Fantasy Movie League Spring Season Week 1 Picks

Is Awards season over yet?  It is?  That’s a relief. No more holiday weekends and their subsequent week fallouts. No more Super Bowl or awards show weekend distractions, although March Madness awaits. No more award nomination or win bumps, other than this week.

Big congrats to KM for outsmarting everyone to take the Awards season crown and props to Trent for not only an exciting finish but for taking the overall all time lead, as Phil so eloquently chronicled in his article earlier in the week.
I won’t miss the craziness of the Awards season but in a way hope things don’t get too predictable either. During the Fall season, thanks in part to the series of data deep dive articles I published, I refined my model and anticipated it would find a Perfect Cinema around 30% of the time. While that held true once I finalized it during the last three weeks of the Fall season, I could not have been more wrong about the Awards season. Like 0 for 13 wrong.
Still, had you followed my model to the letter like I do from my secondary account, you would have finished in 439th place (98.3%). While that’s not “brag to everyone you know until annoyance sets in” territory it’s more than respectable.  On my primary account I deviated from my model 6 times (although I admittedly took more risks towards the end in an attempt to jump up in the standings) and here’s how that turned out:
AwardsSeasonModelVsMe
Straying from the model based on a disbelief in “Krampus” week 1 hurt me but I made it up later on “The Forrest” in week 6.  I gave ground in week 11 before making it back week 12.  I took that big swing on “Eddie the Eagle” last week from my main account and that obviously didn’t work out so I finished 143rd overall from my main account, more or less on the big win with “The Forrest” and earning rewards for two Perfect Cinemas.  So, as has come up on the podcast recently, it shows how taking just a few calculated risks away from the status quo can work in your favor.
This season, I’m not going to change the model with the hope that the Awards season weirdness is an anomaly but if my model performs that badly two seasons in a row I’ll have to examine my approach.

Week 1 Summary Table

Here is the summary table that I use to assess the results of my model (full table):

SpringWeek1SummaryTable

With no forecast from ShowBuzzDaily as of late night Pacific time, the professional forecasts above is just from ProBoxOffice.com  are shown above.  The Value column divides the Average by the FB$. The Use column applies the average of the Value column to non-forecasted films based on their FB$ and is the full list of what I use in my model.   The PPP Showtimes column is data, courtesy the kind folks at Gracenote who let me use their showtimes API, from the Phil’s Phun Plicks Chatter post on showtimes in his metro area.  I like that number because it is often more revealing than theater counts since the latter doesn’t tell you how often a particular theater might be showing a movie.

That math generates a list of Best Performer (BP) candidates that includes “Eddie the Eagle”, “Zootopia”, and “Triple 9”.

Week 1 Perfect Combo Probabilities

When I plug the Use column into my model (which are also loaded in to the FML Comparator for your use), here’s what it comes up with (full image):

SpringWeek1Probabilities

It’s notable that, I suspect based on the reviews and the strength of the Disney marketing machine, ProBoxOffice.com had a Long Range Forecast for “Zootopia” at $63M but is now forecasting $71M and it wouldn’t surprise me if it exceeded even that.  The downside of being wrong about that seems like it has a high floor, say $56M, but if it completely catches fire and gets to the high $70’s you’d be kicking yourself for not playing it, so I highly recommend leading your lineup with it.

If “Zootopia” fills the top end of your lineup, what should you consider for mid and low fillers?  The probabilities show just how many there are to choose from.

As often happens with movies that have a rough first week, “Eddie the Eagle” tracks to rebound this week and it fits 5 times with “Gods of Egypt” as a mid-level also second week filler.  You could do something similar with “Triple 9” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” or go for “The Revenant” x7 looking for a Leo post-Oscars bump.

You can’t win the Fantasy Movie League Spring season with an incredible first week, but you can sure lose it taking chances that don’t pay off.  With that in mind, I’m going to go with the first line up in the probabilities table with both of my accounts this week, which uses both of the top two Best Performer candidates according to the pro forecasters.  It has the highest average, highest ceiling, and almost the lowest floor among these top model outputs and I like the high showings count for “Eddie the Eagle” relative to its price.  This line up plays it pretty safe for this first week while entertaining the possibility of a surprise “Zootopia” windfall should that materialize.

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