64
Deadpool 2                 $41
Solo                       $31
Sanju                      $30
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $24
Hereditary                 $24
Superfly                   $22
Avengers: Infinity War     $18

It is an odd week.  After two successive blockbuster opening weekends we have a bit of a quiet week for new features.  There are three new titles on the list this week, Uncle Drew, Sicario 2, and Sanju, none of which are expected to break any records or threaten the current big titles in play.

Uncle Drew is a basketball… Comedy?  Parody?  Homage?  I’ve read the Wikipedia article and I am still not sure.  My getting anything isn’t a requirement for success, but it might be a measure of messaging I suppose.  Also I am not sure if it showing up after the annual Warriors/Cavaliers tournament… I mean the NBA championship… is good positioning or not.  The long range forecast puts it somewhere between $15 and $18 million, but I have no gut on this one.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado, to give it its full name, is a sequel to 2015 film of the same base name about drugs, smuggling, and violence on the US/Mexican boarder.  The original has a slow September opening, only widening to 2,600 theaters on its third week when it brought in $12 million based on the positive buzz it created.

The sequel is going straight for the big opening, but has been referred to as a “hot mess,” while the long range forecast from last week pegs it under $15 million for the weekend.  While I liked the original, it is a bit niche and the follow on seems like an unnecessary appendage to the story.  But in Hollywood they figure a sequel is worth 85% of the original, and the first one did $84 million at the box office.

And then there is Sanju, a Hindi language biopic about Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt.  There was some controversy about a scene in the film to which the government of India objected, but I am not sure that is enough to propel a foreign language film high enough onto the US box office list to make the cut for 11th spot on the list.  Theater count is estimated at 350, which is about what Won’t You Be My Neighbor? had for week four, and it did $1.8 million… but it isn’t in Hindi and is about a US cultural icon.

The modest means of those three titles meant that Jurassic World stays split over three days again this week while The Incredibles 2 stays at the top of the price list.  Meanwhile there is some close prices filler from which to choose.

So there we go.  As usual, I will put my Monday Hot Takes league picks here.  I went with 2x Saturday, 1x Ocean’s 8, 4x Deadpool 2, and 1x Hereditary.   That is a pretty research free lineup, but I feared to avoid dinos for a second week running lest they surprise and bit me in the ass yet again.  Won’t You Be My Neighbor? might end up a better bet than Hereditary, depending on what the eventual screen count is for the week.

Get your picks in now, or copy them over.  The league locks in less than 24 hours from when this post goes live.

Summer Movie League – Incredible

Here we are at week four of our special rules Summer Fantasy Movie League and… well…

I’m actually away. So there is no score summary or lineup review this week.  But I am sure The Incredibles dominated the box office.  I doubt things went down hill from an $18.5 million Thursday night preview.  I might have considered a Friday/Sunday lineup with that bit of knowledge.  But I stuck with my Monday Hot Picks league lineup, 2x Saturday, 1x Deadpool 2, 5x Hotel Artemis.

This week we have Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

I have to admit that I am not really a fan of the Jurassic Park follow on movies.  Dinos been done since the first one for me; we don’t need this to turn into a CGI Land Before Time length series.  However I am something of an outlier on that front as, when I am writing this, the forecast is for a $130 million box office take, which would boost it well beyond Solo: A Star Wars Story.

But The Incredibles 2 is still on the scene and might be big enough to reign in the dinos a bit.

Meanwhile, one of the problems I thought might occur with an early lock time seems to be coming to pass; people are forgetting to make their picks in time.  Six out of 22 didn’t make the cut in time.  My own habit is to make an initial pick on Monday night and copy it to all the leagues, so at least if I forget or get distracted, I have something.  And, as noted, I stuck with my Monday night pick this week.

Anyway, if you’re looking for some insight on the coming week, check the TAGN league chatter channel on FML where Po often examines the week in detail.

My goal for this week is to find a decent signal or some WiFi so I can make my picks on my phone.  My stretch goal is to add a picture from my current location to this post from the WP.com app.

Make your picks soon!  The league locks in less than 24 hours from when this post goes live.

Summer Movie League – Hotel Arsonist

Week two of the Summer Fantasy Movie League and we get to see how the first eagerly awaited title of the season came along.

It was an interesting mix this week with a variety of anchor choices both old and new to choose from.  The lineup looked like this:

Ocean's 8               $626
Hereditary              $219
Solo                    $218
Deadpool 2              $201
Hotel Artemis           $138
Avengers: Infinity War  $93
Adrift                  $89
Book Club               $67
Upgrade                 $32
Life of the Party       $31
Breaking In             $24
Overboard               $16
A Quiet Place           $16
Action Point            $15
RBG                     $11

Ocean’s 8 was the big new title for the week, and while not expected to be a blockbuster, it was clearly set to top the week.

