Fantasy Movie League 2016 Fall Week 12 Picks

I’m happy to say I’ve reached a bit of a milestone this week, as on my main blog this is my 100th post!  Now in that original post I did correctly identify the Best Performer for Week 9 of the 2015 Summer season but the article took on a very different look than what my weekly selections have evolved to now.  Before the Lineup Calculator existed in any form I had the first version of my model back then, what I verbosely referred to as “my nerdy bin packing Monte Carlo simulator”.  It is a little mind blowing that I’m about to embark on the third version of that software here in the next month or so and how bad an idea it seems like now in retrospect to randomly assign variances to the set of weekly movies.

I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to provide me feedback over the last 18 months, both positive and negative.  This column and the math/software behind it are a constant work in progress and without your commentary it would become stagnant, never improving.  I love how the community here constantly pushes itself (and, by extension, me) to be better at this challenging game and I look forward to a whole lot more of it.

As our society in general has become more polarized and resorted to name calling on a regular basis, I take solace in the knowledge that this group of people playing a silly little game, more times than not, encourages one another in a very friendly way.  Keep that up, please.  I, for one, absolutely need it.

Week 12 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 12 Perfect Combo Probabilities


Buzz in the Chatter is that ShowBuzzDaily may still come back, so I’m going to keep the model as is for now and simply enter blank forecasts for them., however, loves “Arrival”, “The Accountant”, and “Hacksaw Ridge” as holdovers and the model output reflects that.  They like those three films much better than I do, though.

If any movie got a boost out of the pseudo holiday weekend it was “Hacksaw Ridge” so repeating that performance without the patriotic spark seems unlikely to me.  Similarly, “The Accountant” has had a nice set of holds, but a 30% drop would be its best yet.  Finally, “Arrival” seems to be in the love-it-or-hate-it kind of movie given reaction to it in the Chatter, so a 35% drop seems a little aggressive to me.  If you like those forecasts, you can see above where how you should set your lineups, but if you are as skeptical as I am, keep reading.

Discounting each of those films by another 5-7% drop and what pops up next is the attractiveness of a 4x “Trolls” lineup.  While it also benefitted from a Veterans Day bump last week and may see some decline based on the too-expenseive-except-for-one-corner-case “Fantastic Beasts and Were to Find Them”, a 39% drop is a little more reasonable for really the only kids movie still in the marketplace.  But what do you put with 4x “Trolls”?

The determining factor there is the “Moonlight” theater count.  I’m not sure what EVERYWHERE means, but if it means 300 you can justify it 3x and several middle fillers.  What if EVERYWHERE means 500 and you think “Moonlight” will go over $3M?  That’s the lone case where the latest Harry Potter installment makes sense with one screen of “Beasts” and 7x of “Moonlight”.  As always, though, with only two movies, one of which is entirely dependent upon the Best Performer bonus to provide value, that is a risky lineup.

So, what if the “Moonlight” theater count is low again?

That’s where “The Accountant” can provide you some value by putting three screens of it with a screen of “Hacksaw Ridge” to go with that 4x “Trolls” anchor.  “Almost Christmas” fits as a substitute for “Hacksaw Ridge” there, but there’s more obvious upside to the war movie there.

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