2019 Oscar Predictions: January 6th Edition

There are years when the Golden Globes don’t seem to have much of an impact on my Oscar predictions. That could still hold true at the end of the day, but last night’s ceremony did so and that especially applies to the Best Actor derby and my numeric rankings in general with other top races. Let us count the ways…

  • The surprising wins for 1917 as Best Drama and Sam Mendes as its director is a real story. The timing could not be more perfect as the World War I action drama opens wide this weekend. In Picture, it rises from 5th to 4th. For Mendes, he goes from 4th to 3rd and that’s at the expense of Martin Scorsese.
  • Joaquin Phoenix hits the #1 slot in the ultra competitive Best Actor competition over Adam Driver, who’s been first for many weeks. Perhaps more significantly, Taron Egerton’s victory over Leonardo DiCaprio and Eddie Murphy in the Musical/Comedy race at the Globes places in my predicted five for the first time (he goes from 10th to 5th!). I’ve also put Antonio Banderas back in and that means Robert De Niro and Jonathan Pryce are on the outside looking in.
  • In Original Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino vaults to #1 over Noah Baumbach.

And an important programming note… this is the last time you will see my weekly predictions for 2019 in this manner. With nominations out a week from today, I will have a FINAL predictions post up this weekend (likely Friday or perhaps Saturday). As of this moment, here’s how I have it all shaking out!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Parasite (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 2)

4. 1917 (PR: 5)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Farewell (PR: 12)

11. Bombshell (PR: 11)

12. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

13. Knives Out (PR: 14)

14. Uncut Gems (PR: 15)

15. Pain and Glory (PR: 13)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

4. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 6)

7. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 9)

8. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

2. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

5. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 4)

7. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

8. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

9. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 9)

10. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

8. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 10)

9. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

10. Ana de Armas, Knives Out (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 7)

7. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 8)

9. Alan Alda, Marriage Story (PR: 10)

10. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 4)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. Shuzhen Zhao, The Farewell (PR: 7)

8. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 8)

9. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

10. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 7)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 8)

9. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

10. Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

10. Bombshell (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Dolemite Is My Name

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Corpus Christi (PR: 6)

5. Atlantics (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Beanpole (PR: 7)

7. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

8. The Painted Bird (PR: 5)

9. Honeyland (PR: 8)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Funan (PR: 9)

7. Klaus (PR: 6)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 8)

9. Abominable (PR: 7)

10. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. For Sama (PR: 3)

3. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

4. One Child Nation (PR: 4)

5. Honeyland (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. Midnight Family (PR: 9)

8. Maiden (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

10. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Knock Down the House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Joker (PR: 4)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

7. The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

8. Parasite (PR: 5)

9. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Marriage Story (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

A Hidden Life 

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Joker (PR: 8)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

9. Judy (PR: 6)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 10)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: 7)

8. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bombshell

Apollo 11

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Judy (PR: 3)

3. Joker (PR: 2)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: 7)

7. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 6)

8. 1917 (PR: 10)

9. Little Women (PR: 8)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 2)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 3)

5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 5)

7. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. The King (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Pain and Glory

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 4)

4. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

5. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: 7)

7. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

8. “Letter to My Godfather” from The Black Godfather (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 9)

10. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Speechless” from Aladdin 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. 1917 (PR: 5)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 4)

7. Joker (PR: 6)

8. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ford v Ferrari 

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

8. Joker (PR: 7)

9. The Irishman (PR: 9)

10. Us (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Rocketman (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 6)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: 9)

10. Us (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Lion King (PR: 1)

2. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

7. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 6)

8. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: 8)

9. Captain Marvel (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures garnering the following numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

9 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story

7 Nominations

Little Women

6 Nominations

Joker

5 Nominations

Parasite, Rocketman 

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell

2 Nominations

Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Corpus Christi, Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 30th Edition

There are two weeks to go before Oscar nominations come out and it’s been two weeks since I’ve updated my predictions. There’s not much in the way of major movement in the top races, but the numbers have shifted in some cases. Let’s break it down:

  • In Picture, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood vaults to #1 in what looks like a three-way competition between it, The Irishman, and Parasite.
  • Bong-Joon Ho rises to first in Director over Tarantino and Scorsese.
  • There is a change in Actor as Jonathan Pryce is back in over Antonio Banderas. Pain and Glory takes another hit in Original Screenplay as I’ve taken it out and put Knives Out back in.

