Tag Archives: Summer Movie League

Summer Movie League – Silly Old Bear

Week ten of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is done and gone.

This week saw a match up between a new release and a title in its second week with the choices looking like this:

Christopher Robin        $513
Mission: Impossible      $512
The Spy who Dumped Me    $268
The Darkest Minds        $154
Mamma Mia 2              $136
The Equalizer 2          $126
Hotel Transylvania 3     $131
Teen Titans GO!          $93 
Ant-Man and the Wasp     $88
Incredibles 2            $76
Jurassic World           $70
Death of a Nation        $55
Skyscraper               $45
Eighth Grade             $32
The First Purge          $16

The pricing indicates that somebody at FML expected Christopher Robin to best Mission: Impossible, if only by a small amount. So for the top end anchors it depended on whether or not you believed FML or not.

I was not buying the FML line however, at least not at the start of the week. My Monday Hot Takes pick anchored on Mission: Impossible, followed up by six screens of The Incredibles 2, with the last slot taken up by Eight Grade.

And then it was something of a busy week and I spaced a bit on the movie front and forgot to change anything up before Thursday morning at 9am Pacific Time, when the TAGN League locked. So my Monday picks were also my Thursday picks.

Summer Movie League – My Week Ten Picks

Of course, about an hour later I realized that I had missed my window for change on the TAGN League, but figured I had better do some poking about for the Friday leagues. One thing that came up over at Box Office Mojo was that Eighth Grade was getting a much bigger theater expansion that was expected, going from 158 to almost 1,100, which made it suddenly look like a a shoe-in for best performer of the week.

I was also coming around on Christopher Robin. Box Office Pro seemed to think it was going to be close between Christopher Robin and Mission: Impossible, so I flopped over to CR, put seven screens of Eighth Grade behind it, then removed one and replaced it with the highest value title that would fit, which turned out to be The Spy Who Dumped Me and copied that to all my remaining lineups.

My picking methodology exposed.

But I just couldn’t stick with CR and flipped back, replacing it with Mission: Impossible and called it closed just before the wire on Friday morning.

As it turned out my gut pick for Mission: Impossible was correct, giving me about $10 million over CR. My TAGN pick wasn’t perhaps what I would have gone with by Thursday, but it was anchored on Mission: Impossible as well and without bonuses the fact that I wasn’t all-in on Eighth Grade didn’t really matter.

The perfect pick for the week ended up being 1x Mission: Impossible, 1x The Equalizier 2, 3x Ant-Man and the Wasp, and 3x Eight Grade.

Summer Movie League – Week Ten Perfect Pick

Nobody in the league got the perfect pick this week.  The scores for the week ended up like this:

  1. Goat Water Picture Palace – $71,097,943
  2. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $68,056,099
  3. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $66,159,041
  4. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $65,268,895
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $64,376,188
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $63,914,522
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $63,147,833
  8. I HAS BAD TASTE – $60,660,286
  9. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $58,689,526
  10. grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,781,124
  11. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $48,786,336
  12. Joanie’s Joint – $47,808,556
  13. Too Orangey For Crows – $46,688,999

I decided just to list people who made their pick on any given week, so that list may vary in size relative to the overall score, where I am listing everybody who hasn’t totally disappeared.

Goat got the top spot and, through much of the weekend looked like they had the perfect pick as well.  But come the final numbers a different lineup took the honors.  I managed second and wasn’t too far behind.

The top three all anchored on Mission: Impossible, but amongst the first eight there were people who anchored on Mama Mia 2 and Hotel Transylvania 3 who were competitive.

Those who anchored on Christopher Robin or The Spy Who Dumped Me fell to the back of the pack, with the poor performing The Darkest Minds acting as an extra anchor on a couple of people.

That left the overall scores for the season looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $903,828,835
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $892,694,361
  3. I HAS BAD TASTE – $876,537,592
  4. Goat Water Picture Palace – $870,040,067
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $847,579,299
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $825,583,341
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $819,170,145
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $817,537,519
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $801,307,407
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $782,565,597
  11. grannanj’s Cineplex – $781,282,567
  12. Too Orangey For Crows – $738,662,905
  13. Joanie’s Joint – $727,376,847
  14. Kraut Screens – $689,378,141
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $641,653,028
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $639,347,136
  17. aria82’s Cineplex – $605,936,381
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $586,269,435

Corr and I went on different paths for anchors, with Corr choosing Christopher Robin over Mission: Impossible, though at least in one league we had otherwise identical picks.  That put a little more daylight between Corr and I, though we are still close enough that either could end up ahead for the season.

