Oscar Predictions: Three Thousand Years of Longing

When legendary filmmaker George Miller was last behind the camera, 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road garnered 10 nominations and a ceremony high 6 victories in tech categories. Before he moves to Fury‘s prequel Furiosa, his in-between picture is Three Thousand Years of Longing and it’s premiered at Cannes before its late summer bow.

The fantastical romance casts Tilda Swinton as an academic whose life is turned upside down when she encounters a genie in the form of Idris Elba. If the movie is wishing for Oscar attention, the answer is cloudy as to whether that is granted. Early reviews have resulted in a 78% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Some critical reaction is gushing while some is decidedly more mixed.

Miller is, of course, known for visual skills and Longing could be in play for its Cinematography (by the great John Seale), Production Design, and Visual Effects. As for the leads, Swinton is (rather shockingly) just a one-time nominee when she won for 2007’s Michael Clayton. Elba is no time nominee having notably been snubbed for 2015’s Beasts of No Nation (for which he took home the SAG).

My feeling is that this would have to vault into serious Best Picture discussion (and for Miller’s direction) for Swinton and Elba to be viable. This will certainly have its vocal supporters based on Cannes chatter, but I’m not confident it will be enough. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: God’s Creatures

Emily Watson scored a pair of Oscar nominations back in the 90s – one for her debut performance in 1996’s Breaking the Waves and another for Hilary and Jackie (1998). It’s been a long break since then though she recently received an Emmy nod for Chernobyl. 

God’s Creatures is an Irish psychological drama from directors Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer and it’s premiered at Cannes. Early critical reaction indicates this is Watson’s most impressive big screen role in some time and there’s additional praise for costar Paul Mescal.

With an 88% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the small sample of reviews indicates only Watson could realistically be championed come awards time. Distributor A24 would really need to mount an aggressive campaign for that to occur. I question whether that’s doable considering the amount of competition likely to come. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Armageddon Time

James Gray has been a favorite of the critical community when it comes to writer/directors, but that hasn’t translated to Academy attention. The sole nod for his seven previous pictures belongs to 2019’s Ad Astra and a Sound Mixing nomination.

His latest is Armageddon Time and it’s a Queens set autobiographical tale taking place in the early 1980s. The film has debuted at Cannes and Focus Features will almost certainly make an awards push for it. Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins, and newcomers Banks Repeta and Jaylin Webb headline the cast.

The coming-of-age drama is receiving its share of kudos with the embargo lifted. That praise is not universal as other reviewers and bloggers are calling it a disappointment.

There was some question as to whether Strong or Hopkins would be the most likely recipient of the studio’s Supporting Actor push. Based on early buzz, I’d bet on the latter with Hathaway in the mix for Supporting Actress. I wouldn’t look for either to make my predicted five when I update my list on my blog. Other possibilities include Best Original Screenplay or Darius Khondji’s cinematography. However, with the somewhat mixed reaction stemming from overseas, Armageddon may simply fizzle out as the busy time of the season heats up in a few months. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

The Bob’s Burgers Movie Box Office Prediction

I will readily admit that I’m no expert when it comes to this prediction as I’ve never seen an episode of Bob’s Burgers. The cinematic adaptation is slated to debut over Memorial Day weekend. Based on the Fox series that began in 2011 and recently completed season #12, Bernard Derriman directs. Voice actors participating from the show include H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, Zach Galifianakis, and Kevin Kline. Familiar faces joining the fun are Aziz Ansari, Gary Cole, Jenny Slate, and Stephanie Beatriz.

Burger’s was originally ordered up for summer of 2020 before its COVID delays. The TV program certainly has its dedicated admirers, but I’m not convinced it will translate to a robust holiday weekend. Plenty of fans could simply wait until it’s available to stream. In other words, this might make about a tenth of what The Simpsons Movie made ($74 million) for its beginning.

I’ll also confess that I could be underestimating this based on my unfamiliarity with the source material. A four-day take near $20 million would be pleasing for the studio considering the reported $60-70 million price tag. I’m not willing to go that high.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie opening weekend prediction: $8.4 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.2 million (Friday to Monday)

For my Top Gun: Maverick prediction, click here:

Top Gun: Maverick Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: Final Cut

The Cannes Film Festival is underway and you can expect to see a few Oscar Predictions write-ups coming your way! It begins with Final Cut which opened the French shindig yesterday.

