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

When will we ever have a normal week? Really, I think the main problem this world faces is Global Weirding, and now it’s spreading into FML.

The Perfect Cineplex this week is, if you can believe it, 2 screens of an M.  Night Shyamalan movie, 3 screens of a Nickelodeon-produced live action Transformers knockoff, one screen of a Jamie Foxx movie with 14% fresh on Rotten tomatoes, and two blank screens. What the heck is even going on? How am I supposed to make predictions when we live in this world?

Split did just insane monster numbers. I don’t mean The Village wolf costume monster numbers, I mean Cloverfield monster numbers (almost literally). Right above $40 million dollars in a single weekend. Monster Trucks was closer to $7 million, but that’s still a great value for the bux. Sleepless pulled in about $3.5 million, proving that sometimes reviews don’t matter at all.

Coming Up Roses Cineplex picks for Week 8 on Fantasy Movie League

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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 07 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Well all of the prognosticators were wrong. If you asked anybody on Friday, they’d say for sure that La La Land  and Hidden Figures were in the showdown of the ages. The week was already wide-open, but those were the only real contenders for Best Performer this week. Now, the real contest was going to be for the fillers at the bottom half of these lineups. That was what we though on Friday at least.

It turns out the real competition was between the new horror flick The Bye Bye Man and some weird Nickelodeon Pixar knockoff called Monster Trucks. Even though The Bye Bye Man became the clear victor with $120.7K/bux, Hidden FiguresMonster Trucks, and La La Land were all within $3K/bux of each other, with the edge just going to Hidden Figures. When you add it all up, that puts the perfect cineplex at 6x Bye Bye Man / 1x Hidden FIgures / 1x blank. Even weirder than that, only 8 players found this strange combination, and none of them are even in the Top 500 for this season, and that’s AFTER you count last week.

 

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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 06 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Some weeks you have contests that go down to Sunday night’s last ticket sold before people really know who will end up with the Perfect Cineplex. Well, this was not one of those weeks. From the second that the Thursday preview numbers were released, it was a foregone conclusion that Hidden Figures would just run away with the Best Performer bonus. When the final numbers came out it ended up at a super-value of $89.4K/bux in a week where the next best performer, returning comedy Why Him? made only $73.4K/bux in second place.

So, after stacking your cineplex with 3x Hidden Figures, it was just a bet on what would be the best combination after this. At one point on Saturday, it looked like a Moana lineup could hold some water. Instead, Manchester by the Sea teamed up with Assassin’s Creed and Fantastic Beasts in a farewell tour to round out the Perfect Cineplex. Yes, all of these films aren’t even in FML this week, yet they were all a good enough value to the 575 players smart enough to play this lineup.

Also, for a lineup this simple, it’s amazing I lasted 2 whole paragraphs without making a Hidden Figures/rocket science joke. So give me some credit for that.

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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 05 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Well in one sense, my recommendation of 8 screens of La La Land was 25% right. But, that’s not really good enough in Fantasy Movie League. What pun should I use for this one? Lion roared in Week 05? Are we ready to name Lion King of everything the sun touches in FML? I wish instead of the 5 screens of this film that anchored the Perfect Cineplex that it only took four Lions. I bet you forgot about that movie! I liked the film and I had to doublecheck if I forgot to add it to my Letterboxd account.

As a lot of people predicted, one screen of Rogue One joined the 2x La La Land and 5 Lions for the perfect cineplex. Honestly, this is one of those weeks where I would be proud to run the PC in an actual movie house. Yes, that’s way too many screens of Lion, but at least two of those screens are showing one of the best films of the last 10 years. Can I talk more about how I love La La Land? Maybe I should just start a twitter account about that flick so you can unsubscribe to my raving…

The Perfect Cineplex for Week 5 on Fantasy Movie League

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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 04 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

As we enter the week-long intermission between two of the biggest holidays of the year, we all turn to the time-honored traditions of our forefathers: endlessly obsessing over Fantasy Movie League lineups. In Week 04, we saw what I would consider an upset, with Denzel Washington’s Fences just edging out La La Land for Best Performer, and going a whole 6 screens worth in the Perfect Cineplex. I would have picked La La Land (and I did) to outperform, but instead, we had a neck and neck race between the tow. Fences ended up at $184.1K/bux, with Damien Chazelle’s flick coming in oh-so-close at $181.2K/bux. Those are the small margins that make the difference in FML.

Filling in the last two screens were Sing and Passengers. I saw the latter, so I’ll try to do a quick review. As much as I wanted to like this, the marketing campaign for the film betrayed its core premise, but not nearly as much as the execution. The set design is really cool, but in a weekend where you can go one screen over and see La La Land (if it’s not sold out like our local 10:10 am Wednesday morning screening was), or two screens over and see Rogue One, or three screens over and see what’s left of Arrival, this film just never makes a space for itself. Did I say space? Space is the LAST thing I need more of! (Actual quote from Passengers or bad pun from your’s truly? You’ll have to see Passengers to know for sure, you unlucky reader.

