AFI Sharpens The Oscar Focus

The AFI Film Awards came out with their 2019 honors today and they do things a little differently. This particular group names their favorite 10 pictures of the year without naming a winner. And their top films are the only category they bother with.

Today those ten movies were as follows: 1917, The Farewell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Richard Jewell. 

So what’s to learn when it comes to Oscar pontificating? Let’s start with comparing this list to yesterday’s announcement of the National Board of Review’s 10 honored titles… eleven actually because their winner was The Irishman. The NBR’s different titles were Dolemite Is My Name, Ford v Ferrari, Uncut Gems, and Waves. Not on NBR’s list from AFI:  The Farewell and Little Women. 

Shared AFI/NBR pics: The Irishman, 1917, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Richard Jewell. If you think getting Picture mentions in both guarantees Oscar love, 2018 proved otherwise. Five films did just that last year and didn’t land Best Pictures nods: Eighth Grade, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Poppins Returns, and A Quiet Place.

Confused? Welcome to the world of awards speculation. As I see it currently, there are only two shared 2019 AFI/NBR features that could miss out on the big race: Knives Out and Richard Jewell. I’ll also take this opportunity to note that Parasite (which is looking decent for Best Pic attention) is ineligible for AFI since it’s a foreign film.

As for Best Pic hopefuls that landed no love from these groups, we have A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (I believe its chances are fading quickly) and Bombshell (not as convinced that it cannot rebound). It could get the 2018 Vice slot, which was ignored by AFI/NBR. There’s also Rocketman, which can hang on to the thought that it could be this year’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

When you look at the AFI list’s history over the past half decade, it is a fairly reliable barometer on certain directions the Academy will take. Last year, five out of the eventual eight nominees were on their list and that’s the lowest percentage. In 2016 and 2017, it was 7 for 9. In 2014 and 2015, it was 6 for 8. So you can pretty much bank on at least half of AFI’s list and probably a bit more landing Oscar nominations.

I’ll leave you with this: while Knives Out is certainly one of the most obvious candidates for something that could miss a Picture nod, I like its chances better than I ever have before. This could be a case of perfect timing as it just opened, had a much bigger debut than expected, and audiences and critics are singing its praises. I wouldn’t count it out. In fact, I suspect when I update my estimates on Monday – it will rank higher than ever before and enter my top 15 possibilities. That will knock a candidate out and Mister Rogers could be the unfortunate victim.

The Irishman Takes The NBR

The National Board of Review announced its victors this afternoon for their best of 2019. For the pictures and performers who were named as winners, you could say that it’s a double edged sword.

Allow me to explain. In this 2010’s, only one of their Best Film recipients took home Best Picture at the Oscars. That was last year with Green Book. This year, the award goes to Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. So from an odds perspective, that could mean it faces an uphill battle for the big gold statue. On the other hand, all of the NBR Film winners from this decade, with the exception of 2014’s A Most Violent Year, have scored an Academy nod. This isn’t really in doubt for The Irishman so expect that trend to continue.

The Board always goes on to name their additional favorite 10 motion pictures and this year they are: 1917, Dolemite Is My Name, Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Richard Jewell, Uncut Gems, and Waves. In 2018, only three of the ten additional NBR selections got Picture noms: Black Panther, Roma and A Star Is Born. Some notable titles that didn’t make the NBR cut for 2019: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Bombshell, The Farewell, Joker, Little Women, Parasite, and The Two Popes. 

When it comes to Best Director, the news is even worse for the NBR recipient. No movie this decade has seen that winner match with Oscar. In fact, the last direct match was in 2006 for… Irishman maker Scorsese for The Departed. The NBR named Quentin Tarantino today for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He’s got history against his side for a walk up the Academy steps.

In Best Actor, it’s the same story as only Casey Affleck for 2016’s Manchester by the Sea won NBR and Oscar in the 2010s. Adam Sandler is the winner for Uncut Gems. He’s part of a packed Best Actor race where there’s about a dozen viable candidates looking for five spots. This victory could at least help him get in as only Oscar Isaac (Violent Year in 2014) and Tom Hanks (2017’s The Post) didn’t land nods.

