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 08: ONLY THE BRAVE WILL SEE GEOSTORM

This week looks like flop central. I’ve seen news stories already calling The Snowman a massive failure. One review called it the “cinematic equivalent of hypothermia.” Yet, it does star Michael Fassbender, who commands a cult following due to his incredible acting skills. Also, the movie is called The Snowman, which is totally dumb in any month except October. All that being said, this might not even be the main bomb for the week.

Geostorm has already been declared the loser to Boo 2! A Madea Halloween before the first person has entered a screening of either. Geostorm cost $15 million in reshoots alone, or what we like to call “the cost of Get Out and Split and Happy Death Day put together.” Deadline.com is reporting first weekend earnings of $10-$12 million, or what we like to call “10-12% of what those three movies opened at put together.”

But, none of that really matters in Fantasy Movie League terms. The only thing that sets expectations is the price as determined by the guys behind the scenes at FML. So let’s dive in and find out if you should trust any of these bombs to anchor your cineplex.

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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 07: TO KILL A MARSHALL-BIRD

It’s October, so you’ve probably been seeing black and orange everywhere. Unless you’re a Cincinatti Bengals fan (and if you are, may God have mercy on you) then that can only mean one thing: Halloween. No, not the movie we just reviewed, the actual holiday. When people star seeing skeletons and black cats, they also start seeing scary movies.

Only one other day draws in horror fans like Halloween, and that’s Friday the 13th. No, not the movie we’re never going to review, I mean when the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday. Well, this week we see an October Friday the 13th, so get ready to roll out your horror movies, even if it is a $5 million dollar Blumhouse film.

If you want to know if you should play Happy Death Day you’ll have to keep reading. It’s possible some other movie, let’s say set in the future, or in a toy ninja world, could have good enough numbers to make you play against the scary Groundhog Day knockoff. You’re going to be extra mad when you realize I don’t give an answer and also you have to read this article over and over for eternity until you achieve self-actualization or solve your own murder (whichever comes first).

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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.

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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 05: ALL MY AMERICAN ASSASSINS ARE AMERICAN MADE

Fall always seems to be a hard season. It’s not awards season level hard, but some of those award films start creeping forward. Movies like Wind River sit out there for weeks collecting great reviews and you just never know when they’re going to pop and put up an amazing week.

Right alongside these are movies like American Assassin and American Made. They’re different movies, but they both feel like movies that just didn’t make the cut for summer. They aren’t bad enough to stash for Spring, but they aren’t good enough to make it to summer, and they’ll never win any awards. I don’t want to see these movies, and I’m not sure who does. I’m probably biased against them, but I’ll try to hide all my biases for this article.

Well, except for biases for my silver screen crush, who even looks good in a 70s tennis skirt… but more on that later.

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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 04: WHEN WE ALL GO WHERE NINJAGO

When lots of new movies drop at once, it throws a crazy wrench in the FML lineup process. When a third of the movies are new and the anchors are probably priced too high and the fillers priced too low, you have a recipe for a “moving week”. Besides the fact that I don’t particularly trust any of these anchors, the close pricing on the low-end means I don’t foresee a single dominant lineup in the Top 500 report unless we get some really strong preview numbers.

I’m going to do my best just to lay out information and let you put your chips anywhere on the roulette wheel you feel comfortable. If you’re doing well, this might be a good week to just hedge your bets. If you’re in my spot, you might be more tempted to bet on a LEGO brand and call it a day.

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Each week Jacob mines the Fantasy Movie League chatter for all the data that matters. Join our FML league to compete with other Midnight Warrirors for the coveted FML Champion coffee mug.

TULIP FEVER: THE KIND THAT CAN’T BE MEASURE BY DEGREES

We’re testing out a change of format here at War Starts at Midnight. We’ll still be doing weekly FML articles, but instead of reviewing the last week and giving a rundown of our Midnight Warrior league, we’re going to focus on predicting what’s happening in the upcoming week. I’ll still give previews of each and every new release, but I’m also going to give a summary of all the data I look at when making my choices this year.

Finally, I’m going to make an FML account to play my preview lineup, just so you can hold me accountable for when I decide to screen some awful bottom of the barrel movie 8 times. Like this week, when I inevitably pick Birth of the DragonYeah, it might happen. Especially on a 4 day Labor Day FML weekend. What a way to open up the sure-to-be-confusing mess that will be Fall 2017.

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

 

WEEK 12 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Week 12 was not my finest week, but at least give me the chance to put it in perspective. Yes, I did finish dead last in our league, only earning about half of our first place gurus. Yes, I banked on the worst performer of the week, playing Logan Lucky on 5 screens, and, yes, I left a screen blank in order to fit that fifth Logan. But, I was in full aggression mode to catch the first place duo and I had a lot of faith in the heist film. The trailer was great, the reviews were great, and everybody was sleeping on it in the Chatter. So I went for it, and I’m still in third place in our league for the season. At least I can say I’m not dumb enough to try something like that again.

As for movies that didn’t suck last week, apparently, The Emoji Movie earned more than the 75 cents I expected it to make last week. It barely won out over its Perfect Cineplex mate The Hitman’s Bodyguard. I can’t understand why anybody would go and see either of these movies, so you can see why this illogical cineplex totally escaped me. Please leave a comment telling me why anybody would have gone to these last weekend. At least I see the appeal in Despicable Me 3. The other ones just boggle my mind. I feel a lot like Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old Men.

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

 

WEEK 11 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

You may have noticed I skipped the Week 10 roundup last week. I was on a 9 day trip to the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. As we all know, the hardest part about vacations is finding a way to get your Fantasy Movie League lineup set correctly. One of the great things about this game is that it happens every single Friday of the year, but that is also what makes having a great season so hard. The last time I was out of town, I trusted It Comes At Night whose terrible performance put me impossibly far behind in the first week of this season. This time I managed to do a little better.

I may not have known that Annabelle: Creation was the third film in a series, or even that this series existed, but I knew it was going to be the anchor and BP winner this week. I even knew The Glass Castle was the next filler. But, using the cell phone, I never realized that I had enough money to play War far the Planet of the Apes, so I finished with three screens of Wonder Woman. If I only put my number in FMLNerd’s lineup calculator, I would have had my third Perfect Cineplex of the season.

Remember, plan your vacations (and all of your Friday mornings) around finding that perfect lineup. Keep your priorities in order, folks.

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

 

WEEK 09 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

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.

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

 

WEEK 08 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

On Friday night, I broke one of my cardinal rules of movie-going, namely the one where I never go to Friday night movies, especially to see a movie coming out that weekend. Well, Christopher Nolan is enough to motivate me to leave the war bunker and go out amongst the common folk.

Before the movie, I saw a crowd of people outside of one of the theaters just milling around. It took a few minutes, but I realized they were waiting for the staff to clean out the prior screening of Girls Trip so they could go in immediately and score good seats. After my mind (and eardrums) were blown away by Dunkirk, I put on my MCU civilian disguise and went back out into the world. What did I see? A group of about 30 women in matching white t-shirts that had been printed with some slogan. These women came out in a big group just to see Girls Trip.

Anecdotal evidence isn’t always worth anything, but I left the AMC happy as hell that I had maxed out Girls Trip. Also, The Big Sick did really well, but I can’t say that I saw any groups in Cricut printed shirts proclaiming their love for Kumail.

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