Fantasy movie leagues are a huge hit with nerds – Quartz
Fantasy sport is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it is growing. Fantasy football, in particular, is a monster and has changed the way many Americans look at their favorite sport. Gone are the days when people cared about which team actually won the game. As long as the players on their fantastic teams rack up the stats, everything is fine.
Fans of fantastic sports might not like to admit it, but what they are doing is incredibly cheesy. (I should know – I’ve been playing fantasy football with the same group of friends since 4th grade.) But now there’s a whole different kind of cheesy – fantasy. movies. And we’re not talking about The Lord of the Rings Where Harry potter.
A story in the next issue of The Hollywood Reporter shines a spotlight on famous fantasy sports guru Matthew Berry and his new Fantasy Movie League. The notion of “fantasy film leagues” is not entirely new: sites like the Hollywood Stock Exchange have been around for some time. But Berry, ESPN’s senior fantasy sports analyst, is perhaps the most famous name in the vast fantasy sports community, and the fact that he’s now created his own league suggests it’s the hour of fantastic movies.
In fantasy sports, the “fantasy” is to be a team leader, completing a list. The League of Berry puts the player in the somewhat less glamorous role of a cineplex owner filling their movie screens (not, say, a movie studio manager or casting director).
Each week, gamers start with a budget of $ 1,000 and must select up to eight movies (currently in theaters in the US) to fill their imaginary theaters. Film prices are calculated based on their box office performance and the length of time they have been in theaters. Entourage, for example, costs $ 140, while Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is only $ 4. The more money your movies make in real life, the better your Fantastic Movie Team performs.
If you wanted to spend all your money on Entourage, you could do it, but you would only have enough to fill seven of your eight screens. So while you might want the blockbuster movies in your arsenal, it isn’t always beneficial to go for the more expensive movies. Also, who would want to go to a theater where Entourage play on all screens?
There are four “seasons” of movies: summer, fall, awards season, and spring. Players need to consider a variety of factors: how many actual screens each movie plays, what kind of reviews they get, how similar movies have performed in the past, and even things like how the weekends end that they open could affect the number of people who go to see them. The concept may sound simple, but its execution is anything but.
Between Berry’s tweets about when to write Peyton Manning this year and who will be the Dallas Cowboys running back are gems like these:
“Polter” is the abbreviation of Fighting spirit, a remake of the classic horror film released on May 22. Berry apparently chose to invest heavily in Perfect location 2, To Fighting spiritat the expense of. We think it was probably a wise move.
Fantasy movie leagues are unlikely to ever come close to the popularity of fantasy football. But they could, with Berry’s help, become the next big thing in fantasy gaming. At the very least, it shows that the concept of fantastic sports shouldn’t just apply to sports.