Fantasy Movie League May 20, 2014 10:42 AM   Subscribe

As a distraction from the big news, codacorolla has foolishly offered to set up a MeFi movie fantasy league.

If you're interested, please indicate so here. At this point, we're totally up in the air about what platform or type or basically anything.
posted by Etrigan to MetaFilter-Related at 10:42 AM (65 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Whoa, that sounds kind of fun, what sites support that kind of armchair movie studio game? (I assume we all just sign up on an existing thing set up for this, no?)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:43 AM on May 20, 2014

Oh my god yes please right now in.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:50 AM on May 20, 2014

My current workflow for my league of six is pretty simple. After the draft everyone's movies go into a roster in a Google spreadsheet, and each of the cells corresponds to a cell in a master roster that I update each week. At that point I just have to update the master roster with returns from Box Office Mojo at the end of each week, and it automatically populates to the individual rosters.

I feel like we could potentially do three leagues of six teams each, mostly drawn from my experience with this season's league. I might have to adjust those numbers depending on the winter movie season and what the line-up looks like. Each league would have their own draft, and there would be inter-league winners, and then the top scores from each league would face off against each other for an overall intra-league winner.

For this previous league I did a straight-up snake draft (meaning the last person to pick in one round gets the first pick of the next round, thereby limiting the penalty of being last). Other people have floated the idea of an auction draft, but that would make drafting more complicated.

Drafting could probably be handled over the on-site Chat.

I think a realistic starting point would be at the end of the summer movie season (end of August, that is) and the starting of winter / Oscar contention. I'm going to be assembling the data file (contains IMDB pages and whatever trailers are available) for my friends' league's next season, so I would just copy that over to wherever we're hosting the one for here.

It's not an insignificant amount of work, so I would appreciate anyone else who might want to take on commisioner duties for an individual league. This would mostly be maintaining an email thread which would serve as the communication back-channel for approving trades and dealing with administrative stuff. This year in my current league, for example, we had a problem where a movie got pushed to Winter release (so that Michael Bay could 'tinker' with it - hah!) so we had to agree on the rules for that player to pick up a replacement.

In terms of next steps going forward the following might be useful:
  • Understand level of interest so that we could then understand how many leagues we would potentially need, how many movies would be picked, and what our draft logistics might look like.
  • Agree upon ground rules in terms of drafting, trading and replacing movies just in case they get pushed back.
  • Recruit other people who would be willing to serve as league commissioners.
  • Establish what platforms this would take place on, in terms of drafting, hosting the rosters, and communication back channel.
  • Establish if we'd like to factor in side-bet type things, like awards won. This was a potential we'd talked about (for example, giving a 50 million dollar bonus for winning an Oscar), but was too far out of range for the summer movie season.
posted by codacorolla at 10:58 AM on May 20, 2014

I am so in. (For one thing, this would give me something to say when my friends start talking fantasy football.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:15 AM on May 20, 2014

This sounds pretty damn awesome. Count me in!
posted by capricorn at 11:17 AM on May 20, 2014

If we don't want to go homebrew, there's Box Office Fantasy and Hollywood Stock Exchange and Summer Movie League. I used one of them years ago but don't remember which one or whether it was any good so this sentence isn't very useful at all.
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM on May 20, 2014

Hollywood Stock Exchange is good and has lots of data. It may even have too many things going on for some people. There are movie stocks, star bonds, mutual funds and options (probably more). You can buy stock in movies that may never even come out. I'm pretty sure they have some league or group type options.
posted by soelo at 11:23 AM on May 20, 2014

I would love to do this. Put me down as a yes!
posted by chowflap at 11:39 AM on May 20, 2014

I'm still not 100% sure how this works on a day-to-day basis but I'm interested in doing it.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:45 AM on May 20, 2014

I used Summer Movie League last year with some coworkers and former coworkers. It was fun enough, but their budgeting system was waaay off with not enough difference in the cost of big budget blockbusters and mid range releases.
posted by dogwalker at 11:53 AM on May 20, 2014

posted by pxe2000 at 11:54 AM on May 20, 2014

Those three options all seem sort of limited in their own ways, and it's not terribly difficult to run the league by hand. Does anyone think that one of those might be useful for our purposes?
posted by codacorolla at 12:08 PM on May 20, 2014

Yes, please. I have no idea how this will work but I will try it wherever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:12 PM on May 20, 2014

I had no idea this was even a thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:20 PM on May 20, 2014

