A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing with my series showcasing the voluminous amount of Oscar nominees and winners that have appeared in the 25 Marvel Cinematic Universe pictures (including the upcoming Black Widow and The Eternals), we arrive at Best Supporting Actor.

If you missed my previous posts covering the lead performers in Actor and Actress, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/04/12/a-marvel-cinematic-oscar-history-best-actor/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/04/14/a-marvel-cinematic-oscar-history-best-actress/

Supporting Actor, of the four acting categories, contains the most nominees at 36. However, there are only 4 wins represented. As a reminder, the MCU has given us 110 total nominees and 20 golden recipients.

Let’s start with the four gentlemen who made a trip to the podium:

Sam Rockwell, who costarred in Iron Man 2, took gold in 2017 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri 

Tommy Lee Jones, who appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, emerged victorious in 1993 for The Fugitive

Benicio del Toro, who memorably appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, won in 2000 for Traffic

J.K. Simmons, who popped up in Spider-Man: Far From Home reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson from the original Spidey trilogy, won in 2014 for Whiplash

And now the 29 additional performers who received nods:

Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., received a nomination in 2008 for Tropic Thunder

Jeff Bridges, the Iron Man villain, is a four-time nominee for 1971’s The Last Picture Show, 1974’s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 2000’s The Contender, and Hell or High Water in 2016

Samuel L. Jackson, who has played Nick Fury in numerous MCU entries, got a nod in 1994 for Pulp Fiction

Edward Norton, who was the Hulk before Mark Ruffalo, is a two-time nominee for 1996’s Primal Fear and 2014’s Birdman

Tim Roth, bad guy in Norton’s The Incredible Hulk, for 1995’s Rob Roy

William Hurt, whose MCU appearances also began in The Incredible Hulk, for 2005’s A History of Violence

Sam Rockwell was nominated a year after his Billboards win in 2018 for Vice

Anthony Hopkins, Thor’s dad, for 1997’s Amistad and last year’s The Two Popes

Stanley Tucci, also of Captain America: First Avenger, in 2010 for The Lovely Bones

Mark Ruffalo is a three-time nominee: 2010’s The Kids Are All Right, 2014’s Foxcatcher, and in 2015 for Spotlight

Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, in 2010’s The Town

Ben Kingsley, from Iron Man 3, is a two-time mention for 1991’s Bugsy and 2001’s Sexy Beast

Benicio del Toro also received a nomination for 2003’s 21 Grams

Bradley Cooper, Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, for 2013’s American Hustle

Djimon Hounsou, who first appeared in Guardians, for both 2003’s In America and 2006’s Blood Diamond

John C. Reilly, another Guardians performer, for 2002’s Chicago

Josh Brolin, aka Thanos, for 2008’s Milk

Sylvester Stallone, who appeared in the Guardians sequel, for 2015’s Creed

Matt Damon, who had a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, for Invictus in 2009

Jude Law, from Captain Marvel, received a nomination 20 years earlier for The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jake Gyllenhaal, villain for Spider-Man: Far From Home, for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain

And that does it for now, folks! I’ll have Supporting Actress up in short order…

 

 

A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Actor

I was rewatching Avengers: Endgame over the weekend and it once again struck me how many famous actors are in that thing. I mean… seriously. It’s rather amazing. This got me thinking and yes, current world events may have given me an opportunity to do so:

Just how many performers that have been in Marvel Cinematic Universe entries have won Oscars or been nominated for Oscars? I knew the number would be high, but the answer still astonished me. In fact, you have to back to 1981 for a year where no actor that eventually appeared in the MCU didn’t receive a nomination.

If you count Marvel’s next two pictures (Black Widow, The Eternals) and then count the 23 movies prior that started in 2008 with Iron Man, it encapsulates 110 acting nominations and 20 wins! I am not yet putting Christian Bale in there though he’s rumored to be playing the villain in the fourth Thor flick. I’ll wait for confirmation on that. If you did count Bale, the numbers go to 114 nods and 21 Academy victories.

Due to this research, I’m writing 4 blog posts dedicated to each acting race and we begin with Best Actor:

The leading man category makes up 33 out of the 110 nominations with 6 wins. The victorious gentlemen are as follows:

Jeff Bridges, the main baddie in Iron Man, won in 2009 for Crazy Heart

William Hurt, who appeared in The Incredible Hulk and other MCU titles, took Best Actor in 1985 for Kiss of the Spider Woman

Anthony Hopkins, aka Thor’s Dad, was stage bound in 1991 for his iconic role as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs

Ben Kingsley, who sparred with Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, is a 1982 recipient in the title role of Gandhi

Michael Douglas, who appeared in both Ant-Man pics, was Best Actor in 1987 for Wall Street

