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 Warriors for the coveted FML Champion coffee mug.
WEEK 12: JUSTICE FOR THE DC UNIVERSE?
Are theaters bracing for the worst with Justice League? As of publishing, this film sits at a 37% Rotten Tomato score, down considerably from yesterday when it had a shocking (at the time) 47% fresh rating. This means the DC flagship film is sinking fast. This doesn’t always matter for FML purposes, but this film is priced even higher than Thor: Ragnarok was just two weeks ago.
The really shocking thing to me is the fact that Justice League is landing in fewer theaters than Thor. I’m not talking about on opening night either, I mean this weekend. Yes, two week old Thor is still outpacing Justice League for screens, and on paper that film should be competing with The Avengers, not one of the lesser character flicks.
I don’t even know what to make of it. Either some smaller theaters didn’t want to take the risk, or Warner Brothers just isn’t fighting that hard to get this film out there. Ads have been flooding the internet and television since (from my recollection) the dawn of time at this point. Will that be enough to convince movie-goers to crawl away from their home entertainment systems this week? Let’s find out.
OPENING THIS WEEK
- Justice League ($636/$434/$334 bux) – As I said before the jump, this one isn’t looking great. It should be the obvious anchor, but I’m not sure it’s going to play out like that. Thor had a lower price and no viable alternatives and paired it with really good reviews and word of mouth. This movie is higher priced with more viable alternatives and is burning down on the runway. Personally, I don’t want to risk my season on this film unless I can find the perfect film to pair with it.
- Wonder ($140 bux) – This film could have been called The Elephant Kid, but that won’t deter families from going to see a heartwarming film about inner beauty. With a great big theater count, a good cast, and a favorable price, this is one of the solid picks to take a BP bonus this week. It has no audience overlap with the big films and can be screened 7 times in your cineplex. This is a potential PC anchor.
- The Star ($120 bux) – Even with solid theater counts and a low bar to clear, this film has less buzz around it than the other low price new releases this week. Oprah lends her voice to the film, and could provide an x-factor to the box office. However, with all the other buzzworthy films hitting this week, I think it’s safe to avoid this one for now.
- Lady Bird ($30 bux) – Oh man I love Greta Gerwig. Even if the numbers were terrible I would tell you to play this. However, the numbers look amazing. The 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes certainly isn’t scaring people away, but the 238 screens might, especially when Jigsaw is half the price on 6 times the screens. This one should be treated like an Awards Season film, and assuming a huge PTA. Lady Bird is a possible PC anchor as well.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ($8 bux) – This is almost priced too low. Landing at 53 theaters, you can bet every show will be packed. This is going to get a Moonlight type per theater average and may play in the Oscar running as well. Sporting a 95% fresh rating and starring Francis McDormand, I see no reason not to play this film. The low price, however, does mean it’s possible for this to take the BP bonus but not be featured in the Perfect Cineplex, so there is some risk here as well.
|Cost||RT Score||RT Audience||Bonus Bar||Phil’s Fandango Check||TC|
|FRI: Justice League||$636||37%||98%*||$66.8||$1,346||4,051|
|SAT: Justice League||$434||37%||98%*||$45.6||$1,194||4,051|
|SUN: Justice League||$334||37%||98%*||$35.1||$919||4,051|
|Daddy’s Home 2||$175||16%||64%||$18.4||$315||3,575|
|Murder on the Orient Express||$152||58%||60%||$16.0||$321||3,354|
|A Bad Moms Christmas||$77||28%||52%||$8.1||$221||2,948|
|Boo 2! A Madea Halloween||$9||6%||42%||$0.9||$172||718|
|Blade Runner 2049||$8||87%||81%||$0.8||$302||466|
|Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri||$8||95%||95%||$0.8||$653||53|
This week is so tough because anything could run away and win it all. I personally won’t trust Justice League, but I’m banking on the fact that many FMLers will. Look for some FRI: Justice League / Thor / 6x Three Billboards lineups near the top of the Top 500 list.
I’m going the other direction. Thor: Ragnarok is not done yet, and is sporting a strong set of theaters. It has the strongest direct competition this week, but it’s only the anchor by default. The FMLNerd analyzer spit out the lineup below, and it matches my high expectations on Murder on the Orient Express and Three Billboards. This is the week that will make or break your championship, so don’t trust only me this weekend. Log onto the FML Chatter and put your own finger on the pulse of the FML world.
If you have a lineup that you trust, please tell me about it on Twitter @jakerg23. This week I need your help.