After that there was a range of options from the new slow burn horror film Hereditary, to multi-week retreads Deadpool 2 and Solo, to Hotel Artemis… which is referenced in this week’s title.

Yeah, things did not go well for Hotel Artemis this week.  While priced to exceed The Avengers it in fact was much closer to Upgrade in value when the final numbers, making it about $80 over priced.

Fortunately for me, I was in no way tempted by Hotel Artemis.  Likewise I was down on Solo as well.  That was not going to be my anchor.  Instead I was juggling around options with Ocean’s 8, Hereditary, and Deadpool 2 looking for the right mix.

As I said in last week’s post, for the Monday Hot Takes league I was in on Hereditary largely due to Liore’s enthusiasm for it.  However, as the week went on my enthusiasm for the title waned and I was weighing Ocean’s 8 versus Deadpool 2.  Eventually I split the difference, and for the TAGN league I anchored on Deadpool 2 while I used an Ocean’s 8 lineup in another league.

With three screens of Deadpool 2 I had enough room for four screens of The Avengers and one of Breaking In.  That was my choice.

Summer Movie League – My Week One Pick

And then the perfect pick ended up being anchored on Solo.

Not that my lineup was horrible.  Without bonuses it was the 7th best lineup possible.  But Solo was the anchor for the top lineup, which was 2x Solo and 6x The Avengers, both with and without bonuses.

That left the scores for the week looking like this:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $74,929,344
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $72,843,102
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $72,531,960
  4. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $70,582,538
  5. I HAS BAD TASTE – $67,754,584
  6. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $67,524,560
  7. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $67,243,494
  8. Too Orangey For Crows – $66,626,858
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $65,429,411
  10. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $65,429,411
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $64,018,260
  12. Bean Movie Burrito – $62,986,713
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $62,969,256
  14. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $62,969,256
  15. Kraut Screens – $62,896,688
  16. grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,064,376
  17. aria82’s Cineplex – $55,104,817
  18. JHW’s Cineplex – $27,370,850
  19. Joanie’s Joint – $23,682,815
  20. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $21,856,990 (did not copy picks)
  21. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $20,978,053 (did not pick)
  22. DumCheese’s Cineplex – $10,480,818 (did not pick)

Goat got the perfect pick which, even without bonuses put him at the top of the list for the week, while my 7th best got me into second.

The top half of the list was a mix of picks anchored on Solo, Hereditary, Deadpool 2, and Ocean’s 8.  The pricing on those was good enough to keep a variety of picks competitive in the no bonuses game.

Hotel Artemis however.  Joanie’s Joint was all in on Hotel Artemis and paid the price.  A tough week for Jodie Foster fans.

And then there is DumCheese.  At first glance I thought he picked this week, his lineup being 2x Upgrade and 6x Action Point.  It took me a bit to realize that this was his pick from last week which had rolled over.  It just looked different because last week Action Point was the anchor while this week it had been devalued so much that Upgrade was worth more.  Strange days.

So into the second week the overall lineup looks like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $145,366,336
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $143,454,008
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $137,953,188
  4. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $137,479,475
  5. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $134,307,401
  6. Too Orangey For Crows – $133,531,136
  7. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $132,363,247
  8. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $130,537,531
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $128,707,980
  10. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $126,171,761
  11. Kraut Screens – $126,047,334
  12. Bean Movie Burrito – $125,552,918
  13. I HAS BAD TASTE – $125,226,763
  14. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $122,328,210
  15. aria82’s Cineplex – $121,483,595
  16. grannanj’s Cineplex – $118,611,195
  17. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $111,168,339
  18. Joanie’s Joint – $85,803,863
  19. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $78,851,830
  20. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $76,087,549
  21. JHW’s Cineplex – $69,480,658
  22. DumCheese’s Cineplex – $34,163,612

I have managed to hold on to first place… so still rigged… but the gap between me and the the middle of the pack is only $20 million, something a big week could make disappear with the right (or wrong) picks.  And speaking of big weeks, we are finally getting one.  Week three has a blockbuster anchor showing up, with the options as:

Incredibles 2 FRI       $521
Incredibles 2 SAT       $427
Incredibles 2 SUN       $350
Ocean's 8               $201
Tag                     $145
Solo                    $89
Deadpool 2              $78
Superfly                $71
Hereditary              $62
Avengers: Infinity War  $48 
Adrift                  $26
Book Club               $25
Hotel Artemis           $13
Upgrade                 $11
Life of the Party       $11

The Incredibles 2 is on the scene and split across three days as it is expected to bring in… more than Solo did on its opening weekend. Also new on the scene are Tag and Superfly.

