Call for Comments: 2020 Fantasy Box Office Game

From Mav: On the first show of this year, we started a tradition with our year long box office game! and by “started a tradition” I mean we shamelessly stole it from our friends over at the Protagonist Podcast. We’ll be announcing the final results on the first show of 2020, but more importantly WE’RE DOING IT AGAIN!

The rules are quite simple, all four hosts of the show are going to have a round robin fantasy draft where we each pick 15 movies that are set to premiere in 2020. Just like in fantasy football, no two people can have the same movie. The goal is to amass the highest US domestic box office total by the end of the year. BUT, there’s a couple caveats. You don’t get the entire domestic box office for the film. You only get the money that it amassed DURING 2019. This means, Dune(Dec 18th) only has 13 days to amass it’s entire total, but The Grudge(Jan 3rd) has the entire year…. or at least as long as it can manage to stay in a theater of some kind or another. Furthermore, whatever the box office total is gets modified by the Rotten Tomatoes critic score (or maybe its Metacritic score… Hannah is going to make a rule change pitch on the show, because Metacritic scores are a much better look at film quality than RT). So a movie that makes $100M but only has a 50% is worth $50 and if a movie makes a billion dollars, but critically bombs and gets one of the rare 0% ratings, it’s worth nothing! 

I also have an idea for an additional rules change that I want to pitch. I’m arguing for the addition of free agents. Basically my argument is that we should expand our movie roster to eighteen films, BUT we still only draft fifteen films. Then, each of us is allowed to claim extra movies throughout the year up to three times on a first come first serve basis. This is designed to help us pick up movies that end up getting buzz later in the year, like Knives Out did this year.

I love this game and can’t wait!

I’m curious what do people think of our proposed rule changes. For instance Hannah’s rule change is designed to put more skill in the game, because Metacritic is less subject to randomness than RottenTomatoes is. Of course, I think some random unpredictability is part of the excitement of the game. What do you think?

By the same token, my rule change would add some late in the year excitement for us, since it gives us a shot at comebacks if we just think of a movie that we didn’t know was going to be big… BUT again, it takes some of the randomness out of the game by giving an advantage to people more plugged into the movie scene (basically of the four of us, me and Hannah) rather than just being random.

So, think of this as the 2020 box office fantasy combine. What do you think of the proposed rule changes? Do you have any suggestions for other changes? And help us handicap the list. What movies should we be looking at to draft? What should we avoid? What’s going to make the most money and what’s going to have the best (and worst) critic scores.?

And how do you think each of us will do in the game?

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11 Replies and 2 Webmentions for “Call for Comments: 2020 Fantasy Box Office Game”

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  1. To be fair, Metacritic can be just as random (and sometimes agree, see Star Wars) with RT. I just don’t like how it under/over inflates certain movies (I’m looking at you Endgame). For what it’s worth, I’m dubious of review aggregate systems but understand what this adds to the game.

    1. I totally agree… in as much as either system has a useful function at all for the consumer, I think MC is better than RT (even though RT is far more popular). But I think in general I agree with Hannah on them being misleading even under the best circumstances. I personally would way prefer a nuanced discussion of the merits and demerits of a film and it’s significance (as I try to do when I write movie reviews) and don’t really are all that much about the thumbs up vs. downess of it all.

      But as you say, for the game, it adds some unpredictability. Like it’s way less likely for anything too get a 0 or 100% on MC… and while that didn’t happen for us this year, I am just dying to have one of us eventually draft a Gotti and take home NOTHING.

      but you know… whatever.

    2. Chris Maverick You’re forgetting Cats could still hit 0%. And this complaint about movie metrics is in no way about how a certain movie that I’m looking forward to, in my mind, cannot be worse than the “third” installment in the franchise (which has a confusingly high positive score on the RT mete).

  2. I like your free agents notion. I think it is a nice addition to allow late buzz to generate a fresh excitement. You’ll need to lay down clear rules about how it gets claimed, but I like it.

    And as long as you are getting an aggregate review factor to create a percentage, I think you can use whatever option you like.

    1. Andrew Darowski well. We have a board that the four of us use to plan shows and stuff. So we’d just have an ongoing claim thread there.

      I think the trick is it’s got to be claimed BEFORE the film premieres. If it’s already made $1 at the box office it’s out.

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