Forest Whitaker, who costarred in Black Panther, took gold in 2006 for The Last King of Scotland

Aside from the winners, here are the other 27 Actor nods:

Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., for 1992’s Chaplin

Terrence Howard, who was in the first Iron Man, for 2005’s Hustle & Flow

Jeff Bridges scored two additional nominations for 1984’s Starman and 2010’s True Grit

Edward Norton, who was Hulk before Mark Ruffalo, for 1998’s American History X

William Hurt, like fellow winner Bridges, also landed two other nods for 1986’s Children of a Lesser God and 1987’s Broadcast News

Don Cheadle, who replaced Terrence Howard in Iron Man 2 and more, for 2004’s Hotel Rwanda

Mickey Rourke, the villain in Iron Man 2, for 2008’s The Wrestler

Anthony Hopkins, following his Lambs victory, was nominated twice more for 1993’s The Remains of the Day and 1995’s Nixon

Tommy Lee Jones, from Captain America: First Avenger, for 2007’s In the Valley of Elah

Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, for his breakthrough role in 2009’s The Hurt Locker

Robert Redford, who was in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, surprisingly only has one acting nod for 1973’s The Sting. He is, however, a twice nominated director and won in 1980 for Ordinary People 

Bradley Cooper, Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy, has been nominated thrice with no wins: 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook, 2014’s American Sniper, and 2018’s A Star Is Born

Benedict Cumberbatch, aka Doctor Strange, for 2014’s The Imitation Game

Chiwetel Ejiofor, also in Doctor Strange, for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave

Sylvester Stallone, who popped up in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, for his signature role in 1976’s Rocky

Michael Keaton, the villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming, for 2014’s Birdman

Matt Damon, who had a memorable cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, is twice nominated for 1997’s Good Will Hunting and 2015’s The Martian

Daniel Kaluuya, Black Panther costar, for 2017’s Get Out

Laurence Fishburne, supporting player in Ant-Man and the Wasp, as Ike Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It

Jude Law, from Captain Marvel, for 2003’s Cold Mountain 

Whew. And there you have it. I’ll be back at it shortly with the Best Actress nominees who got their Marvel on!

Oscar Watch: The Irishman

The biggest Oscar domino not yet fall screened has been Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, the three and a half hour gangster drama headlined by genre legends Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci. That changed today. The epic opened the New York Film Festival exactly two months ahead of its Netflix debut. And – no real surprise here – it appears to be a serious contender.

The Irishman is said to be both a humorous and contemplative piece with De Niro and Pacino providing their best performances in years. Same goes for Pesci as he’s been away from the silver screen for nearly a decade.

While nearly all reviews are positive, they’re not all raves. My early hunch is that this will earn Picture and Director nods. Winning is another story and that is one still left to play out. The Rotten Tomatoes score is at 100%. This will likely mark Scorsese’s ninth nomination (he’s won once for 2006’s The Departed). That’s also his only effort to be named Best Picture. The Adapted Screenplay from Steve Zaillian should also make the final cut.

Down the line recognition presents many chances including Cinematography, Editing, Costume Design, and Visual Effects. For the latter, the de-aging technology that allows its stars to look younger could attract the notice of that branch. The pic would actually be the second Scorsese title to get a Visual Effects nod after 2011’s Hugo (which won).

Now to the thespians. The thinking is that De Niro will be in lead actor with Pacino and Pesci in supporting. It sounds as if they will be the trio in contention. De Niro would gunning for his eighth appearance as a nominee. He won Supporting for 1974’s The Godfather Part II and lead in Scorsese’s 1980 masterwork Raging Bull. I’ve had him listed in spot #6 for some time in my weekly rankings. I could still see him missing the cut as his role is said to be less flashy than his costars, but I think his chances are better today. Numerous critics have stated that Pacino steals the show and he’s going for nomination #9 (his sole win is 1992’s Scent of a Woman). Like De Niro, I’ve had him slotted sixth and I expect him to enter the top five in a supporting actor race that is already jam packed. As for Pesci (who won for 1990’s Scorsese classic GoodFellas), other reviewers are singling him out. That opens the door for two men to be nominated in the supporting race for the second time since 1991 when Harvey Keitel (who’s also in this) and Ben Kingsley were recognized for Bugsy. This occurred again two years ago with Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Pesci is not the near sure thing Pacino is, but it could happen.

Bottom line: The Irishman did what it needed to do in the Big Apple to establish itself as a player in awards chatter. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Operation Finale Box Office Prediction

Historical thriller Operation Finale sets out in theaters this Labor Day weekend, hoping to bring in an adult audience looking for very late summer entertainment. The tale of Jewish Nazi hunters comes from director Chris Weitz, whose eclectic filmography includes About a Boy and The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Melanie Laurent, Haley Lu Richardson, Lior Raz, Nick Kroll, and Joe Alwyn star.

