In a Valley of Violence Movie Review

For all I know, director Ti West was exposed to the films of Quentin Tarantino last week. I doubt it. His western doesn’t really like feel inspired by QT’s genre works like Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.

Instead, it seems like Mr. West’s western could be a product of the fact that the filmmaker was a young teen when Pulp Fiction came out in 1994. Just maybe that teen wanted to make a genre pic that felt a bit like Tarantino – the sudden jolts of violence, the dialogue that sounds a little hipper than the time period, the cool vintage fonts on the title cards. In 1994, Pulp resuscitated John Travolta’s career. Here he’s cast as the nefarious Marshal ruling a deserted Old West town. Ethan Hawke became a Gen X star that year as well in Reality Bites. Here he’s the strong, silent, and complicated hero who must go up against him. Maybe I’m reaching for connections to make my point. However, that’s how In a Valley of Violence felt to me and it was an appealing experience. And I haven’t mentioned the super cool dog yet…

Paul (Hawke) and his dog Abbie (Jumpy) are making their way to Mexico (their motives are unclear for a bit) when he comes across the town of Denton. It’s sparse in both population and set design, allowing this to look like a low-budget old timey western from decades ago. Blumhouse, the studio that specializes in bargain basement priced horror flicks, is behind this so it makes some sense. It’s clear that Paul knows how to fight, but doesn’t want to. Unfortunately dim-witted deputy Gilly (James Ransone) rattles his cage in small ways at first and then big ones. Suddenly Paul’s trip south of the border is delayed for revenge purposes. And he must also deal with Gilly’s father, Travolta’s aforementioned Marshal.

Valley doesn’t take itself very seriously. There’s a lot of humor and much of it is well written and well placed. Travolta has been known to overact over the last couple decades since his comeback. Here he does it in a role that seems appropriate for it. Hawke plays the lonely cowboy straight and solidly. Taissa Farmiga provides a spark as a town resident desperate to get out. And it’s not often I’d mention the real name of the dog in a film, but Jumpy deserves the shout out for a real performance. More kudos go to composer Jeff Grace for a pitch perfect score.

Again, I have no idea if my Ti West/Tarantino hypothesis (who’s worked in horror before this) holds merit. No, it doesn’t reach the brilliant level of impact and the dialogue isn’t consistently as poetic as Quentin’s. There’s moments and enough of them, however, to make the connection worth mentioning.

*** (out of four)

 

 

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Box Office Predictions: January 19-21

Two new titles vie for action fan attention this weekend as military themed 12 Strong and heist themed Den of Thieves debut. You can find my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/10/12-strong-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/10/den-of-thieves-box-office-prediction/

12 Strong could potentially make a play for the top spot, but I suspect Jumanji will continue its dominance in first place. Looking over the post MLK weekend from years past, it’s not rare for holdovers to experience smallish declines. I suspect that will hold true for Jumanji and The Post.

Along those lines, The Greatest Showman should drop to fourth with The Commuter rounding out the top 5My $6.1 million estimate for Den of Thieves puts it outside my high five.

And with that – here they are!

1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Predicted Gross: $19.6 million

2. 12 Strong

Predicted Gross: $17.9 million

3. The Post

Predicted Gross: $14 million

4. The Greatest Showman

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million

5. The Commuter

Predicted Gross: $8.2 million

Box Office Results (January 1215)

Jumanji continued its remarkable run atop the charts over the four day MLK weekend with $35.1 million, edging past my prediction of $32.7 million. The smash sequel has amassed $291 million since its Christmas time debut.

There were plenty of new releases and expansions this weekend and Steven Spielberg’s Oscar hopeful The Post fared best in second with $23 million, in line with my $22.3 million estimate.

The Greatest Showman continued its stellar run with $16.1 million, singing beyond my $12.6 million prediction. It’s ready to join the century club as it stands at $98 million.

Liam Neeson took fourth with The Commuter as it opened with a fairly solid $15.8 million (I was a touch lower at $14.6 million).

