Most people have heard of, if not participated in, Fantasy Sports Leagues, virtual games that allow people to draft a roster of players and tally wins/losses based on the real-life performance of those athletes. The concept has been expanded into a different genre – Fantasy Movie League.

Players in this league use an app to attempt to fill up to eight cinemas with current movies – all in the quest to see who picks shows that actually earn the highest gross revenue over the weekend. Players are given a budget limit and must adhere to that – filling as many screens as money will allow – but also receive a hefty penalty if their theatres do not feature a show.

The app is free, but the prizes are real: $1000 cash one weekend, a Darth Vader poster signed by James Earl Jones, $250 in movie tickets, etc.

In addition to serving as light entertainment for gamers or movie buffs, I think this also has an application for the teaching of economics. It would be great to fill your “theater” with all of the big name blockbusters, but, of course, the cost cap will not allow it. In this game, as in life, there are tradeoffs and risks that must be made.

Think of how you can help your students or your organization learn about economic realities through this game or another. It’s fun to play around with choosing movies to fill a theatre, but there are serious lessons that can be learned from assessing choices and taking the whole picture into consideration.

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