Tag Archives: The Lion King

Summer Movie League – The Lion is King

Week seven of our Fantasy Movie League is now in the bag and it looks like the box office numbers broke their trend at last.

Well, sort of.  As I noted last week, at one point the estimates for the live action remake of The Lion King were as high as $200 million.  Then as the box office forecasts began to be overstated week over week, estimates got more conservative, dropping ast low as $130 million for the three day weekend, with $150 million being somewhat of a median.

So when the weekend totals starting showing north of $180 million there was much rejoicing.

On the FML front that meant anchoring on The Lion King was pretty much essential, as it exceeding its forecast meant this was a big money week.  It was also a very bad week to forget to pick, which happened to a few people.  Fortunately, everybody who did pick at least got in on some of that sweet Lion King action.

Come the Saturday morning estimates it looked like the Friday pick was going to be the best performer, putting SynCaine on top with his 2x Friday anchor.  I was jealous as to why I did not think of that.

Sunday estimates shifted things.  2x Friday was still good, but the perfect pick shifted to 1x Friday, 1x Saturday, and 4x Yesterday, the latter picking up the best performer nod.  Conical Effort had that lineup so was vaulted into first place.

But when the final numbers, the perfect pick changed yet again, ending up as 1x Friday, 1x Sunday, 5x Yesterday, and 1x The Art of Self Defense, the latter having been boosted in value by getting the $2 million per screen worst performer bonus.

That actually made it a different perfect pick from the standard rules, where 1x Friday, 1x Sunday, 5x Yesterday, and 1x Annabelle won the day.

The scores for the week ended up as:

  1. Conical Effort – $167,021,480
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $163,570,810
  3. Joanie’s Joint – $161,622,694
  4. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $159,018,630
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $157,421,782
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $155,129,305
  7. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $150,821,653
  8. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $147,046,670
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $56,866,987
  10. Goat Water Picture Palace – $30,768,032

Conical Effort stayed in first place, even without the perfect pick bonus, with Bhagpuss not too far behind.  SynCaine’s 2x Friday pick fell a bit behind, but was still pretty strong, as was Po Huit’s bet on Friday, Saturday, and 6x The Art of Self Defense.  Cyanbane came in last of those who picked, hampered by only a single screen of The Lion King.  Goat and Grannanj were in the top ten, but with picks that rolled over from last week, which dealt a blow to both of their season scores.   It is tough to miss a week, and all the more so when it is such a big week.

And, finally, week seven saw the end of Ben’s streak.  He picked on week one, then stopped playing, but his full lineup, 3x Rocketman, 1x Avengers, 4x John Wick 3, was viable all the way through week six.

All of which left the season scores looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $721,815,682
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $673,616,165
  3. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $634,203,963
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $627,527,424
  5. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $627,450,008
  6. Conical Effort – $593,776,471
  7. Joanie’s Joint – $587,750,305
  8. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $535,370,257
  9. Goat Water Picture Palace – $526,453,462
  10. grannanj’s Cineplex – $478,833,609

I kept out in first place, though Bhagpuss closed the gap a bit.  There is still a pretty tight race for third place.  But the biggest blow was to Goat and Grannanj who, failing to pick on such a big week, fell down the stairs into the basement.  It is a tough climb back from there.

The alternate scoring was a bit kinder.

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 53
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – 47
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – 42
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 39
  5. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 36
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 35
  7. Conical Effort – 30
  8. grannanj’s Cineplex – 30
  9. Joanie’s Joint – 23
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 22

Another good week for Bhagpuss and he may be in first place in the alternate scoring.  Goat remained in third since their roll over picks were still enough to get a point.  But as with the seasonal score, there does seem to be contention for that third position.

