Oscar Predictions: The Eternal Daughter

British director Joanna Hogg’s last two efforts were the critically heralded semi-autobiographical pics The Souvenir (2019) and The Souvenir Part II from last year. Both Souvenir‘s featured Honor Swinton Byrne and her mother – Oscar winner Tilda Swinton.

Mom is back in The Eternal Daughter, a mystery with supernatural themes that premiered in Venice and also played Toronto. Besides Swinton, the cast includes Joseph Mydell and Carly-Sophia Davies. It’s flown a bit under the radar on the fest circuit, but the Rotten Tomatoes score is a sturdy 91%.

The A24 release could garner some mentions on year end critics lists. Like her earlier titles, I question whether the Academy will get on board. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Pearl Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (09/14): I’m revising my estimate up from $2.4 million to $3.4 million.

Shot in secret during the filming of this spring’s horror pic X, Ti West’s prequel Pearl is in theaters Friday. Mia Goth returns in the villainous title role with a supporting cast including David Corenswat, Tandi Wright, and Matthew Sunderland. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival days ago to pleasing reviews (87% on Rotten Tomatoes). That’s just slightly under the meter of its predecessor which nabbed 94%.

While had the critics on its side, its box office performance was so-so. The $4.3 million opening culminated in an overall domestic gross of just under $12 million. While that might seem low, it’s a tidy profit for A24 considering the reported $1 million budget.

I’m sure Pearl wasn’t pricey either, but I suspect this won’t even reach figures. I’ll say between $2-3 million sounds about right.

Pearl opening weekend prediction: $3.4 million

For my The Woman King prediction, click here:

The Woman King Box Office Prediction

For my See How They Run prediction, click here:

See How They Run Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: The Inspection

Basing his directorial debut on his own experiences, Elegance Bratton has premiered The Inspection at the Toronto Film Festival prior to its November 18th domestic release. The A24 title features Jeremy Pope as a Marine at boot camp whose homosexuality is revealed. Costars include Raul Castillo, McCaul Lombardi, Bokeem Woodbine, and Gabrielle Union.

Reviews out of Canada are looking good for the most part and the Rotten Tomatoes meter is at 87%. Yet I’m doubtful this could play in Best Picture or for Bratton’s original screenplay. On the other hand, many critics are calling this a star making performance from Pope. He’s a recent Emmy nominee for the Netflix miniseries Hollywood (he’s also received Tony and Grammy nods for his stage work).

The studio will need to really push Pope for any hope of making the final five. Some of the those slots – Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Hugh Jackman (The Son) – may already be spoken for. It remains The Inspection‘s most realistic hope. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

August 12-14 Box Office Predictions

There’s a trio of pics debuting or expanding this weekend, but they could all find themselves outside of the top five. A24’s slasher comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies hopes to build on its impressive NY/LA limited release while the Diane Keaton comedy Mack & Rita and survival thriller Fall premiere. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Bodies Bodies Bodies Box Office Prediction

Mack & Rita Box Office Prediction

Fall Box Office Prediction

Both Bodies and Fall are expected to hit around 1200 screens. That’s low and limits their range. Let’s start with Fall as its lack of promotion could find it failing to even make $1 million. I’m projecting $1.2 million and that obviously leaves it well outside the high five (and ten for that matter).

Bodies is a bit tougher to figure out. In six venues in our nation’s two largest cities, it took in a robust per screen average of nearly $40k. Yet as I mentioned in my individual post, I’m skeptical that this plays well in the middle of the country. My $4.4 million estimate also leaves it on the outside looking in.

Mack & Rita also seems to be suffering from lack of awareness. I’m only going with $2.3 million as this should come and go in multiplexes quickly.

With the newcomers out of the way, that leaves holdovers to talk about. Sony’s Bullet Train with Brad Pitt opened right on track with reasonable expectations (more on that below) and it should have no trouble remaining in the top spot again. With minimal competition, it could slide in the mid 40s in the best case scenario. That said, if you look at action titles of early August past, a drop in the low 50s to mid 50s seems just as likely. DC League of Super-Pets should stay in second… with a caveat.

