As much as some people hate to talk about the box office side of the movie business, every film buff at least thinks about the opening haul at one point or another. There are those who idly glance at who landed in first place or who took third -- and then there are those who make financial predictions that require actual decimal placement. Regardless of which side you find yourself relating to, I at least guarantee that every single film geek has looked up showtimes at their local theater and groaned at the line-up, wondering why aren't they showing the new Indie X or how coming Blockbuster Y is still taking up two screens.
Well now there is a website that combines the fascination of what's popular with the frustration of trying to decide what's popular. It's called FlickPicks and it lets anyone who signs up become a virtual movie theater owner for free. It works a little like this: You have Monday through Thursday to choose what films you're going to show and how many screens each film is going to occupy. On Friday FlickPicks locks down your selections and then once the numbers roll in on over the weekend, invisible computer elves calculate how much money your hypothetical theater made and assign points accordingly.
It's a pretty straightforward process, though the minds behind it have also infused it with a bit of a competitive side as well. All of their users are ranked by divisions according to how many screens are in any given tycoon's multiplex. New users start out with only 7 and climb upwards as they earn more points, so if you're both a box office nut and a junkie for competition, this 'game' should be like crack to you.
Getting involved within the ranks, however, isn't a must. Even without that side of things, FlickPicks can actually help educate a user as to just how difficult owning a theater can be. Picking what does and doesn't play in your (or any) theater isn't merely a matter of taste, though most of us wish it was, rather it requires a deft understanding of the marketplace. FlickPicks may be a bit of fun that only takes up a matter of minutes each week, but it's also a clever way to highlight just how frustrating running a movie theater can be even without having to worry about stale popcorn and sticky floors.