FML Prognosticating — Fall Season Week 06

Each week Jacob mines the Fantasy Movie League chatter for all the data that matters. Listen to the podcast to find out how to join our listener league and compete with other Midnight Warrirors for the coveted FML Champion coffee mug.

WEEK 06: BET ON THE BRONIES

So there’s a thing called “bronies”. These are grown men (and women) who love the children’s cartoon My Little Pony. The show has an active subreddit of about 63,000 users. This week has a blockbuster coming out in Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, but all we can talk about is if the grown fans of a children’s show will treat an animated feature like it’s a Star Wars release.

One of the things I love about Fantasy Movie League is how our focus gets spotlighted on releases that normally most of us would totally overlook. Normally you really don’t have to know much about every single release, much less who the target demographic is. But, when you play FML, you end up visiting the My Little Pony subreddit just get a finger on the pulse of what all these damn bronies are thinking.

I wouldn’t think about that last part too much or you’re going to start trying to invest your time to positively improve your life, and if that time comes from your FML research time, you’re not going to finish very high on the leaderboards and that just sounds awful.


OPENING THIS WEEK

  • Blade Runner 2049 ($838 bux) – This is the clear box office champion of the week, but can a sequel almost 3 decades later really draw enough of a crowd to justify blowing over 80% of your box office on one film? It has the top theater count this week, but IT still has 3,600 screens and is only about 1/6 the price. I can’t recommend playing this one, unforutnately. The risk is too high and so is the bar for BP. The numbers just don’t add up for me.
  • The Mountain Between Us ($150 bux) – This could be a sneaky play if you believe it can steal the BP. It has a much lower bar to cross, but it also has a bad Rotten Tomatoes score to go with it. I think it makes a run at about your 5th best value this week. Unless you’re really creative, I doubt you can find a place for this in your cineplex.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie($126 bux) –  Little girls and bronies are going to fill the seats, even if there are only 2,500 or so theaters. I think this is going to outperform it’s needed $8.8, even if it’s tracking a little low right now. The price tag is perfect to go 7x and pair with a filler film, and you’ll see my pick later.
  • Victoria & Abdul($56 bux) – This is Oscar bait dropping too early and at too high of a price. This will struggle to beat Home Again outright, but it’s on fewer screens and at 4x the cost. You have to avoid it, even if Dame Judy Dench is going to be nominated for Best Actress.
  • The Stray ($17 bux) – This has no reviews as of publication, the audience score isn’t great either, and the theater count is only 640. You have to avoid this one. This will likely be the least played movie of the weekend, but not the least seen.
  • ‘Til Death Do Us Part ($10 bux) – Even if the price tag on this one week old film is $10, it’s not low enough. 30% on Rotten Tomatoes along with an unannounced screen count means it can’t be trusted. This film also was out last week, but still has no Rotten Tomato scores. If you’re daring and you play Blade Runner 2049 you could fill the bottom up with this, but with more compelling filler like Battle of the Sexes and American Assassin, why would you?

DATA DUMP

Cost RT Score RT Audience Bonus Bar Phil’s Fandango Check TC
Blade Runner 2049 $838 90% 99%* $58.7 $635 4,058
The Mountain Between Us $150 53% 96%* $10.5 $235 3,088
IT $143 85% 86% $10.0 $143 3,605
Kingsman: The Golden Circle $133 50% 71% $9.3 $224 3,488
American Made $131 87% 81% $9.2 $212 3,031
My Little Pony: The Movie $126 50% 62%* $8.8 $224 2,528
The LEGO Ninjago Movie $109 51% 55% $7.6 $188 3,611
Victoria & Abdul $56 67% 92%* $3.9 $357 732
Flatliners $44 02% 40% $3.1 $92 2,552
Battle of the Sexes $35 85% 76% $2.2 $160 1,822
American Assassin $26 33% 67% $1.8 $153 1,656
The Stray $17 N/A 73% $1.2 $124 640
Home Again $14 30% 52% $1.0 $121 1,003
Til Death Do Us Part $10 N/A 90%* $0.7 $123 TBD
mother! $9 67% 47% $0.6 $136 481

 

So it’s pretty clear that you have to play 7x of My Little Pony: The Movie. After that, there’s only one movie that gets you close to spending all of your dollars, and it’s The LEGO Ninjago Movie. This all-kids cineplex may seem counter-intuitive, especially on a weekend when Mom and Dad are probably seeing Blade Runner 2049 or The Mountain Between Us. I think this is still the right play because it’s the only cineplex where the numbers add up.

If you play Blade Runner 2049 because you love Ryan Gosling and have endless amounts of faith, I’d say you should fill in with Battle of the Sexes, American Assassin, and mother!. Speaking of, mother! may be the stealth Best Performer due to having a tiny price and bar, but at 481 theaters where most of those are splitting during the day, I don’t think it will. Fine for spending your last $9 bux, and still way better than playing ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

Are you one of the Bronies? Do you want to out yourself in public and explain if My Little Pony: The Movie will really be the breakaway hit? Find me on Twitter @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!