Likewise, Isey in third place is not out of the running, nor is Goat with a couple more winning weeks.  But beyond the top four somebody has to win very big while the top four makes some extremely poor picks in order to win the season.

There are only four more weeks left, and week eleven has the following options:

The Meg                 $334
Mission: Impossible     $260
Christopher Robin       $177
Slender Man             $171
BlacKkKlansman          $84
The Spy who Dumped Me   $83
Dog Days                $69
Mamma Mia 2             $65
The Equalizer 2         $63
Hotel Transylvania 3    $62
Ant-Man and the Wasp    $52
The Darkest Minds       $38
Incredibles 2           $41
Teen Titans GO!         $31
Jurassic World          $29

This week we lose Skyscraper, The First Purge, Eighth Grade, and the unfortunate Death of a Nation off the list of options.

In their place we have The Meg, Slender Man, BlacKkKlansman, and the aptly named for this time of year Dog Days. Were are certainly in the dog days of summer around here.

The Meg is not, as I first thought, a movie version of The Mick. This is the sort of logical jump your brain makes when you leave reruns of The Simpsons running in the background on FX while you build up a new computer; the commercials seep into your brain. The title actually refers to the star of the movie, a 23 meter long prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon.

So, yes, it is a Jaws knock-off, with its twist being the shark is really, really big.  It is practically Jurassic Shark.

But Jason Statham is the co-star, so I am going to guess that he catches the shark by going to its house, opening its front door a crack, ringing the doorbell then, when he sees the peephole darken, he kicks the door in, stunning the beast and proceeding to beat the shit out of it.  Also, there is a car chase.  I’d watch that on TV on a Friday night, but I am not sure I need to see it on the big screen.

Then there is Slender Man, which I thought was Slenderman, but I guess either usage is okay. Originating as a meme on Something Awful, the Slender Man has made it to the big screen, though it has been referenced in things from Minecraft to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The plot sums up as two girls investigating the disappearance of a friend who then end up being haunter by the Slender Man. That might sound familiar due to the 2014 case where two girls obsessed with Slender Man attempted to murder a friend to appease the made up horror. There is an HBO documentary about that.

BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee film about the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department who sets out to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan to expose them for what they are.

And finally there is Dog Days, tagged as a comedy-drama, which follows four people and explores how their dogs influence their lives. It was directed by Dan Marino, who has been in many things over the years, but whom I mostly associate with the now 25 years in the past show The State.

I suppose you can tell by my descriptions that I am not excited for anything showing up this week, though I imagine that the internet fame of Slender Man, and the lack of recent summer horror films in the options, might make it exceed expectations.  But it is a real wild card, and the long range tracking for it has been trending down sharply, currently standing at about $15 million, but with a possible range as high as $25 million.

The Meg, which is expected to open on almost four thousand screens, is estimated to pull in almost $24 million for the weekend, while Dog Days is shooting for a modest $4 million and BlacKkKlansman has no revenue estimate at the moment, but should open on about 1,500 screens.

So my Monday Hot Takes league pick is a conservative one, going with 3x Mission: Impossible, 2x Equalizer 2, and 3x Teen Titans GO!.  But if the vibe for Slender Man picks up this week, I might swap to 5x Slender Man, 2x Ant-Man, and 1x The Incredibles 2 before the Thursday lock.  I think that is the “go for broke” play this week.

As always, the Thursday lock is less than 24 hours from when this post goes live, so make your picks soon!

Summer Movie League – Tom Cruises

Week nine is now in the books for our Summer Fantasy Movie League.  It is also August and it feels like the end of summer is looming now.

This past week saw what one might consider the last real blockbuster of the season hit theaters. Box office expectations for new releases going forward are considerably more modest. But, in reality, a $30 million opening weekend is very good for most films.

Anyway, this week saw the following choices.