The numbers improve only slightly for Best Actress with two matches: Julianne Moore for 2014’s Still Alice and Brie Larson for 2015’s Room. The NBR bestowed the award this year to Renee Zellweger for Judy, who could be considered a soft front-runner for Oscar.

This brings us to Brad Pitt, winner today for Supporting Actor in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He also holds the status of apparent favorite to win the Academy’s love. Yet there’s just two matches this decade between them and NBR: Christian Bale in 2010’s The Fighter and Christopher Plummer from 2011’s Beginners. 

Last year was the only match of the decade for Supporting Actress: Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk. Kathy Bates took the NBR for Richard Jewell. I don’t see her winning the Oscar, but it could help her nomination odds.

In Original Screenplay, it’s interesting to note that 7 of the past nine NBR winners didn’t even get an Oscar nomination. Could that be a sign of trouble for honoree Uncut Gems? Time will tell…

And for Adapted Screenplay, the NBR went with The Irishman. Par for the course, just two matches here: 2010’s The Social Network and 2011’s The Descendants. 

Bottom line: the NBR announcements might help with fleshing out who certain nominees will be. As far as winners, that’s a whole different story…

December 6-8 Box Office Predictions

Hollywood had reason to be thankful over the holiday weekend as the box office saw a much needed rebound. More importantly, two original films (that’s right – not based on comics or bestsellers) aimed at adults exceeded expectations.

For this first full weekend of December, the studios are holding back as they wait closer to Christmas to unleash their blockbusters like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level. The only new wide release is the animated Playmobil: The Movie and you can peruse my prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/27/playmobil-the-movie-box-office-prediction/

I don’t expect much from Playmobil, which has generated scant buzz and has Frozen II in its third frame as direct competition. My $2.8 million estimate leaves it outside of the top five.

There is also the expansion of the Mark Ruffalo drama Dark Waters, which had a so-so limited release this past weekend. My $3.7 million projection also leaves it beyond the high five.

That top five should remain the same pictures with perhaps some movement in the numbers placement. Frozen II may lose a bit more than half its Thanksgiving audience and it should have zero trouble getting a three-peat.

I expect all other titles to drop in the high 30s to mid 40s with the smallest drops going to Knives Out after its terrific debut and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Here’s how I have it all playing out:

1. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $41.3 million

2. Knives Out

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

3. Ford v Ferrari

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

5. Queen & Slim

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

Box Office Results (November 29-December 1)

As mentioned, it was a bountiful Turkey Day weekend for Tinsel Town as Frozen II dominated the charts in its sophomore frame with $85.9 million, just over my $84.4 million take. The Disney sequel has amassed a cool $288 million thus far.

Rian Johnson’s acclaimed murder mystery Knives Out got off to a sharp start with $26.7 million from Friday to Sunday and $41.4 million since its Wednesday beginning. Those figures easily eclipse my respective predictions of $18.5 million and $27.7 million.

Ford v Ferrari was third with $13.1 million, in line with my $12.8 million estimate for $81 million total.

Queen & Slim was the other impressive debut as the romantic crime drama grossed $11.8 million for the traditional weekend and $16 million since Wednesday. That’s well over my projections of $6.9 million and $10.1 million.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood rounded out the top five with $11.7 million (I said $11 million) for a two-week tally of $34 million.

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

2019 Oscar Predictions: November 25th Edition

Two key screenings took place over the week with significant Oscar implications and there’s some movement in major categories to discuss:

  • 1917, the World War I epic from Sam Mendes, finally availed itself to critics and the feedback is extremely positive. While I’d had it projected for Picture and Director for some time, its numbers (3 and 2 respectively) are the highest yet.
  • Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell screened at AFI Fest. Some reviews indicate it’s a contender in Picture, but I’m not quite there. It does vault back in the 15 possibilities at 13 and both Paul Walter Hauser in Actor and Kathy Bates in Supporting Actress are now in the mix, but not projected in the top five.
  • Bombshell is back in my ten projected Picture nominees over Ford v Ferrari. 
  • Zhao Shuzhen finally makes the cut in Supporting Actress, displacing Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit.
  • Tom Hanks slides to fifth in Supporting Actor after the so-so box office performance of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I suspect he could fall out with Joe Pesci (The Irishman) and Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy) hot on his heels.
  • While my five Best Actor contenders remain the same, this is the most packed field in ages. I could legitimately see any of my ten listed thespians getting in, as well as Christian Bale (who falls to 11th).