If Top Gun: Maverick continues percentage drops in the teens (and there’s no reason to think it won’t), it should re-enter the top 5. Nope could drop out altogether with Thor: Love and Thunder and Minions: The Rise of Gru battling it out for the 4 spot alongside Bodies Bodies Bodies. There’s even a chance Maverick could go from #6 to #2.

Here’s how I see the charts playing out and I’ll expand it to a top ten this time around:

1. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $14.1 million

2. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

3. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

4. Thor: Love and Thunder

Predicted Gross: $5.4 million

5. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

6. Bodies Bodies Bodies

Predicted Gross: $4.4 million

7. Nope

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

8. Where the Crawdads Sing

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

9. Elvis

Predicted Gross: $2.6 million

10. Easter Sunday

Predicted Gross: $2.5 million

11. Mack & Rita

Predicted Gross: $2.3 million

Box Office Results (August 5-7)

Bullet Train came in right where I thought it would with $30 million (my call  was $29.7 million). While it certainly didn’t exceed expectations, it’s a perfectly decent opening and its overseas grosses are solid. The B+ Cinemascore indicates a somewhat fair-weather reaction so it’s worth monitoring how it holds up. As mentioned, the lack of competition should help.

DC League of Super-Pets had a stiffer sophomore fall than I anticipated with $11 million compared to my $13.6 million take. The two-week total is a muted $44 million.

Nope saw a drop of over 50% once again with $8.5 million, in range with my $8.1 million prediction. The three-week tally is approaching nine digits at $97 million.

Thor: Love and Thunder was fourth at $7.7 million (I said $8.3 million) as the MCU sequel became the highest pic in the franchise by eclipsing 2017’s Ragnarok. Total is $316 million.

Minions: The Rise of Gru rounded out the top five with $7.1 million (I went with $6.9 million) for a $334 million haul.

Finally, the Jo Koy comedy Easter Sunday struggled in its start in 8th place with $5.4 million, just under my $5.6 million estimate.

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

Bodies Bodies Bodies Box Office Prediction

The slasher satire Bodies Bodies Bodies opened in six theaters exclusive to New York and L.A. yesterday and it appears to be doing brisk business. From director Halina Reijn, the A24 pic (sporting a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes) stars Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson (who’s in the news this weekend due to his reported breakup with Kim Kardashian).

Early reports have Bodies laying down an approximate $240-250k gross for its coastal limited release. That equates to roughly a $40k per theater average and that’s impressive.

Whether that translates to a sizable rollout next weekend when it grows to around 1200 screens is a murkier question. Performing well in America’s two largest cities is one thing while nabbing eyeballs in the heartland and elsewhere is another.

My hunch is that this won’t quite hit $5 million in the expansion on August 12th, but it could have the capacity to surprise.

Bodies Bodies Bodies (wide) opening weekend prediction: $4.4 million

For my Mack & Rita prediction, click here:

Mack & Rita Box Office Prediction

For my Fall prediction, click here:

Fall Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: Bodies Bodies Bodies

A24’s Bodies Bodies Bodies premiered at South by Southwest in March and the theatrical release comes in limited fashion tomorrow. Marking the English directorial debut of Danish filmmaker Halina Reijn, the slasher comedy is drawing some kudos from critics. The Rotten Tomatoes score stands at an impressive 94%.

Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova (recent Supporting Actress nominee for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm). Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson lead the cast in this tale of a hurricane themed party goes awry. Numerous reviews have praised the screenplay’s twist on a well-worn genre.

Even with the solid notices, I would guess that A24 will be far more focused on campaigning for Everything Everywhere All at Once (which could win Original Screenplay) and not this. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Over a decade ago, comedian Jenny Slate and director Dean Fleischer-Camp teamed up for the acclaimed animated short films Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. They were centered on a character that fits the description of that title. At Telluride over Labor Day weekend last year, the feature length version of their creation was screened to winning reviews.

Slated for release on June 24th via A24, Shell‘s vocal contributions (besides Slate and Fleischer-Camp) include Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, and Isabella Rossellini. The mockumentary also includes Conan O’Brien, Lesley Stahl, and Brian Williams playing themselves.

