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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

 

WEEK 07 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Another week, another first for Fantasy Movie League. This time, we see “Best of the Rest” finally take a Best Performer bonus, as the billionth week of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 zombies its way from the depths into a $2 million bonus. I feel like this sort of performance would make Yondu very, very happy.

Despicable Me 3  showed only a 42% drop in its third week and powered through to a third place finish in the box office. This $19.4 million, however, was enough at its $201 bux price to make it the big anchor of the week. Rounding out the Perfect Cineplex was the action film of the summer: Baby Driver. Look at its 33% drop from last week, we can see that this highly reviewed film is going to have legs wheels for at least a few more weeks. But can it find a place in this week’s Perfect Cineplex?

Continue reading

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

 

WEEK 06 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

I came so close to giving out great advice last week. I nailed the Best Performer in Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big SIck, and I got half of the Spider-man: Homecoming anchor right. I only missed thinking Saturday + The Big Sick would net more than Friday + Pirates of the Caribbean. All in all, I call that a victory in prediction.

My main flaw was not realizing that Friday’s Spider-man was going to include Thursday previews of $15.4 million, which was much more than I expected. That’s what I get for waiting until Sunday morning to see the movie myself and not realizing on Thursday night how massive of a hit the film would prove to be.

For a micro-review, I’ll just say I’m updating my villain list to Loki, Vulture, Ego, and in that order. Note: I don’t consider Bucky to be a villain or he would be in the mix. This movie is better than it has any right to be, and will end up being the definitive on-screen portrayal of this New York icon for the next few generations. Well, until the face under the suit is Miles Morales.

Continue reading

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

 

WEEK 05 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Did you overthink this week like I overthought this week? I knew Baby Driver would run the other movies off the road, but I didn’t expect it to outperform everything by this much. I thought leaving $120 in the bank would tank the cineplex, so I went with a screen of Transformers: The Last Knight. This was good for second place, but it doesn’t match the 1,982 cineplexes that went all in on the creative car flick.

It’s hard to be insightful when a major film blows away the competition and posts the highest $ per bux ratio since The Shack  in Spring Week 01, but let’s talk about how well 47 Meters Down continues to do. The FML pricing team is either underselling this picture, or it’s outperforming every single week. Sticking at $125K/bux, we may see this Mandy Moore flick find its way into a Perfect Cineplex again as a low-end filler, especially when no other summer horror film is there to compete.

Continue reading

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

 

WEEK 04 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

It’s funny how a week changes things. Two weeks ago, I was openly mocked for playing a lineup heavy in 47 Meters Down. This week, 55 geniuses paired it with a screen of new release Transformers: The Last Knight to snag the Perfect Cineplex. Who’s laughing now?

Well, it’s not me, because I was not smart enough to bet big on the shark horror movie for two weeks in a row. By the way, I tried to look up fan reactions on Twitter when I set my lineup two weeks ago, and all I could find were posts saying this movie was exploitative of sharks and that people should boycott it because it’s making sharks out to be ruthless killers. On one hand, sharks are ruthless killers. On the other hand, if you’ve ever encountered a shark in open water that other hand would be eaten along with the rest of your body. So this is a political issue I’m going to make a strong stand on: sharks are killers. Plus, America cast $7 million worth of ballots at the box office in favor of that premise.

When you have a shark doing all the low-priced heavy liftingbrutal murdering, it just means you pair it with the most expensive movie coming out that week and hope it is the box office champ. In that regard, Transformers did not disappoint. In every other regard, it did. The $44 million weekend is a franchise low, and the reviews aren’t much better. Not only will I not be playing it this week, but I also hope that you forget about that statement before you see my actual lineup where I am playing it.

Continue reading