Tag Archives: Summer Movie League

The FML Summer Season Kicks Off

The Summer Fantasy Movie League Season starts this week, so it is time to get going on our picks.

As I noted in the post last week, there are a few special rules for this league that differentiate it from the standard league.  They are:

  • Thursday night lock – Get your picks in by 11pm Pacific
  • No empty screen penalty
  • $2 million bonus for the worst performing film

The first is to remove the insight that comes from being able to see the Thursday night preview numbers, which tend to come out right before the Friday morning lock time.

The other two are just meant to stir things up a bit.  I wasn’t sure I was going to go with them both, but then I forgot about them until the new season unlocked on Monday night, and at that point I was stuck with them.

Of the two, I think the lack of penalty for an empty screen… by default an empty screen deducts $2 million from your score… will be the more interesting.  It may end up distorting the league, but my hope is that it will lead to tension between piling on for the obvious winners of the week and filling out all the screens in the hope of getting that best performer boost that often goes to middle or low priced titles.

And the $2 million bonus per screen to worst performing title picks is just a wild card, something I hope will boost some scores by surprise.

As I said, at this point we’re stuck with those changes, so we’ll see how they go.  I will definitely try to compare what the perfect pick for this league is with what the standard rule set gets.

Here in the first week we have the following lineup:

  1. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $664
  2. Dark Phoenix – $540
  3. Aladdin – $277
  4. Godzilla – $251
  5. Rocketman $209
  6. Ma – $128
  7. John Wick 3 – $77
  8. Avengers: Endgame – $54
  9. Detective Pikachu – $49
  10. Bharat – $27
  11. Booksmart – $25
  12. Brightburn – $12
  13. The Hustle – $8
  14. A Dog’s Journey – $6
  15. The Intruder – $5

The big opening this week is The Secret Life of Pets 2.  I feel like we’re getting a bit cheated on the opening week with a title that isn’t big enough to get chopped up into Fri/Sat/Sun.  Still, school is out already some places and is wrapping up for summer this week where I live, so throwing out a kids movie seems like a good bet.  Louis C.K., persona non grata at the moment, is out as the lead voice talent, but Patton Oswalt is in to replace him.  I’m not sure kids care about that.

The original grossed $104 million its opening weekend in 2016, landing on the Independence Day holiday week in the US.  Long range forecasts have this in around $65-70 million, which feels a bit conservative to me.  The studio has been advertising the hell out of this release.  When I have played Words with Friends over the last week I was seeing ads for SLP2 constantly… like 6-10 times in a row before seeing a different ad… then back to it again.  So it seems like a strong pick.

Also opening this week is Dark Phoenix, which was being called X-Men: Dark Phoenix at one point, to emphasize its lineage.  However, at some point that stopped and now I have to get reminded every time I see the title that it is a super hero movie.

Anyway, summer super hero movie.  Seems like a safe bet.  I am not sure how strong/popular the X-Men franchise is at the moment, but it has Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) as Jean Grey, who is the titular role as the Dark Phoenix and is being turned out by Disney who seems to own every property these days.  But the long range forecast only has it at $50 million… ONLY $50 million… so something is amiss here.

The other new opener this week is Bharat, an Indian film, which will have some draw in the US.

Against those three are past strong releases now a few weeks in, including Aladdin, Avengers: Endgame, Detective Pikachu, John Wick 3, and Rocketman.  There are a lot of strong possible picks without getting down into filler.  And without the empty screen penalty you can eschew the low end if you so desire.

My initial, use all the screens pick was 1x SLP2, 1x Aladdin, 1x Bharat, 1x Brightburn, and 4x The Intruder, the latter which I suspect might be the worst performer.  That is a conventional lineup that works for the standard league rules as well.  But with no empty screen penalty I am considering 1x SLP2, 1x Aladdin, 1x Avengers: Endgame, 1x The Intruder, and 4x empty.

The lack of an empty screen penalty might be a mistake.  We shall see.

Anyway, get your picks in by tomorrow evening.  For those wishing to join in this season I will put another link to the league in the comments.  You will need to create an account on the Fantasy Movie League site in order to join.

Also, I said something about a TAGN Discord, so we have that here now.  As those who joined the Blaguast Discord last August will know, I do tend to be on Discord when I am home.  We’ll see if having that will be useful.  If you want to join in on that, the link is here.

Plans for a Summer FML League

The time has come, the spring Fantasy Movie League season is coming to a close, and the summer season is upon us.  It is time to fire up the TAGN League for summer blockbusters.

I actually feel like we’re a week too late.  Maybe two weeks too late.  Regardless of what the calendar makers say, for me summer runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day in the US.  That is certainly when the big summer movies hit the screens and have their runs.  A big Memorial Day release can sometimes still be found on budget theater screens at the far end of summer.

For whatever reason, FML ran the spring league for 14 weeks, putting it through Memorial Day and the weekend beyond.  That means the summer league doesn’t get to start with big box office draws like Aladdin, which launched last week, and Godzilla: King of Monsters.

Add in John Wick 3 and Avengers: End Game having already launched and you start to wonder if we’ve been robbed of the big weeks one expects during summer.

But we shouldn’t fret.  I think we got all of those early because the summer is still full of titles that will no doubt bring in big numbers.  Headliners for some of the summer weekends include:

  • June 7 – X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • June 14 – Men in Black: International
  • June 21 – Toy Story 4
  • July 5 – Spider-man: Far from Home
  • July 19 – The Lion King
  • August 2 – Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

That is a lot of sequels, spin-offs, and remakes.  But there are also the smaller titles that could break out and become horribly over-done dynasties of their own some day.  And then there are the horror movies that always seem to do much better than I predict.  Will they fool me again this summer?

Anyway, my tentative plans for the summer league include the following:

  • Thursday night lock so we all have to pick before the preview numbers hit
  • No empty screen penalty
  • $2 million bonus for the worst performing film

I am sold on the first one, while the other two I am putting out there just to shake things up a bit.  If people scream in the comments about either I may put them back the way they were.

Otherwise things will be about the same as the last season I ran, including the main an alternate scoring method.

I had mentioned possibly breaking up the summer into three shorter sprints.  However, just because FML gives you a field that shows the duration of a season doesn’t mean that you can edit it.  It looks like we are stuck with 13 weeks unless I am missing something.

In the mean time the spring league looks like it might have a surprise winner.  Goat had led the whole season, only to be upset last week by Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex.  Goat (and I) bet against Aladdin, which went on to do better than expected, with an exceptionally strong Sunday.

I will post the winners for spring next week in addition to the opening week post for the summer season.

If you are interested in playing, I will post a link to join the TAGN league in the comments on this post and in next week’s post.  The links expire after a few days and you will need to create an account at the FML site to play.

I am also considering creating a Discord server for the blog where, among other things, movie discussion could be a channel.  Discord is light and, if you already have it, one more server on your list isn’t a big deal. (I actually created one ages ago, I’ve just never invited anybody to it.)

As always, if you have any suggestions for the season let me know in the comments.