Unlike most holiday frames, Labor Day is not known for huge debuts and Finale could struggle to find a decent start. While the Star Wars franchise has certainly given Isaac exposure, nothing has shown he can open a picture.

I’ll predict a high single digits gross over the long weekend. That means it should hit double digits when factoring in the Wednesday opening.

Operation Finale opening weekend prediction: $8.8 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Searching prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/14/searching-box-office-prediction/

For my Kin prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/21/kin-box-office-prediction/

For my Ya Veremos prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/27/ya-veremos-box-office-prediction/

For my The Little Stranger prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/27/the-little-stranger-box-office-prediction/

A Supporting Actor Oscar History

In the eight decades of Oscar history, we have seen the Supporting Actor category honor actors from the same picture about one-fifth of the time. It’s a fairly rare occurrence, but it’s been especially so as of late. It’s been 26 years since the Academy last did so and that serves as the longest gap by a lot. 2017 could change that.

Before we get to that, a little history lesson…

The first multiple Supporting Actor nominees happened in 1939 when Harry Carey and Claude Rains were nominated for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. 

It was 14 years before it happened again with 1953’s Shane bestowing nods for Jack Palance and Brandon deWilde. The following year gave us our first three actor nominations when Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Rod Steiger all had their names up for On the Waterfront. The 1950s would do this twice more – in 1957’s Peyton Place for Arthur Kennedy and Russ Tamblyn and 1959’s Anatomy of a Murder for Arthur O’Connell and George C. Scott.

1961 would bring Scott another nod for The Hustler, along with Jackie Gleason. 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde nominated both Gene Hackman and Michael J. Pollard.

1971 was the first year when one of the multiple picture nominees actually won. Ben Johnson emerged victorious for The Last Picture Show, while costar Jeff Bridges was nominated.

The Godfather saga would bestow six nominations among its two classic films. The 1972 original nominated James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino. The 1974 sequel had Robert De Niro winning the statue, along with the nominated Michael V. Gazzo and Lee Strasberg. 1976’s Rocky nominated both Mick (Burgess Meredith) and Paulie (Burt Young) while Jason Robards won for 1977’s Julia with Maximillian Schell getting a nod.

Timothy Hutton would win for Ordinary People in 1980 with costar Judd Hirsch nominated. Jack Nicholson won for 1983’s Terms of Endearment with John Lithgow getting recognition. 1986’s Platoon was granted two nominees – Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger.

And in 1991 – Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley were nominated for Bugsy. 

That is the 16th and final time this has happened.

As mentioned, this year could potentially change that and there’s a surprising four ways for it to happen.

The least likely of the four scenarios in my opinion would be Jason Mitchell or Garrett Hedlund for Mudbound. Perhaps Mitchell could sneak in, but even that’s a long shot and the chances of both getting in seems non-existent.

The other three scenarios are all plausible. There’s Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins for The Shape of Water. We have Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name. It wouldn’t shock me for either to occur, but maybe the best chance is Sam Rockwell (a lock for a nod) and Woody Harrelson (less so) for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

It’s been a quarter century since two actors from the same film heard the names called in Supporting Actor. Will 2017 change that?

Stay tuned…

Collide Box Office Prediction

Action thriller Collide, out next weekend, was filmed nearly three years ago and has collected dust on the stateside shelf. It was scheduled to be released domestically nearly a year and a half ago back before Relativity Media filed for bankruptcy.

On the plus side, at least one of the actors in it has become considerably more famous since. Felicity Jones is among the cast and her profile has gone up immensely since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It shouldn’t matter much. Other stars include Nicholas Hoult, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley, and Marwan Kenzari.

The bank heist flick has received very limited promotion and it looks like it’s essentially being dumped into an uninterested marketplace. I believe Collide may not even reach $3 million and be On Demand your viewing pleasure quite soon.

Collide opening weekend prediction: $2.1 million

For my Get Out prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/get-out-box-office-prediction/

For my Rock Dog prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/15/rock-dog-box-office-prediction/

The Jungle Book Movie Review

Nearly four decades after Disney told the tale of Mowgli’s adventures in animated form, the studio continues its retellings of their catalogue in mostly CG form with The Jungle Book. The result is a satisfying effort that doesn’t reach the level of a true classic – just as the 1967 effort didn’t either. Still, it’s an unquestionable triumph of what technology can accomplish these days. In an age where talking animals have stampeded multiplexes, these ones look pretty darn amazing.

Jon Favreau has been tasked with bringing back Mowgli (Neel Sethi in an adequate child performance) and his story of being raised in the jungle. He’s part of a wolf pack that has nothing to do with Zach Galifianakis as he’s actually been raised by wolves. There’s also his panther mentor Bagheera (voiced by Ben Kingsley) who encourages our young protagonist to find others like him (you know, people) after his life is threatened by the fierce tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba, enunciating menace expertly).