One of the surprises of the weekend was the disappointing performance for critically acclaimed kiddie sequel Paddington 2, debuting in fifth with a mediocre $15 million. I had it pegged for a #2 premiere at $22.4 million. Oops.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was sixth with $14.6 million (I said $15.5 million) for $594 million total.

Insidious: The Last Key fell from second to seventh with $14.3 million compared to my $13.2 million estimate. It’s earned $50 million in its two weeks of release.

In eighth place, Proud Mary with Taraji P. Henson had a muted start with $11.7 million, well under my $18.5 million projection.

Pitch Perfect 3 was ninth with $7.3 million. My prediction? $7.3 million. Woot woot. The three-quel is also on the cusp of nine figures with $96 million.

I incorrectly had Darkest Hour outside the top 10, but it placed 10th with $5.4 million and $36 million.

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

Oscar Watch: Early Man

We’re just 15 days into the new year, but my first 2018 Oscar Watch post has arrived courtesy of Early Man. The prehistoric stop-motion animated tale opens stateside on February 16 and it’s out in the United Kingdom next Friday. Early reviews are out and the initial Rotten Tomatoes score is a solid 86%.

Featuring the voices of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, and Timothy Spall, the family flick comes from director Nick Park. That’s where the Oscar chatter comes into play. Mr. Park has been nominated for the gold statue six times, mostly due to his animated short film efforts. In 2005, his feature length Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the WereRabbit was victorious for Best Animated Feature. He’s had other acclaimed pictures including 2000’s Chicken Run, which still stands as stop-motion’s largest earner.

There will be plenty of competition rolling out over the calendar year, including high profile releases like The Incredibles 2 and Dr. SeussThe Grinch. Yet it’s fair to say Early Man is an early contender for recognition among animated features.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: January 15th Edition

We have arrived at my penultimate weekly Oscar predictions. With the Oscar nods arriving in 8 days, I will be making my final estimates next Monday. And as we get closer and closer to actually knowing the nominees, there are some notable changes today:

  • Jordan Peele has at last entered my predicted five in the Director category,  replacing Steven Spielberg.
  • Daniel Kaluuya is in Best Actor for the first time, replacing Tom Hanks.
  • Frances McDormand has taken the #1 spot in Actress over Saoirse Ronan.
  • In more good news for Three Billboards, Sam Rockwell has reached the top spot in Supporting Actor over Willem Dafoe.
  • Octavia Spencer has replaced Holly Hunter in Supporting Actress.

You can read it all here with those last estimates coming in one week!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Dunkirk (PR: 4)

5. Get Out (PR: 6)

6. The Post (PR: 5)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

9. The Big Sick (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

11. Mudbound (PR: 10)

12. Darkest Hour (PR: 13)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

14. Molly’s Game (PR: 14)

15. Wonder Woman (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 5)

7. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 7)

8. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

9. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 9)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (PR: 7)

5. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 6)

8. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 8)

9. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 9)

10. Robert Pattinson, Good Time (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

2. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

9. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

10. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

2. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World (PR: 7)

7. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

8. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

9. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 10)

10. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 5)

7. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

8. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 7)

9. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bria Vinaite, The Florida Project

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Molly’s Game (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Wonder (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

9. Wonder Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Hostiles (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Beguiled

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Get Out (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

7. I, Tonya (PR: 8)

8. The Post (PR: 7)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dunkirk

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. The Girl Without Hands (PR: 4)

5. Ferdinand (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cars 3 (PR: 7)

7. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

8. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 8)

9. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 9)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Foxtrot (PR: 1)

2. Loveless (PR: 2)

3. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 4)

4. In the Fade (PR: 5)

5. The Insult (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square (PR: 6)

7. The Wound (PR: 7)

8. On Body and Soul (PR: 8)

9. Felicite (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane (PR: 1)

2. Faces Places (PR: 2)

3. Long Strange Trip (PR: 3)

4. Icarus (PR: 5)

5. City of Ghosts (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Strong Island (PR: 6)

7. Last Men in Aleppo (PR: 7)

8. LA 92 (PR: 9)

9. One of Us (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Human Flow (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

