Fantasy Movie League 2016 Fall Week 3 Picks

Another active weekend chatter post, this time started by Metatron, yielded some interesting statistics about wisdom of the crowd.  Specifically, what place would you have finished if you played the Most Popular cineplex each week?  Ignoring for a moment that you can’t know what that cineplex is until after the submittal deadline each week (or even the following Monday when it is published), analyzing this shows something about how the Fantasy Movie League player base has evolved over time.

First, the raw numbers.  If you played the Most Popular cineplex each week for the first five FML seasons, here’s what your score would be:

– Summer ’15: $1,979,184.272
– Fall ’15: $1,105,260,808
– Awards ’15: $1,180,473,233
– Spring ’16: $1,088,940,048
– Summer ’16: $1,422,205,103

What does that mean in terms of placing?  None other than Summer ’16 winner Billion Dollar Cineplex took it upon himself to dig deep on that after another of others helped crowdsource the answer:

– Summer ’15: 228th
– Fall ’15: 188th
– Awards ’15: 436th
– Spring ’16: 455th
– Summer ’16: mid-600s

Note how that placement number keeps rising.  Is that because there are more players or because players are becoming more savvy and finding their own nuanced ways to get ahead?  That is unclear but what is obvious is that you can be competitive following the crowd (or, arguably, me) but to get the big prize you need to be unafraid of doing your own thing.

Week 3 Summary Table

As always, here is the summary table that I use to assess the results of my model (see the full table at


Week 3 Perfect Combo Probabilities

When I plug the Use column into my model (which are also loaded in to the FML Lineup Calculator for your use), here’s what it comes up with (see the full output at


Both and ShowBuzzDaily like “Bridget Jones’s Baby” so it is the leading contender for Best Performer (BP) this week.  Thursday preview numbers will be tough to come by to validate this forecast with, but the best I could come up with is the R-rated comedy “Sisters”, which did $770K on its way to $13.9M last December.  I’m not super excited about that comp, though, since “Bridget” is a different kind of comedy in a very different time of year.

The most likely film to make a run at “Bridget” for BP is “Blair Witch”, which would have to get up over $27M in order to surpass “Bridget” at $13.75M.  That’s awfully high for a moderately reviewed entry in a horror franchise that the public wasn’t exactly chanting for, but the Thursday preview comparison I like is “Saw 3D”, which brought in $1.7M on its way to $22.5M.  If “Bridget” really does get to $13.75M, on Friday morning the “Blair Witch” Thursday preview number better start with a 2 or else I’m sticking with the romantic comedy.

Unless, of course, “Sully” can have a second big weekend.  The question there is, how much of a 9/11 patriotism bump did the Tom Hanks led film get last weekend when it overperformed to $35M?  “Sully” would have to do better than the 36% drop “Captain Philips” saw in its second week in order to rival “Bridget” at $13.75M.

How about “Hillsong – Let Hope Rise”?  A smaller release in less than 900 theaters, it would need to bring in well over $4M to compete with that “Bridget” $13.75M number, which doesn’t seem likely.

So, unless you seriously doubt “Bridget Jones’s Baby”, you’re looking for fillers on your 4x “Bridget” cineplex.  For that, look very closely at theater counts (from BoxOfficeMojo) and showtimes (from me, courtesy Gracenote) on Thursday.  The pros like “Don’t Breathe” and “Kubo” but as of Wednesday evening, I like “Suicide Squad”.  If it holds onto 2800 or so theaters, it would continue to drop percentage-wise close to “Guardians of the Galaxy” and have a shot at a sub 40% drop.  That would make it a no-brainer filler with three screens, leaving you to choose among several low end fillers to round out your cineplex.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s