Fantasy Film League 2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I come from a household that has a long and storied history with Fantasy Football. I know our league’s been going on for at least 5 years, if not much longer, and while I tried my hand at it a few years back, I’m just flat not interested enough in sports to engage with it on any meaningful level. Unfortunately, this means that every year, I sit back awkwardly while my family discusses the importance of drafting the right halfback, quarter-thrower, or ball-man (I know very little about football).

No, as you may have guessed from the content of my other posts on MfAMLG, my bag is movies. I spend the lion’s share of my time on TV Tropes, iMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and AV Club Film. I follow film the same way a football player follows the point-season (someone help me out here).

Last night, the thought occurred to me that it would be possible to fuse my family’s love of Fantasy Football with my own love of Film. And so, like a deranged pair of cinephile Frankensteins, ElKaiserGuapo and I put together the rules for the first ever fantasy film draft!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...FANTASY FILM-BALL! (Gugh...I'm gonna need to find a better name for that...)

Check out the rules for after the break!

So, essentially it works like a Fantasy Football draft - except the positions you draft are different. You can draft a total of 9 positions - 1 Director, 1 Screenwriter, 2 Lead Actors, 3 Supporting Actors, 1 Producer, and a Studio. Also like Fantasy Football, there is no such thing as an unimportant position - a bad director might ruin your season, but having a solid team of supporting actors could still save your bacon.

Director: The Director’s points are calculated thusly: Take the average Tomatometer for all movies they directed that year, then multiply it by the worldwide box office of their highest movie divided by budget.
            AvT x (WBO/Bu)
The director is your big point getter, your “Quarterback” if you will (I looked up the rules to football since I wrote that opening. No, I won’t go back and change it) Look for a director who gets good reviews, but also makes good returns on their budgets. Note that blockbusters will not always net you the most points - an indie breakout could get you a bigger multiplier than an expensive tentpole release.

Screenwriter: The Screenwriter’s point score is simply the average Tomatometer for all movies they wrote that year.
For screenwriters, ratings are the most important thing. Draft a respected auteur or a Hollywood Staple, and you should be in the clear.

Lead Actors (1 Male, 1 Female): Your lead actors’ scores are calculated by their highest Tomatometer score that year, divided by their billing on that movie.
Look for actors who get high billing on high-rated movies. As with Screenwriters, the gross of the film is not as important. Indie darlings can get you as many points as A-lister leading men.

Supporting Actors (3, Any Gender): Highest Tomatometer that year, divided by billing on that movie, minus 2 if they got third billing or higher, otherwise use their listed billing.
            HT/Bi --or-- HT/(Bi-2)
Supporting actors are your main actors, only less so. Aim for middle-of-the-road billing. Cameo appearances will hobble your point gain.

Producer: Worldwide Box Office gross of highest-grossing movie divided by its budget, times 10.
Producers are the opposite of screenwriters. Draft someone who makes a boatload of money, and doesn’t seem to care about critical reviews.

Studio: Aggregate Tomatometer Divided by Number of Movies.
Studios are interesting - you could go for a small production house that only does one or two movies, or a big studio like Disney or Warner Bros., and your points might not turn out all that different.

            AvT - Average tomatometer score of all movies released that year.
            WBO - Worldwide Box Office
            Bu - Budget (estimated)
            HT - Highest tomatometer score of all movies released that year.
            Bi - Billing (1st Billing = 1, 2nd Billing = 2, etc)
            nM - Number of movies released that year.

Got it? No? Well, then take a look at my example draft from last year! Obviously I wouldn’t get all of these people in a real draft, but it’s fun to pretend, right? Also note that once a person has been drafted for one position, they cannot be drafted in any other position. So, because I drafted Joss Whedon as a writer, no one could draft him as a director or producer. Same goes with Nolan and Peter Jackson.

Example Draft from Last Year

Director - Christopher Nolan - 87 x (1081/230) - 408 Points
Screenwriter - Joss Whedon- (91+92/2) - 92 Points
Lead Male Actor - Robert Downey Jr. (92/1) - 92 Points
Lead Female Actor - Jennifer Lawrence (91/2) - 46 Points
Supporting Actors
            Bryan Cranston (96/(2-2)) - 24 Points
            Anne Hathaway (87/5) - 18 Points
            Christoph Waltz (89/(2-2)) - 23 Points
Producer: Peter Jackson (706/150)x10 - 47 Points                   
Studio: Disney ((51+92+78+38+89+88)/6) - 72 Points

Total Points for 2012: 822 Points

So, first off, can you imagine how bizarrely awesome that movie would be?! It’d be like Robert Zemeckis’ Against Type!

Ah, Now I understand how football fans feel when they look at their fantasy lineup.

Who are your picks for 2013? Are the rules here utterly nonsensical? Would my Fantasy Film wind up putting Christoph Waltz in the bad guy position by default? Sound off in the comments, and happy drafting! 


  1. Okay but I suggest an addition I can't believe you didn't think of! The "Superbowl" would be OSCARS, and anyone (even the best supporting) who gets a nod (nomination) from Oscar gets extra points, playoff points if you will. Coming from a home where we celebrated Oscar night like we had been invited ourselves, this would be a fun culmination to the season, as it were.

  2. I have actually spent the last 12 months building an online Fantasy Film League. Our league is run much like Fantasy Football. You set up a league with up to 8 members. Each member essentially runs their own movie studio. If you choose to run your league from Jan 1 - April 31, then all the movies coming out during that time frame are up for auction in your league. Your league then holds an online auction (all run by the website) where you buy movies for your studio. Box office totals are then kept throughout the season. During the season you can also trade and sell movies to other Studios. It's simple and it's fun. You should check it out and let me know what you think. - Hope you like it - Ryan

    1. Ryan,
      That is cool. We will definitely check out. Thanks for letting us know.

  3. Interesting concept!


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