5. The Post (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. I, Tonya (PR: 5)

7. Get Out (PR: 7)

8. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. Mudbound (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 7)

8. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

9. Wonderstruck (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lady Bird

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 3)

3. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

5. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. Phantom Thread (PR: 5)

8. Downsizing (PR: 9)

9. The Post (PR: 7)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Greatest Showman

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 5)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. The Beguiled (PR: 10)

8. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

9. The Greatest Showman (PR: 8)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 4)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Wonder (PR: 2)

3. I, Tonya (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Bright (PR: 4)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 5)

7. Ghost in the Shell (PR: 7)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Okja (PR: 6)

7. Kong: Skull Island (PR: 8)

8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 7)

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PR: 9)

10. Alien: Covenant (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

7. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

8. Coco (PR: 8)

9. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 10)

10. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

7. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

8. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Coco (PR: 8)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Phantom Thread (PR: 4)

4. The Post (PR: 3)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 9)

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: 10)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall (PR: 1)

2. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 2)

3. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 3)

4. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 5)

5. “Mighty River” from Mudbound (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

7. “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

8. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 7)

9. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 9)

10. “The Star” from The Star (PR: 10)

And that leaves the following breakdown of nominations for each picture –

14 Nominations

The Shape of Water

9 Nominations

Dunkirk

7 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

6 Nominations

The Post

5 Nominations

Lady Bird, Blade Runner 2049

4 Nominations

Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Mudbound

3 Nominations

Phantom Thread, I, Tonya, Baby Driver

2 Nominations

The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, Wonder, Coco, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Greatest Showman

1 Nomination

Downsizing, Molly’s Game, The Big Sick, Victoria and Abdul, War for the Planet of the Apes, Marshall, Detroit, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Ferdinand, Foxtrot, Loveless, A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade, The Insult, Jane, Faces Places, Long Strange Trip, Icarus, City of Ghosts

See you next week!

I, Tonya Movie Review

I, Tonya, despite some faults, is an energetic and extremely well acted biopic of a notorious central figure who entered our lives at the onset of the tabloid world we live in. Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), on one hand, defied incredible odds and utilized her figure skating talent and boundless drive to become of the sport’s best for a brief period. On the other, she allowed her not always charming demeanor to get in the way. The challenge of the screenplay from Steven Rogers is balancing a want to sympathize her while also acknowledging the subject’s own fault with events.

Harding grows up poor in Oregon with a real humdinger of an abusive mother played by Allison Janney, in a real humdinger of a scene stealing performance. Mother LaVona gives Tonya plenty of emotional issues, but also her severe and rather unhealthy competitive spirit. When the skating prodigy enters her teens, she falls for another abuser Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). It doesn’t take much for Tonya to adore him after he seems to be the first person to say anything nice to her. That doesn’t last for long.

The picture is told with narration from the main players, reportedly with the actors simply repeating their real life counterparts words. Robbie’s work is impressive. She may not totally resemble the title character’s physical presence, but she embodies her often frustrating personality. Stan is memorable as the clueless but also monstrous husband. And a special shout out goes to Paul Walter Hauser as Jeff’s friend and Tonya’s “bodyguard” Shawn. Like Janney, he pulls heists on sequences he appears in.

I, Tonya seems to know that we’re waiting to get to the part we all know – the attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan and the bungled aftermath of it. As in the real life fury and frenzy when it was happening in 1994, Kerrigan is mostly seen and not heard. We do witness the criminal enterprise behind the kneecapping where the stupidity of the culprits would struggle to be believable in a fiction work.

The film succeeds in helping explain how Tonya became Tonya. How much you feel for her will likely vary by the viewer. One thing is abundantly clear – she doesn’t think anything that’s happened to her is her fault. This is essentially her mantra.

