I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I was in two fantasy football leagues this past winter (and by “past winter” I mean the one that started last October and continues to this day), and I have to say, for a first timer I kicked some tight end. I was in first or second place in both leagues for pretty much the entire season, and I never watched a single game, because of how much I hate football. So imagine how awesome I would be at a fantasy movie draft! I love movies! I was sure to clean up.
My brother in law, Cave Dane, had decided to set up just such an event, and I was psyched. Cave made a list of all wide release movies from May through the end of August, we were all given $50M of imaginary money, like Bitcoin but even more imaginary, and then we went crazy. All the movie titles went into a bucket and we picked at random, bidding on which films we thought would make a lot of money. Movies whose series’ previous installment had made over $150M were split, and we bid separately on opening weekend, and then the rest of the haul. Seven of us sat around a table and prepared for battle as we vied for the title of Fantasy Movie Mogul Supreme. And also two free movie passes.
I went in with a basic strategy, which I completely failed at, and that was to only acquire movies I would want to see, to avoid a conflict of interest, and to make sure to get “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which is my number one “must see” movie of the summer, and which I think will make more money than they realize. I did neither of those things. By the time we got to the end of the bidding I was tossing out $3M here and $3M there, trying to recoup some of my losses on horror/thriller movies that I would never watch, but which would hopefully make enough money to put me over the edge. Yes, I sold out. And I didn’t get my number one draft pick either.
I’m not totally sure if I will win this draft, and according to all current projections I absolutely will not, but I do know one sure-fire way not to win, and I will explain this method to you now. If you want to overbid on every movie, wasting all of your dollars and infuriating your fellow bidders, what you should do is wait for people to bid a title way up, past the point of all reason (and they only do this because they are passionate about the project), keep waiting, wait for the other players to scoff and say “Well, that’s way more than that’s worth,” and then keep waiting. Wait for the “Going once, going twice…” and then jump in and shout out a higher bid. You have now paid even more than the person who was blindly following the movie up the bidding ladder out of stupid love, and therefore have not only wasted your own money and gotten a terrible deal, but have broken someone’s heart. This is how to lose at the fantasy movie draft, and this was how I lost “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But I’m not bitter.
No really, I’m not bitter, because right after I almost wasted half of my cash on GotG, I picked up “X-Men: Days of Future Past” for even less, and that movie is going to make waaaaaaay more money. So that was exciting. I paid $18M for the X-Men rights, although my first grab was “Planes: Fire and Rescue.” So I broke my first rule right away. Because I do not want to see Planes 2. However, in the absence of any Pixar or Disney Animation movies this summer (Planes is Toon Disney, a separate studio), kids are pretty much going to see this and How to Train Your Dragon 2, and that’s it. So while I didn’t get HTTYD2 (which, after the split, went for a total of $22M), I got Planes for $7M. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Cave Dane is holding out high hopes for “Underdogs,” the dubbed Argentinian animated foosball movie starring Ron Weasley, but, ummmm… No comment necessary.
I grabbed “Jersey Boys” for $5M and the opening weekend only of the new Planet of the Apes for $7M, and then accidentally picked up “The Loft” for $3M when no one outbid me. This left me with $10M, and I was in trouble. Most of the big movies were gone, and I knew I needed either “Godzilla” or “22 Jump Street” to even have a chance at contending. Then someone at the table said, “He needs either “Godzilla” or “22 Jump Street” to even have a chance at contending,” so the pressure was on. Out of those two, “Godzilla” was the riskier choice. The last remake bombed badly, while “21 Jump Street” was a surprise hit, but monster action movies certainly have higher potential than comedies to be summer blockbusters. In the end, I went for the safer bet and added “22 Jump Street” to my roster for $7M.
With only $3M left, and not even guaranteed to get another movie at this point, I went all in on “If I Stay.” I have no idea what movie is, other than it is some sort of teen drama starring Hit Girl. Please go see it multiple times. I need it to be the breakout hit of the summer. In fact, please go to see all of my movies multiple times. Because this is how you win your fantasy summer movie draft. Make every one you know see all of the movies on your list. Thank you in advance.
X-Men: Days of Future Past – May 23
22 Jump Street – June 13
Jersey Boys – June 20
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – July 11 (BUT DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE AFTER OPENING WEEKEND! IN FACT, GO SEE IT FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY, AND THEN TRASH IT TO YOUR FRIENDS)
Planes: Fire and Rescue – July 18
If I Stay – August 22
The Loft – August 29