Kenneth Branagh has had a varied directorial output over the last three decades plus from his Shakespearian works (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet) to franchise entries (Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) to adaptations of beloved novels like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Murder on the Orient Express. His latest is Belfast and the coming-of-age tale (which Branagh also wrote) is said to be his most personal pic as it focuses on a young boy growing up in Northern Island during the 1960s. The black and white drama is also a serious Oscar contender and it’s currently the frontrunner for Best Picture. Newcomer Jude Hill stars with a supporting cast (who could all be Academy nominated) featuring Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, and Ciaran Hinds.
The Academy hopeful hits 600 screens on November 12th with plans for a lengthy play over the awards season. The Oscar buzz should get it off to a solid start on the relatively low number of screens. Assuming a per screen average in the $4000-4500 range, we could be talking $2-3 million as it’s likely to perform steadily over the next several weeks.
Belfast opening weekend prediction: $2.3 million
For my Clifford the Big Red Dog prediction (which is not the Best Picture frontrunner), click here: