September 9-11 Box Office Predictions

Despite some encouraging early word-of-mouth, horror flick Barbarian could be fairly quiet out of the gate as the only wide release this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on it here:

Barbarian Box Office Prediction

My estimate easily puts it in the top spot, but that’s cold comfort considering I’m projecting a second weekend in a row with no title topping $10 million.

On the more limited front is the Indian adventure Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva. I didn’t do an individual post for it, but the reported 750 venues should limit its potential. With a caveat that this may over perform, I’ll say it manages a fourth place start (though it could just as easily be 2nd or 3rd).

Holdovers Top Gun: Maverick, Bullet Train, and DC League of Super-Pets should fill out the remainder of the high five. Here’s how I see it:

1. Barbarian

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

4. Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $3 million

Box Office Results (September 2-5)

On its 102nd day of release, Top Gun: Maverick returned to the top spot over a desolate Labor Day weekend with $7.9 million (surpassing my $6.2 million prediction). Tom Cruise’s sequel surpassed Black Panther to become the 5th largest domestic grosser of all time. The total is $701 million. Fifth place is likely where it will stay as #4 is Avatar ($760 million) and it’s got a re-release coming in two weeks before the December sequel.

Bullet Train was second with $7.5 million, ahead of my $6 million projection as it has pulled in $88 million over five weeks. Now might be a good time to mention that National Cinema Day, which priced films for $3 at major chains, probably helped push the numbers up a bit over the holiday.

DC League of Super-Pets was third with $6.7 million (I underplayed it at $4.3 million). The National Cinema Day bump got it to $82 million.

Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition added 11 minutes of extra footage and $6.5 million to its considerable coffers. That’s in range with my $7 million guesstimate. Spidey has swung $811 million in the bank.

The Invitation rounded out the top five at $6.1 million (besting my $4.6 million take) for a two-week total of $15 million.

Beast was sixth with $5 million compared to my call of $4.1 million for $26 million overall.

Minions: The Rise of Gru was seventh with $4.5 million and I did not project it. The franchise blockbuster sits at $360 million.

The Jaws re-release was 8th with $3.3 million, on target with my prediction of $3.1 million.

Finally, the Regina Hall/Sterling K. Brown satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. found no love with $1.7 million for 14th place. I said $2.4 million.

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

September 2-5 Box Office Predictions

Just like last year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe may land atop the charts over Labor Day weekend. This time around, it’ll be with considerably less money… as in, less than one-tenth of what we witnessed in 2021. Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition (with 11 minutes of extra footage) is scheduled for the widest (re)release of the holiday frame.

Steven Spielberg’s OG summer blockbuster Jaws also returns to cinemas. The only true newcomer is the Regina Hall/Sterling K. Brown satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,, which is also available on streaming via Peacock.

My detailed prediction posts on each are accessible here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition Box Office Prediction

Jaws Box Office Prediction

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Box Office Prediction

Let’s start with Jesus as I have its $2.4 million projected Friday-Monday offering potentially falling outside of the top ten. There’s a slight chance it could surprise, but I doubt it.

There’s been a narrative developing for awhile that Top Gun: Maverick could manage to return to first position in its 15th week. During Labor Day, popular holdovers do often expand their gross from the previous frame. I expect that will be the case here. However, I do believe Spidey’s 3000 screens (some IMAX) should allow it to swing back to #1 after it originally debuted last December. This should leave the runner-up spot for Maverick or Bullet Train (they should be close). That’s a far cry from this same period in 2021 when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings decimated the all-time Labor Day record with $94 million.

Jaws is only on a fraction of the webbed superhero’s venues (about 1200) so the possibilities are limited. My estimate of $3.1 million would probably put it in seventh place.

Current champ The Invitation hardly impressed in its premiere (more on that below). With a troubling C Cinemascore grade, expect it to be one of the only leftovers that does see diminished returns. It should drop to at least fourth while the five spot could be close between DC League of Super-Pets and Beast. 

And with that, let’s do a top 7 outlook and keep in mind these numbers are for the four-day holiday:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition

Predicted Gross: $7 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $6 million

4. The Invitation

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

6. Beast

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

7. Jaws

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (August 26-28)

I’ll go the obvious route… there weren’t many RSVP’s for YA horror tale The Invitation. This is the first time in 15 months that the #1 pic didn’t manage to make over $10 million. The Invitation stumbled with $6.8 million, below my $8.1 million forecast.

Bullet Train was second with $5.6 million (on target of my $5.5 million call) with an overall take of $78 million.

Top Gun: Maverick was third with $4.7 million (I went with $5.2 million) as the juggernaut has now gathered $691 million. The biggest hit of the year is on a glide path to topple Black Panther ($700 million) next and become the fifth largest domestic earner in history.

Beast had a hefty sophomore drop of 58% for $4.8 million and fourth place. That’s under my $5.7 million prediction. The subpar two-week tally is $20 million.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, as anticipated, plummeted in its second weekend (its genre is extremely front loaded). After a fantastic $21 million start, Hero fell 78% to fifth with $4.6 million (I was more generous at $5 million). After ten days, it’s taken in $30 million stateside.

DC League of Super-Pets was sixth with $4.1 million (I said $4.6 million) for $74 million in its 5 weeks of release.

Finally, George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing was a pricey dud for MGM. The Idris Elba/Tilda Swinton Djinn fantasy, with a reported $60 million budget, opened in 7th with a mere $2.9 million. I thought it could at least manage $4 million. The studio is certainly wishing they hadn’t spent what they did after that performance.

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

August 26-28 Box Office Predictions

For the first time since May of 2021, we may have  a box office outing where no picture tops $10 million. We’re in a bit of a late August spiral as the YA centered vampire tale The Invitation and George Miller’s genie saga Three Thousand Years of Longing debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Invitation Box Office Prediction

Three Thousand Years of Longing Box Office Prediction

I’m not expecting much out of either. This isn’t a time when studios typically bring out heavy hitters (though it is worth noting that Universal impressed on this same weekend last year with Candyman‘s $22 million haul). I wouldn’t anticipate the newcomers coming anywhere close to that.

My Invitation estimate would give it to #1 spot while Longing could place anywhere from 2-7.  I’m thinking #7 is more probable than second as the Tilda Swinton/Idris Elba fantasy seems to be suffering from a quiet marketing campaign.

The runner-up position could be determined by the sophomore drop of current champ Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, which easily surpassed expectations (more on that below). It’s worth noting that its immediate predecessor Dragon Ball Super: Broly experienced a second frame plummet of nearly 70%. Broly actually premiered on a Wednesday before MLK weekend in 2018. In six days, it took in $22 million (similar to Hero‘s three-day mark). Broly only managed $3 million in weekend #2. I think Hero should surpass that, but don’t be surprised it drops in the low 70s.

If so, Beast could stay in second place if it only loses half its audience. While its B Cinemascore grade isn’t great, the lack of competition could mean it avoids a precipitous fall. Bullet Train, Top Gun: Maverick, and DC League of Super-Pets should all hold solidly and that could place them above Longing.

And with that, here’s how I envision the top 7 looking:

1. The Invitation 

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

2. Beast

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

5. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Predicted Gross: $5 million

6. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

7. Three Thousand Years of Longing

Predicted Gross: $4 million

Box Office Results (August 20-22)

As mentioned, it was a bountiful harvest for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as the animated Japanese martial arts fantasy crunched an impressive $21 million. That’s well above my $13.2 million projection. These titles are extremely front loaded so expect a sharp downturn, but that’s a terrific gross and we can anticipate plenty more wide openings for these genre titles.

Idris Elba battled a Beast in the form of a lion and the picture opened in line with most estimates. At $11.5 million (I said $11.3 million), it will hope to match its $36 million budget stateside in coming weeks.

Bullet Train was third with $8 million, rising ahead of my $7 million call. The three-week total is $69 million as it hopes to reach nine figures domestically.

Top Gun: Maverick soared to new heights with $5.9 million, a little under my $6.7 million prediction. In its 13th (!) weekend, Maverick surpassed Avengers: Infinity War to become the 6th largest domestic earner of all time. The tally is $683 million as it looks to top Black Panther‘s $700 million next.

Finally, DC League of Super-Pets rounded out the top five with $5.6 million (I went with $5 million). The overall gross after 4 weeks is $67 million.

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

August 19-21 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (08/17): Two days before its premiere, I’m revising Beast down from $14.3M to $11.3M. That puts it in second place instead of first with Dragon Ball rising to first.

Survival thriller Beast with Idris Elba and the animated Japanese fantasy sequel Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will compete for the #1 spot this weekend. It could be a close competition and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:

Beast Box Office Prediction

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Box Office Prediction

I’m projecting that both will manage a low teens opening and I’m giving Beast an ever so slight edge. Either could over perform, but both could also top out in low double digits. As long as neither falls significantly short of expectations, they should place 1-2.

Bullet Train, after two weeks in first, should fall to 3rd or 4th depending on how well Top Gun: Maverick holds. It’s a safe bet that the latter will hold quite solidly so it could be a stiff competition for third with DC League of Super-Pets rounding out the top five.

Here’s how I see it playing out:

1. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero 

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

2. Beast

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $7 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $5 million

Box Office Results (August 12-14) 

Brad Pitt and the Bullet Train was #1 again with $13.4 million, just shy of my $14.1 million take. The two-week total is $55 million as it is tracking to come in under $100 million domestically when all is said and done.

In a photo finish for second, Top Gun: Maverick achieved another remarkable feat. Rising from sixth to the runner-up position, Tom Cruise’s biggest hit ever (and then some) earned $7 million in its 12th outing. I projected a tad lower at $6.2 million. Sitting at $673 million and #7 all-time stateside, it will eventually get to the #5 slot and overtake Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War in the coming days.

DC League of Super-Pets was third and it also made $7 million, in line with my $7.2 million prediction. The animated tale has made $58 million in its three weeks of release.

It was a razor thin margin for 4th and 5th with Thor: Love and Thunder barely surpassing Nope. The former made $5.3 million (I was right there at $5.4 million) as the MCU sequel has rung up $325 million.

Nope was fifth and also did $5.3 million, outpacing my $4.2 million guesstimate. Jordan Peele’s effort has made $107 million.

Minions: The Rise of Gru was sixth with $5 million. I went with $5.2 million and it’s amassed $343 million.

#7 was Where the Crawdads Sing with $4 million (I said $4.1 million) with a $72 million overall haul.

Bodies Bodies Bodies couldn’t really capitalize on its impressive NY/LA limited rollout last weekend. Expanding wide, it took in $3.2 million for eighth place. I was a bit more optimistic at $4.4 million. While its per screen average was 2nd in the top 10 behind only Train, look for it to fade quickly.

Elvis was ninth with $2.5 million (I said $2.6 million) as the biopic has shook up $141 million.

The climbing thriller Fall debuted in 10th with $2.5 million. That’s nothing to brag about, but it did come in with better earnings than most prognoses. This includes my own at $1.2 million.

Easter Sunday fell outside of the top ten in 11th with $2.4 million in its sophomore frame (I was on target at $2.5 million). The meager total is $9 million.

Last and least, Diane Keaton’s comedy Mack & Rita was a massive flop in 13th position with $1 million. I gave it too much leeway at $2.3 million. As if that start wasn’t bad enough, it earned a dreadful D+ Cinemascore grade.

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

Oscar Predictions: Turning Red

Turning Red is the latest Pixar title and it is out Friday on Disney Plus. The coming-of-age tale comes from director Domee She, who won an Oscar in 2018 for her short film Bao (also from Disney/Pixar).

The review embargo is up today and the result so far is 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Red was originally slated for a theatrical release but the pandemic altered that plan. It will follow in the footsteps of Soul, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Luca. What do they all have in common besides their studio? All were nominated or won (in Soul‘s case) for the Animated Feature Oscar.

With bicoastal limited theatrical showings, Red will qualify for next year’s Academy consideration. For 2021, 60% of the animated movies (Raya, Luca, Encanto) are Mouse Factory products.

While it’s certainly early, critical reaction here indicates this could easily make the cut. It’s also worth noting that Billie Eilish and brother Finneas O’Connell penned some original tunes that could be Original Song hopefuls. If that pans out, Eilish could be gunning for her second nod in a row as she’s currently up for “No Time to Die”. There’s also Ludwig Goransson who scored Red and he’s a previous Oscar winner for Black Panther. 

The other Pixar product comes this summer with Lightyear. I wouldn’t write Red‘s inclusion in blue ink yet, but don’t be surprised if it’s listed a year from now. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: The Batman

You have to go back to 2008’s The Dark Knight to find the last Batfilm to receive an Oscar nomination. It landed the most of them. While famously missing Best Picture (it’s often called the flick that caused the Academy to expand beyond five nominees), it garnered eight nods and won Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger) and Sound Editing. The other nominations were for Sound Mixing, Art Direction, Cinematography, Makeup, Film Editing, and Visual Effects. 1989’s Batman was 1 for 1 in its nominations with Art Direction while follow-up Batman Returns was up for Makeup and Visual Effects and Batman Forever received a mention for Sound Effects Editing. Batman Begins from 2005 made the Cinematography final five. Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League all failed to show up at the big show.

That history lesson is, of course, given to you because reboot The Batman  with Robert Pattinson opens Friday and the review embargo lifted today. Early critical reaction has resulted in an 87% Rotten Tomatoes score thus far. Some write-ups are calling it masterful. Others are more mixed in the praise with some complaints of over length in particular.

So what are its Oscar prospects? As I see it, pretty strong in many of the races mentioned above. That includes Sound (now just one competition), Visual Effects, Production Design (what was Art Direction), Makeup and Hairstyling, Cinematography, and even Original Score (from Michael Giacchino). Director Matt Reeves, taking over the franchise, has experience in the VE derby with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes. 

Those down the line nods could be plentiful for The Batman. However, I don’t see it getting Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, or nominations for its actors. It won’t be for lack of social media chatter. We have seen numerous comic book adaptations receive fervent support online (from The Dark Knight to Deadpool to Avengers: Endgame to Spider-Man: No Way Home). Only Black Panther and Joker have made the BP cut. I don’t envision The Batman being the third, but tech nods should happen. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

January 21-23 Box Office Predictions

The trio of S sequels – Scream, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sing 2 – should continue to dominate the box office charts despite the arrival of two newcomers this weekend. We have the historical romance Redeeming Love and long in the can fantasy adventure The King’s Daughter debuting. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Redeeming Love Box Office Prediction

The King’s Daughter Box Office Prediction

The real drama could be for the #1 spot and that depends on how far Scream drops in its sophomore weekend and how well Spidey holds in its sixth. For some context, Scream 3 back in 2000 fell 53% in its second frame while 2011’s Scream 4 dip was steeper at 62%. With little competition, the fifth installment could see a drop more in part 3’s range, but it could also come close to 60%. No Way Home, if it descends in the mid 30s range, might give it a run for its money at the top. In fact, I’m giving the web slinger an ever so slight edge.

My projection of $2.4 million for Redeeming Love should mean a fourth place showing behind the fifth weekend for Sing 2. The five spot could go to The King’s Man, not the The King’s Daughter.

As mentioned, The King’s Daughter has been collecting dust on the shelf since the fifth year of the Obama administration (read my full post for all the details). I’m forecasting a measly $1 million and that should keep it outside the high five.

Here’s how I’m seeing the top five breaking down:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $13 million

2. Scream

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

3. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million

4. Redeeming Love

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

5. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $1.6 million

Box Office Results (January 14-17)

The four-day MLK weekend knocked Spider-Man off his perch at #1 and delivered pleasing results for Scream. The well-reviewed fifth entry in the quarter century old series took in $33.8 million over the long frame, coming in a bit under my $36.4 million prediction. That’s good for the third best 3-day traditional start in the franchise after Scream 3 ($34 million) and Scream 2 ($32 million) as it made $30 million from Friday to Sunday.

After four weeks at #1, Spider-Man: No Way Home was second with $24.6 million, slightly ahead of my $22.7 million projection. The MCU juggernaut stands at $702 million and passed Black Panther to become the 4th highest domestic earner in history.

Sing 2 was third with $10.3 million (in range with my $9.4 million take) for $121 million overall.

The 355 was fourth in its sophomore outing with $2.7 million (I went with $3.1 million) for $8 million total.

The five spot belonged to The King’s Man at $2.6 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It’s made $29 million.

That’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

Oscar Predictions – Spider-Man: No Way Home

When Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy kicked off nearly 20 years ago, it managed to nab a Best Visual Effects nod (losing to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers). Two years later, the 2004 sequel won the prize. Since then, the five Spidey features that followed (Maguire’s third, both Andrew Garfield iterations, and the first two Tom Holland MCU flicks) didn’t show up in the race. Will Spider-Man: No Way Home change that?

The 27th entry (and fourth this year) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuts Friday and I have it pegged for the fourth best domestic opening of all time (behind Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens). The review embargo lifted early this morning and it stands at an impressive 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

While nearly all critical notices are positive, I don’t think this will be the second MCU title to nab a Best Picture nomination behind Black Panther. While Best Sound is feasible, Home‘s best hope at Academy inclusion is in Visual Effects. MCU movies vying for that prize is not unusual. The inaugural pic in the biggest franchise of all (2008’s Iron Man) made the cut. So have Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Infinity War, and Endgame. None have won.

So despite the last quintet of web slinger sagas not being honored for their effects, Home should have no problem? I don’t think it’s quite that simple. There are two Warner Bros sci-fi extravaganzas (Dune and The Matrix Resurrections) that should get in. That leaves three slots. Warner has another hopeful with Godzilla vs. Kong. Marvel itself has Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals (and Black Widow to a lesser degree) vying for spots. Shang-Chi especially could get in (the Critics Choice Awards included it on their ballot). Don’t Look Up, Finch, and No Time to Die are other possibilities. It’s worth noting that whether Home makes the five, Dune is the very heavy favorite to take gold.

Here’s my hunch: by the time Academy voters cast their final votes, Home appears bound to have heightened box office numbers to their highest achievements in the pandemic era. That fact alone might get it some recognition from the Oscars and that would be for its visuals. Another interesting stat: of the ten current largest stateside premieres ever, only two (Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World) didn’t score at least one nomination from the Academy. That puts this in a decent position. My Oscar Predictions posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Review

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is planted firmly in mid-tier Marvel territory and that’s to say it’s quite an enjoyable origin spectacle with humorous moments sprinkled in. The formula is adhered to, but there’s enough quality entertainment to make it worthwhile. We expect an abundance of Daddy issues in our MCU tales and we sure get it. What makes it new(ish) is the patriarchal villain is given dimensions that prevent another franchise feature where the bad guy is the weakest character (an attribute that also pertained to Black Panther).

Shaun (Simu Liu) has a fascinating backstory for a San Francisco valet. He’s rather aimless in his pursuits and seems content parking whips of the wealthy with his bestie Katy (Awkwafina, providing sturdy comic relief).   He grew up overseas as Shang-Chi, the heir to his father Wenwu’s (Tony Leung) world conquering dynasty. Dad is an immortal ruler who fooled around and fell in love with Ying Li (Fala Chen). Shang-Chi is the first born with sister Xi Xialing following. After some past associates of Wenwu off Mom, our teenage title character is eventually given the choice to exact revenge or abandon his birthright. He chooses the latter but can’t escape his upbringing when Papa comes calling.

That’s when Shang-Chi is forced to show Katy that he’s a well trained martial arts master and superhero in waiting during a meticulously choreographed action sequence aboard a bus. He also tracks down his estranged sister (Meng’er Zhang) who now runs an underground fighting circuit. They’re reunited with Wenwu, whose wrists are adorned with the ten rings that give him his otherworldly powers. If you need some context for MCU purposes, think of them as like Infinity Stones but they… actually just think Infinity Stones and you should be fine.

Wenwu is convinced that their departed matriarch is still alive and being held captive in Ta Lo, a mystical place filled with CG beasts that’s only reachable through an ever shifting forest. His kids aren’t buying it and they put it upon themselves to stop Dad, his henchmen, and his Stones (sorry… Rings) from their nefarious land acquisition. In Ta Lo, they are subject to more training from their aunt (the welcome sight of Michelle Yeoh).

Like the karaoke ditties that Shaun and Katy drunkenly belt after a day’s work, this material has been covered better before. We are in rare MCU territory with nearly all never before seen characters (though there’s a few recognizable surprise appearances that I won’t spoil). The faces may change yet their circumstances remain the same. Part of Rings is told through flashbacks that feel familiar. They’re brief enough that they generally don’t weigh down the forward momentum.

Shang-Chi and Xi Xialing are clearly being set up for further duty in this universe and I’d say the jury is still out on how effective they’ll be as leaders of the new Marvel school. Tony Leung, a legend in Chinese cinema, makes for a compelling villain with more layers than your run-of-the-mill MCU antagonist.

By the time we reach the climax, Rings is hampered with some indecipherable and visually unappealing CG mayhem. That serves as an unfortunate drag on the proceedings, but much of what precedes it is a pleasurable intro to some new players that I’m anxious to see again.

*** (out of four)

Oscar Predictions: Eternals

Chloe Zhao was the big winner at the previous Academy Awards when Nomadland took Best Picture and she became the second female filmmaker to take the trophy for her direction. Her follow-up is a high profile one in Marvel’s Eternals, which opens November 5th and had its review embargo lifted today.

With an eclectic cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie, MCU entry #26 is undoubtedly one of 2021’s most anticipated blockbusters. However, critical reaction is certainly mixed. The 74% Rotten Tomatoes score is on the lower side for this series. Just this year, Black Widow stands at 79% while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings got to 92%.

Any thought of Zhao’s having two Best Picture winners or nominees in a row (or being mentioned again in Director) has fallen by the wayside. The one race where I did feel hope for Eternals sprung was in Visual Effects. That could still happen, but I’m not near as confident. Competition will be fairly strong. Dune is easily the frontrunner and will likely win. Other notable contenders include The Matrix Resurrections, Don’t Look Up, Godzilla vs. Kong, Nightmare Alley, Jungle Cruise, Finch, and Free Guy. And then there’s the other MCU rivals like Shang-Chi and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

There could still be room for Eternals in VE, but I’m thinking it may on the outside looking in. Even some of the reviews aren’t gushing about the visuals. Bottom line: Eternals took itself out of the running for the big races and could be iffy in the one tech competition where I thought it stood an excellent shot. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…