Summer 1989: The Top 10 Hits and More

In what has become tradition on this little blog of mine, the summer season brings us a lot of nostalgia on the silver screen. In the present, that means a slew of sequels and remakes and reboots coming on a near weekly basis. For these purposes, it means taking a look back on the movie summers of 30, 20, and 10 years ago.

As has been written in previous years, I’m listing the top ten hits as well as other notable pics and some flops. One thing is for sure about 1989. It will forever be known as the summer of the Batman and that blockbuster influenced what has become the predominant genre of the 21st century.

A recap of 1999 and 2009 will follow soon, but we start with what audiences were watching three decades ago.

10. Uncle Buck

Domestic Gross: $66 million

John Candy had one of his most notable headlining roles in this John Hughes family friendly comedy that also introduced the world to Macaulay Culkin. No sequel followed, but a short-lived TV series did.

9. Turner & Hooch

Domestic Gross: $71 million

Shortly before Tom Hanks started collecting Oscars and doing primarily dramatic work, he was still known for comedy in the late 80s. This one teamed him with a dog in a buddy comedy that followed the similarly themed with K9 with Jim Belushi from three months earlier. This one made a bit more cash.

8. When Harry Met Sally

Domestic Gross: $92 million

Rob Reiner’s romantic comedy (scripted by Nora Ephron) is considered one of the genre’s landmarks. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan headlined with a diner scene that has become quite iconic.

7. Dead Poets Society

Domestic Gross: $95 million

Robin Williams seized the day and an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of an unorthodox English teacher in Peter Weir’s film, which also nabbed a nod for Best Picture.

6. Parenthood

Domestic Gross: $100 million

Ron Howard’s dramedy sported an ensemble cast with Steve Martin and a crowd pleasing vibe. This is a rare pic that spawned two TV shows. The one from 1990 flopped while the 2010 version ran six seasons. Parenthood marks appearance #1 in the top ten for Rick Moranis.

5. Ghostbusters II

Domestic Gross: $112 million

The eagerly awaited sequel to the 1984 phenomenon was a disappointment critically and commercially when considering the original’s $229 million haul. That said, it gives us appearance #2 for Rick Moranis. A direct sequel will follow in 2020.

4. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Domestic Gross: $130 million

And we reach the trifecta for Rick Moranis as Disney had an unexpected smash hit here. It stood as the studio’s largest grossing live-action feature for five years. Two less successful sequels followed.

3. Lethal Weapon 2

Domestic Gross: $147 million

Of the four action comedy pairings of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, part 2 stands as the franchise’s top earner. This one threw Joe Pesci into the mix with sequels that followed in 1992 and 1998.

2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Domestic Gross: $197 million

While Harrison Ford’s third appearance as his iconic character didn’t match the grosses of Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, it did earn more than 1984 predecessor Temple of Doom. Pairing Indy with his dad played by Sean Connery, the character wouldn’t make it to the screen again until Steven Spielberg and Ford teamed up again 19 years later.

1. Batman

Domestic Gross: $251 million

As mentioned, 1989 was dominated by Tim Burton’s take on the Caped Crusader. While the casting of Michael Keaton in the title role was controversial upon announcement, it turned out quite well (as did Jack Nicholson’s turn as The Joker and a funky Prince soundtrack). Three sequels and multiple reboots followed.

And now for some notable pictures outside of the top ten:

The Abyss

Domestic Gross: $54 million

James Cameron was riding a high after The Terminator and Aliens when he made this sci-fi aquatic adventure. Known just as much for its difficult production as its Oscar winning visuals, it had a mixed reaction that has grown more positive through the years.

Weekend at Bernie’s

Domestic Gross: $30 million

Turns out corpses are hilarious in this low budget comedy that turned into enough of a hit that a sequel followed four summers later.

Road House

Domestic Gross: $30 million

It may not have had critics on its side or been a huge success originally, but Patrick Swayze’s turn as a midwestern bouncer became a serious cult hit subsequently.

Do the Right Thing

Domestic Gross: $27 million

A cultural milestone, Do the Right Thing served as the major breakout for Spike Lee and was named by numerous critics as the greatest film of 1989.

sex, lies, and videotape

Domestic Gross: $24 million

Winning the Cannes Film Festival, Steven Soderbergh’s provocative debut helped usher in a wave of independent films that followed in the 90s.