The Perfect Cineplex for Week 4 on Fantasy Movie League

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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 03 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Long time players will remember the time way, way back in Week 11 of the Fall League there was a “lazy man” Perfect Cineplex that featured 1 screen of Trolls, 6 screens of Hacksaw Ridge, and one screen of an empty cineplex. Hacksaw Ridge performed so well that the 6th screen of Hacksaw plus the $2 million Best Performer bonus minus the $2 million penalty for an empty screen was STILL better than two screens of anything else you could afford.

Well, it happened again folks. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Saturday) mixed with 6 screens of Disney’s Moana mixed with one screen of Rules Don’t Apply won Perfect Cineplex. Well, technically the last screen is blank, but judging by the theater where I that film you can use “blank screen” and “Rules Don’t Apply” as synonyms.

Week 03 Perfect Cineplex

 

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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 02 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

I hope all you newcomers are having a blast in our league! It’s an easy starter league with 18 contestants where 1/6 of the league gets a Perfect Cineplex in Week 02! Not only that, but School of Rock was VERY close to a Perfect Cineplex last week as well. So congratulations! And to the newcomers, holy hell have we made a steep learning curve for you this season!

So, with a wider expansion than expected, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals came in heads and shoulders above the rest in what should have been a no-brainer for this week. I, however, stuck to my CinepLex Luthor role as villain and went with an alternate disastrous pick. Nevermind the fact that personally I had no faith in this film, and was predicting no widespread appeal. I guess I can’t be right about every single movie. Wait, I was also wrong about Fantastic Beasts which came in at a measly $51.8K per bux, which was well below what I expected. I heard some chatter that Beasts would have a shot at Best Performer this week, but I just don’t think it can happen.

Let’s see a double feature of this kid’s movie and also this psycho-thriller (qu’est-ce que c’est?)

This week was the second week in a row that Moana anchored the Perfect Cineplex. So far this has been going strong, but how will it handle the drop of another giant highly anticipated Disney blockbuster? (Hint: Not great.)

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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 01 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

Welcome to the War Starts at Midnight weekly Fantasy Movie League breakdown, where I attempt to explain the unexplainable: why movies over- and under-perform their expectations at the box office!

This week we had a resurgent performance in the third week for The Edge of Seventeen as it parlayed some good reviews into finally exceeding some expectations. Lots of people on the FML Chatter were listing it as a strong BP candidate. In fact, these 3 films were the highest three $ per bux plays of the week. Just missing the cut was Allied, a movie that I thought would sneak into the BP bonus. Instead, it couldn’t even beat Arrivalwhich was helped by an unexpected screen count boost.

Faster: Monday night picks for Week 1 on Fantasy Movie League

The best cineplex was, of course, anchored by a strong performance from Disney’s Moana. It’s no surprise that this film is doing well, but it is falling short of 2013’s Frozen, as some people had been using as a comparison. Expect Moana to easily dominate the children’s market for the rest of the year.

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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 13 BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN

So Week 13 ended up having a simple solution: 3 screens of Doctor Strange and 5 screens of Arrival. In retrospect, this should have been a pretty obvious choice. Arrival is showing it’s legs and still getting great word of mouth, even if I didn’t think it was all it could have been. Doctor Strange is staying relatively strong even though Fantastic Beasts should be eating into its numbers. Hacksaw Ridge is still outperforming estimates, but just not enough to justify being in any good box offices for last week. I think it will be out of Perfect Cineplex contention for a little while until its Oscar Buzz heats back up.

 

Another interesting number to look at this weekend is Almost Christmas‘s strong $5.7 million dollar gross. It has been rising in $ per bux over the last few weeks and may continue to outperform as we all get farther into Christmas mode. If you’re not the type who wants to see Bad Santa 2, this will be the movie for you, and judging by the number of bad reviews for the sequel, there’s going to be a whole lot who fit that type.

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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

Chris called it. I didn’t. This week’s perfect cineplex was the very simple 1 screen of Fantastic Beasts and 7 screens of Moonlight. The worst part? That I’ve been calling it for weeks. “If Moonlight is over 350 theaters, it’s a shoe-in for best performer,” he said repeatedly. Then, when it breaks that it would top 700 screens I get cold feet and bail. Well, the problem wasn’t with Moonlight, it was with the Harry Potter spin-off.

I knew that Fantastic Beasts didn’t have the steam of its big brother movie. I did the research, read reviews, and put my finger on the pulse of the American movie-going public. (Ok, so I really asked around to my biggest Harry Potter nerd friends.) Mix that with bad early Thursday preview numbers and I switched to 4x Trolls, 1x Arrival, and 3x Moonlight. See? I still belived a little big.

The actual worst part is that I wasn’t even wrong about Fantastic Beasts. It underperformed, yet somehow was still the best value even with a cost north of $800 bux. Yet this weekend showed heavy losses across the board compared with the Veteran’s Day haul that it didn’t even matter. If anybody had some crow I think it’s time I tried some.

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