February 15-18 Box Office Predictions

It’s the four-day President’s Day weekend at the box office with Valentines Day falling on Thursday. That means the trio of newcomers out are hitting screens during the week. They are Blumhouse horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U, James Cameron penned sci-fi graphic novel adaptation Alita: Battle Angel, and romantic comedy satire Isn’t It Romantic. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:




Before the weekend began, it was pretty much a given that The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part would repeat rather easily at #1 over this long frame. Now with it’s much less than forecasted debut (more on that below), there’s some uncertainty. What should help is that both Death Day and Romantic come out on Wednesday with Alita following on Thursday. This particular weekend typically sees small declines for holdovers considering the extra day involved. In 2014, the first Lego Movie dipped a scant 9%. I’ve got the sequel dropping more than that, but I’ve still topping the charts.

That is, of course, if none of the newbies over perform and that’s certainly possible (especially with Death Day part deux in my opinion). Yet the Wednesday premiere still leads me to think it could be a tad front loaded.

That means I have slots 2-4 reserved for the debuts with What Men Want rounding out the top five in its sophomore frame.

Here’s how I have the high-five shaking out and keep in mind these projections are for Friday through Monday.

1. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Predicted Gross: $27.8 million

2. Happy Death Day 2U

Predicted Gross: $22 million (Friday to Monday); $28.6 million (Wednesday to Monday)

3. Alita: Battle Angel

Predicted Gross: $19.7 million (Friday to Monday); $24.8 million (Thursday to Monday)

4. Isn’t It Romantic

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million (Friday to Monday); $20.7 million (Wednesday to Monday)

5. What Men Want

Predicted Gross: $13 million

Box Office Results (February 810)

It was a weekend with four newcomers and they all came in under my expectations and none more so than The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. The animated sequel had no problem nabbing the top spot, but it was a hollow victory as it earned $34.1 million. That’s less than half of what its predecessor started with five years ago and well below my $48.6 million prediction. Warner Bros may be forced to rethink the future of the franchise while they cross their fingers for a minimal drop this weekend.

What Men Want opened in so-so fashion in second with $18.2 million, below my forecast of $26.4 million. The comedic remake with Taraji P. Henson came in on the low-end of its range.

Same story for Cold Pursuit as the Liam Neeson action thriller was third with $11 million (I was higher at $12.8 million). Neeson received all the wrong kinds of publicity in the lead up to the release and it certainly didn’t help.

On a rare positive note for this weekend, The Upside continued its remarkable hold in fourth with $7 million compared to my $5.8 million take. The gross is currently $85 million as the century club appears assured.

Glass, after two weeks in first, slid to fifth with $6.2 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five and it’s scratching the $100 million mark at $98 million.

Horror flick The Prodigy was sixth with just $5.8 million, in line with my $6.1 million prediction. Look for it to disappear quickly.

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

Alita: Battle Angel Box Office Prediction

Based on a popular Japanese graphic novel, the sci-fi action spectacle Alita: Battle Angel is finally ready for release next Thursday. Robert Rodriguez serves as director with a screenplay from another well-known auteur by the name of James Cameron (as well as Laeta Kalogridis). Rosa Salazar provides the voice and motion capture work for the title character and other cast members include Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley.

Alita was originally slated for release last summer before being pushed back to December. The folks at 20th Century Fox moved it from that crowded marketplace to Valentine’s Day. However, other movies should still be a factor. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will likely top the charts in its second frame while horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U opens and provides some direct audience competition.

The reported budget here is rumored to be possibly $200 million. The visuals have been praised while the film itself has had a mixed critical reaction (57% currently on Rotten Tomatoes). Alita is tracking to be a disappointment stateside considering the price tag and I agree with that assessment. I’ll say it manages high teens to low 20s for the traditional Friday to Monday portion of the Presidents Day frame, which should mean mid 20s when factoring in the Thursday gross.

Alita: Battle Angel opening weekend prediction: $19.7 million (Friday to Monday); $24.8 million (Thursday to Monday)

For my Happy Death Day 2U prediction, click here:


For my Isn’t It Romantic prediction, click here:


Oscar Watch – Alita: Battle Angel

James Cameron is no stranger to Oscar attention with Titanic winning Best Picture 21 years ago and Avatar picking up a slew of nominations in 2009. In two weeks, he serves as co-writer for Alita: Battle Angel along with Laeta Kologridis. It’s directed by Robert Rodriguez. The pic is based on a well-known series of cyberpunk graphic novels from Japan. Rosa Salazar voices the title character and provides motion capture work for her movements in this mix of live and CG action.