Mission: Impossible        $756
Mamma Mia 2                $227
The Equalizer 2            $201
Hotel Transylvania 3       $157
Teen Titans GO!            $149
Ant-Man and the Wasp       $116 
Incredibles 2              $89
Jurassic World             $76
Skyscraper                 $61
Blindspotting              $41
The First Purge            $28
Eighth Grade               $26
Unfriended 2               $18
Sorry to Bother You        $18
Three Identical Strangers  $16

Another installment in the Mission: Impossible franchise was clearly going to rule the box office. And, from what I have heard, the film was a good entry in the series, living up to the action expectations previously set. But was it worth three quarters of your weekly budget for a single screen?

On Monday I thought it was. For the Monday Hot Takes league I went with 1x Mission: Impossible, 2x Jurassic World, and 5x Sorry To Bother You. I then copied that pick to all of my leagues, which I do every Monday just to be sure I don’t end up with a “no pick” entry if I forget to check back before things lock.

If I has stopped there, or went into a coma five days, or otherwise left my picks alone for the rest of the week, I would have been pretty well set. Mission: Impossible ended up being the anchor for the perfect pick for the bonus-free TAGN league. If I had gone with Unfriended 2 rather than Sorry to Bother You, competing $18 picks, I would have been in first place.

Summer Movie League – Week Nine Perfect Pick

And, as it was, I would have been tied for first with Vigo, who also went with my Monday pick. But then I went off and researched the week, read updates and forecasts and all that, and messed everything up.

Which isn’t to say that research is bad. There have been weeks when last minute data has made obvious the right pick. I remember the week last summer when 8x Baby Driver was the go-to once the Thursday night previews were announced just before the league locked.

But there are weeks when research just messes with your head, where there isn’t a clear enough path so you start second guessing yourself, which is what I managed to do for the rest of the week.

I had, based on some reading in FML chatter, most notably the Bonus Bar discussion, decided that Mission: Impossible really needed to be close to $70 million in order to be worth the price as an anchor. I was wrong on that, clearly, since it made the cut with around $60 million. But I arrived at that number mostly by over estimating how much everything else was going to do. I set targets as to how much a potential anchor pick is going to have to make to be worthwhile, but sometimes in making that guess I mentally anchor my view of its potential there, even if I am just pulling that number out of my hindquarters.

Looking at possible anchors I got a bit fixated on The Equalizer 2. With Mission: Impossible tracking between $50-60 million, I could get four screens of Denzel for almost the same price as a screen of Tom Cruise and would come out close or possibly ahead in the bargain. I didn’t think Mamma Mia 2 was going to hold up any better, certainly not enough to be worth the price, and I remain simply biased against Hotel Transylvania.

And then there was Teen Titans GO! Given the holy war between fans of Teen Titans and fans of Teen Titans Go!, I was not prepared to go anywhere near that title. Add in the fourth wall breaking nature of the movie, wherein the Teen Titans want to star in a movie, and I was well past any hope for that as an option.

Come the Thursday morning lock for the TAGN league I was in for 4x The Equalizer 2, 1x The Incredibles 2, 1x Skyscraper, 1x The First Purge, and 1x Sorry to Bother You.

Summer Movie League – My Week Nine Picks

Normally I follow the strategy of trying to keep the number of different titles in my pick as low as possible. That was in a new player guide I read back when I started, where it said that winning lineups rarely exceed 4 different titles. But then last week’s perfect pick for the TAGN league had six titles in it, so I was ready to go in with more titles to spend as much of my budget as possible.

There I was, locked in, when Box Office Pro published their weekend forecast, and they were calling Teen Titans GO! at $17.5 million. I had already figured that anywhere north of $14 million or so would make that pick the only possible anchor, so now it was Thursday afternoon and I felt I had missed a huge opportunity. But I still had the remaining leagues that locked on Friday morning. I changed over to a 6x Teen Titans anchored lineup and copied it to all of those leagues. At least I wouldn’t be left out there.

And then, of course, Teen Titans GO! ended up making $10.4 million. Six screens still kept you not that far from the leaders, at least in the TAGN league, but it wasn’t the resounding victory that Box Office Pro predicted.

Meanwhile, my Thursday pick, anchored on The Equalizer 2, kept me ahead of those on the Teen Titans GO! bus, but only just barely. Then there was my Monday pick which, as I said, I would have been better off sticking with and eschewing any research. And so it goes.

