2022 Oscar Predictions: September 28th Edition

For the time being at least, I’m settling on Edward Berger’s antiwar epic All Quiet on the Western Front as Netflix’s strongest contender. It moves into my predicted BP hopefuls for the first time and that takes out Triangle of Sadness. Additionally, Berger is in the quintet for Director and it’s Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave) that drops. The Quiet love shows up in International Feature Film where it moves to first place with Leave sliding to runner-up status.

We also have a category placement change to discuss. While nothing has been announced, it makes a lot of sense for Babylon‘s Margot Robbie to move to Supporting Actress after Michelle Williams (rather inexplicably) elevated to Best Actress for The Fabelmans. Robbie moves there (hopefully Paramount lets us know soon) so Danielle Deadwyler is back in Best Actress. Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once) is now on the outside looking in for supporting.

There’s a change in Actor as I’m finally putting Diego Calva (Babylon) in over Bill Nighy (Living). In Original Screenplay, The Fabelmans is now #1 over Everything. 

The New York Film Festival starts this weekend. By the time of my next update, we will know what the real prospects are for Till with She Said soon to follow.

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tar (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Whale (PR: 7) (-1)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities: 

11. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (-1)

12. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Elvis (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Empire of Light (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

She Said

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (E)

10. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Darren Aronofsky, The Whale 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Margot Robbie, Babylon – moved to Supporting Actress

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 8) (E)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jeremy Pope, The Inspection 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (E)

3. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: Not Ranked) – moved from Best Actress

4. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 9) (E)

10. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Vanessa Kirby, The Son

Jean Smart, Babylon 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Judd Hirsch, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+2)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Babylon (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bros (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Broker (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Empire of Light

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. She Said (PR: 3) (E)

4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 4) (E)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Till (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Living (PR: 6) (-3)

10. The Son (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 1) (E)

2. Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. Strange World (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 4) (E)

5. Wendell and Wild (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The Sea Beast (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Bad Guys (PR: 8) (E)

9. Minions: The Rise of Gru (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Lightyear (PR: 9) (-1)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Decision to Leave (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (E)

5. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holy Spider (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Bardo (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Klondike (PR: Not Ranked)

9. EO (PR: 9) (E)

10. Alcarras (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Eight Mountains 

Plan 75

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 1) (E)

2. Navalny (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Descendant (PR: 2) (-1)

4. All That Breathes (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Fire of Love (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory (PR: 6) (E)

7. Good Night Oppy (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Moonage Daydream (PR: 8) (E)

9. Last Flight Home (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Sr. (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Black Ice

Riotsville, U.S.A.

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Empire of Light (PR: 2) (-1)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Bardo (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Batman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tar

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Woman King (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (E)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Corsage (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Living (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Don’t Worry Darling 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Elvis (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Women Talking (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Tar (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Batman (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Woman King (PR: 7) (E)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 2) (+1)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Empire of Light (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Tar (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities: 

6. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (-1)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Batman (PR: 9) (E)

10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Top Gun: Maverick 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 3) (E)

4. “On My Way” from Marry Me (PR: 5) (+1)

5. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Vegas” from Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “I Ain’t Worried” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 7) (-2)

10. “New Body Rhuma” from White Noise (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

“Good Tonight” from The Bad Guys

“Paper Airplanes” from A Jazzman’s Blues 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 5) (-1)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+1)

8. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Batman (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Bardo 

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. The Batman (PR: 6) (E)

7. Nope (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Batman (PR: 4) (E)

5. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Nope (PR: 8) (+1)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (-3)

10. RRR (PR: 9) (-1)

And that equates to these movies getting these numbers of nominations:

13 Nominations

Babylon

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

6 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Women Talking 

5 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale

4 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water

3 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Empire of Light, Tar

2 Nominations 

Decision to Leave, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, The Batman, Close, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Marry Me, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Saint Omer, She Said, The Son, Strangle World, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Triangle of Sadness, Wendell and Wild, Where the Crawdads Sing, White Noise, The Woman King 

2022 Oscar Predictions: September 21st Edition

So I wasn’t planning to do a new predictions post just five days after the last one, but a lot can change in five days! When I made those previous picks, I was sitting in my hotel room in Toronto getting ready to return to United States. On this inaugural trip to the festival, I saw awards hopefuls including The Fabelmans, Women Talking, The Whale, The Banshees of Inisherin, Empire of Light, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and The Son. 

The headline this afternoon is a shocker that’s resulted in universal confusion. Michelle Williams, considered to be a lock for Supporting Actress, will be campaigned for in lead Actress by Universal Pictures. I am doubly surprised because, having seen the film, there would be zero controversy with her in the supporting field. In fact, I would say it is more of a supporting performance than lead. Furthermore, a Williams victory seemed likely in the race she won’t be in. Best Actress is an entirely different ball game with Cate Blanchett (Tar), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Margot Robbie (Babylon), and Olivia Colman (Empire of Light). Nevertheless I’ll slot Williams in third place and she knocks out Danielle Deadwyler for the as yet unseen Till. There’s another dynamic potentially at play. Two years ago, Lakeith Stanfield was being touted in Best Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah. The Academy went ahead and nominated him in Supporting Actor. Don’t discount the idea that this could happen with Williams though I won’t predict that.

