Week 2 of the 2015 Fantasy Movie League Awards Season brings us only a single new release, “In the Heart of the Sea”, but a rush of new players thanks to the contest being run in conjunction with our friends at “The View” that features a trip to the Oscars as its top prize. If you are one of those new players, welcome! You’ll find FMLers to be a friendly, albeit competitive, group that is quick to answer questions in The Chatter. Be sure to read the first article in my three part new players guide that ran earlier this week FML 101: Scoring, Bonuses, and Weekly Calendar as well.
After a Week 1 that saw returning movies suffer from a post-Thanksgiving hangover, “Krampus” exceeded expectations to become the Best Performer (BP) and gifted players that selected it with the coveted extra $2M per screen. It also anchored the Perfect Combination and its additional $5M bonus, which only 11 players found. With the behemoth of the movie world on the horizon next week, let’s take a closer look at potential plays for Week 2.
Week 2 Perfect Combo Probabilities
As I do each week in this space, I plugged an average of the professional forecasts from ProBoxOffice.com and ShowBuzzDaily into my mathematical model to find which set of potential combinations to consider playing. Historical data suggests that the BP will come from the top 6 BP candidates given those averages, which this week are “Brooklyn”, “Spotlight”, “The Good Dinosaur”, “Peanuts”, “Spectre”, and “The Night Before”.
Those averages are what are now loaded into my FML Comparator tool, which you are free to apply your own thinking to but if you automate typical forecast variances, you get the following table (view full image):
When applied to the full history of FML weeks, my model finds the Perfect Combination about 30% of the time and the Perfect Combination is among the top 10 choices 56% of the time. So what do all these numbers tell us?
The first thing you have to decide this week is which larger grossing film you feel more strongly about between “The Good Dinosaur” and “Mockingjay”. The professional forecasts have “The Good Dinosaur” dropping 31.15% from last week and it is now in its third week in release. The comparable I’ve been using for that film is 2014’s “Penguins of Madagascar” since they are both animated films that came out on Thanksgiving weekend. In it’s third week “Penguins” dropped 33.9%, but had a slightly lower Rotten Tomatoes review score so read into that what you will.
Although just out of the running as a BP candidate this week, “Mockingjay” remains a solid play at the top of certain candidates that are filled out by smaller grossing BP possibilities. The two “Mockingjay” predecessors both came out on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving and averaged a fourth week drop of 45% while the series finale is forecasted to drop 41.14% by the pros.
Next, you have to decide what other film to pair one of those first two among several BP candidates. Both “Spotlight” and “Brooklyn” are in their sixth week of release and while that wouldn’t be unheard of, most BP’s are in their fourth week of release or earlier. While most films saw drops above 40% last week in reaction to the Thanksgiving movie hangover, these two held pretty strong in the mid 30%’s. As FMLer bswhite1970 pointed out in a Chatter thread, both films are showing a slight increase in projected revenue do to presumed increases in theater counts during this lull week prior to the new “Star Wars” release.
Then there’s “Peanuts”, which has the highest BP score based on the averaged forecasts and a drop from last week of 26.61%. Compare that to other films that opened in November versus Bond movies and that might be aggressive for a sixth week of release.
That all adds up to a tough call this week, especially if you don’t like “The Good Dinosaur” given some of that uncertainty around “Spotlight”, “Brooklyn”, and “Peanuts”. I’ll make my final decision from my “use some common sense” account based in part on the BoxOfficeMojo forecast that comes out Thursday afternoon while my “strictly by the model” account will be playing that top item. Good luck to everyone this week and in “The View” contest as well!