Week 09 FML Recap — Summer Season

Each week Jacob recaps the weekend box office and the winners and losers in the Midnight Warrior Fantasy Movie League.



Why do good things happen to bad movies? I’m not talking about bad movies, I’m talking about really bad movies. Transformers: The Last Knight managed to trick just enough viewers into trading some of their hard-earned income for admission into a movie that is at 15% on the Tomatometer. Ultimately, when the price is $6 in FML, you really only need a few people to see a “blockbuster” in its 9th week to slouch away with a Best Performer bonus.

Girls Trip, on the other hand, is riding good reviews into a nice box office haul so far. Expect this one to keep going and going. In fact, I’m betting on it again this week. I’m also going to bet on Despicable Me 3 to repeat as well, but more on all of that a little later.

My anchor pick for the article last week was Spider-man: Homecoming. He didn’t quite capture Best Performer as I expected, but he finished a respectable third. I’m not sure why this movie isn’t doing just a little better, but my best guess is that Wonder Woman is drawing in the slackers who would have seen Spider-man by now. We’ll see in a few weeks as the lady with the invisible jet flies off into the sunset.

As for the Midnight Warriors league, Lacy’s I Smell Cineplex and Candy has pulled off yet another victory as she is clawing her way back up the ladder towards School of Rock. These two heavyweight cineplexes are within $2 million of each other and repeating as a two-time champion.

Also of note, Chris’s Biff’s Fantasy Movie League Almanac managed to spend his whole $1,000 bux and end up second to last. He would have pulled off his “worst $1,000 cineplex” feat if not for All My Worms in One Can who stole last place with 8 screens of Despicable Me 3. If you have your own gimmick that I haven’t picked up on yet, you’ll have to announce it in our league’s Chatter on FML so we all can follow along.


Four new releases this week, and I don’t trust any of them. Let’s find out why:

  • The Dark Tower ($343) – Only in about 3,400 theaters, this film has been getting a lot of buzz from the book readers who loved the Stephen King source material. The only bad news is: this movie apparently stinks. Will the literary crowd be enough to propel this into the Perfect Cineplex? Or is this just a Sutter Cane level disaster waiting to happen?
  • Detroit ($167) – This well-reviewed drama is getting a massive expansion this week to over 3,000 theaters. This is great news if you think Americans are eager to escape their world of concerns about police and race relations in American cities to see a film about police and race relations in an American city. This doesn’t say “smash hit” to me, and the reviews won’t be enough to convince a summer crowd to skip a superhero movie and see a drama, especially just a few weeks after Dunkirk. But, the price is compelling, so play at your own risk.
  • Kidnap ($63) – The pitch to play this: it only costs $63 bux and you get in 2,378 theaters. The pitch not to play this: the title, the cast, the trailer, the plot, and everything else in the world. Will the “dare you” price from the FML pricing team convince you to go 2x Dunkirk / 6x Kidnap? Without good preview numbers, I think you stay far away from this.
  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power ($13) – This film is only in 180 theaters, but you can bet it’s the 180 theaters in the bluest states and cities in the country. Will this Al Gore documentary on climate change draw audiences in again to hear what they already know? On more screens, I might take the risk, but I don’t see this taking the bonus this week.

So, where does that leave us? I’m banking on Girls Trip continue to outperform its price. I know this is the third week in a row I’ll be anchoring with this, but I think it still has an audience who wants to see it. This backs me into a corner on the filler. I don’t think Valerian and the Title of a Thousand Words will do well enough to earn a spot… so I’m betting on Despicable Me 3 and The Big Sick to keep putting up solid numbers. This is a hedge play for sure, but I just don’t know a better way to compete this week before preview numbers come out.

If you want tips on Perfect Cineplexes plus Edgar Wright re-tweets, follow me @jakerg23.

It’s never too late to join in on the action! Sign up now and compete to be next weekend’s box office champion!