Check in later this week for my predictions on winners for the Golden Globes, which airs this Sunday. The plan is to have Oscar predictions next Monday and then a post up on Saturday (January 11) with final predictions on the races.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Irishman (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

11. Bombshell (PR: 11)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. Pain and Glory (PR: 13)

14. Knives Out (PR: 13)

15. Uncut Gems (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 2)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

9. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 8)

10. Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 5)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 4)

7. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 10)

9. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 8)

10. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 9)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 7)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 6)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Ana de Armas, Knives Out (PR: Not Rankled)

10. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 7)

7. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 8)

9. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 9)

10. Alan Alda, Marriage Story (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 9)

7. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

8. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

9. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

10. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jo Yeo-Jeong, Parasite 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 7)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 8)

9. Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

7. 1917 (PR: 8)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

9. Bombshell (PR: 7)

10. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Uncut Gems

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Atlantics (PR: 4)

5. The Painted Bird (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Corpus Christi (PR: 7)

7. Beanpole (PR: 5)

8. Honeyland (PR: 8)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 6)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 8)

7. Abominable (PR: 6)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 7)

9. Funan (PR: 10)

10. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

3. For Sama (PR: 4)

4. One Child Nation (PR: 3)

5. Honeyland (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 8)

8. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 7)

9. Midnight Family (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Knock Down the House (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maiden

Aquarela 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Joker (PR: 3)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

7. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

8. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 7)

9. Marriage Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. A Hidden Life (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Ad Astra

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judy (PR: 7)

7. The Irishman (PR: 6)

8. Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

2. The Irishman (PR: 1)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. 1917 (PR: 4)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Bombshell (PR: 9)

10. Apollo 11 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Knives Out

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 3)

3. Judy (PR: 2)

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

5. Rocketman (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

7. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: 10)

8. Little Women (PR: 7)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 4)

10. 1917 (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 5)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

7. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 10)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 9)

10. Pain and Glory (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Us

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

4. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 5)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

7. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: 9)

8. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 8)

9. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 10)

10. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 4)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Parasite (PR: 6)

5. 1917 (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 5)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

5. Rocketman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

7. Joker (PR: 4)

8. Ad Astra (PR: 9)

9. The Irishman (PR: 8)

10. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

8. Joker (PR: 6)

9. The Irishman (PR: 8)

10. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Lion King (PR: 4)

2. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

4. The Irishman (PR: 1)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 6)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

8. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: 10)

9. Captain Marvel (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

And that equates to these films getting the following numbers of nods:

11 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

10 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story 

7 Nominations

Little Women, Parasite

6 Nominations

Joker

5 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Rocketman

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, The Two Popes

2 Nominations

Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Pain and Glory, The Painted Bird, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose 

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 16th Edition

It’s been another action packed week on the Oscar predicting front! Since last Monday, the SAG Award nominations came out and today – we saw numerous categories reveal their shortlists. This is when races are whittled down to 10 or 15 possible nominees and it applies to International Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Original Score and Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects. As always, there were surprises. These include “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats unlisted from Song, The Irishman absent from Makeup and Hairstyling, and Ad Astra and The Aeronauts left out for Visual Effects. You’ll notice that in these categories – there’s more dropouts than normal and that’s why.

As for the top line races, we have changes:

  • I am finally estimating that nine movies will be nominated for Best Picture instead of ten and that puts The Two Popes on the outside looking in.
  • The bad news for Popes continues as it’s Leonardo Dicaprio in and Jonathan Pryce out. I still have Robert De Niro clinging to the five spot, despite missing the Globes and SAG. We shall see if he remains in the fold as time goes on.
  • In Actress, it’s Cynthia Erivo in and Awkwafina out. I’ve got Lupita Nyong’o in the sixth position after a strong week of precursor love. She’s knocking right on the door.
  • Scarlett Johansson is back in for Supporting Actress to the detriment of Annette Bening. Like the SAG Awards, that means I’m projecting a double nomination for ScarJo. That would mark her first and second nominations.
  • In Original Screenplay, I’ve got Pain and Glory back in over Knives Out.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 4)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 8)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