The scores for the week shook out as follows:

  1. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $81,564,959
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – $81,258,669
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $77,772,503
  4. I HAS BAD TASTE – $76,212,668
  5. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $72,267,827
  6. Too Orangey For Crows – $71,412,269
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $71,412,269
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $70,920,659
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $70,169,864
  10. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $69,609,716
  11. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $66,702,069
  12. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $62,286,338
  13. Joanie’s Joint – $65,895,544
  14. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $65,030,230

Only 14 people picked this week, and FML isn’t displaying all the people who forgot, so I’ll just list out those who did pick.

As noted, Vigo went with the winning anchor, betting on Mission: Impossible and two screens of Jurassic World. Of the top four, only Corr had something different, going with three screens of Hotel Transylvania 3.

Then there was me and me bet on Denzel, which put me a step ahead of the next three on the list, who were all anchored up on Teen Titans GO!, which SynCaine having what ended up being my Friday pick.

After that people were dragged down by unfortunate filler choices, with Blindspotting being the dead weight of the week, the worst price/performer.

That left the overall standings looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $835,772,736
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $834,004,835
  3. I HAS BAD TASTE – $815,877,306
  4. Goat Water Picture Palace – $798,942,124
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $798,312,590
  6. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $783,203,111
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $756,022,312
  8. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $753,622,997
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $736,038,512
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $733,779,261
  11. grannanj’s Cineplex – $724,501,443
  12. Too Orangey For Crows – $691,973,906
  13. Kraut Screens – $688,649,141
  14. Joanie’s Joint – $679,568,291
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $641,653,028
  16. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $639,347,136
  17. aria82’s Cineplex – $605,936,381
  18. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $520,110,394

I remain just baby steps ahead of Corr, with the gap between us just short of $1.8 million.  That is as close as makes no difference, and with five weeks left to go there is plenty of time for somebody to secure a lead.

I will have to go back and check, but I think what really differentiates the top five in the season so far is that none of us have missed a week nor had a really bad pick so far.

Which brings us to week ten.  The options for the week are:

Christopher Robin        $513
Mission: Impossible      $512
The Spy who Dumped Me    $268
The Darkest Minds        $154
Mamma Mia 2              $136
The Equalizer 2          $126
Hotel Transylvania 3     $131
Teen Titans GO!          $93 
Ant-Man and the Wasp     $88
Incredibles 2            $76
Jurassic World           $70
Death of a Nation        $55
Skyscraper               $45
Eighth Grade             $32
The First Purge          $16

We say farewell to Blindspotting, Unfriended 2, Sorry to Bother You, and Three Identical Strangers.

Taking their places are Christopher Robin, The Spy who Dumped Me, The Darkest Minds, and Death of a Nation.

I am torn on Christopher Robin.  On the one hand, Winnie the Pooh was a staple of my childhood, both the original books and the Disney movies.  I can still know the lyrics to I’m a Little Black Rain Cloud and such.  But do I care about adult Christopher Robin, even one played by Ewan McGregor, having stuffed animal flash backs?  Isn’t that more of a Seth McFarland sort of thing?  Is that enough to dethrone Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force?  CR was forecast for about $30 million, so all Mission Impossible has to do is drop less than 50% in the first week to be worth the extra dollar.

I have no such conflict over The Spy Who Dumped me.  The premise is only so-so, the is cast bland, and the reviews are not promising.  Still, there are not a lot of comedies on the list right now, at least non-musical ones.  The long range forecast was $16 million, but had been trending down.  Still probably good for $14 million though.

If I understand the story correctly, The Darkest Minds is essentially an X-Men movie featuring young mutants without a Dr. Xavier to guide them.  Long range forecasts had this at $9 million.

And then there is Death of a Nation.  What to even say about this?  The poster… and I gather the movie itself… attempts to equate Donald Trump with Abraham Lincoln.  I guess the #MAGA crowd found their own version of Michael Moore.   Opening on more than a thousand screens, at least this kills the idea that the media is controlled by liberals.  A red state wild card I suppose, and maybe a barometer for the upcoming mid-term elections this November, but otherwise not a promising pick to my mind.

Given all that, my Monday Hot Takes picks were 1x Mission: Impossible, 6x The Incredibles 2, 1x Eighth Grade.  Betting it all on Tom, Pixar, and the filler that happened to fit.  Still, I am looking at Mama Mia 2 as a possible.  It had a big fall for week two, but people keep comparing it to Book Club when it comes to audience, so if it could soften its fall in week three and pull maybe $8 million, it could be a real contender.