We are past the half way point of the season.  Now for the first week of the back half we have the following lineup:

  1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – $545
  2. Lion King SAT – $440
  3. Lion King SUN – $370
  4. Lion King FRI – $334
  5. Spider-man: Far From Home – $173
  6. Toy Story 4 – $146
  7. Yesterday – $51
  8. Crawl – $46
  9. Aladdin – $39
  10. The Farewell – $33
  11. Stuber – $23
  12. Annabelle Comes Home – $16
  13. Avengers: Endgame – $15
  14. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $13
  15. Midsommar – $9

Men in Black International and The Art of Self-Defense both fell off the list.

The big new item on the list this week is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a Quentin Tarantino alternate reality about Hollywood, the Manson Family, and the Tate/LaBinanca murders, which happened just shy of 50 years ago.  And since it is both Tarantino and alternate history, you shouldn’t expect things to work out the way they did back in 1969.

The long range forecasts have the take at around $45 million, the reviews are good, Tarantino has a strong following, the cast is well known, and a strong second weekend for The Lion King shouldn’t have much impact on the audience for this.  And, for once, he isn’t opening up against some other huge title, like Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  So it could be big.

On the flip side, $45 million is still a big take for an R rated movie, so it is not without risk.  At $45 million you have to have it, at something like $38 million you want another anchor.

The other new item on the list is The Farewell, and art house picture that seems pretty narrow in potential audience.  the reviews are good and its per theater take was high last week, though it was also only in four theaters.  The question is both how big its theater expansion will be and what sort of draw it will have among a more general audience.

Meanwhile, The Lion King still looms and is expected to have a big enough three day weekend that it remains split across three days for its second week.  In its second week Friday is now the low number in that mix with no previews to drive it.

So what to pick?

You can anchor on Once Upon a Time and have a screen of The Lion King, though it you pair it up with Saturday you get a three screen lineup with Avengers: Endgame and your budget is spent.  Worth it?  There is no empty screen penalty.

Or you double up on The Lion King and work on your filler game.

But maybe five screens of Spider-man are more your speed.

Even six screens of Toy Story 4 is a possible anchor, though it then gets tough to spend the rest of your budget.

Or you can mix it up.  There are lots of possibilities there.

Still, I think you have to be pretty contrarian to not have at least one screen of The Lion King in your lineup.

I don’t even have a lineup to share because I’ve changed my three times as I have written this.

Which ever way you go, get your picks in soon.  The league locks tomorrow evening.

Summer Movie League – Stuber Stumbles, Crawl Bawls

Week six of our Fantasy Movie League carried on the trend of new films failing to meet expectations.

In this case, the two new films for week six, Stuber and Crawl, both failed to hit the somewhat modest expectations set for them, keeping the summer theme going.

Stuber was expected to get in the range of $17 million, but ran out of gas about half way there, clocking in at $8 million.

Crawl was pegged at around $15 million and, while it didn’t fall off as badly as Stuber, it still came up short with $12 million, making it a less than ideal pick.

But I was fairly sure those were both bad anchors when I saw them.  And shortly after last week’s post went live the box office predictions began to sag dramatically, confirming that feeling.

That left Spider-man and Toy Story 4 as likely anchor candidates.  You could get 1x Spider-man and 1x TS4, or 3x TS4 before you had to start working through the filler.

Po, myself, and grannanj went with 3x TS4. while Bhagpuss, Hamster, and Cyanbane anchored on 1x Spider-man and 1x TS4.

With the Saturday and Sunday estimates, Cyanbane had the perfect pick, as he went with all Men in Black for his filler, which looked to be the best performer.  However, when the final numbers came in, Avengers: Endgame stole the best performer title, making the perfect pick 1x Spider-man, 1x TS4, and 6x Avengers: Endgame, and leaving the final scores looking like this:

  1. Too Orangey For Crows – $85,834,456
  2. grannanj’s Cineplex – $79,899,938
  3. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $79,610,550
  4. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $78,930,155
  5. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $78,396,66
  6. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $77,051,493
  7. Goat Water Picture Palace – $62,691,728
  8. Conical Effort – $61,416,139
  9. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $56,409,113
  10. Joanie’s Joint – $47,641,960

In the end, 1x Spider-man and 1x TS4 or 3x TS4 seemed to be on par as anchors.  The top six positions alternate between the two.  The key was filler, and Bhagpuss took the week because he had 3x Avengers: Endgame in his.