All of that meant somebody had to get dropped, and so we say farewell for now to Breaking In, Overboard, A Quiet Place, Action Point, and RBG.

As for what to pick… well, as I have said in the past, if the pricing was perfect just spending your full $1000 budget would be enough.  But we know pricing is imperfect, some times comically so.

For this weekend you have to be at least seriously considering a lineup anchored on one day, if not two, of The Incredibles 2.  The long range forecast puts it at about $140 million for the weekend, with the FML split at 40%/33%/27% for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  So that could be $56 million for Friday, $46 million for Saturday, and about $38 million for Sunday.  But the forecast is imperfect and the split is imperfect, and the prediction for all the other features are imperfect.  It could hit $150 million and be heavy on Saturday because it is a kids film.

Your other anchor options are Ocean’s 8, which is probably good for about $20 million, and Tag, which looks awful (as do a lot of movies these days, but I’m a grumpy old man on that front) with had a forecast of $13 million last week.

Then there is a lot of expensive filler.  The new Superfly, a remake of the famed 70s blacksploitation flick, second to Shaft in my mind, but still a thing in its day, which looks to be good for $8 million, and is cheaper than Solo or Deadpool 2, which I gather FML thinks are both going to have a gentle drop this week.

And at the cheap end there is competing filler.  In the dollar difference race between Adrift and Book Club I might take Book Club, while in the low end race between Hotel Artemis, Upgrade, and Life of the Party, I’d probably take Upgrade over Life of the Party, but Hotel Artemis might be correctly priced this week after last week’s debacle.

My Monday Hot Takes league pick this week is 2x Incredibles SAT, 1x Deadpool 2, 5x Hotel Artemis., which leaves me $3 to spare.  We’ll see if I change my mind on that before Thursday morning rolls around.

Go make your picks!  The league locks in less than 24 hours after this post goes live.

Summer Movie League – Action Punt

For the launch of the Summer Fantasy Movie League the first week out was not all that exciting.

The alleged season of blockbusters did not have anything big and new for us.  There were three new films, but none of them were expected to dominate, so it became a week of mix and match to try and find the optimum pick.  The list of options included:

Solo                    $514
Deadpool 2              $325
Adrift                  $215
Avengers: Infinity War  $167
Action Point            $143
Book Club               $126
Upgrade                 $62
Life of the Party       $49
Breaking In             $36
Overboard               $30
Show Dogs               $25
A Quiet Place           $21
Best of the Rest        $19
RBG                     $15
Rampage                 $7

On the anchor end of things, the question seemed to be whether or not Solo would collapse gently after a disappointing opening weekend, or if that lack of fan enthusiasm would continue to haunt it and cause a sharper fall.

Up against it was Deadpool 2 in its third week.  While an R-rating holds back its potential audience, it seemed likely to hold on a good chunk of the weekend, and you could get two screens of it.

And then there was Adrift, an ominous name for a film of uncertain potential, or possibly The Avengers.  You could also get five screens of The Avengers, or six screens of Action Point.  But that last seemed a big unknown.

After some hemming and hawing about Solo, I decided that two screens of Deadpool 2 was going to be my choice.  And I actually decided that very early in the week.

Due to the changes at FML, allowing leagues to set their own rules, I am now in a variety of leagues, including Liore’s Monday Hot Takes league, which locks on Tuesday at noon. (Wednesday last week, due to the Monday holiday.)  So I wanted to get a lineup for that set.

With two screens of Deadpool 2, my filler options were limited.  On a whim, I filled up with five screens up Upgrade, another new film this week, and something of a wild card, with estimates all over the place, filling in the last slot with a screen of Breaking In.

That set on Tuesday night, I copied it to all my other leagues… and then stopped paying attention.  It was a busy week at the office, forecasts were slow in coming and were not very solid, so I saw no reason change my early lineup and left it there until everything locked on Friday morning.

Which turned out to be a pretty good plan, as I came in first in all of the private leagues to which I belong.  It wasn’t a huge victory.  I ended up ahead by just a bit in all of them.  But a win is a win.

Deadpool 2 turned out to be the anchor of the week, and the perfect pick for normal rules was 2x Deadpool 2, 1x The Avengers, 1x Book Club, 1x Breaking In, and 3x Rampage, the latter getting the best performer nod.  An odd perfect pick, with that many different titles.

However, with no bonuses in the TAGN league, best performer doesn’t mean anything.  Meanwhile, the mobile app will show you the perfect pick for the rule set your league follows and, as it turned out, with no bonuses, my lineup was the perfect pick.

Max score for me.  You may now declare the whole thing rigged, since I chose the rules.

