Fantasy Movie League: fantasy sport for people who don’t care about sports
There are only a few weeks left in this Fantasy Movie League season, and I hate everything. I’m desperately trying to find my way up the rankings. But as I learned last season, I can’t predict children’s movies in my entire life. And in a game that revolves around box office predictions, that’s a problem.
So naturally, in my capacity as a technical writer, I reached out to Fantasy Movie League creators, Larry Tobin and Eric LaVanchy, begging them to ask them for some insider advice in the hopes of avoiding another week of be on the wrong side of Twitter. They remained frustrated and low-key about the inner workings of their game, but they were eager to share the story of the birth of Fantasy Movie League.
“No one has taken the fantasy gaming platform and tried to expand it into the entertainment space. Not like that. Not some sort of salary cap style fancy, traditional fantasy sports style game. “said Tobin.
Fantasy Movie League (or, to use the abbreviation too aptly, FML) is like other fantasy sports you might have played. Each week you get a budget to define your programming. Then things happen in the real world, and you wait for the results to come. Only your lineup is eight screens in a movie theater instead of a team, and rather than following a series of sports, the results are based on the weekend. American box office results.
Movies are expected to generate a higher gross cost on screen, so FML is focusing on how best to spend your 1,000 weekly movies. The goal is to make the most money, but in order to do that you need to weigh the value of whatever is offered to you. You will get additional bonuses if you choose the movie that has the best value for money and the best overall cinema possible.
I didn’t think it sounded too complex either. That’s before you start tracking similar movies released in previous years, number of theaters, week-to-week drops, or any number of statistical minutiae that you think should really help you more. than it does. Not that I’m bitter.
It all started when co-founder Matthew Berry – current ESPN fantasy sports guru and former Hollywood screenwriter – approached Tobin about a fantasy league not built around sports. Tobin’s experience was the creation of the first fantasy sports platforms for Yahoo, and with LaVanchy they brought that know-how to a different kind of fantasy league.
“In the North American market, there are 210 million people who identify as moviegoers. It’s actually more important than NFL football, ”says Tobin.
The player base has also grown exponentially in the 18 months since the launch of FML. LaVanchy and Tobin say the movie theme gives them a huge head start with younger players and a more even gender split. And it’s about the ease of play.
“Pick your movies. Pick them by doing a bunch of research and finding out where we went wrong with the pricing. Or because you just love Tom Hanks. And you want it on three of your eight screens, ain’t- Right? People play at all kinds of levels, ”says Tobin.
I obviously got it wrong with the spreadsheets, prediction models, and frantic research before the deadline. Not that it helped the performance of the Top Rope Superplex. But the fact remains that pro-level prediction chatter is completely community driven. Forums are one of the best sources of information for gamers, and the young game even has its own folklore.
“One is about the rebound in week three for horror films,” says Tobin. (That is, horror movies will do better than expected by the third week after release.) “Some people strongly believe that you should never bet against animation, that you always want to go with the lively outing on its new weekend, on its outing weekend. ” (I took “Ice Age” last season. It didn’t go well.)
“We were a little surprised at how much the community has grown and developed,” says LaVanchy. “The bulletin boards, and the leagues that people favored, and the kind of connections that were made there. That’s the kind of intensity of this passionate fandom, it was something that we weren’t necessarily some he was going to translate from sport. “
I had to still have a chance to ask for advice. While they don’t give me too much information on how they manually price each movie on offer, they have hinted that staying competitive is no small feat.
“We have a process that starts at around 10:00 am on Sunday morning here and ends at around 3:59 pm on Monday afternoon, so we can enter the prices before 4:00 pm. We determine the expected values and we have become throughout our process and with the people we work with. We get pretty good, ”says LaVanchy.
With only two weeks to make $ 12 million off the current leader, that doesn’t look good to me. And yes, I blame the “Trolls” for that. The next season of Fantasy Movie League is slated to kick off in two weeks. After all, there is one thing he does have in common with sports. There is always next season.