2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 29th Edition

We’ve had the Gotham Awards, the National Board of Review, and New York Film Critics Circle transpire over the past week and my Oscar predictions are updated! Let’s get to it:

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 7)

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. Vice (PR: 5)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

10. First Man (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

11. First Reformed (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Eighth Grade (PR: 14)

13. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 12)

14. Widows (PR: 11)

15. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

The Mule

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

5. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 6)

8. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 9)

9. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 8)

10. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 5)

5. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 6)

7. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 7)

8. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 9)

9. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 8)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 10)

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 3)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 2)

4. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

5. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 7)

8. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 8)

10. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 2)

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

7. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 7)

9. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: 9)

10. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. Marina De Tavira, Roma (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 9)

9. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 7)

10. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 2)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. First Man (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 5)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 9)

8. The Hate U Give (PR: 7)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 8)

10. Leave No Trace (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. First Reformed (PR: 6)

4. Green Book (PR: 3)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vice (PR: 4)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

8. Private Life (PR: 8)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 9)

10. The Mule (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Capernaum (PR: 5)

5. Burning (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Never Look Away (PR: 8)

7. Border (PR: 10)

8. Girl (PR: 4)

9. Birds of Passage (PR: 6)

10. The Guilty (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I Am Not a Witch

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Isle of Dogs (PR: 2)

3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 4)

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 3)

5. Mirai (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Smallfoot (PR: 8)

7. Early Man (PR: 6)

8. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 9)

9. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 7)

10. Tito and the Birds (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 1)

2. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

3. Free Solo (PR: 3)

4. RBG (PR: 4)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 7)

7. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Dark Money (PR: 8)

9. Amazing Grace (PR: 6)

10. Science Fair (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Quincy

Jane Fonda in Five Acts

Best Film Editing

1. First Man (PR: 2)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

3. Roma (PR: 3)

4. Black Panther (PR: 7)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 8)

7. Green Book (PR: 10)

8. Vice (PR: 5)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

10. BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Mary Poppins Returns

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 5)

3. The Favourite (PR: 2)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

5. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. Cold War (PR: 7)

8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 8)

9. Widows (PR: 9)

10. Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

BlacKkKlansman

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 5)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

5. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Roma (PR: 6)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 9)

10. Colette (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

5. Colette (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 7)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 6)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 8)

10. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

1. Black Panther (PR: 1)

2. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 7)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

6. Stan & Ollie (PR: 5)

7. Colette (PR: 6)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

9. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 10)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Suspiria

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 3)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

5. Roma (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

7. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

8. Annihilation (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 10)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Sound Mixing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Black Panther (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

5. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 7)

7. Roma (PR: 6)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 10)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 9)

Best Visual Effects

1. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 4)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

5. Black Panther (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Annihilation (PR: 6)

7. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 8)

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 7)

9. A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

10. AntMan and the Wasp (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

1. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 7)

7. Colette (PR: 6)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 8)

10. Roma (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Green Book

Best Original Song

1. “The Shallow” from A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 2)

3. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 3)

4. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 4)

5. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 6)

7. “Girl in the Movies” from Dumplin’ (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

9. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 7)

10. “Gravity” from Free Solo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born

”A Place Called Slaughter Race” from Ralph Breaks the Internet

That equates to the following number of nominations for each picture:

11 Nominations

A Star Is Born

10 Nominations

The Favourite, First Man

9 Nominations

Black Panther

8 Nominations

Mary Poppins Returns

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma

5 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman

4 Nominations

Green Book, Mary Queen of Scots, Vice

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

2 Nominations

First Reformed, A Quiet Place, RBG

1 Nomination

Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife, Beautiful Boy, Eighth Grade, Cold War, Shoplifters, Capernaum, Burning, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, Free Solo, Minding the Gap, Colette, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, On the Basis of Sex

Roma Takes New York

One of the oldest critics group weighed in on the best of the year this morning as the New York Film Critics Circle bestowed their honors. And the writers of the Big Apple clearly took to Roma, which was victorious for Best Picture, Director (Alfonso Cuaron), and Cinematography.

There’s little doubt the Mexican drama will get a nomination at the Oscars. However, the NYFCC top prize certainly doesn’t ensure a win at the big race. Far from it. You have to go back to 2011 since the Oscar and NYFCC recipients matched – The Artist. 

Roma has held the #2 spot in my estimated nominees for weeks behind A Star Is Born. For now, I don’t see that changing.