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. 1917 (PR: 6)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 3)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

7. Little Women (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

10. Bombshell (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

11. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

14. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 13)

15. Rocketman (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Waves

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 5)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 9)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

10. Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

7. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

8. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 7)

9. Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

8. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

9. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 9)

10. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jodie Turner-Smith, Queen and Slim 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 3)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 2)

4. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

8. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

4. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 6)

8. Sterling K. Brown, Waves (PR: 9)

9. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 8)

10. John Lithgow, Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Knives Out (PR: 7)

9. Honey Boy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Booksmart

Waves

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 9)

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Just Mercy (PR: 7)

10. Dark Waters (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Downton Abbey 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Monos (PR: 8)

5. And Then We Danced (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Invisible Life (PR: 6)

7. Atlantics (PR: 7)

8. Beanpole (PR: 5)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

10. A White, White Day (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 8)

7. Abominable (PR: 6)

8. Missing Link (PR: 7)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

3. Maiden (PR: 6)

4. Apollo 11 (PR: 5)

5. For Sama (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 3)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

8. Honeyland (PR: 4)

9. Sea of Shadows (PR: 8)

10. The Kingmaker (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Edge of Democracy

Knock Down the House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 9)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 10)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Little Women (PR: 2)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 6)

7. Judy (PR: 10)

8. The Aeronauts (PR: 7)

9. Cats (PR: 9)

10. Aladdin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jojo Rabbit

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. 1917 (PR: 4)

4. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 9)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Bombshell (PR: 8)

10. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 5)

5. Us (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

7. Joker (PR: 6)

8. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. 1917 (PR: 5)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

9. Cats (PR: 8)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

5. Joker (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Waves (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 4)

4. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 3)

5. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

7. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 10)

8. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

9. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“Show Yourself” from Frozen II

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 2)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 1)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. The Irishman (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 6)

5. Rocketman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

8. Cats (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Joker (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Judy

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

4. The Lion King (PR: 4)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: 10)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

9. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

10. Aladdin (PR: 9)

And this all equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers of nods:

10 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

1917

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

5 Nominations

Joker, Parasite

4 Nominations

Bombshell, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lighthouse, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, The Aeronauts, Aladdin, American Factory, And Then We Danced, Apollo 11, Cats, Downton Abbey, For Sama, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Maiden, Monos, One Child Nation, Toy Story 4, Us, Weathering with You

November 29-December 1 Box Office Predictions

Turkey Day weekend is upon us at the box office with two new pictures attempting to harvest some cash while Frozen II should gobble up the bulk of the bucks. We have Rian Johnson’s comedic murder mystery Knives Out and the romantic crime thriller Queen & Slim both rolling out on Wednesday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/20/knives-out-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/21/queen-slim-box-office-prediction/

Knives is aiming for a second place showing behind the Disney juggernaut and it should get there. With solid reviews in its corner, I could foresee this topping my high teens Friday to Sunday and mid to high 20s five-day estimate. However, I believe it’s just as likely that this legs out well in subsequent weekends.

As for Queen, it too has critics in its corner. However, a lack of awards chatter and a smallish theater count of around 1500 could mean low double digits for its Wednesday through Sunday tally. That should mean a #5 premiere.

Holdovers Ford v Ferrari and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood appear poised for the kind of minor declines we often find over this holiday frame. That is especially welcome news for Neighborhood, which came in at the low end of its anticipated range this past weekend. I’m calling for mid teens drops for each.

Frozen II is a toughie. There simply aren’t many comps for how this should perform in its sophomore weekend. Most November blockbusters from the Mouse Factory open over Thanksgiving and not the weekend before. I’ll project a mid 30s dip for the Friday to Sunday portion. In all honesty, this is a bit of guesswork.

Here’s how I foresee the weekend playing out:

1. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $84.4 million

2. Knives Out

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Ford v Ferrari

Predicted Gross: $12.8 million

4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Predicted Gross: $11 million

5. Queen & Slim

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (November 22-24)

Frozen II provided the scorching earnings that the month of November desperately needed. In doing so, it achieved the best traditionally animated (read: not Pixar) Disney start ever and highest ever November animated haul. The sequel took in $130.2 million, just over my $126.7 million projection.