I, Tonya can feel too over directed by Craig Gillespie and too frenetically edited for its own good at times. Yet the actors and the deliciously improbable story that drew the nation’s fixation one winter make it a winner overall. The real Tonya Harding would certainly claim the credit for the movie’s high points. The parts that don’t completely succeed? Not her fault.

*** (out of four)

Den of Thieves Box Office Prediction

Den of Thieves hopes to steal away some box office bucks next Friday. The heist thriller is headlined by Gerard Butler with a supporting cast including 50 Cent, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Pablo Schreiber. Christian Gudegast, who wrote the screenplay for Butler’s sequel London Has Fallen, directs.

Butler’s box office drawing power has been mixed since he broke out in 2007’s 300. Films ending in the words “has fallen” have performed well, as have The Bounty Hunter and Law Abiding Citizen. Others like Gamer and Gods of Egypt have not.

Thieves doesn’t look like a candidate to be a breakout. Action competition is a factor as 12 Strong opens the same day and Proud Mary and The Commuter will be in their sophomore frames.

I’ll predict this struggles to open in double digits and misses the mark.

Den of Thieves opening weekend prediction: $6.1 million

For my 12 Strong prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/10/12-strong-box-office-prediction/

12 Strong Box Office Prediction

Warner Bros is hoping to show a force of box office strength when 12 Strong debuts in theaters next Friday. Subtitled The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, the action drama recounts the true story of the first fighters sent overseas immediately following the 9/11 attacks. Marking the directorial debut of former war photojournalist Nicolai Fuglsig, the cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Trevante Rhodes, William Fichtner, and Rob Riggle.

Over the last few years, January has proven to be fertile ground for similarly themed pics. In 2014, Lone Survivor debuted to a terrific $37 million. Two years ago, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi took in a little over $19 million out of the gate, though it opened over the four-day MLK frame. The pinnacle of the genre (and openings for the month of January overall) was in 2015 when American Sniper astonished prognosticators with $107 million for its four-day MLK weekend premiere.

As you can see, it isn’t rare to see these true life war tales perform quite nicely with moviegoers. Hemsworth brings some star power and he’s just coming off the franchise best performance of his Thor series.

That said, expectations are certainly more in line with Benghazi and not Survivor and definitely not Sniper. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a debut slightly over $20 million, but I’ll estimate Strong takes in high teens for its start.

12 Strong opening weekend prediction: $17.9 million

For my Den of Thieves prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/10/den-of-thieves-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: January 12-15

It’s our third four-day weekend in four frames as the MLK holiday is Monday and there’s four new pictures debuting wide. They are: family geared sequel Paddington 2, Steven Spielberg Oscar hopeful The Post, Liam Neeson thriller The Commuter, and Taraji  P. Henson action flick Proud Mary. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/paddington-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/04/the-post-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/the-commuter-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/proud-mary-box-office-prediction/

None are likely to dislodge Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle from its perch atop the charts. The MLK weekend typically sees minor drops from the previous one. As to which newbie garners the most cash… well, that’s an excellent question. I’m giving Paddington the slightest edge over The Post for the two spot. I also anticipate a healthy debut for Proud Mary over The Commuter, which could open outside the top 5 depending on the Star Wars hold.

As for the current #2, Insidious: The Last Key, it could fall to 7th after an impressive premiere (more on that below). Horror pics historically suffer more precipitous drops than other genres. Lots to consider on this unpredictable weekend and here are my top ten estimates for Friday through Monday:

1. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Predicted Gross: $32.7 million (representing a drop of 12%)

2. Paddington 2

Predicted Gross: $22.4 million

3. The Post

Predicted Gross: $22.3 million

4. Proud Mary

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million (representing a drop of 35%)

6. The Commuter

Predicted Gross: $14.6 million

7. Insidious: The Last Key

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million (representing a drop of 55%)

8. The Greatest Showman

Predicted Gross: $12.6 million (representing a drop of 8%)

9. Pitch Perfect 3

Predicted Gross: $7.3 million (representing a drop of 28%)

10. Ferdinand

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million (representing a drop of 15%)

Box Office Results (January 57)

As expected, Jumanji vaulted over Star Wars in its third weekend to #1 with $37.2 million, easily outpacing my $29.1 million forecast for $245 million overall. The 90s reboot is performing fantastically and should continue its reign this weekend.