For Best Actor, Ethan Hawke won for First Reformed and I don’t expect that will be the last of his critics group trophies. Hawke has established himself as a real threat to make the final 5 for the Academy. Additionally, the Screenplay award went to Reformed, furthering boosting the prospect of Paul Schrader getting his first Oscar nod in Original Screenplay.

The NYFCC is known for throwing a surprise in the acting categories (think Tiffany Haddish for Girls Trip) and this year was no different. Best Actress went to Regina Hall for the acclaimed indie dramedy Support the Girls. While the exposure here only helps, the Actress race is very crowded and Hall’s inclusion seems quite unlikely at the moment.

Richard E. Grant took Supporting Actor for Can You Ever Forgive Me? in what is shaping up to be a genuine three-person race between him, Mahershala Ali (Green Book), and Sam Elliot (A Star Is Born). Regina King got Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk as she appears to be the soft front-runner, with Amy Adams (Vice) and the women of The Favourite (Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz) lurking.

In down-the-line categories, Animated Feature went to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (which may just establish itself as a threat to Incredibles 2). Minding the Gap got the Non-Fiction race and Cold War took Best Foreign Language Film.

Other groups will be weighing in soon and I’ll have all the coverage right here!

Oscar Watch: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Over the past 16 years, we’ve witnessed numerous iterations of the famed web slinging superhero Spider-Man. From Tobey Maguire to Andrew Garfield to Tom Holland and two franchise reboots, the character has been omnipresent in our multiplexes. So the idea of an animated version might have seemed like overkill when Sony announced SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse, which creates a world in which multiple people can be the iconic character.

Critical reaction out today suggests otherwise. SpiderVerse stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with over 30 reviews in. Some write-ups claim it’s the best Spidey feature since 2004’s SpiderMan 2. Select others claim it’s the best of the whole bunch (this will be seventh stand-alone entry).

Will Oscar notice? It seems highly likely. That would mean a nod in Best Animated Feature. It marks a fourth near “sure thing “ in that race, including current box office champ Ralph Breaks the Internet and Isle of Dogs. The raves bestowed upon this suggests it could even stand a better chance at winning than those pictures. Yet it could be a tall order to overcome the Pixar juggernaut involving other superheroes – Incredibles 2.

Bottom line: SpiderVerse is into the Animated Feature mix in a major way. It’s out stateside on December 14. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

NBR Goes Green

The National Board of Review bestowed its annual honors today for the pictures of 2018 and they went green. That means it was a very good day for Peter Farrelly’s race relations drama Green Book and it might have come at just the right moment. It won Best Film at a time when its box office performance has been lackluster and lead Viggo Mortensen got into hot water for remarks at a recent event. The last three winners of the NBR top prize (Mad Max: Fury Road, Manchester by the Sea, The Post) all received Picture nominations at the Oscars (it’s worth pointing out that none of them won).

I don’t expect Green Book to emerge victorious at the Academy Awards, but this does help its case for a nomination. The NBR is also unique in that it names 10 other movies as their favorites beyond the big recipient. The list this year is as follows:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Black Panther

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Eighth Grade

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

A Quiet Place

Roma

A Star Is Born

Over the past decade or so, usually 5-7 of those 11 honorees go on to Oscar recognition. In addition to Green Book, I’m currently assuming Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma, and A Star Is Born are in. That’s five. I’m also growing more confident that Mary Poppins Returns could manage to reach the final nine or ten nominees. The rest remain question marks. Eighth Grade and First Reformed seem to be gaining steam, but I’m uncertain they’ll get all the way to the top. The three that I believe are least likely are Can You Ever Forgive Me?, A Quiet Place, and Buster Scruggs. 

Bradley Cooper took Directing honors for A Star Is Born and he’s already a safe bet for Academy inclusion. His costars Lady Gaga and Sam Elliot took the Actress and Supporting Actor races. All in all, it was a fine day for A Star Is Born. Elliot’s win is a boost for him and it’s a little surprising they didn’t name Green Book costar Mahershala Ali, considering the film’s other successes today.

Speaking of Green Book, the aforementioned Mr. Mortensen took Best Actor. He’s looking good for an Oscar nod, but I still put him behind Cooper and Christian Bale (Vice) when it comes to winning possibilities.

Regina King’s work in If Beale Street Could Talk earned her Supporting Actress and she’s a lock for Oscar inclusion.