As usual, the TAGN league locks in less than 24 hours from this post, so get your picks in now!

Summer Movie League – No Chance for Ants

Week seven of our Summer Fantasy Movie League is now in the books.

The week brought us into the post-blockbuster part of the summer, where the films expected to garner $100 million or more on their first weekend were in the rear view mirror and the league was going to have to duke it out in a battle between smaller new releases and the residual power of the big launches. The lineup for the week looked like this:

Hotel Transylvania 3       $523
Skyscraper                 $394
Ant-Man and the Wasp       $387
Incredibles 2              $201
Jurassic World             $174
The First Purge            $111
Sorry to Bother You        $74
Sicario 2                  $45
Ocean's 8                  $40
Uncle Drew                 $38
Won't You Be My Neighbor   $30
Tag                        $21
Three Identical Strangers  $16
Whitney                    $14
Deadpool 2                 $11

At the top of the anchor list was the new Hotel Transylvania 3, which was expected to top the box office over the weekend and vie for the kids market with The Increcibles 2. But it also came with a fairly steep price. You could have one screen of that. It wasn’t so expensive that your couldn’t mix and match, but you couldn’t depend on just it.

Next, trying to score on the action adventure from was Skyscraper, where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson battles a burning building that has taken his family hostage… or something… I’m not sure, really. That is the impression the trailer left with me. Whatever it was, I wasn’t buying it.

Then there was Ant-Man and the Wasp. It did not do as well as hoped its first week out, but it still seemed a viable choice if only it could keep to about a fifty percent drop in revenue.

After that we have The Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World battling it out. Last week they were in nearly a dead heat, but The Incredibles 2 lower price point made them the pick. This week it looked like the situation could be reversed.

Then we get into the filler, which ranged from the expensive end with The First Purge was down to Deadpool 2.

For an anchor I went with four screens of Incredibles 2 for my Monday hot take pick, making it the fifth consecutive week I went with the film in at least one of my leagues. I couldn’t get behind Hotel Transylvania 3. I just don’t like the franchise, which makes me believe the worst when it comes to box office. Skyscraper seemed like a risky bet. The trailer was muddled, as noted, and not compelling at all, unless you have to see every picture The Rock makes.

I considered Ant-Man for a bit, but the buzz was that the movie was going to suffer a serious second week drop off. Which left me down with Jurassic World and The Incredibles 2.

In the end I wasn’t shaken from my streak when it came time for the TAGN League to lock. I went with 4x The Incredibles 2 and 4x Sicario 2, a double quad sequel pick.

Unfortunately for me, Jurassic World was the anchor to go with. For not much more than my 4 screens of The Incredibles 2 I could have gotten five screens of dinos. Again, when the estimates started coming in the two movies were neck in neck for revenue, which meant spoils for the cheaper of the two.

There was a stretch of time during the estimates when Three Identical Strangers had the best performer bonus, but in a no bonuses league that didn’t make much of a difference. In the end the league results for the week looked like this:

  1. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $89,719,218
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $86,544,778
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $86,217,724
  4. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $86,217,724
  5. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $83,686,706
  6. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $83,625,423
  7. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $81,544,984
  8. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $80,575,792
  9. Kraut Screens – $74,997,493
  10. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $72,506,522
  11. I HAS BAD TASTE – $72,506,522
  12. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $72,169,038
  13. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $72,143,824
  14. aria82’s Cineplex – $66,907,804
  15. Joanie’s Joint – $64,160,163
  16. grannanj’s Cineplex – $61,162,190
  17. Too Orangey For Crows – $61,162,190

SynCaine was the only one to go with 5x Jurassic World, so he won the week. He didn’t have the perfect pick, but he was still out in front by over $3 million.

After SynCaine there was Corr, Goat, and Pak who all went with Hotel Transylvania 3 and three screens of Jurassic World. Then Vigo, Ben, and Darren were a step behind them, anchoring on Hotel Transylvania 3 but without dinos, so it seems like that franchise was a reasonable choice for anchor. After that, mid pack, came me and my four screens of The Incredibles 2, $9 million back from first.  I was the only one all-in on Pixar this week.

Behind me was a group who either anchored on Ant-Man or who went with Hotel Transylvania 3 but sank themselves by betting on Whitney. That got the worst performer nod this week, dragging down an otherwise solid anchor. Whitney was in 17th place in the overall box office rankings.