Have you met the Internet? Everything is even a thing.
posted by Etrigan at 12:21 PM on May 20, 2014 [7 favorites]

This sounds amazing. I am definitely interested.
posted by Garm at 12:26 PM on May 20, 2014

I'm at least curious. I've never done any sort of "fantasy league" thing but this comes closest to a thing I would maybe try.
posted by dnash at 12:28 PM on May 20, 2014

Oh hey also I have never participated in any sort of fantasy league, and I'm probably not the only one, so if anyone has a primer on how it works...
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:32 PM on May 20, 2014

It's pretty simple. You pick a roster of 10 movies through a draft (basically taking turns picking). Through the next six months or so those movies earn money at the domestic box office. You take the domestic box office returns and put them into a spreadsheet. Whoever's roster of 10 movies has the highest total gross overall at the end of the season is the winter.

Depending on how many people we have we might spread this out over several different leagues. This is mostly because there are only so many eligible movies per season and it's more fun for everyone if people have larger rosters, and everyone has a shot at the clear best picks. If we did that, then each league would draft independent of one another, and the winner of each league would compete against each other for the highest score to determine the overall winner.

There are other quirks that could be thrown in here and there, but that's the gist of it.
posted by codacorolla at 12:37 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yes, please!
posted by Room 641-A at 12:41 PM on May 20, 2014

I'm in!
posted by theartandsound at 12:47 PM on May 20, 2014

I am interested enough in this to want to get the thread in my Recent Activity, let's put it that way.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:50 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

We could also do an auction draft -- everyone starts with a budget of $X million and as each movie comes up, everyone gets a chance to bid on it from their remaining budget. So you could end up with just one movie that you know is going to be Titanic-huge, or 20 smaller movies that no one else wants but that might add up to the same billion dollars (especially if you get a My Big Fat Greek Wedding out of nowhere), or more likely one big blockbuster and a few smaller ones.

Or HSX's system, which makes it more like the stock market where multiple people can invest in the same movie based on its expected value (e.g., X-Men: Days of Future Past is trading at $240, while Blended is trading at $48, and Love Punch ("Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan as a divorced couple who reunite to recover their stolen pension from a conman") is trading at $0.49).

But whichever way, I'm in and would be willing to commissionerize for one of the leagues under codacorolla's benevolent despotism.
posted by Etrigan at 12:52 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

One idea that popped into my head is having “positions,” where you have to start an indie, a romantic comedy, etc., alongside your sequels and your summer action movies, rather than loading up every SFX-heavy explosion saga you can get your hands on.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:59 PM on May 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

Count me in, if there's still room.
posted by jbickers at 1:02 PM on May 20, 2014

And me too, please!
posted by Iridic at 1:39 PM on May 20, 2014

Me please!
posted by stoneandstar at 2:15 PM on May 20, 2014

This sounds awesome. Count me in.
posted by Torosaurus at 2:29 PM on May 20, 2014

Yes definitely.
posted by ish__ at 3:10 PM on May 20, 2014

I'd do it, if you still need people.
posted by bluefly at 3:33 PM on May 20, 2014

This sounds like fun. I'm interested but a total newbie to this kind of game.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:28 PM on May 20, 2014

I want in.
posted by keli at 4:50 PM on May 20, 2014

Yes. I like this idea. Will participate.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:02 PM on May 20, 2014

posted by ocherdraco at 5:05 PM on May 20, 2014

I'm definitely interested in joining! I'd offer to help be a commish, but the timing on this will coincide with my hockey keepers league resumption, and I'm the commish for that. But if I can participate for a round I can probably help out with future rounds.
posted by nubs at 5:24 PM on May 20, 2014

I've never done a fantasy league thing, but am definitely interested.
posted by fever-trees at 6:17 PM on May 20, 2014

This sounds like a great way to get me back into seeing movies this summer. Please count me in!
posted by sparklemotion at 7:40 PM on May 20, 2014

I wasn't totally clear early, but I'm in for whatever you guys do.
posted by dogwalker at 7:54 PM on May 20, 2014

I would be into this.
posted by rollbiz at 8:14 PM on May 20, 2014

I haven't touched my Hollywood Stock Exchange account in about 5 years, now you've gone and made me curious.
I remember the first movie I bought - 5,000 shares in some new movie that had just been announced - "X-Men" with director Bryan Singer.
People were bullish on the new guy he'd just cast as Wolverine.
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 3:41 AM on May 21, 2014

People were bullish on the new guy he'd just cast as Wolverine.