Known as Coupez! in its native country, this is the latest feature from Oscar winning director Michel Hazanavicius. Back in 2011, he was the big winner when his silent pic The Artist took Best Picture and Director (as well as three other gold trophies).

Since that time, his follow-up efforts have attracted zero Oscar buzz. This zombie comedy is a remake of the 2017 Japanese pic One Cut of the Dead. Don’t expect this Cut to get Mr. H back on the Academy’s radar. The Rotten Tomatoes score stands at a so-so 63% and it simply doesn’t sound like an awards player. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Men Box Office Prediction

Men is a later than usual addition to my box office predictions as it opens in just two days. This is Alex Garland’s latest feature after his acclaimed sci-fi pics Ex Machina (2015) and Annihilation (2018). More of a horror experience than his usual fare, the A24 distributed tale currently holds an 82% Rotten Tomatoes score. Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear star.

While that’s certainly solid, some critics have predicted that this won’t be an audience favorite. The best hope might be for a decent start as a hefty sophomore weekend drop is likely coming. It sounds as if it’s going quite wide at an estimated 2500 screens (something I wasn’t aware of until this late date). I could see Men debuting in the same range as from the same studio. It grossed just over $4 million and that sounds about right here.

Men opening weekend prediction: $4.1 million

For my Downton Abbey: A New Era prediction, click here:

Downton Abbey: A New Era Box Office Prediction

 

Top Gun: Maverick Box Office Prediction

It could be a record breaking memorable weekend for Tom Cruise as Top Gun: Maverick finally lands in theaters. The long gestating sequel arrives 36 years after the original made Cruise a superstar. The wait was only supposed to be 33-34 years, but production delays and COVID postponements altered the plan.

Joseph Kosinki, who previously directed the lead in 2013’s Oblivion, directs. Costars include Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro, and Val Kilmer reprising his role as Iceman. Critics have certainly indicated this is worth the wait. Budgeted at a reported $150 million, reviews are impressive with a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score. There’s even Oscar buzz as it will surely be a contender in Sound and Song (with Lady Gaga crooning “Hold My Hand”).

Paramount is hopeful that Maverick will take the breath and money away from moviegoers over the Memorial Day frame. The loud buzz generated by critics should make this soar even higher than previously anticipated.

In doing so, we could see Tom cruise to a personal best opening. Somewhat surprisingly, his all-time largest opening is War of the Worlds at $64 million for the traditional Friday to Sunday period. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (the last flick to feature Cruise four years ago) is close behind at $61 million.

Maverick will, of course, have a four-day tally. That’s familiar territory for Cruise as the first three Mission: Impossible tales premiered over Memorial Day with the second one doing $70 million from Friday to Monday. However, it opened on the Wednesday before to bring its gross to $91 million.

First things first. I do believe Tom’s latest sequel will achieve his highest three day take ever. I also suspect there will be some projections for Maverick that will be too high. A four-day take of over $100 million is absolutely doable (and my prediction could rise in the coming days), but I’m skeptical. That’s uncharted territory for Mr. Cruise. A Friday to Sunday haul in the mid 70s seems likelier. If that happens, it should achieve mid 90s for the whole frame. That would give it the ninth best Memorial 3 day start – in between Solo: A Star Wars Story ($84 million) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park ($72 million). It would rise a spot to 8th for the four-day between the same two features at $103 million and $90 million, respectively. And that would be a memorable start indeed.

Top Gun: Maverick opening weekend prediction: $75.6 million (Friday to Sunday); $98.8 million (Friday to Monday with Tuesday preview numbers included from May 24)

For my The Bob’s Burgers Movie, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2022/05/18/the-bobs-burgers-movie-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Predictions – Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

John Mulaney and Andy Samberg lend their vocal and comedic talents to Disney’s Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, based on the animated series that started in 1989. Akiva Schaffer (Samberg’s partner in their group The Lonely Island) directs. Other familiar faces behind the pic’s creatures include KiKi Layne, Will Arnett, Eric Bana, Keegan-Michael Key, Tim Robinson, Seth Rogen, J.K. Simmons, and Dennis Haysbert.