9. Little Women (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

11. Bombshell (PR: 15)

12. The Farewell (PR: 11)

13. Knives Out (PR: 12)

14. Uncut Gems (PR: 13)

15. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Richard Jewell

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

3. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 8)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

8. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

10. Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

4. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 3)

5. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

7. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

8. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 7)

9. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 10)

10. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 6)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

7. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 5)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 9)

10. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 8)

7. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

9. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 7)

10. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell

Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 5)

8. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 7)

9. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 9)

10. Jo Yeo-Jeong, Parasite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Taylor Russell, Waves

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 5)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 7)

7. Hustlers (PR: 6)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 9)

9. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Knives Out (PR: 5)

7. Bombshell (PR: 9)

8. 1917 (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

10. Uncut Gems (PR: 7)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Atlantics (PR: 6)

5. Beanpole (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Those Who Remained (PR: 10)

7. Corpus Christi (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Honeyland (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Painted Bird (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Monos

Invisible Life

A White, White Day

And Then We Danced

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Abominable (PR: 7)

7. Weathering with You (PR: 8)

8. Klaus (PR: 6)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

3. One Child Nation (PR: 3)

4. For Sama (PR: 4)

5. Honeyland (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 9)

8. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 8)

9. Maiden (PR: 10)

10. Aquarela (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sea of Shadows

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Joker (PR: 3)

4. The Irishman (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lighthouse (PR: 5)

7. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 6)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

9. A Hidden Life (PR: 9)

10. Ad Astra (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Two Popes

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Little Women (PR: 1)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Judy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Cats (PR: 10)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Aladdin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 4)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. 1917 (PR: 2)

5. Parasite (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 10)

9. Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Two Popes 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Judy (PR: 3)

3. Joker (PR: 6)

4. Downton Abbey (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

7. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Rocketman (PR: 8)

9. 1917 (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: Not Ranked)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 4)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

7. Us (PR: 8)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Avengers: Endgame (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Waves

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 4)

4. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

5. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 10)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

8. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 6)

9. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 4)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 8)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

8. The Irishman (PR: 9)

9. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

10. John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

8. The Irishman (PR: 10)

9. Cats (PR: 7)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

4. The Lion King (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 9)

8. Captain Marvel (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Cats (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Ad Astra

Aladdin

And that equates to the following pictures nabbing these numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

Joker

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

6 Nominations

Parasite

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Pain and Glory, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Beanpole, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose

Spider-Man: Far From Home Box Office Prediction

Peter Parker’s European vacation goes awry and Marvel looks to have its third massive 2019 blockbuster in a row when SpiderMan: Far From Home opens next week over a long holiday weekend. The sequel to 2017’s SpiderMan: Homecoming finds Tom Holland returning to the title role after appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame in between. Jon Watts is back directing with familiar MCU faces Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and Jon Favreau among the cast. Returnees from Homecoming include Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, and Jacob Batalon. Newbies to this cinematic universe are J.B. Smoove and Jake Gyllenhaal as main villain Mysterio.

The sequel should benefit tremendously from the MCU’s hot streak. Endgame and Captain  Marvel stand as the top two grossers of the year so far. Homecoming was well received two summers ago with a $334 million domestic haul. Advance word of mouth is strong.

Spidey flicks have a history of debuting over the July 4th frame. 2004’s SpiderMan 2 also had a six-day rollout and earned $180 million in that time frame. Same goes for 2012’s reboot The Amazing SpiderMan with $137 million from Tuesday to Sunday.

Far From Home gets underway on Tuesday and I believe earnings approaching $200 million is doable. I’ll say this manages a bit under $100 million from the traditional Friday to Sunday frame with just under the double century mark over the holiday.