It wasn’t all success stories in the summer of 1989 and here’s some that failed to meet expectations:

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Domestic Gross: $52 million

Captain Kirk himself directed this installment after Leonard Nimoy made its two well received predecessors. This one was met with ambivalence and stands at the second lowest earner of this particular Trek franchise.

The Karate Kid Part III

Domestic Gross: $38 million

In 1984, the original made $90 million and the 1986 sequel made $115 million. Three summers later, moviegoers had tired of Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in their signature roles. Yet TV watchers are currently tuned to a series reboot with Macchio back as Daniel.

Licence to Kill

Domestic Gross: $34 million

Timothy Dalton’s second turn as 007 was a stateside flop and is the lowest grossing Bond flick when adjusted for inflation. Its star would never return in the role and the six year gap that followed when Pierce Brosnan reinvigorated the series with Goldeneye stands as the lengthiest gap in its near 60 years of existence.

Lock Up

Domestic Gross: $22 million

Sylvester Stallone had plenty of hits during the decade, but this one casting him as a tortured convict wasn’t one of them.

Casualties of War

Domestic Gross: $18 million

Brian de Palma was coming off a massive hit with The Untouchables, but this Vietnam War drama with Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn didn’t find an audience.

Pink Cadillac

Domestic Gross: $12 million

Three summers later, Clint Eastwood entered Oscar territory with Unforgiven. This action comedy with Bernadette Peters is one of his forgotten efforts and stalled with critics and crowds.

I hope you enjoyed this look back on the 1989 summer period and I’ll have 1999 up soon!

Best Year’s Ever

As one year turns to the next in short order, it got me thinking. What are some examples of actors and directors who had remarkable calendar frames over the past few decades? The guidelines are pretty simple – the individual must have had two (and in a couple of cases, three or more) pictures that made an impact during 19(fill in the blank) or 20(fill in the blank).

And wouldn’t you know it? My ruminations quickly turned into a lengthy list that I’ve paired down to a top 25. Let’s call this Best Year’s Ever and count down from #25 to #1!

25. Channing Tatum (2012)

It was a busy year for the performer to say the least. Tatum was in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, but three major roles made him the star he is today. There was the hit romance The Vow, hit comedy 21 Jump Street, and his signature and semi-autobiographical title role in the summer sleeper Magic Mike (also from Mr. Soderbergh).

24. John Travolta (1996)

Two years following his major comeback in Pulp Fiction and a year following his Golden Globe nominated lead in Get Shorty, Travolta’s hot streak continued with three hits: John Woo’s action thriller Broken Arrow and fantasy dramas Phenomenon and Michael.

23. Clint Eastwood (1971)

The last two months of 1971 were fruitful for the legend. In November, he made his directorial debut with the well-reviewed psychological thriller Play Misty for Me. This began a career of dozens of behind the camera works, including Best Picture winners Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. In December, Eastwood starred as Dirty Harry which spawned his lucky cop franchise.

22. Sigourney Weaver (1988)

Weaver won two Golden Globes 30 years ago – Best Actress (Drama) for Gorillas in the Mist and Supporting Actress for Working Girl. She would be nominated for two Oscars as well, but come up short. All part of a remarkable decade that included Ghostbusters and Aliens.

21. Joe Pesci (1990)

Pesci won an Oscar for his unforgettable supporting work in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas. That same fall, he was a burglar terrorizing Macaulay Culkin in the holiday classic Home Alone.

20. Kevin Spacey (1995)

Current scandals aside, there’s no denying Spacey was the movie villain of 1995. He won an Academy Award as (spoiler alert!) Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects and as a demented serial killer in Seven. Earlier in the year, he costarred with Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman in  Outbreak and headlined the critically approved indie comedy Swimming with Sharks.

19. Nicolas Cage (1997)

Leaving Las Vegas awarded Cage his Oscar two years prior. By the summer of 1997, he was a full-fledged action hero with two blockbusters in the same month: Con Air and Face/Off.