Paul Schrader’s original screenplay for First Reformed was honored for the second day in a row after its Gotham Award. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had Reformed just on the outside of my nominated predictions in that category. I foresee that changing on Thursday when I update them… though I’m uncertain which entry falls out between The Favourite, Roma, Vice, and Eighth Grade. Barry Jenkins took Adapted Screenplay for Beale Street and he’s got a real shot at the gold statue.

The notable snubs on the list are primarily BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, First Man and Vice. However, it’s worth noting again that plenty of movies have missed the NBR cut and managed Oscar glory.

As for some down the line honorees – Incredibles 2 won Best Animated Film, RBG took Best Documentary, and Cold War got Best Foreign Language Film. All seem bound for the final five a couple of months from now.

And there’s your NBR report, folks! The New York Film Critics are on deck next and I’ll have a recap of that one Thursday!

Gotham Takes a Ride

The Gotham Awards were held this evening in the Big Apple and the annual ceremony honoring the year’s best in independent filmmaking provided a couple of legitimate surprises. Chloe Zhao’s Western The Rider was a surprise winner for Best Feature, beating out the favored The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk. The Rider premiered all the way back in April after originally screening at Cannes in May 2017. The acclaimed film from director Chloe Zhao has not been on my Oscar radar screen whatsoever.

Should it be? If you look at Gotham’s winners for the last few years, you may deduce that the answer is yes. From 2014-2016, the honored feature (Birdman, Spotlight, Moonlight) went on to win Best Picture in the biggest race of all. Call Me by Your Name from last year got a nomination. On the flip side, the recipients from 2012 and 2013 (Moonrise Kingdom and Inside Llewyn Davis) failed to garner Academy recognition. The Rider will more than likely fall in that camp, unlike fellow nominees The Favourite and Beale Street. The other two features nominated were Madeline’s Madeline (an Oscar non-factor) and First Reformed (more on that in a minute).

The Actress race also provided an unexpected winner in the way of Toni Collette for Hereditary. She won out over Glenn Close, who seems bound for an Oscar nod in The Wife. Best Actress is crowded this year, but the fourth and fifth slots seem open to several leading ladies. If Collette can manage some critics awards (which are coming very soon), expect her name to earn more chatter. For the time being, I still believe a nomination is a reach. That could change.

For Actor, Ethan Hawke was a victor for First Reformed. Unlike Actress, this year’s crop of potential Actors at the Oscars is a little weaker. Hawke seems to be gaining momentum at the right time. Last week, I included him in my predicted five for the first time. I feel better and better about it.

Speaking of First Reformed, Paul Schrader (who also directed it) picked up the Screenplay award. Somehow he has never been Oscar nominated… not even for his Taxi Driver screenplay over four decades ago. In order to get his first, his original script would need to knock out one of the following contenders in that race: The Favourite, Roma, Green Book, Eighth Grade, or Vice. That could be a tall order, but it’s certainly possible.

Check back tomorrow as the National Board of Review (a significant precursor) unveils their winners. I’ll have reaction to that with updated Oscar predictions on Thursday!

Box Office Predictions: November 30-December 2

As is traditionally the case, the post Thanksgiving weekend should be a quiet one for new releases as audiences should continue to feast on leftovers. The only newcomer is horror pic The Possession of Hannah Grace and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/22/the-possession-of-hannah-grace-box-office-prediction/

I’m not expecting much from Possession with my meager $3.2 million forecast. That would leave it outside the top 5 and most likely in the bottom rungs of the top 10. That means the top half of the top 10 is likely to stay the same – with some potential flip flopping occurring.

Ralph Breaks the Internet may lose close to half its audience in its sophomore outing and that would easily place it first once again with a gross in the high 20s. That drop would put it in line with the post Thanksgiving sophomore frames of Frozen, Moana, and Coco – all Disney titles that debuted over the long holiday.

The battle for #2 could be a little more interesting. In 2015, Creed dipped 49% in its second weekend (which also was a post holiday one) and I think this will roughly follow suit. If that occurs, I expect The Grinch will continue its smallish declines as we move closer to Christmas. That could allow the surly green guy to move into the runner-up position.

In 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them plummeted a steep 59% in its third weekend and sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald could be facing the same fate. That said, remaining in fourth place shouldn’t be a problem.

For the #5 slot, I believe Instant Family could manage to jump Bohemian Rhapsody by a razor-thin margin as it looks to have a minor dip compared to other pics.

