Fantasy Movie League Fall ’15 Week 9 Picks

As a result of Halloween falling on a Saturday, box office revenues are predicted to fall off as a whole this weekend meaning that bonuses are likely to take on a much larger percentage of Fantasy Movie League scores as we head into the final stretch of the Fall Season.  In reaction to the low crowds anticipated, Hollywood gives us just three new films this week and none of them is expected to bring in huge numbers.  How does the battle for Best Performer shake out?  First let’s take a look at past performance of this variance simulation I’ve been transparent about the past two weeks.

Weeks 7 and 8 Variance Simulation Performance

As I explained during my Week 7 picks article, I’ve been using a pretty nerdy variance simulator for awhile to narrow choices each week and the past two weeks I’ve published its output as part of my weekly picks article.  On my blog, Billion Dollar Cineplex suggested I recap how that has gone and this section makes that wish come true.

In Week 7, the Perfect Combination was 2x “Goosebumps” + 2x “Sicario” + 2x “Black Mass” + 2x “War Room”, which was 10th most likely to win according to my variance simulation, which that week used ProBoxOffice.com forecasts only and set variances to +10%/-20%.  The second most likely combination was also the most widely played, by 233 people and used 2x “Goosebumps” + 2x “Sicario” + 3x “The Visit” + 1x “War Room” and was narrowly defeated for the Perfect Combination.

Last week, the Perfect Combination was 7x “Bridge of Spies” + 1x “Woodlawn”, which was also the most popular combination when 688 people used it.  On my variance simulation table, this combination showed up as third most likely to win.

Again, don’t take the numbers produced as gospel but as a set of guidelines.  They show what can happen if the top 8 Best Performer candidates perform within expected variances but we know that roughly 25% of films (and more for new releases) will not perform within expected variances, which is where the fun of guessing comes into play.  Last week, for example, when “Jem and the Holograms” performed well below expectations it opened the door for other combinations to be successful.

Week 9 Perfect Combo Probabilities

With all that as background, here’s the table that gets produced this week when using the professional forecasts.  The three new films are from ShowBuzzDaily, “The Intern” and “Crimson Peak” were only forecasted by ProBoxOffice.com, 7 films were forecasted by both and averaged, and the average value was used for the films not forecasted by either:

Week 9 Probabilities

As we saw in a data article recently, odds are that the Best Performer will come from one of the top 4 candidates and the variance simulation shows this putting emphasis on “Crimson Peak”, “The Intern”, “Bridge of Spies”, and “The Martian”.  But it is a tough call to choose between them.

“Crimson Peak” and “The Intern” are both expected to earn less than $3M this weekend, meaning if either gets the $3M Best Performer bonus their contribution to your overall score will double.  The flip side of that argument, though, is that if you go all in on one of them and it doesn’t get Best Performer, your score will shrink significantly.  That adds up to a higher risk/reward for the pair.

“Bridge of Spies” looks a little safer with its estimated weekend around $9M, but no film has ever won Best Performer in back to back weeks.  Is that because of how the FML statisticians have wanted it to be or is there something to that phenomenon?

“The Martian” might be the most conservative choice for Best Performer this week, both professional forecasts think it will come in at $11.8M, but it is the highest priced option of the four candidates.

So, which one do you choose?  Do you hedge between them?  Difficult choices abound in a down week.

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