18. Will Ferrell (2003)

Ferrell’s transformation from SNL favorite to movie star happened here with the spring’s Old School as Frank the Tank and in the winter as Buddy in Elf.

17. Morgan Freeman (1989)

The nation’s Narrator-in-Chief had a trio of significant roles nearly three decades ago – his Oscar nominated chauffeur in the Best Picture winner Driving Miss Daisy, a dedicated and stern principal in Lean on Me, and a Civil War officer in Glory.

16. Steven Soderbergh (2000)

The prolific filmmaker made two Best Picture nominees with Erin Brockovich and Traffic (he would win Best Director for the latter). Both surpassed the century mark at the box office and Julia Roberts won Best Actress for Brockovich and Benicio del Toro took Supporting Actor in Traffic.

15. Halle Berry (2001)

Ms. Berry had a revealing role in the summer action fest Swordfish. She then became the first (and thus far only) African-American to win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball. This was all sandwiched between XMen hits.

14. Hugh Jackman (2017)

Berry’s XMen cast mate Jackman retired his Wolverine character to critical and audience admiration with Logan in the spring. At the end of the year, his musical The Greatest Showman was an unexpected smash.

13. Leonardo DiCaprio (2002)

Five years after Titanic, the jury was still out as to whether DiCaprio’s leading man status would hold up. His roles in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can left little doubt. He’s been one of Hollywood’s most dependable stars since.

12. Francis Ford Coppola (1974)

In 1972, Coppola made perhaps the greatest American film of all time with The Godfather. Two years later, its sequel came with enormous expectations and exceeded them. Like part one, it won Best Picture. As if that weren’t enough, he made another Picture nominee in ‘74 with the Gene Hackman surveillance thriller The Conversation.

11. Michael Douglas (1987)

His signature role as greedy tycoon Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street won him an Oscar and gave him one of the most famous cinematic speeches ever. He also lit up the screen in the blockbuster thriller Fatal Attraction, which was the year’s second largest grosser.

10. Julia Roberts (1999)

She started the decade with a smash star making turn in Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts ended it with two romantic comedy summer $100 million plus earners: Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Runaway Bride (which reunited her with Pretty costar Richard Gere). She’d win her Oscar the next year for Erin Brockovich.

9. Tom Cruise (1996)

1986 wasn’t too shabby either with Top Gun and The Color of Money. Yet it’s a decade later that serves as Cruise’s year with the franchise starter Mission: Impossible in the summer and Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, which earned Cruise a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nod. They were the third and fourth biggest hits of the year, respectively.

8. Sandra Bullock (2013)

Nearly two decades after her breakout role in Speed, Bullock had a banner 2013 alongside Melissa McCarthy in the summer comedy The Heat and her Oscar nominated turn as a stranded astronaut in the fall’s Gravity.

7. Sylvester Stallone (1985)

Sly was the undisputed champion of the box office (not to mention sequels and Roman numerals) in 1985, notching the second and third top hits of the year behind Back to the Future. They were for his two signature characters with Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV.

6. Robert Downey Jr. (2008)

A decade after all the wrong kind of headlines for his drug addiction, Downey Jr. pulled off perhaps the most impressive comeback in movie history. 2008 saw him as Tony Stark in Iron Man, the film that kicked off the MCU in grand fashion. Later that summer came Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, which earned Downey a rare Oscar nod for a comedic performance.

5. Tom Hanks (1993)

There’s more than one year to consider for Hanks… 1995 (Apollo 13, Toy Story) comes to mind. Yet 1993 saw him with Meg Ryan in the now classic Sleepless in Seattle and winning an Oscar in Philadelphia as a lawyer diagnosed with AIDS. His status as a romantic and dramatic lead was solidified in a matter of months. A consecutive Academy Award followed in 1994 for Forrest Gump.

4. Mel Brooks (1974)

The director managed to make two of the most beloved comedies of all time in one year… Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. The two features combined contain some of the funniest scenes ever filmed.

3. Jennifer Lawrence (2012)

Already an Oscar nominee two years prior for Winter’s Bone, Lawrence’s road to superstardom was paved in 2012. In March came The Hunger Games, the year’s third top earner that spawned three sequels. In December came Silver Linings Playbook, where she won Best Actress.