And with that, my top 6 projections for the weekend upon us:

1. Ralph Breaks the Internet

Predicted Gross: $28.7 million

2. The Grinch

Predicted Gross: $20 million

3. Creed II

Predicted Gross: $18.2 million

4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

5. Instant Family

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

6. Bohemian Rhapsody

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million

Box Office Results (November 23-25)

Ralph Breaks the Internet, as expected, ruled the Turkey Day frame with $56.2 million for its Friday to Sunday haul and $84.7 million from Wednesday to Sunday. The Disney sequel managed to surpass my respective estimates of $54.4 million and $79.8 million. As mentioned, this should have no trouble being #1 at the box office for probably the next two weekends.

Creed II also opened with highly impressive results in second with the largest live-action Thanksgiving debut of all time. The boxing sequel made $35.5 million over the traditional weekend and $56 million for the five-day gross. This was above my respective projections of $31.4 million and $45.3 million. Opening larger than its predecessor, it appears poised to top the $109 million overall gross of 2015’s Creed.

The Grinch was third with $30.3 million (I was right there at $30.1 million) to brings its three-week total to an opposite of grumpy $180 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald went from first to fourth with $29.3 million (I went higher with $34.8 million). It’s taken in $116 million thus far and should come in well under the $234 million made by its predecessor.

Bohemian Rhapsody was fifth with $14 million (I said $14.1 million) for $152 million overall.

Instant Family held up nicely after a so-so debut in sixth with $12.3 million (I said $12.7 million). The Mark Wahlberg/Rose Byrne dramedy eased just 15% to bring its two-week tally to $35 million. I expect this to continue to play well into the holiday season.

It was bad news for Lionsgate as the latest Robin Hood reboot (with a reported $100 million price tag) was DOA in seventh with $9.1 million for the three-day and $14,2 million for the five-day. That’s on the mark with my $9.7 million and $14.1 million take on it. Expect this to fade fast.

Widows was 8th in its sophomore frame with $8.2 million, shy of my $9.5 million estimate for $25 million total.

Green Book expanded nationwide with middling results in ninth place with $5.5 million over Friday to Sunday and $7.4 million for the five-day. It did get over my predictions of $4.5 million and $7.4 million. Its studio will cross their fingers that the A+ Cinemascore grade allows it to have sturdy legs.

A Star Is Born was 10th with $3 million (I went with $4 million) and it’s nearing double century territory with $191 million.

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

Crazy Rich Asians Movie Review

Crazy Rich Asians is a vibrant and colorful romantic comedy that’s fairly conventional in its genre trappings at times. However, it isn’t so traditional with the world it explores or with the faces populating the love story. It serves as a lovely advertisement for visiting Singapore – albeit with some locales that might require deep pockets to see. This works best by having the most important ingredient in that there’s legit chemistry between the two leads.

That would be Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an economics professor in New York City and her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding). They seem to be living a nice life in the Big Apple when she accepts his invitation to accompany him to Singapore for a wedding. Rachel figures out soon that his family isn’t just wealthy, but they’re basically the Kennedy’s of their country. Or in some ways they’re the Kardashian’s, with plenty of Young’s living that kind of excessively lavish lifestyle.

This isn’t necessarily a Cinderella trajectory Rachel finds herself on. Nick’s mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) quickly decides she isn’t good enough for her beloved son. And there’s plenty of other women around who are jealous of her nabbing the nation’s hottest bachelor, who’s expected to move back home and take over the family business.

Based on a bestseller from Kevin Kwan and directed with energy by Jon M. Chu, Asians shows us a culture rarely seen in an American produced studio effort. In that way, it’s fair to make comparisons with 2002’s unexpected smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This also takes some time to show the culinary delights of the land, as well as gorgeous visual ones.

Similar to plenty of complicated love stories, there are elements of classism at the forefront. One subplot involves a cousin (Gemma Chan), a kindly socialite who’s “married under” what her elders anticipated. Her marriage serves as a preview for the problems that may lie ahead for Rachel and Nick.

Crazy Rich Asians gets a lot of mileage out of its far off destination. Wu and Golding make it gel. I expect both to get their own mileage career wise from their solid performances here. Yeoh, who stateside audiences know best for 007 flick Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is strong in a tricky part. She’s a bit of a villain with genuine intentions. The screenplay and her performance make it work. Rapper Awkwafina gets the zany best friend role to Rachel and does have some amusing moments.

The dazzling sights of Singapore are joyous to behold, but this is worth watching for the reason many in this genre are. I liked Rachel and Nick a lot and wanted to see them make it through the time-tested rom com challenges that come their way.

*** (out of four)