And, finally, there were the final four who bet on The Rock only to find that Skyscraper seriously under performed, the bottom two who also bet on Whitney, for a double whammy. Ouch.

All of that left the season scoring looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Abyssal Pocket Playhouse – $683,641,387
  2. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $676,893,229
  3. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $663,451,223
  4. I HAS BAD TASTE – $660,325,535
  5. Goat Water Picture Palace – $653,427,734
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $651,729,082
  7. Kraut Screens – $643,798,519
  8. Ben’s X-Wing Express – $637,656,707
  9. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – $628,872,961
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $624,110,761
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $621,961,128
  12. grannanj’s Cineplex – $594,509,349
  13. aria82’s Cineplex – $579.687,945
  14. Biyondios! Kabuki & Cinema – $568,115,307
  15. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics – $546,096,525
  16. Too Orangey For Crows – $550,949,081
  17. Joanie’s Joint – $542,749,314

I managed to hold on to the top spot despite a mid-pack finish, but Corr is closing in on me. SynCaine also benefitted from his clear victory this week, moving up a bit. But with a lower scoring week the ability to make drastic changes was diminished. That leads us to week eight and the choices we have.

Mamma Mia 2               $526
The Equalizer 2           $403
Hotel Transylvania 3      $334
Ant-Man and the Wasp      $210
Skyscraper                $167
Incredibles 2             $149
Jurassic World            $135
Unfriended 2              $103
The First Purge           $61
Sorry to Bother You       $42
Sicario 2                 $29
Ocean's 8                 $24
Leave No Trace            $23
Uncle Drew                $21
Won't You Be My Neighbor  $20

With four new films making the cut, four older ones are dropping off. Week eight says good-bye to Tag, Three Identical Strangers, Whitney, and Deadpool 2.

In their place we have Mamma Mia 2, The Equalizer 2, Unfriended 2, and Leave No Trace.

Mamma Mia 2, or Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again to give it the name on the title card, is the sequel to the 2008 movie which was based off of the 1999 musical that involved taking a bunch of ABBA songs from the 70s and early 80s, and trying to weave them into a story. The original movie made bank so it seemed likely that somebody in Hollywood would try to force a sequel, so here we are. They managed to secure most of the key cast and even have Cher on board. The long range forecasts for the new film have it hitting about $35 million for the opening weekend. The original only hit $27 million its opening weekend, but it was up against The Dark Knight, just to put into perspective how far back that was. Mamma Mia 2 doesn’t have to compete against Batman this time around, so I suppose the real question is whether or not there are any ABBA songs left that didn’t make it into the first movie.

Opening up against Mamma Mia 2 is The Equalizer 2, the sequel to The Equalizer from 2014, which itself was based off of the late 80s crime drama of the same name. But hey, it has Denzel Washington in it. The first movie opened to about $34 million four years back, but the current film is tracking closer to $27 million, putting it a little shy of the “85% rule” for sequels.

Unfriended 2 is down in the filler tier and is, of course, a sequel. Ten out of fifteen titles this week are. And people complain about video games being mired in sequels. Unfriended, a social media horror story (as if that isn’t reality every day now) was a Blumhouse production, a company that specializes in low budget films, hoping to strike it big with an occasional big success. (There was a Planet Money episode about how they work.) The original brought in over $60 million on a $1 million budget, so with name recognition a sequel was a natural. Unfriended 2 is not directly tied to the original and tracking puts it at just $7 million for the weekend. But as low budget films sometimes bring big returns, so do low priced FML picks.

Finally there is Leave No Trace, which should have been on the list last week since it did better than Deadpool 2 or Whitney. This will be its fourth week of release and I am not sure if it is expanding its theater count this week. In the bottom end $20 to $24 pack it feels like the least likely one to pick unless it has some card to play I am not seeing.

So there we go.

For my Monday night hot takes I went with 6x The Incredibles 2, because how often do you get to anchor on the same film six weeks running, mated with a screen each of The First Purge and Sicario 2. Still, by the time I need to finalize picks for week eight I might swap to Jurassic World because the two films have been so close in revenue the last couple of weeks and dinos are cheaper again this week.

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

Addendum: Or, since I accidentally published this early, you have more than 24 hours.  Once again I hit the publish button instead of the save button.

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.