FML 201: Resources

This is the second in a series of three posts intended to educate new players on different aspects of Fantasy Movie League.  Special thanks to Ari, M37, Butterfield 8, and Phil’s Phun Phlicks for contributing ideas to this entry.

Now that you understand the basic scoring system, the importance of the BP and Perfect Combo bonuses, and the order in which events happen on a weekly basis on FML, this second educational post for new players examines resources you can use to help inform your choices.  This post would not be possible if not for the efforts of one FML player in particular, Butterfield 8, who took the time to compile the first such list in a forum post.  This article is a curation of that original.

Big Resource List

FML – Research Vault
The official resource provided by FML to look at recent numbers on movies relevant to the game and always a good starting point.  This is updated real time, so you can use this to figure out what other users are picking in a given week.

FML – Inside Scoop
Articles and analysis from an FML perspective. Box office breakdowns, my weekly picks, etc.

FML – The Chatter
Interact with your fellow players in a great place to get the weekly buzz and ask questions. More than likely, someone has already done research on some obscure movie coming out that week and is willing to share.

ProBoxOffice.com
News and analysis on all things box office related. On Wednesdays they release their official forecasts for the upcoming weekend.

ShowBuzzDaily
News and analysis on all things box office related. On Wednesdays they release their official forecasts for the upcoming weekend.

BoxOfficeMojo
News and analysis on all things box office related and probably the best source of historical box office data. On Thursdays they release their official forecasts for the upcoming weekend.  Note that this is the best resource for theater counts each week.

The FML Comparator
My online tool for analyzing FML weekly data.  Do you want to see what happens if a particular movie does 13% better or 43% worse than forecasted?  Using this tool you can enter changes to forecasts and see what happens to the BP race and subsequent best combinations.  I usually post a thread on the Chatter explaining what forecast data it is populated with, but it typically has rough data on Monday night and a combination of ProBoxOffice.com and ShowBuzzDaily data on Wednesday evenings.

Deadline
The usefulness of Thursday numbers will be covered in detail in FML 301: Analysis Guidelines, but Deadline is the best source for them. On Friday mornings, usually just one or two hours before the FML screens lock for the weekend, Deadline starts publishing the box office totals for Thursday nights. They’re not the best predictor (as we shall see), but they can give you a feel for if a movie is going to do way better or way worse than your own estimate.

Phil’s Phun Phlicks Weekly Showings Post
Each week on Wednesdays, prominent Chatter poster and top player Phil’s Phun Phlicks usually posts an entry detailing the Friday showings in his local area (Louisville, KY) according to Fandango. For example, here’s his post for Week 1 of the Awards season.  While not statistically significant, because he happens to live in a medium-sized metro area his post can be a good bounds check for certain films.  Few showings is an indicator that a particular film may not do well, although a larger number of showings might not necessarily be an indicator that a film will be a big revenue generator.

M37’s Price Check Post
Similarly, M37 has a weekly post analyzing what he calls the “Bonus Bar”, meaning a starting point to make BP comparisons, for each of the 15 films available a given week. For example, here’s his post for Week 3 of the Awards season.  While not exactly a forecast, this analysis provides a baseline from which conversations frequently arise on The Chatter.

Other stuff
I generally get through my whole week with just what you see above, but there’s lots of other places you can look. ScreenRant, Box Office Guru, Box Office Prophets,  Movie Web, even Entertainment Weekly, will all post box office predictions. Some do it every week. Others only for big releases. There’s more out there as well. If you’re interested, I know there’s info on ticket pre-sales from Fandango and MovieTickets. You can look at likes and mentions on FaceBook and Twitter to get a feel for the buzz of a movie. The Hollywood Stock Exchange ( hsx.com ) is an online game of earning fake money by investing in stocks and bonds related to box office totals. They’ve been around for years and have great tools and predictive info available.

Next Time

Next week, the final entry in this series will be FML 301: Analysis Guidelines.  This post will discuss trends seen in prior seasons, including what kinds of indicators matter when and which ones don’t matter nearly as much.

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