Three years after receiving multiple Oscar nominations for The Big Short, Adam McKay is touching hot button issues yet again with Vice. The biopic of Dick Cheney is out Christmas Day with Christian Bale in the title role. Costars include Amy Adams as wife Lynne, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Steve Carell as Don Rumsfeld, Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, Jesse Plemons, and Alison Pill.
Like The Big Short, this has been subject to awards recognition already as it led the Golden Globes in number of nominations. The embargo for reviews was up earlier this week and the Rotten Tomatoes rating is currently 67%. That’s a bit less than expected, but a Best Picture nod seems quite possible while nominations for Bale and Adams look assured.
The decision to release Vice in the competitive holiday week could limit its potential out of the gate – yet it could appeal to adult moviegoers and politicos. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday, it’s likely its first threes days of earnings could match or even exceed the traditional weekend that follows. Short took in just over $10 million in its Yuletide 2015 wide expansion. For another comp with similar subject matter, Oliver Stone’s 2008 biopic W. did the exact same number as Short.
Considering there are six days to ponder, I’ll say $7 million for the weekend with over $7 million added from Tuesday-Thursday.
Vice opening weekend prediction: $7.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $14.8 million (Tuesday to Sunday)
Audiences get a chance to get acquainted with MissSloane when it opens wide next weekend. The political drama stars Jessica Chastain as an influential DC lobbyist who takes on the powerful gun lobby. John Madden (director of ShakespeareinLove and the two MarigoldHotel pics) is behind the camera with a supporting cast that includes Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow and Sam Waterston.
Sloane is getting a bit of attention due to Chastain’s performance. Reviews have singled out her work and she may be in line for an Oscar nomination (though that is a highly competitive race this year and she could be on the outside looking in). That said, critical reaction has been mixed and it stands at 62% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Political movies always face an uphill struggle with moviegoers and this may especially hold true in a year where the subject is everywhere around us.
Debuting on approximately 1600 screens, Sloane may just get to mid single digits.
MissSloane opening weekend prediction: $4.6 million
For my OfficeChristmasParty prediction, click here:
Yet another piece of the Oscar puzzle revealed itself last night when MissSloane premiered at the AFI Film Festival. This comes from director John Madden (who helmed the 1998 Best Picture winner ShakespeareinLove) and focuses on the issues of gun control and Washington lobbyists.
Some of the early reviews have been positive but others have been mixed (it sits at 60% at the moment on Rotten Tomatoes). This looked like a potential long shot contender for Picture and Director recognition and the buzz out of AFI suggests it won’t happen.
There’s a sterling supporting cast that includes Mark Strong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, John Lithgow, Jake Lacy, and Sam Waterston. Don’t look for their names, however, to garner any Academy attention. And there’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who’s been singled out in some notices and could be a dark horse contender in Supporting Actress (though that probably won’t happen).
No, where MissSloane could factor into awards season is the way it’s always thought to have been and that’s with the lead performance from Jessica Chastain. She’s been nominated twice before – in Supporting for 2011’s TheHelp and lead in 2012’s ZeroDarkThirty. Initial reviews have praised her work and remarked that she carries the movie.
In a normal year, Chastain might be a shoo-in for a nomination. Not in 2016 and that’s because Actress is incredibly competitive this year. The trio of Annette Bening (20thCenturyWomen), Natalie Portman (Jackie), and Emma Stone (LaLaLand) all look poised for nods. The final two slots look to be filled by a combo of any of the following: Chastain, Meryl Streep (FlorenceFosterJenkins), Ruth Negga (Loving), and Amy Adams (Arrival). Upset entries could include Isabelle Huppert (Elle) or Rebecca Hall (Christine). And we are still waiting on Taraji P. Henson (HiddenFigures) and Jennifer Lawrence (Passengers).
See what I mean by competition? That said, Chastain (while no threat to win) solidified her name into this busy race with the Sloane screening.