Spider-Man: Far From Home opening weekend prediction: $92.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $190.4 million

For my Midsommar prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/26/midsommar-box-office-prediction/

May 10-12 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (05/08): I am downgrading my Pikachu estimate from $74.8 million to $64.8 million and now giving Endgame a third weekend atop the charts

I’m predicting a photo finish as Avengers: Endgame gets legitimate competition in the form of Pokemon Detective Pikachu featuring the vocal stylings of Ryan Reynolds this weekend. We also have a pair of comedies marketed to the female crowd: Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake The Hustle and Diane Keaton cheerleading flick Poms. In more limited release, there’s the biopic Tolkien with Nicholas Hoult. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of the newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/30/pokemon-detective-pikachu-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/30/the-hustle-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/02/poms-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/04/tolkien-box-office-prediction/

About that photo finish… estimates for Pokemon are all over the map and they have been dropping a bit in recent days. I’ve landed with it having a debut in the mid 70s range. That puts it where I expect Endgame to be. If the record breaking superhero epic manages to top $68 million this weekend, it will achieve the second best third weekend of all time behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That would match what it did this past weekend (more on that below).

I’m giving Pikachu an ever so slight edge to nab the #1 spot. We shall see if that changes as the week goes on.

As for the fresh comedies, The Hustle and Poms should get the three and four spots, respectively. I’ve downgraded both of my forecasts today, especially after seeing the disappointing gross of Long Shot.

Tolkien is only hitting a smallish 1300 screens and my $3.1 million projection leaves it outside the top five. Speaking of the five position, that could be interesting as The Intruder, Long Shot, and UglyDolls could all get it depending on their sophomore dips. I’ll give Long Shot a minor edge.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Avengers: Endgame

Predicted Gross: $71.2 million

2. Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Predicted Gross: $64.8 million

3. The Hustle

Predicted Gross: $13.4 million

4. Poms

Predicted Gross: $8.7 million

5. Long Shot

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

Box Office Results (May 35)

Avengers: Endgame finally found a record it couldn’t smash this weekend, though I’m sure Disney isn’t too upset about that. In its second weekend, it grossed $147.3 million and that fell under my $153.6 million estimate. That’s also just under the $149 million earned by The Force Awakens in its second weekend, so it had to settle for runner-up record status. With $621 million in the bank, Endgame is already the #9 domestic earner in history. Even more impressively, the film is already #2 worldwide as it surpassed Titanic and is behind only Avatar.

All new titles came in under expectations. As predicted, thriller The Intruder performed the best in second with $10.8 million. While quite a bit under my $15.2 million estimate, it’s a solid performance considering it cost a scant $8 million to produce.

Long Shot with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron couldn’t connect with audiences despite solid reviews. Its third place showing was only $9.7 million compared to my $13.1 million projection.

The news was even worse for the animated UglyDolls. It bombed in fourth with $8.6 million. I went higher at $13.8 million.

Captain Marvel rounded out the top five with $4.2 million (I said $5.9 million). Total stands at $420 million.

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

May 3-5 Box Office Predictions

As we all catch our breath from the astounding debut of Avengers: Endgame, the first weekend of May brings three new titles all vying for second place behind Tony Stark and company. They are the animated UglyDolls, Seth Rogen/Charlize Theron comedy Long Shot, and homeownership thriller The Intruder with a demented Dennis Quaid. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/23/uglydolls-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/24/long-shot-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/23/the-intruder-box-office-prediction/

All three films have legit chances at premiering in second. I’m skeptical about UglyDolls, even though the plush toys it’s based on are well-known. Long Shot has reviews on its side, but could be more of a slow builder. That leaves The Intruder and I do believe it could appeal to an older and African-American audience. Therefore I’ll say it becomes the silver medalist.

This brings us to the sophomore frame of Endgame. It broke basically every record there is over the weekend (more on that below). Predecessor Infinity War dipped 55% last year. This might be a tad more front loaded, but probably not by much. I’ll give it a 57% slide. That means another record should be in store as my estimate puts it over the best all-time second weekend, which is Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $149 million.