Rangers is foregoing the theatrical experience with a Disney+ rollout this Friday. Could the Mouse Factory make a play for a Best Animated Feature nod? With the review embargo lapsing, that seems at least feasible. Sitting at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, some critics are heaping praise with some comparisons to Who Framed Roger Rabbit. 

On the other hand, the studio will surely push the upcoming Lightyear and this spring’s Turning Red in the category. It remains to be seen whether there’s a significant push for the chipmunks. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

May 20-22 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Update (05/18): It appears as if Alex Garland’s Men will premiere wide on approximately 2500 screens. Due to that, my $4.1 million puts it in fourth place and that change is reflected below. For my detailed prediction post, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2022/05/18/men-box-office-prediction/

 

The aristocrats of the acclaimed PBS series are back on the big screen as Downton Abbey: A New Era is the only newcomer this weekend.

You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Downton Abbey: A New Era Box Office Prediction

Unless it seriously over performs, the sequel should place second to another one – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in its third outing (more on its sophomore frame below). I’m figuring Madness should dip in the mid 50s with Abbey posting a high teens gross.

The rest of the top five should consist of holdovers The Bad Guys, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Everything Everywhere All at Once with the bomb Firestarter falling out after its tepid start.

Here’s how I see it looking:

1. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $27.8 million

2. Downton Abbey: A New Era

Predicted Gross: $18.4 million

3. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

4. Men

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

5. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $2.7 million

Box Office Results (May 13-15)

The MCU kept rolling as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness took in $61.7 million to bring its total to $292 million. In 10 days, it has easily surpassed the $232 million earned domestically by its 2016 predecessor. That said, it fell below my $66.8 million projection and its 67% decline is hefty one for the studio. All in all – Marvel is still minting $$$.

The Bad Guys held the two spot with $7 million, right in line with my $7.1 million estimate for a four-week take of $66 million.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was third with $4.6 million, on pace with my $4.3 million prediction as it now stands at $175 million.

The aforementioned Firestarter (which was also available on Peacock), a remake of a 1984 pic based on a Stephen King novel, failed to generate any heat. Its fourth place haul was a measly $3.8 million. I was more generous at $6.5 million.

Everything Everywhere All at Once rounded out the top five with $3.3 million (I said $3.1 million) as the future Oscar contender has amassed $47 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was sixth with $2.5 million (I went with $2.7 million) for $90 million as it’s struggling to reach nine digits.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Oscar Predictions – Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick was supposed to arrive a mere 34 years after its iconic predecessor. Due to numerous COVID delays, it now hits theaters on May 27th and some 36 years behind the original. By nearly all accounts, Tom Cruise and the filmmakers have landed the plane.

Ahead of its Cannes premiere, the review embargo has lapsed for Maverick and the Rotten Tomatoes score is a sizzling 96%. Nearly all critics are calling it an improvement over the ’86 blockbuster and it could be in line to give Cruise his largest opening and overall hit of his career (my box office prediction will arrive next week).

Three and a half decades back, part one caught the attention of Academy voters in four categories. The Berlin theme “Take My Breath Away” won Best Song and Gun nabbed nods for Film Editing, Sound, and Sound Effects Editing. All those races are in play again in one form or another.

Best Sound has been condensed to one category and it’s a near lock that the sequel will play there. Film Editing, Cinematography, and Visual Effects are also possibilities. Then there’s the sound of Lady Gaga’s voice. The superstar contributed the track “Hold My Hand” and it could be hard to beat. Ms. Gaga is poised for her third Song nomination behind 2015’s “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground and “Shallow” from A Star Is Born (which won). She also shares Score credit with Hans Zimmer (who just won a trophy for Dune) and Harold Faltermeyer (best known for his Beverly Hills Cop tune “Axel F”).

Let’s assume Sound and Song are gimmes. With the aforementioned others, we could be looking at a handful of mentions. Will the Academy go beyond the tech derbies? It looks like Maverick will be a gigantic earner and crowdpleaser. I have no doubt there will be a push from Paramount for Best Picture recognition and Cruise in Best Actor. If so, it would be his fourth acting nod. There were two in lead for 1989’s Born on the Fourth of July and 1996’s Jerry Maguire and a supporting mention for 1999’s Magnolia. He’s never made a victorious trip to the podium.

I’m skeptical about it playing in the major leagues, but wins in Sound and Song are doable. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…