Reviews are out and they’re skewing negative, along with some positive here and there. The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 44%. A lot of the critics are particularly picking apart the screenplay and that’s not an uncommon knock on Cameron’s writing.

Alita comes with a reported budget upwards of $200 million and it’s being seen as a potential costly flop stateside (foreign grosses could be a different story). While this clearly won’t contend for major categories in awards season, the state of the art visuals have been praised. And it’s worth noting that Cameron’s directorial efforts Aliens, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Titanic, and Avatar all won Best Visual Effects at the Oscars.

That said, there’s plenty of eye-popping blockbuster feasts on the schedule in 2019 (Avengers: Endgame and the next Star Wars included). With the possibility of negative buzz enveloping it, this may not even be a slam dunk in that category. In that sense, it could be similar to 2017’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which also had poor word-of-mouth and missed out in its most obvious slot for recognition. If this manages a nod, the two Sound races are possible as well.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 4th Edition

My first Oscar predictions of October are here as the new month has brought in some important scheduling announcements!

First, it has been confirmed that Clint Eastwood’s The Mule will indeed be released in 2018. While some reports suggest it’s more of a commercial play for Warner Bros than an awards one… its release means I’m including it for the first time in a number of categories as a possibility (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay). You just can’t discount Eastwood from the awards derby.

We also learned that Mike Leigh’s Peterloo and the sci-fi tale Alita: Battle Angel have been moved to 2019. While neither of them were considered players in the major categories, both could have been contenders in down the line tech races. Not anymore.

In other developments:

  • Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy) has been ranked #1 since late August in Supporting Actor, but that now changes to Mahershala Ali in Green Book.
  • The first trailer for Vice is out. It maintains its spot at #9 on my Best Picture possibilities, but I’ve now moved Sam Rockwell into the five predicted nominees for Supporting Actor. I’m also vaulting Christian Bale from the 5 spot in Best Actor to second.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

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

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 3)

4. The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Green Book (PR: 4)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

11. Widows (PR: 11)

12. Boy Erased (PR: 12)

13. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 15)

14. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 13)

15. The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

16. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

17. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 19)

18. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 16)

19. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 20)

20. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 18)

21. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 17)

22. Beautiful Boy (PR: 23)

23. Leave No Trace (PR: 21)

24. The Front Runner (PR: 24)

25. Eighth Grade (PR: 22)

Dropped Out:

Stan and Ollie

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 2)

4. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

8. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 9)

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

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

11. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 11)

12. Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 15)

13. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

15. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers 

Best Actor

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

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 5)

3. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 3)

4. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 2)

5. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

7. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 7)

8. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

10. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 10)

11. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 9)

12. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: 11)

13. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 13)

14. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 14)

15. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

8. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 8)

9. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 9)

10. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 11)

11. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 10)

12. Keira Knightley, Colette (PR: 15)

13. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 12)

14. Carey Mulligan, Wildlife (PR: 14)

15. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 13)

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 2)

2. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 1)

3. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

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

5. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 5)

7. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

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

9. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: 14)

10. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 11)

11. John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie (PR: 10)

12. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 9)

13. Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 12)

14. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 13)

15. David Tennant, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate

Best Supporting Actress

1. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 1)

2. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

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

5. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 7)

7. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

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

9. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 8)

10. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 11)

11. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

12. Rachel McAdams, Disobedience (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: 13)

14. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 14)

15. Dianne Wiest, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Elizabeth Debicki, Widows

Linda Cardellini, Green Book

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. First Man (PR: 4)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 7)

7. Leave No Trace (PR: 6)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 9)

10. Black Panther (PR: 10)

11. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 11)

12. Disobedience (PR: 13)

13. Beautiful Boy (PR: 15)

14. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

15. The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Front Runner

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 3)

3. Green Book (PR: 2)

4. Vice (PR: 5)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. First Reformed (PR: 6)

8. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 12)

9. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

10. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

11. Private Life (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Hereditary (PR: 14)

13. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 13)

14. Ben Is Back (PR: 10)

15. Stan and Ollie (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Sorry to Bother You