Ford v Ferrari slid to second with $15.7 million with a larger than expected 50% drop. I predicted $18.2 million. It’s at $57 million through 10 days.

As mentioned, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was third with a so-so beginning at $13.2 million, well under my $18.6 million forecast. Its A Cinemscore rating should keep it humming for the next few weeks, however.

The Chadwick Boseman action thriller 21 Bridges underwhelmed with $9.2 million in fourth, on pace with my take of $9.8 million. It could hold decently over the holiday, but it should fade quickly after that.

Midway rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it on the outside. The World War II pic made $4.6 million for $43 million overall.

Playing with Fire was sixth with $4.5 million (I said $4.9 million) for $31 million at press time.

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

Knives Out Box Office Prediction

In his first feature since dividing audiences and critics with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has come up with a comedic whodunit in Knives Out. The pic debuted at the Toronto Film Festival back in September and critics have pointed it out as a winner. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 97%. Daniel Craig leads a cast of familiar faces including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.

Rolling out over the long Thanksgiving holiday (with previews scheduled for this Friday to build anticipated word of mouth as an audience pleaser), Knives hopes to generate a #2 debut behind the second weekend of Frozen II. It will likely compete with the sophomore frame of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and perhaps Ford v Ferrari for that distinction.

I believe this should serve as a solid option for adults over the Turkey Day period. A start in the mid to high teens for the traditional Friday to Sunday portion and mid 20s for the five-day looks probable. That doesn’t get it near the $28 million earned two years ago in November by Murder on the Orient Express. However, if moviegoers enjoy what they see, Knives should succeed in avoiding sharp declines in the weekends ahead.

Knives Out opening weekend prediction: $18.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Queen & Slim prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/21/queen-slim-box-office-prediction/

November 22-24 Box Office Predictions

There’s no doubt that Disney will rule the box office in this pre Thanksgiving frame as Frozen II blasts into theaters along with Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Chadwick Boseman in the action thriller 21 Bridges. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/12/frozen-ii-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/13/a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/15/21-bridges-box-office-prediction/

For the sequel to the 2013 billion dollar plus phenomenon, it’s all about the number and how high I’m willing to let it go (my apologies). Estimates are all over the map with some in the $150 million plus range. That wouldn’t exactly be a shock, but I’m a bit skeptical it reaches that vicinity. Some families may wait until the long holiday weekend. My forecast puts it about $6 million ahead of what Toy Story 4 accomplished over the summer.

The real battle could be for #2 between Neighborhood and the second frame of Ford v Ferrari. The latter debuted at the top of its anticipated range and scored a scorching A+ Cinemascore grade. The second weekend drop could be minimal and put it in the high teens range. That’s just where I expect the neighborhood for Beautiful to be and I’ll give it the slight edge.

Bridges is lacking buzz despite the presence of Black Panther and my high single digits projection puts it in fourth with Playing with Fire rounding out the top five in its third weekend.

Here’s my take on how I see it playing out:

1. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $126.7 million

2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood 

Predicted Gross: $18.6 million

3. Ford v Ferrari 

Predicted Gross: $18.2 million

4. 21 Bridges 

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

5. Playing with Fire 

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million

Box Office Results (November 15-17)

As mentioned, Ford v Ferrari had a rock solid showing and gave Disney its first #1 opening for a Fox owned property. The Oscar hopeful zoomed off with $31.4 million, ahead of my $24.4 million prediction. Expect sturdy holds in the weeks ahead.

An unexpected pileup happened for second place as Midway edged competitors out with $8.5 million. It didn’t reach my $10.2 million forecast and has taken in $34 million in two weeks.

Third place went to perhaps the story of the weekend as Charlie’s Angels absolutely tanked with a paltry $8.3 million, well under my projection of $14.2 million. It’s yet another example of serious 2019 franchise fatigue.

Playing with Fire was fourth and it also made $8.3 million. My guess? $8.3 million! Hey, I got something right! It’s at $25 million after ten days.

Last Christmas was fifth with $6.4 million (I said $7 million) for $22 million overall.

Finally, newcomer The Good Liar was seventh with just $5.6 million, in range with my take of $6 million.

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