2. Jim Carrey (1994)

In 1993, Carrey was known as a great cast member of Fox’s groundbreaking sketch show “In Living Color”. By the end of 1994, he was the most bankable comedic star in America as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber all hit screens.

1. Steven Spielberg (1993)

In a list filled with lots of choices, the #1 selection was rather easy. The highest grossing filmmaker of all time’s 1993 was astonishing. Dino tale Jurassic Park in the summer was a marvel technical achievement that began a franchise. At the time of its release, it became the largest grosser in history with the top opening weekend yet seen. Six months later, Holocaust epic Schindler’s List won seven Academy Awards (including Picture and for Spielberg’s direction).

I hope your New Year is your best yet, readers! Have a happy one…

2018: The Year of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

The buzz got loud in late summer when A Star Is Born held its first screenings across the ocean at the Venice Film Festival. The third remake of the rags to riches Hollywood story that began in 1937, the musical drama marked the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper and the first headlining acting role for pop superstar Lady Gaga (after a smaller part in Machete Kills). It soon became clear that audiences and critics found the tragic romance between the pair as anything but shallow.

Star now shines with a domestic gross of $200 million and the status as a front-runner for Best Picture at the Oscars. If Mr. Cooper’s inaugural behind the camera effort manages to do that, he would follow in the footsteps of well-known actors like Robert Redford (1980’s Ordinary People) and Kevin Costner (1990’s Dances with Wolves) whose debuts won the Academy’s biggest prize. Theoretically Cooper coukd win as many as four gold statues – Picture for producing, directing, lead Actor, and Adapted Screenplay. And while he technically wouldn’t be nominated for his duet “Shallow” with Gaga since he doesn’t share writing credit, the tune will probably emerge victorious in that race. To add even more to Cooper’s dynamic year, he costars with his American Sniper director Clint Eastwood in The Mule, which is performing well.

As for Gaga, her splashy foray on the silver screen certainly rivals others such as Prince and Whitney Houston to name a couple. She stands a real shot at winning Best Actress in a competitive category. Cooper likely has an even stronger chance for his performance.

In 2018, Cooper and Gaga are responsible for creating perhaps the year’s most memorable couple. They could be generously rewarded for it.

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 14th Edition

A day late, but my weekly Oscar predictions are up for your review! Enjoy…

Best Picture

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

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 4)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

6. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 5)

7. Black Panther (PR: 8)

8. Vice (PR: 7)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

10. First Man (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

12. Eighth Grade (PR: 13)

13. First Reformed (PR: 12)

14. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Widows

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

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

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

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

5. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 6)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 7)

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

9. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 10)

10. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

Best Actor

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

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 4)

5. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 6)

7. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 7)

8. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 8)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Clint Eastwood, The Mule

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

5. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 8)

8. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 7)

9. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Rosamund Pike, A Private War

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

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

3. Sam Ellliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

8. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 7)

9. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

10. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

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

5. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

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

9. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 7)

10. Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Marina De Tavira, Roma

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. First Man (PR: 5)

8. Leave No Trace (PR: 9)

9. The Hate U Give (PR: 10)

10. Widows (PR: 7)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Green Book (PR: 3)

3. Roma (PR: 2)

4. Vice (PR: 4)

5. First Reformed (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Eighth Grade (PR: 6)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

8. Sorry to Bother You (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Private Life (PR: 7)

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

Dropped Out:

Ben Is Back

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Burning (PR: 6)

5. Capernaum (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Never Look Away (PR: 7)

7. Girl (PR: 5)

8. Border (PR: 8)

9. Birds of Passage (PR: 9)

10. I Am Not a Witch (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 2)

3. Isle of Dogs (PR: 3)

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 4)

5. Mirai (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Smallfoot (PR: 6)

7. Early Man (PR: 8)

8. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 7)

9. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PR: 10)

10. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 1)

2. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

3. RBG (PR: 4)

4. Free Solo (PR: 3)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 6)

7. Dark Money (PR: 7)

8. Shirkers (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (PR: 8)

10. Science Fair (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Quincy

Best Film Editing

1. Roma (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Vice (PR: 6)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Green Book (PR: 9)