Summer Movie League – My Week One Pick

But, as I said, I didn’t end up way out in front.  With the no bonuses rule, I did not get anything special, like an extra $5 million boost, for getting the perfect pick.  The rest of the league looked like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $72,523,234
  2. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $72,050,064
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $70,922,048
  4. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $68,877,990
  5. Too Orangey For Crows – $66,904,278
  6. aria82’s Cineplex – $66,378,778
  7. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $64,838,687
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $64,689,720
  9. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $63,202,505
  10. Kraut Screens – $63,150,646
  11. Goat Water Picture Palace – $63,023,844
  12. Bean Movie Burrito – $62,566,205
  13. grannanj’s Cineplex – $62,546,819
  14. Joanie’s Joint – $62,121,048
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $59,954,993
  16. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $59,358,954
  17. I HAS BAD TASTE – $57,472,179
  18. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre – $56,994,840
  19. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $55,109,496
  20. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $43,924,845
  21. JHW’s Cineplex – $42,109,808
  22. DumCheese’s Cineplex – $23,682,794

No little colored letters now as we’re all in the same league.  There are still 22 players, as there were in the Meta League.   We added a few new players and a few came over from the MCats league to try out the early lock and no bonus fun.

The top six places went to people who anchored on two screens of Deadpool 2.  Then Solo and Deadpool 2 became viable, along with five screens of The Avengers, which anchored SynCaine’s lineup.

Dragging people down were some poorly performing filler.  As I expected, the Best of the Rest pick turned out to be a complete bust, and those who went with it suffered.

Adrift also didn’t hold up very well as an anchor.

Likewise, the new film Action Point disappointed and those carrying it felt the pain of its over optimistic price, especially DumCheese who was anchored on six screens of it.  I feel sorry for you man.

And so ended the first week.  I don’t even have to do two lists because the overall matches the weekly.  The scores are not that spread out, both because of a lack of bonuses, but also because it just wasn’t a big scoring week.  The perfect pick, with bonuses,  was just $79.5 million.

So on to week two and the choices it offers.

Ocean's 8               $626
Hereditary              $219
Solo                    $218
Deadpool 2              $201
Hotel Artemis           $138
Avengers: Infinity War  $93
Adrift                  $89
Book Club               $67
Upgrade                 $32
Life of the Party       $31
Breaking In             $24
Overboard               $16
A Quiet Place           $16
Action Point            $15
RBG                     $11

We shed Rampage and Show Dogs this week, as well as losing Best of the Rest as an option and added three new films to the list.

The big opener is Ocean’s 8, which I guess is the all women version of Ocean’s 11, once again demonstrating sexism in the workplace as the women have to do their heist with only 73% of the staff.

Actually, Ocean’s 8 takes place in the same universe as the Clooney helmed trio of 11, 12, and 13.  Sandra Bullock is Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean (Clooney), who is off to pull her own heist with an all female crew.  Given that my preference for this series has followed the rule of “the lower the number the better it is” Ocean’s 8 could be big, with forecasts running in the $40-50 million range.  You can have one screen of that.  Also, it is reported to be opening on limited screens on Wednesday night, so you might get some preview numbers for it on Thursday morning for the TAGN league, but they won’t count towards the weekend total.

Then there is a big gap in pricing to get to Hereditary, a new title opening this week and something in the horror genre, an area of film I always underestimate.  I need Liore to advise me on this.

After that we’re back to Solo.  Failing to make $30 million its second weekend out you have to ask whether it is due for a soft landing yet.  Are people going back to see it a second time?  Then there is Deadpool 2, now available as a four screen anchor package or something you can team up with other options.

And finally on the anchor list is Hotel Artemis, the third new item this week, featuring Jodie Foster as a nurse who runs a secret hospital for criminals.  I hope Debbie Ocean doesn’t need her services.

Down in the filler end of the list, there are a lot items with similar prices.  I would take Upgrade over Life of the Party, but I am not sure who will win out of the three way mix of Overboard, A Quiet Place, and Action Point.  And then there is RBG hanging in there at $11.

Since this post goes up on Wednesday I guess I can put my Monday Hot Takes league pick in, since that locks on Tuesday at noon Pacific.

This week I went with 4x Hereditary and 4x Life of the Party.

That is my Liore dedicated pick, because she says Hereditary is going to be big, and horror is her wheelhouse.  We shall see if I change that up for the TAGN league.

Get your picks in!  They’d due in less than 24 hours from when this posts!

Summer Fantasy Movie League – Now With New Rules!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solo                    $514
Deadpool 2              $325
Adrift                  $215
Avengers: Infinity War  $167
Action Point            $143
Book Club               $126
Upgrade                 $62
Life of the Party       $49
Breaking In             $36
Overboard               $30
Show Dogs               $25
A Quiet Place           $21
Best of the Rest        $19
RBG                     $15
Rampage                 $7

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

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

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

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

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

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