Oh my god, I only just realized how obviously fake the name "Hugh Jackman" is. I mean, it's "Jack Human" flipped around.
posted by Etrigan at 4:45 AM on May 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

This makes me wish Fantasy Movie Mogul was still a thing. :(

I may be interested.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:52 AM on May 21, 2014

I'm in!
posted by geekyguy at 8:22 AM on May 21, 2014

Wow! Awesome. I would be interested, too. What could I do to help?
posted by Riton at 8:42 AM on May 21, 2014

I'm in. Where's my power breakfast?
posted by arcticseal at 8:52 AM on May 21, 2014

Ok, here's what I'm thinking so far in terms of platform and time frame. I'd appreciate feedback from people who have expressed interest.

Season Running Time - We could start the season on July 1st, and have it run until the end of January. This gives us some lead time for set-up and drafting, while still including a broad range of films. You can go to the end of the post to see the pool of films that will give us. Basically it's 90 films altogether, with about 7 or 8 that I would say are legitimate first round draft picks (e.g. having a good chance of earning over $200 million domestic).

Platform - After looking through the three pre-rolled options that Etrigan posted, I like Summer Movie League the best. Contrary to its name, you can pick any timeframe you'd like. Otherwise it automates everything I was previously doing by hand. It also has a neat bonus feature, where if you correctly guess the overall rank of a movie, then you get a small bit of extra money. What I'm not sure about is how trading works on the platform. If you have opinions about SML, then please let me know. Otherwise, I'm leaning towards using that as our platform of choice.

Players - Right now we have 35 interested parties (listed at the end of this post). Assuming there might be some churn + or -, let's say that's either five or six leagues of 6 or 7 players apiece... I'd like to limit it to 7 players max, due to the current slate of movies that are available. That means I'd also like to have either 5 or 6 commissioners who would head up each league.

Drafting - The workload for an individual player in fantasy movie league is pretty light: you draft once, and then don't have to do too much to your roster other than occasionally trading. However if you want to play then you have to be certain you can be there on an assigned draft day! Otherwise you get auto-pick movies, which isn't fun or fair for anyone else in your league! I think I would leave it up to commissioners to arrange draft days for their league, so I don't have to find the one date that works for 35 different people. I think that using Meta-chat for drafting would work the best, if you have other options then please let me know.

IF YOU HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT ANY OF THESE THINGS THEN PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN-THREAD!! I want to make sure I get player input before I start committing to concrete decisions

Available Films:
July 2
- Deliver Us From Evil
- Earth to Echo
- Tammy
July 11
- And So It Goes
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- The Fluffy Movie
July 18
- Jupiter Ascending (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
- Planes: Fire & Rescue (3D/2D theaters)
- The Purge: Anarchy
July 25
- Hercules
- Sex Tape
- Step Up All In (3D/2D theaters)
August 1
- Get on Up
- Guardians of the Galaxy (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
August 8
- The Hundred-Foot Journey
- Into the Storm (2D theaters and IMAX)
- Lucy
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
August 13
- Let's Be Cops
August 15
- The Expendables 3
- The Giver
- Life After Beth
August 22
- Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
- If I Stay
- When the Game Stands Tall
August 27
- The November Man
- Underdogs
August 29
- Jessabelle
- The Loft
September 5
- Addicted
- The Green Inferno
September 12
- The Drop
- The Identical
- No Good Deed
- Search Party
- This Is Where I Leave You
September 19
- A Walk Among the Tombstones
- Dolphin Tale 2
- The Maze Runner
September 26
- The Boxtrolls
- The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His
- The Equalizer
- Hector and the Search for Happiness
- Laggies
October 3
- Gone Girl
- The Hero of Color City
- Left Behind
October 10
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
- The Interview
- The Judge
October 17
- The Best of Me
- Book of Life
- Dracula Untold
October 24
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- Ouija
- Paranormal Activity 5
- St. Vincent
November 7
- Big Hero 6 (3D/2D theaters)
- Interstellar (2D theaters and IMAX)
- Theory of Everything
November 14
- Blackbird
- Dumb and Dumber To
- Foxcatcher
- Fury
November 21
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
- The Imitation Game
- McFarland
November 26
- Horrible Bosses 2
- The Penguins of Madagascar (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
December 12
- Exodus: Gods and Kings
- Inherent Vice
- Paddington
December 17
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D)
December 19
- Annie
- Mr. Turner
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
December 25
- Big Eyes
- Hot Tub Time Machine 2
- Into the Woods
- Unbroken
January 2
- Amityville
January 9
- Kitchen Sink
- Taken 3
January 16
- The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
- Norm of the North
- Untitled Michael Mann Project
- The Wedding Ringer
January 23
- The Boy Next Door
January 30
- Lazarus
- Project Almanac

