FML Nerd’s Three Golden Rules

Raise your hand if you have no idea who I am or that I used to write a weekly FML column, host a weekly FML podcast, and am the author of  No offense taken if you’re new enough that you have your hand in the air right now.  I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus but the kind folks at FML still let me contribute when I’m able and the start of a new season seemed like a good time.

After two years and an acquisition, it’s been quite a time to be an FML fan. It also means there’s a lot of data to look at, something we didn’t have that first summer. Specifically, I’ve taken another look at Perfect Cinema (PC) trends and those form the basis of my Three Golden Rules.

For grizzled FML veterans, these will be familiar and may not apply to you if you’ve had a Top 100 finish or been consistently in the Top 500. But if you’re new or still trying to find your way up the overall standings or just want to to better in your private league you could do well by following these suggestions.

Rule #1: Play 4 or Fewer Movies in Your 8 Screens

In two year history of Fantasy Movie League, only four times (3.8%) has the PC contained five different movies and never more than that. Why? The more movies in a cineplex the more complicated the set of circumstances become for them to line up together. It’s a more difficult needle to thread.

This is easily the biggest mistake I see new players make as they often think that they have to have different movies in each screen of their cineplex. In order to take advantage of the Best Performer (BP) bonus, though, and to get better value out of those individual screens, the math supports the notion that you should load up with multiple screens of what you think will take that $2M per screen BP bonus and fill in with others.

Just make sure you don’t have five or more movies across those eight screens. That’s the point at which the math starts to work against you.

Rule #2: No Blank Screens

Only seven times in the past 106 weeks of FML game play has a PC contained a blank screen. One of those, 2016 Awards Week 8, had two. Because you get penalized $2M for each blank screen, in order to justify one you have to believe that one of your other movies will so over perform that it’ll not only make up for the lack of revenue from that screen, but for the penalty as well.

Does it happen? Sure, but history says it’s rare.

Rule #3: Spend at Least FB$950

Of the 106 PCs in FML history, only 11 (10.4%) have spent less than $950. Among those 11 are the four times that playing the same movie on all eight screens was PC. The other seven times spending less than FB$950 earned PC, it was a week with only two films across the eight screens.

The reason why spending less typically does not work out comes back to value. For every FB$1 you don’t spend, you need another film to make up for that deficit. It’s difficult to spend all FB$1000 every week but that FB$950 is roughly the historical inflection point you want to think twice about before going below.

Wanna See For Yourself?

Not everybody has FML API access like I do, so I took the liberty of publishing a GSheet with the data I referenced above. Take a look and see if you can find some other patterns or if you’d like to see other twists on the data, let me know in the comments below and I’ll see what I can do.

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