With a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Marcel could certainly turn the heads of Academy voters. It might come down to how serious a campaign its studio wages for it and how various Disney and Netflix animated works are received in the months ahead. Bottom line – Shell should be in the mix for the five Animated Feature slots and my Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Showing Up

Kelly Reichardt is an acclaimed indie filmmaker behind the recent Certain Women and First Cow. Her latest, which premiered at Cannes, is Showing Up and it casts Michelle Williams as a sculptor in the family drama. Costars include Hong Chau, Judd Hirsch, John Magaro, Andre Benjamin, and James Le Gros.

Reviews say this is a lighter take on Reichardt’s material and the 100% Rotten Tomatoes indicates a winner. In what is becoming a common refrain in these posts, the distributor is A24. It will be a juggling act when it comes to their Oscar campaigns (Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Whale, and Aftersun are just three of their hopefuls).

Williams is drawing early raves. She’s seeking her fifth nomination after two lead nods for 2010’s Blue Valentine and 2011’s My Week with Marilyn and two supporting mentions for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain and 2016’s Manchester by the Sea. While she could draw attention here, there’s also Steven Spielberg’s upcoming The Fabelmans where she could make an appearance in supporting.

It’s important to remember that First Cow starting garnering some awards chatter that ended up petering out. That could happen here but the strong Cannes start helps its case. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Aftersun

Irish thespian Paul Mescal has received an Emmy nod and plenty of critical praise for his role on Hulu’s Normal People and he recently made his cinematic debut in Netflix’s The Lost Daughter. 

More kudos are coming his way via Cannes for Aftersun, a family drama currently holding at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The first feature from Charlotte Wells and produced by Moonlight auteur Barry Jenkins, the A24 acquisition is potentially the type of project that could generate awards chatter with the right campaign.

The issue could be that A24 will have other pics to focus on and there’s only so much promotion to go around. Time will tell, but there’s no doubt Mescal is an actor on the upswing. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

May 27-30 Box Office Predictions

***And a final update for Top Gun: Maverick as my prediction rises again to $113.4 million for the three-day and $138 million for the four-day. That it gives it the #2 all-time Memorial Day for both frames.

***Blogger’s Note: Another day, another significant update raising my Top Gun: Maverick prediction. Now at $103.7M for the three-day and $124.4M for the four-day.

**Blogger’s Note (05/24): My Top Gun: Maverick prediction has risen from a $75.6M and $98.8M three and four-day start to $86.6M and $104.9M

Tom Cruise is poised to land his largest debut of all time over this Memorial Day weekend with the long in development sequel Top Gun: Maverick as the animated The Bob’s Burgers Movie is also served up. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:

Top Gun: Maverick Box Office Prediction

The Bob’s Burgers Movie Box Office Prediction

Arriving 36 years after the first entry made Cruise a superstar, Maverick is generating terrific buzz. For the three-day portion of the holiday frame, it needs to surpass the $64 million earned by 2005’s War of the Worlds in order to set a personal best start. I have it achieving that feat with over $10 million to spare with a gross just shy of $100 million for the Friday to Monday haul.

As for Burgers, it could find itself locked in a race with Downton Abbey: A New Era for third.

After a three-week reign atop the charts, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will drop to second with The Bad Guys likely rounding out the top five.

Here’s how I see for the four-day frame and I’m throwing in the three-day projections for the newbies:

1. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $138 million (Friday to Monday); **$113.4 million (Friday to Sunday)

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $22.1 million

3. The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million (Friday to Monday); **$9.2 million (Friday to Sunday)

4. Downton Abbey: A New Era

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

5. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

Box Office Results (May 20-22)

The good doctor held off competition for the third week as Multiverse took in $32.3 million, ahead of my $27.8 million projection. The MCU juggernaut is up to $342 million thus far.

Downton Abbey: A New Era settled for second with $16 million, a bit shy of my $18.4 million take. That’s on the lower end of expectations and significantly under the $31 million that its 2019 predecessor earned out of the gate.

The Bad Guys was third with $6.1 million, in range with my $5.7 million prediction for $74 million overall.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 took fourth with $4 million (I said $3.5 million) to bring its impressive tally to $181 million.

Alex Garland’s Men failed to attract an audience with $3.2 million for fifth. I was a little more generous at $4.1 million. Despite some decent reviews, the Cinemascore grade was a putrid D+.

Everything Everywhere All at Once was sixth with $3.1 million compared to my $2.7 million guesstimate. With $52 million in the bank, it is now A24’s highest domestic earner.

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