7. Black Panther (PR: 5)

8. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

10. A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Widows

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 3)

3. The Favourite (PR: 4)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

5. A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. Cold War (PR: 7)

8. BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Vice (PR: 10)

10. Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Widows

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 6)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 3)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

8. Roma (PR: 5)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 9)

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Colette (PR: 7)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 5)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 6)

9. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: Not Ranked)

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bohemian Rhapsody 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

1. Black Panther (PR: 1)

2. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Stan & Ollie (PR: 4)

5. The Favourite (PR: 5)

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 8)

7. Colette (PR: 6)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

9. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Deadpool 2

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. A Quiet Place (PR: 2)

3. Black Panther (PR: 4)

4. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

5. Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 6)

7. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 7)

8. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: 8)

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 9)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Black Panther (PR: 5)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 3)

5. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

7. Roma (PR: 7)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 9)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

1. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Black Panther (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 9)

7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 6)

8. Aquaman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 8)

10. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Best Original Score

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 10)

7. Black Panther (PR: 9)

8. Isle of Dogs (PR: 6)

9. Colette (PR: 7)

10. Suspiria (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Widows

Best Original Song

1. “The Shallow” from A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 3)

3. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 2)

4. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 4)

5. “Girl at the Movies” from Dumplin (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

8. “A Place Called Slaughter Race” from Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 8)

10. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born 

And that equates to the following films getting these numbers for nominations:

11 Nominations

A Star Is Born

10 Nominations

The Favourite

8 Nominations

Black Panther, First Man

7 Nominations

Mary Poppins Returns, Roma

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk, Vice

5 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman

4 Nominations

Green Book, Mary Queen of Scots

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

2 Nominations

Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians, First Reformed, A Quiet Place, RBG

1 Nomination

The Wife, Beautiful Boy, Cold War, Shoplifters, Burning, Capernaum, Incredibles 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Isle of Dogs, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, RBG, Free Solo, Minding the Gap, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Dumplin’

 

Oscar Watch: The Mule

It seemed a little odd that Clint Eastwood’s The Mule held its review embargo for as long as it did (it’s out tomorrow). After all, the crime thriller which features Eastwood in front of the camera for the first time since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve certainly was an on paper awards contender based on history. The director is no stranger to Oscar attention as Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby both won Best Picture.

Critical reaction is out and it’s actually pretty decent with a current Tomato rating of 82%. However, I suspect the best comparison for this would be the last time Eastwood directed himself – 2008’s hit Gran Torino. That feature landed with audiences, but failed to garner a single nomination from the Academy.

Bottom line: while reviews are mostly positive, The Mule is likely to be more of a potential hit with audiences than Oscar voters. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 6th Edition

We’ve had Golden Globe nominations this morning and AFI’s top ten list on Tuesday, but my top 10 Best Picture picks for Oscar glory have stayed remarkably the same. In case you missed my recap of those major precursors, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/06/2018-golden-globe-nominations-reaction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/04/afi-picks-favourites/

Let’s get to the predictions, shall we?

Best Picture

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

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 4)

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 5)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. Vice (PR: 7)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

10. First Man (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 13)

12. First Reformed (PR: 11)

13. Eighth Grade (PR: 12)

14. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Widows (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Mary Queen of Scots

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

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

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

4. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 6)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 7)

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

9. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

10. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 9)

Best Actor

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

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 5)

5. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 7)

7. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 6)

8. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 8)

9. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 10)

10. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 9)

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 2)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

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

4. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 7)

8. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

10. Rosamund Pike, A Private War (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

7. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 7)

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

9. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Steve Carell, Vice

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

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

5. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 10)

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

9. Marina De Tavira, Roma (PR: 7)

10. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 9)

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: !)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 3)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. First Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Widows (PR: 6)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

9. Leave No Trace (PR: 10)

10. The Hate U Give (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Boy Erased

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Green Book (PR: 4)

4. Vice (PR: 6)

5. First Reformed (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

7. Private Life (PR: 8)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

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

10. Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Mule

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Capernaum (PR: 4)

