Fantasy Movie League Spring Season Week 4 Picks

Wait, is it summer already?  Last week I was confused into thinking it was still Awards season and this week we already have a huge comic book blockbuster to consider for our Fantasy Movie League screens.  The reason for this has more to do with studio posturing than anything else and while it worries me for subsequent weeks that “Batman v Superman” had its release date changed twice, it figures to have a huge weekend regardless of how good a film it ends up being.  The third split day movie in Fantasy Movie League history, it also has a holiday weekend to contend with (excellently chronicled by M37 earlier this week) although not one that will use Monday for its weekend total.

Still, from a Fantasy Movie League perspective this weekend may end up being less about The Dark Knight v The Man of Steel and more about Gidget v Jesus.

Week 4 Summary Table

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

SpringWeek4SummaryTable

With ShowBuzzDaily on hiatus, the table looks a little different this week and for the foreseeable future.  ProBoxOffice.com  features more prominently in the analysis now and the Value column divides their forecast 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.  Week of release refers to how many weeks a film has been out in theaters, an important number given that pro forecasts are weaker for the first and fifth weeks (or later).

That math generates a list of Best Performer (BP) candidates that includes “Hello, My Name is Doris”, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”, “Miracles from Heaven”, and all three “Batman v Superman” options.

Week 4 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):

SpringWeek4Probabilities

The volatility of the BP candidates makes this an especially difficult week.  If you go strictly by the ProBoxOffice.com forecasts, the best play is “Batman v Superman” Saturday, “Batman v Superman” Sunday, and 6x “Hello, My Name is Doris” with the latter starring Sally Field taking BP.  However, as my model output shows, when you run all the permutations where the top BP candidates vary +/- 15%, the most common winner was “Batman v Superman” Friday, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”, “10 Cloverfield Lane” and 5x “Hello, My Name is Doris”.  That combination gives you more chances at BP but as the output shows that combination has a lower ceiling, average, and floor than the strict ProBoxOffice.com forecasted choice.

There is risk, of course, with betting big on “Doris” given that it is in a small number of theaters, which will limit its upside.  It only needs to get over $1M, though, all other forecasts being equal, for it to be BP.  Should “Doris” falter, the forecasts and the model like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” x5 with “Allegiant” and 2x “Doris” but that has its own risks given the number of years since the original, the bad reviews, and unusual long, slow rise of its predecessor.

But consider the other sleeping option that the summary table tells us to think about: “Risen”.  Everywhere in the model output you see “Doris” you could make an argument to screen “Risen” instead.  It is in its 5th week, which is notoriously difficult to forecast and it dropped off the ProBoxoffice.com radar this week.  It has more showings on Phil’s report for Louisville (and has more in my zip code a well), is priced exactly the same as “Doris”, and is literally about Easter, which is Sunday.

As always, I’ll play the top combination from the model output on my “model only” account, but I’m far less certain about my main account with so many things to think about.  I don’t often put as much weight on theater counts as I will this week when choosing between “Risen” and “Doris” but feel better about “Batman v Superman” Friday than I do the other two days given the lukewarm reviews.

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