And with that, my top 5 estimates for the weekend ahead:

1. Avengers: Endgame

Predicted Gross: $153.6 million

2. The Intruder

Predicted Gross: $15.2 million

3. UglyDolls

Predicted Gross: $13.8 million

4. Long Shot

Predicted Gross: $13.1 million

5. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million

Box Office Results (April 2628)

History was made this weekend as Avengers: Endgame rocketed past even the most lofty expectations and left record after record in its wake. The MCU epic took in an otherworldly $357.1 million, scorching my $289.6 million projection. That’s not only the biggest opening of all time… it’s $100 million more than previous holder Avengers: Infinity War from last summer. The question as to whether it eventually surpasses the $936 million achieved by all-time domestic earner The Force Awakens is real.

As if Endgame didn’t provide enough embarrassment of riches, Captain Marvel climbed to second (thanks drive-ins) with $8.3 million (I said $8.7 million) for $413 million overall.

The Curse of La Llorona was third with $8 million compared to my higher $10 million forecast. The two-week tally is $41 million.

Breakthrough was fourth with $6.8 million (I said $6.3 million). Total is $26 million.

Shazam! rounded out the top five with $5.5 million. I was generous at $7.4 million. It’s at $131 million.

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

Avengers: Endgame Movie Review

**There’s really no way to write a review of Avengers: Endgame without some minor spoilers. You may wish to read this post viewing…

The word “epic” can be overused by those who review movies like me, but it unquestionably applies to Avengers: Endgame. It’s epic in its running time (none of the other 21 MCU pics run three hours) and epic in the number of well-known thespians reprising their superhero and villain characters. It doesn’t seem feasible that so many characters could manage to coexist in this vast universe without seeming like a gimmick. If you happen to think predecessor Infinity War was overcrowded, you’ll get whiplash here. Truth be told, there are moments when this borders on playing like a greatest hits reel based on what’s preceded it during the last eleven years.

Yet Endgame figures out a rewarding way to stick the landing and honor the dozens of faces that we’ve spent billions of dollars visiting since 2008. At the conclusion of Infinity War, bad guy Thanos (Josh Brolin) had collected his precious Infinity Stones and decimated half the intergalactic population into dramatic looking dust particles. What’s left is mostly the core of the OG Avengers – Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). There’s others as Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) is the sole surviving Guardian of the Galaxy. And we have the two notable characters that were MIA last summer – Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd).

One might think this whole saga might be about the original band and some newer friends taking on Thanos. You would be wrong. Endgame has plenty of time bending tricks up its endless story arch sleeves. The first is an unexpected resolution that comes very early. However, that climax is just a set-up to further complications.

This is indeed a time travel movie in which the screenwriters almost sheepishly concede the contrived nature of such a device. The survivors set upon a course of multiple back in time ways to retrieve the Stones and bring back their loved ones. It doesn’t happen overnight and the lengthy nature of the plan coming together provides funny and poignant moments. Tony is off the grid with his beloved Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) and a new addition. Bruce is in full Hulk mode, but kindler and gentler. Thor is rounder and drunkenly grappling with his losses. Hawkeye is a full-blown vigilante. When the gang revs up their figurative DeLoreans, it gives us a chance to revisit lots of MCU personnel. And it’s a LOT of former players. Some are genuinely surprising. During this lengthy stretch, the film walks a fine line of not devolving into nostalgic sugar shock amidst the action sequences. By the final act, it rises above it.

We know the battle scenes will be well choreographed and well-directed (with the Russo Brothers handling duties once again). The final one is rather jaw dropping with the mixing of so many known quantities. Thanos is one of the stronger villains in MCU history and he remains so here, though there’s nothing fresh to add about his character. His daughter Nebula (Karen Gillan), on the other hand, continues her evolution as a fine addition to the roster.

The comic relief comes more from Thor as opposed to Ant-Man or Rocket and Hemsworth is up to the task. Captain America and Black Widow are given their emotional moments that we’re invested in from their backstories. To this writer, it’s Tony who’s always been the damaged beating heart of this franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Universe simply wouldn’t exist as it is without Downey Jr.’s brilliant work. That’s never changed. The quality of the movies he’s appeared in has. His performance has always been fantastic. If we’re ranking, I would put Endgame as an overall experience just under the first Avengers in 2012 and Infinity War. I can’t promise that thinking about all the shifting time plot points might raise as many questions as answers. I won’t deny that its emotional payoff is real and we have Downey and an amazing group of technicians bringing these comics to life to thank for it.

***1/2 (out of four)