Seventh and eighth position were both anchored on 4x Crawl, which put them behind the pack, while ninth and tenth were both anchored on 4x Stuber.  Those two positions were revived a bit because Stuber got the worst performer bonus of $2 million per screen, making them $8 million better than they otherwise would have been.  The bonus for worst performer might be the best thing about this season so far.

That left the season totals looking like:

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – $570,994,029
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $510,045,355
  3. Goat Water Picture Palace – $495,685,430
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $480,480,754
  5. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – $479,074,658
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $468,431,378
  7. Conical Effort – $426,754,991
  8. Joanie’s Joint – $426,127,611
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $421,966,622
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $377,948,475

I managed to keep my lead, while Bhagpuss’ win this week, and Goat’s misfortune, had them swapping places.  Likewise, SynCaine and Joanie’s decisions to anchor on Stuber cost them in the overall ranking.

The alternate scoring looks like this at the end of week six:

  1. Wilhelm’s Qeynosian Kinetoscope – 49
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – 41
  3. Too Orangey For Crows – 38
  4. Miniature Giant Space Hamsterplex – 34
  5. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 33
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 28
  7. grannanj’s Cineplex – 28
  8. Conical Effort – 20
  9. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 18
  10. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 16

I kept my lead going, though this week’s rankings put Bhagpuss and Goat in contention.

So now we get to see what week seven brings.  The lineup is:

  1. Lion King FRI – $481
  2. Lion King SAT – $399
  3. Lion King SUN – $341
  4. Spider-man: Far From Home – $177
  5. Toy Story 4 – $126
  6. Aladdin – $49
  7. Crawl – $43
  8. Stuber – $33
  9. Yesterday – $30
  10. Annabelle Comes Home – $23
  11. The Art of Self-Defense – $18
  12. Midsommar – $16
  13. The Secret Life of Pets 2 – $13
  14. Avengers: Endgame – $11
  15. Men in Black International – $8

What week seven mostly brings is The Lion King. That gets split into three days which, along with the addition of The Art of Self-Defense, pushes Rocketman, John Wick 3, Child’s Play, and Godzilla off the list.

The Lion King is the latest in Disney’s effort to remake their entire animated back catalog into live action pictures.  It may also be the final $100+ movie debut of the summer. (It: Chapter Two, the next big thing on the horizon, opens on the first week of the Fall season.)

Whether or not you feel that the beloved 1994 animated version needed to be remade, this title is well known and being advertised heavily.  Long range forecasts are calling for as much as $200 million currently, which seems a bit crazy. FML, by their pricing, seems to be closer to $165 in its guess.  And even if it falls a bit shy of that, you will have to be pretty contrarian to not anchor on at least one screen of it this week.  Even critic comments like this:

…a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail…

…will probably not bring the movie down.

And then there is The Art of Self-Defense, about which I know little.  The Wikipedia entry on it uses the terms “dark comedy,” “off-kilter,” and “thriller-esque,” but I’m still at sea on it.  FML pricing, a dubious thing on which to hang your hat most weeks, puts it at less than half of Crawl, and Crawl is probably going to drop by 50%,  so maybe $2 million in box office over the three day weekend?

My Monday night gut pick, straight from the FML Cineplex Builder, is FRI, SAT, 1x Aladdin, 2x Midsommar, 3x TSLOP2.  That used up my whole budget, so it must be a winner.  We’ll see if I hold onto that until Thursday night.

If you want to bet against The Lion King, then anchors on 5x Spider-man or 7x TS4 are possible, as well as mixes of the pair.

Anyway, there we go.  The league locks tomorrow night, so get you picks in now.