5. Girl (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Burning (PR: 5)

7. Never Look Away (PR: 6)

8. Border (PR: 7)

9. Birds of Passage (PR: 9)

10. I Am Not a Witch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Guilty 

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 3)

3. Isle of Dogs (PR: 2)

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 4)

5. Mirai (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Smallfoot (PR: 6)

7. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 9)

8. Early Man (PR: 7)

9. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 8)

10. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tito and the Birds

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 1)

2. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

3. Free Solo (PR: 3)

4. RBG (PR: 4)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 6)

7. Dark Money (PR: 8)

8. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (PR: 7)

9. Science Fair (PR: 10)

10. Quincy (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Amazing Grace

Best Film Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 3)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Black Panther (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vice (PR: 8)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 9)

8. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 10)

9. Green Book (PR: 7)

10. Widows (PR: 6)

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

3. First Man (PR: 2)

4. The Favourite (PR: 3)

5. A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. Cold War (PR: 7)

8. Widows (PR: 9)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 8)

10. Vice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Green Book

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Roma (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 5)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 9)

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Colette

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

5. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Star Is Born (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Colette (PR: 5)

8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 6)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

1. Black Panther (PR: 1)

2. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Stan & Ollie (PR: 6)

5. The Favourite (PR: 5)

6. Colette (PR: 7)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

8. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

9. Deadpool 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

A Wrinkle in Time

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Black Panther (PR: 2)

5. Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 7)

7. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 6)

8. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Annihilation

Avengers: Infinity War

Best Sound Mixing 

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. A Quiet Place (PR: 5)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Black Panther (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

7. Roma (PR: 7)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Avengers: Infinity War

Best Visual Effects

1. First Man (PR: 2)

2. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 1)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Black Panther (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 8)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: 9)

8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Incredibles 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ant-Man and the Wasp (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Annihilation

A Wrinkle in Time

Best Original Score

1. First Man (PR: 2)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Isle of Dogs (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Colette (PR: 7)

8. Widows (PR: 6)

9. Black Panther (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Roma

Best Original Song

1. “The Shallow” from A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: Not Ranked)

3. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 4)

4. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 3)

5. “Girl in the Movies” from Dumplin’ (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 9)

7. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 5)

8. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 2)

9. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 6)

10. “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Gravity” from Free Solo 

And that correlates to the following movies getting this number of nominations:

11 Nominations

A Star Is Born

10 Nominations

The Favourite, First Man

9 Nominations

Black Panther

8 Nominations

Mary Poppins Returns, Roma

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk

5 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman, Vice

4 Nominations

Green Book

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Mary Queen of Scots

2 Nominations

A Quiet Place, First Reformed, RBG

1 Nomination

Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife, Beautiful Boy, Cold War, Shoplifters, Capernaum, Girl, Incredibles 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Isle of Dogs, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, Free Solo, Minding the Gap, Crazy Rich Asians, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Dumplin’ 

 

The Mule Box Office Prediction

Clint Eastwood has been consistently behind the camera and offering about a movie a year for quite some time. His appearances in front of it have been far less frequent in recent years. That changes next weekend when the Oscar winner directs himself in The Mule. The pic is a true life crime tale with Eastwood as a World War II vet who becomes a courier for Mexican drug cartels. Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Pena, Dianne Wiest, and Andy Garcia are among the supporting cast.

As mentioned, we haven’t seen its star in a film since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve. He hasn’t directed himself since 2008’s blockbuster Gran Torino. Adult moviegoers will be targeted here and Eastwood’s involvement could do the trick. Whether or not it opens on a large-scale or plays well throughout the holiday weeks ahead is a little uncertain. That might depend on its reviews, which aren’t out yet.

If The Mule manages to top $18 million out of the gate, it would actually be Clint’s largest debut of a feature he’s acted in (the current record is held by 2000’s Space Cowboys). While the wide release of Torino generated nearly $30 million, it was released in limited fashion for a few weeks prior.

That’s not out of the realm of possibility, but I’ll project it falls just short of that as it hopes to leg out nicely in the weeks ahead.

The Mule opening prediction: $17.6 million

For my Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/04/spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-box-office-prediction/

For my Mortal Engines prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/06/mortal-engines-box-office-prediction/