Interested Players:
Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish
Lyn Never
cortex (??)
Room 641-A
Rock Steady
Bella Donna

posted by codacorolla at 11:30 AM on May 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

If you pick something that comes out in January, you'd only have a couple weeks to make your money, right?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:48 AM on May 21, 2014

If we're starting this July 1, I could definitely help out with being a commissioner - I just didn't want this to be starting at the same time as my other fantasy league stuff.
posted by nubs at 11:50 AM on May 21, 2014

If you pick something that comes out in January, you'd only have a couple weeks to make your money, right?

Nope. The date range mentioned in my post above refers to what you can pick. You still make all of the money that film pulls in domestically, even if it closes in April. It's unlikely that this will be a huge determining factor. If necessary we might institute a rule that there's a cut-off point at the end of February, but such a decision would be made by vote with the members of the league.
posted by codacorolla at 12:06 PM on May 21, 2014

By Meta-chat, I presume you mean and not
posted by ocherdraco at 12:09 PM on May 21, 2014

Yes, I do. I forgot that there was a sister site with that name.
posted by codacorolla at 12:10 PM on May 21, 2014

I am VERY interested in this, if it's not too late to join.
posted by troika at 1:30 PM on May 21, 2014

Alright, I've started to send out Me-Mails to everyone who has expressed interest so far (apparently you can only send 30 messages an hour, so the last 5 people may not get theirs until then). Thanks to everyone who has replied so far.
posted by codacorolla at 5:08 PM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Great idea!
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:07 PM on May 22, 2014

- Hercules
- Sex Tape

Misread this as a single movie called Hercules Sex Tape, am now disappointed
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:13 PM on May 22, 2014

- Hercules
- Sex Tape

Misread this as a single movie called Hercules Sex Tape, am now disappointed

That is pretty much every Hercules movie, though.
posted by Etrigan at 12:15 PM on May 22, 2014

I am so excited to investigate all these movies pre-draft pick! I already begin to understand fantasy football slightly more.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am also interested!
posted by reductiondesign at 12:20 PM on May 22, 2014

As replies start to roll in I'm putting everyone into a spreadsheet to try and fit people's drafting availability together.

I'm going to put in a cut-off for this coming Monday at midnight for people to reply, we'll see how many spots we need to have full divisions (either 5 or 6 people in each - depends on interest), and if necessary try to recruit the remainder from friends of friends. If you've expressed interest at this point then I can guarantee that you'll get a spot to play.

Realistically we'll be drafting the last week of June. Some time next week I'll be contacting people who've expressed interest in acting as commissioners so that we can start setting up logistics. Also next week I'll write up a short guide with resources for research and a few tips in terms of drafting.

Glad to see so much excitement! It's really a lot of fun. Once again if you have any opinions on rules or platforms feel free to post them.
posted by codacorolla at 12:29 PM on May 22, 2014

I'm very interested in joining. I am also willing to be a commish.
posted by reenum at 4:55 PM on May 22, 2014

I'm in if it's still going
posted by smoke at 12:00 AM on May 23, 2014

If I may make a suggestion:

It looks like, based on my early research, there are a couple of movies on this list that are going to dominate so hard that the people who get them may very well win the whole thing regardless of what else they pick.

Which is fine! And it might not even be true. But I wonder if we could add in an additional level of competition, where at the end we have the normal rankings and then also rankings based on everyone's roster minus their highest-performing pick. So the people who get the major blockbusters will have to do a little more hustling than they otherwise might have. This wouldn't affect the playoff rounds, it would just be for the people within each group.

"I might have picked last, but I bet the farm on The Fluffy Movie and by god, it paid off in the end!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:16 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm interested, if you're still recruiting.
posted by divka at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2014

I know we're not officially drafting yet, but I call dibs on The Monuments Men, Leprechaun: Origins, and Ghostbusters vs. Beetlejuice.
posted by Iridic at 10:37 AM on May 23, 2014

I signed up upon hearing about both this and the recent financial troubles. I'd be down to play if it's not too late!
posted by Aguywithagirl at 1:52 PM on May 25, 2014

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