FML Prognosticating — Fall Season Week 10

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.


Why do we let Wal-Mart determine when the Christmas season starts? Every year they push the Christmas section up earlier and earlier in the year. On Halloween night, I saw the section full of Christmas candy already out for eager shoppers. That’s all fine for retail, but do you really want to drop your Christmas movie before you’ve even eaten all the Halloween candy?

STX Entertainment is betting that you’re fine with sneaking black and orange candy into a Christmas movie, so it’s dropping A Bad Moms Christmas on November 3. That’s too early for me. I couldn’t tell if this was when Christmas movies always came out, or if I just wanted to be angry. Here’s some research:

Movie Release Date
Miracle on 34th Street May 2, 1947
Die Hard July 12, 1988
Elf Nov 7, 2003
The Santa Clause Nov 11, 1994
Home Alone Nov 16, 1990
Jingle All The Way Nov 16, 1996
A Christmas Story Nov 18, 1983
Bad Santa Nov 26, 2003
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Dec 1, 1989
Its a Wonderful Life Dec 25, 1946

Now it’s unlikely that any of that will help you set your lineup, but it goes to show that release date really doesn’t matter when it comes to making a classic Christmas film. Now, it may affect the box office numbers, which is what we really care about. For that one, A Bad Moms Christmas is not up against the calendar as much as it’s up against the TV show we pay $12 per episode to see on a really big TV: Marvel Cinematic Universe S3:E2.


  • Thor: Ragnarok ($479/$443/$300 bux) – Well obviously this one is going to make money. Unless you think A Bad Moms Christmas is going to steal BP, it’s going to be in the Perfect Cineplex. Plus, I think it’s going to take the BP bonus for itself. The question is: what day do you trust? I could see a case for just taking the Friday or Saturday anchor and stacking something lower down on the list to take BP, but I tried and I can’t find a lineup that works. The only thing I trust is Sunday with its budget price.
  • A Bad Moms Christmas ($201 bux) – I don’t care about projections or LRFs. I think this movie is shaping up to be a disappointment. The good news is that it’s not a bomb and it will be a sleeper FML hit in about 3 weeks. The bad news is you can’t play it this week. It’s at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has a bad audience score to boot. With the fear about Rotten Tomatoes killing movies being, in my opinion, a real thing, I’m looking for this to bomb out until Thanksgiving when families just want something to go see after a long day of turkey and shopping.


Cost RT Score RT Audience Bonus Bar Phil’s Fandango Check TC
FRI: Thor: Ragnarok $479 94% 99%* $47.9 $816 4,080
SAT: Thor: Ragnarok $443 94% 99%* $44.3 $981 4,080
SUN: Thor: Ragnarok $300 94% 99%* $30.0 $664 4,080
A Bad Moms Christmas $201 27% 58% $20.1 $291 3,615
Jigsaw $71 33% 95% $7.1 $156 2,941
Boo 2! A Madea Halloween $46 07% 44% $4.6 $152 2,202
Geostorm $27 15% 44% $2.7 $90 2,666
Happy Death Day $26 69% 68% $2.6 $85 2,180
Blade Runner 2049 $23 88% 81% $2.3 $183 1,464
Thank You for Your Service $22 78% 77% $2.2 $86 2,084
Only the Brave $21 90% 93% $2.1 $159 2,073
The Foreigner $20 60% 77% $2.0 $139 1,456
IT $18 85% 85% $1.8 $127
Suburbicon $16 26% 24% $1.6 $82 2,046
Victoria & Abdul $14 66% 72% $1.4 $165 793


So I already spilled the beans about SUN-Thor. Play it 3 times and then just play the filler lottery for the rest. I said on the podcast that I thought Happy Death Day / 2x Blade Runner 2049 / 2x Victoria & Abdul would make up the perfect cineplex. Now that theater counts are out I just can’t stay with that.

I think Thank You for Your Service is a stealth play for Best Performer and will be the highest $/bux of the filler films. Play whatever you want at the very bottom, but I’m going with IT and Suburbicon. Neither are very good plays, but Victoria & Abdul isn’t on enough screens to compete with the others.

If you want to tell me thank you for my service, find me on Twitter @jakerg23.

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