The other story of the weekend was the terrific performance of Insidious: The Last Key,  exceeding all expectations at $29.5 million in second compared to my meager $18.6 million estimate. It’s yet another success story for Blumhouse after a sizzling 2017.

The Last Key dropped The Last Jedi to third with $23.7 million, in line with my $24.8 million projection. Episode VIII has taken in $572 million.

The Greatest Showman continued its nice run in fourth with $13.7 million (I was lower at $10.6 million) for $76 million total.

Finally, Pitch Perfect 3 rounded out the top five with $10.2 million (I said $8 million) to bring its coffers to $86 million.

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

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

Two major developments since last week’s Oscar predictions as the Golden Globes happened and the Production Guild Award nominations came out. Combined with other precursor activity, one thing has become clear to me:

It was time to remove Dunkirk from its months long perch in the #1 slot. It’s fallen to #4 and we finally have a new #1 – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Truth be told, I could have just as easily put The Shape of Water or Lady Bird in that spot. It’s a close race, folks!

Guillermo del Toro replaces Christopher Nolan in the top spot for director, as does Allison Janney in Supporting Actress over Laurie Metcalf.

We are only 15 days away from nominations and here’s my take at this moment:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

3. Lady Bird (PR: 5)

4. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

5. The Post (PR: 3)

6. Get Out (PR: 7)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

9. The Big Sick (PR: 12)

10. Mudbound (PR: 11)

11. I, Tonya (PR: 13)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

13. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

14. Molly’s Game (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Wonder Woman (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Blade Runner 2049

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

2. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 4)

4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

5. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 8)

7. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 6)

8. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

9. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 9)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 6)

7. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (PR: 7)

8. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 9)

9. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 8)

10. Robert Pattinson, Good Time (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

5. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 10)

9. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

10. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

7. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World (PR: 7)

8. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

9. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

10. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Mitchell, Mudbound 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 2)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

3. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 5)

5. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

7. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 8)

8. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 7)

9. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bria Vinaite, The Florida Project (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Molly’s Game (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Wonder (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 7)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

8. All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

9. Hostiles (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Beguiled (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Blade Runner 2049

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Get Out (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Florida Project (PR: 7)

7. The Post (PR: 6)

8. I, Tonya (PR: 9)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

10. Dunkirk (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Darkest Hour

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. The Girl Without Hands (PR: 5)

5. Ferdinand (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

7. Cars 3 (PR: 4)

8. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 8)

9. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 9)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Foxtrot (PR: 1)

2. Loveless (PR: 2)

3. The Insult (PR: 4)

4. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 3)

5. In the Fade (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square (PR: 5)

7. The Wound (PR: 7)

8. On Body and Soul (PR: 9)

9. Felicite (PR: 8)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane (PR: 1)

2. Faces Places (PR: 2)

3. Long Strange Trip (PR: 5)

4. City of Ghosts (PR: 3)

5. Icarus (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Strong Island (PR: 4)

7. Last Men in Aleppo (PR: 7)

8. Human Flow (PR: Not Ranked)

9. LA 92 (PR: 8)

10. Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Chasing Coral 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 3)

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. I, Tonya (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

7. Get Out (PR: 9)

8. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

9. Lady Bird (PR: 7)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

7. Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 9)

9. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

10. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hostiles

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Dunkirk (PR: 3)

4. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

5. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. The Post (PR: 7)

8. Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

9. Downsizing (PR: 5)

10. The Greatest Showman (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

5. The Post (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 5)

8. The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

9. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

10. The Beguiled (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Wonder (PR: 2)

3. I, Tonya (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

4. Bright (PR: 3)

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 5)

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Ghost in the Shell (PR: 7)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Okja (PR: 6)

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 8)

8. Kong: Skull Island (PR: 7)

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PR: 9)

10. Alien: Covenant (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

5. The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

7. Coco (PR: 8)

8. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

9. Detroit (PR: 10)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 9)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

7. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

8. Coco (PR: 8)

9. The Post (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Detroit

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 4)

4. Phantom Thread (PR: 3)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 10)

9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 8)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: 9)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall (PR: 1)

2. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 3)

3. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 2)

4. “Mighty River” from Mudbound (PR: 5)

5. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

7. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 8)

8. “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

9. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 9)

10. “The Star” from The Star (PR: 10)

And that leaves the following nomination breakdown for each picture –

13 Nominations

The Shape of Water

9 Nominations

Dunkirk

8 Nominations

The Post

7 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5 Nominations

Lady Bird, I, Tonya, Blade Runner 2049

4 Nominations

Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread

3 Nominations

Mudbound

2 Nominations

Get Out, The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, The Big Sick, Wonder Coco, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Baby Driver, The Greatest Showman

1 Nomination

Downsizing, Molly’s Game, War for the Planet of the Apes, Marshall, Detroit, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Ferdinand, Foxtrot, Loveless, The Insult, A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade, Jane, Faces Places, Long Strange Trip, City of Ghosts, Icarus

 

2017 Golden Globe Predictions

The most high-profile Oscar precursor arrives Sunday night when Seth Meyers hosts the Golden Globe awards. Of course, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association operates a bit differently by divvying its major categories (Picture, Actor, Actress) into Drama and Musical/Comedy.

As has been a common theme lately, one of the “Musical/Comedy” entries is a bit questionable – Jordan Peele’s Get Out. To be fair, it is a difficult picture to classify. The Golden Globes can often shed some light on Oscar contenders or solidify front runners. Here are my predictions, race by race, on who and what will emerge victorious and my runner-up picks:

Best Picture (Drama)

Nominees: Call Me by Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: The Shape of Water

Runner-Up: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: The Disaster Artist, Get Out, The Greatest Showman, I, Tonya, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: Lady Bird

Runner-Up: The Disaster Artist

Best Director

Nominees: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World), Steven Spielberg (The Post)

Predicted Winner: del Toro

Runner-Up: Nolan

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Tom Hanks (The Post), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)

Predicted Winner: Oldman

Runner-Up: Chalamet

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Meryl Streep (The Post), Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World)

Predicted Winner: Hawkins

Runner-Up: McDormand

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes), Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

Predicted Winner: Franco

Runner-Up: Jackman

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Judi Dench (Victoria and Abdul), Helen Mirren (The Leisure Seeker), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes)

Predicted Winner: Ronan

Runner-Up: Robbie

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Predicted Winner: Plummer

Runner-Up: Rockwell

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Hong Chau (Downsizing), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)

Predicted Winner: Janney

Runner-Up: Metcalf

Best Screenplay

Nominees: Lady Bird, Molly’s Game, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Runner-Up: Lady Bird

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving Vincent

Predicted Winner: Coco

Runner-Up: Loving Vincent

Best Foreign Language Film 

Nominees: A Fantastic Woman, First, They Killed My Father, In the Fade, Loveless, The Square

Predicted Winner: First, They Killed My Father

Runner-Up: A Fantastic Woman

Best Score

Nominees: Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Dunkirk

Runner-Up: The Shape of Water

Best Song

Nominees: “Home” from Ferdinand, “Mighty River” from Mudbound, “Remember Me” from Coco, “The Star” from The Star, “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman

Predicted Winner: “This is Me”

Runner-Up: “Remember Me”

I’ll have a recap up Sunday night with how I did! Until then…