Fantasy Movie League Fall ’15 Week 13 Picks

The final week of the Fantasy Movie League Fall ’15 season has yet another twist: Thanksgiving.  Three new films open this week on Wednesday in anticipation of our only annual 4-day weekend here in the U.S. and the watching trends change slightly because of it.

First, let’s be clear on the rules this week, which in bullet point 7 state that Thanksgiving weekend is NOT among those that contain extra days.  That means that even though all new films open on Wednesday, only Friday/Saturday/Sunday count for FML scoring purposes.  Similarly, the forecasts given by both and ShowBuzzDaily are 3-day forecasts (although the latter also gave a 5-day).

But that begs the question as to whether or not there is any extra information to be gleaned from two days of higher movie attendance that precede days the scoring is based on.  Over the last 3 years, here are the movies that have opened on Wednesday of Thanksgiving weekend and what the percentage of their 5-day take has occurred on each day:


Animated movies do slightly better overall but their daily percentage breakdown doesn’t differ all that much from others and somewhere around 72% of weekend in this small sample takes place Friday/Saturday/Sunday.  Use or ignore as you see fit.

Week 13 Perfect Combo Probabilities

This week, putting the professional forecasts in my model renders the following table:

Week 13 Probabilities

The top 6 Best Performer candidates, based on the professional forecasts, are “Peanuts”, “Love the Coopers”, “Spectre”, “Spotlight”,  and “Creed”.  Most of those are lower priced options, so the model likes “Creed” to lead most lineups either because of its Best Performer potential or its ability to fill in with larger raw box office for other candidates.

“Peanuts” is a curious play here given direct competition with the release of “The Good Dinosaur”, but that’s what the math spits out given the pricing and the forecasts.  “Love the Coopers” has just a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and in it’s third week of release it isn’t an unknown quantity you can talk grandma into going to see when the long weekend seems longer on Friday afternoon.  “Spotlight” was Best Performer last week and rarely do we see films go back-to-back.  Is “Creed” a refreshing reboot or another entry in a tired franchise?

That’s a long way of saying that when I apply some common sense to what the math says, there are warts on all the candidates except “Spectre”.  As promised several weeks ago when regression tests on my model put some polish on it, on my alternate account I’ll be playing the #1 combination in the table above but for my main account I’m going to wait and see how Wednesday and Thursday numbers play out before making a decision.  That third entry in the table, with a heavy reliance on “Spectre” has some merit depending upon how big the warts are on the other candidates.

Your choice is up to you, but those are some things to think about.  Enjoy the long weekend if you are in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving!

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