This, of course, sets our hero off on an adventure where he comes into contact with many of the inhabitants of the vast wild lands he calls home. He partners up with honey grubbing bear Baloo (Bill Murray), has a frightening encounter with snake Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), and is taunted by apish thug King Louie (Christopher Walken).

The voiceover casting here is impeccable and adds a lot to these proceedings. Song and dance man Walker gets a solo take on “I Wan’na Be Like You” and “The Bare Necessities” is figured in. Truthfully, the musical numbers seem a little tacked on, but they’re not around long enough to really complain about. Plus the kids should dig them.

The Jungle Book and its message of the dangers of man vs. wild is a familiar one, but we’ve yet to witness it with special effects like these. We are aware Mowgli and the boy playing him probably spent months in front of a green screen. However, we forget it quickly with these ultra photo realistic creatures in front of us and their well cast actors voicing them. This is the biggest accomplishment that Favreau and his team pull off and it’s certainly enough to make this a worthy addition to the Mouse Factory’s long list of verbal beast experiences.

*** (out of four)

The Jungle Book Box Office Prediction

For the past month, Disney’s mega-hit Zootopia has cornered the family market and stampeded to a current gross of over $275 million. The next kiddie friendly blockbuster looks to be the studio’s own The Jungle Book, which swings into theaters next weekend.

From Iron Man director Jon Favreau, this animal tale remakes Disney’s 1967 animated pic based on Rudyard Kipling’s celebrated works. It also continues their recent trend (Maleficent, Cinderella) of live action remaking titles from their storied past. Book casts newcomer Neel Sethi as young Mowgli with lots of familiar faces voicing the creatures. That list includes Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Lupita N’Yongo.

As I see it, The Jungle Book appears primed for a terrific opening in range with the aforementioned Mouse Factory products. 2014’s Maleficent debuted to $69 million. Last year’s Cinderella premiered with $67 million. Their respective domestic hauls were $241M and $201M. Interestingly, just today, Warner Bros own Jungle Book remake (directed by Andy Serkis) has been pushed from 2017 to 2018.

Boasting a current 100% Rotten Tomatoes score should only further positive word of mouth. I believe this could potentially top the remakes that came before it and exceed $70 million.

The Jungle Book opening weekend prediction: $74.6 million

For my Barbershop: The Next Cut prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/06/barbershop-the-next-cut-box-office-prediction/

For my Criminal prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/06/criminal-box-office-prediction/

The Walk Box Office Prediction

Recounting the true story of Philippe Petit’s tight rope walk across the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the mid 1970s, Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk hits theaters next Friday after its limited IMAX debut. Starring Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ben Kingsley and James Badge Dale, the pic looks to capitalize on its mostly positive reviews (85% on Rotten Tomatoes currently) for stellar returns.

I’m of the opinion this will just do OK numbers. First, we’ve just recently seen a similar IMAX to wide roll out with Everest and it brought in less than expected numbers when it hit over 2000 screens at $13.2 million. I don’t believe The Walk will outdo what Everest accomplished. There’s also plenty of competition in the form of adult titles like The Martian and Sicario, both of which will be entering their second weekends.

Add all that up and I’m thinking low double digits out of the gate.

The Walk opening weekend prediction: $11.9 million

For my Pan prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/10/01/pan-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: The Walk

Opening today in limited IMAX release is Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk, which recounts the true life tale of French high wire artist Philippe Petit’s adventures walking across the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center over 40 years ago. The pic had its premiere last week at the New York Film Festival and it certainly has its admirers (to the tune of a solid 84% on Rotten Tomatoes). Could it be a factor in the Oscar race?

The answer: doubtful. While reviews have been mostly positive, they haven’t been over the moon and many critics have said the film is only really worth it for a thrilling last forty minutes or so. As the lead, Joseph Gordon Levitt has gotten fine notices but appears to be a long shot in the Best Actor race. It’s worth noting that Gordon Levitt was once seen as a potential double threat for a nod in 2015 until his title performance in Oliver Stone’s Snowden was pushed to 2016. Supporting players Ben Kingsley and James Badge Dale appear unlikely to be factors.

Even with reviewers praising the directorial effort of Zemeckis (who won in 1994 for Forrest Gump), his nomination seems improbable. If the movie itself becomes a runaway hit, it could sneak into Best Picture but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Two areas where The Walk could garner notice is in Visual Effects and Cinematography, yet those races are bound to be crowded as well.

Bottom line: at this time, I wouldn’t list The Walk as much of a threat for Academy attention, but it could always be subject to change.