This Williams news isn’t the only unexpected developments of the week. RRR, RMN, and Godland were all ignored by their native countries as their submissions to the International Feature Film derby. There’s reporting that India’s RRR, in particular, will get a spirited campaign for Best Picture and tech races. Yet IFF was probably its strongest chance to show up on Oscar night.

In other developments:

    • An alteration in BP as I’m putting Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave in over Empire of Light. I’ll be honest – this was basically a coin flip between Decision to Leave or All Quiet on the Western Front. This also results in Chan-wook making the director cut over Todd Field for Tar. 
    • Due to the Williams news, Claire Foy is the new #1 in Supporting Actress for Women Talking. Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere) also joins the quintet.
    • In Supporting Actor, Brad Pitt (Babylon) is back in the mix due to the removal of Micheal Ward for Empire of Light. 

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (+2)

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Whale (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Tar (PR: 8) (E)

9. Decision to Leave (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 13) (+2)

12. She Said (PR: 12) (E)

13. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (-4)

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 14) (E)

15. Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: Not Ranked) – moved from Supporting Actress

4. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Florence Pugh, The Wonder

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 8) (E)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (moved to Best Actress)

Nina Hoss, Tar

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (-4)

9. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (E)

8. Bros (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Empire of Light (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Armageddon Time 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. She Said (PR: 3) (E)

4. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 5) (+1)

5. White Noise (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Living (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Son (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Till (PR: Not Ranked)

10. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Bones and All 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 1) (E)

2. Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. Wendell and Wild (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 4) (E)

5. Strange World (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Sea Beast (PR: 5) (-1)

7. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Bad Guys (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Lightyear (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Minions: The Rise of Gru (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Decision to Leave (PR: 1) (E)

2. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 2) (E)

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Eight Mountains (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Holy Spider (PR: 5) (-3)

9. EO (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Plan 75 (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

RMN

RRR

Best Documentary Feature:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 1) (E)

2. Descendant (PR: 2) (E)

3. Navalny (PR: 3) (E)

4. Fire of Love (PR: 4) (E)

5. Last Flight Home (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory (PR: 6) (E)

7. Black Ice (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Moonage Daydream (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Good Night Oppy (PR: 9) (E)

10. Riotsville, U.S.A. (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

All That Breathes 

Best Cinematography 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Empire of Light (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Whale

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Woman King (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Corsage (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Northman 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Elvis (PR: 6) (E)

7. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (E)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Tar (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Triangle of Sadness

Decision to Leave 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Batman (PR: 4) (E)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Woman King (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Three Thousand Years of Longing (PR: Not Ranked)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 10) (+1)

10. (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Blonde

The Fabelmans

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Babylon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Empire of Light (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Tar (PR: 5) (-3)

9. The Batman (PR: 9) (E)

10. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (-3)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 5) (+2)

4. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 4) (E)

5. “On My Way” from Marry Me (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (-3)

7. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 7) (E)

8. “New Body Rhuma” from White Noise (PR: 8) (E)

9. “Good Tonight” from The Bad Guys (PR: 9) (E)

10. “Paper Airplanes” from A Jazzman’s Blues (PR: 10) (E)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 4) (E)

5. Empire of Light (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (E)

7. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (+2)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Batman (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Bardo (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Batman (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Nope (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Batman (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Nope (PR: 10) (+2)

9. RRR (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (-1)

And this equates to these pictures garnering the following numbers of nominations:

12 Nominations

Babylon

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans 

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Women Talking 

6 Nominations

Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

Elvis, The Whale 

4 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Empire of Light

3 Nominations

Decision to Leave

2 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Tar, Triangle of Sadness, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Close, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Eight Mountains, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Last Flight Home, Living, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Marry Me, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Saint Omer, She Said, The Son, Strange World, Tell It Like a Woman, Wendell and Wild, Where the Crawdads Sing, White Noise, The Woman King

2022 Oscar Predictions: September 16th Edition

As the Toronto Film Festival draws to a close, we have some significant updates since I did my last predictions 11 days ago!

And you may notice that, for the first time, I’m including all categories covering feature films. It’s the initial peek at what pics I believe will lead the nominations. The answer is Babylon (11) followed closely by The Fabelmans (10) followed closely by Everything Everywhere All at Once (9).

I’ve also made the shift of whittling 25 BP picks down to 15 possibilities and the other big races from 15 to 10.

I will point out that some categories (particularly Original Song) are in their infancy as far as knowing the contenders.

One year ago, my projections in mid-September yielded eight of the eventual 10 BP nominees and 3 of the 5 Directing hopefuls. For Best Actress – it was 4 of 5 and 3 of 5 for Actor. For Supporting Actress – 2/5, but Supporting Actor (somehow) was 0 for 5.

Let’s talk changes:

    • In Best Picture, I’m putting Empire of Light back in and removing The Son. You’ll send a trend there as The Son drew divided reactions in Venice and Toronto. It could still contend in more races than just Hugh Jackman in Actor, but for now, I’ve got it nabbing that sole nod.
    • Todd Field (Tar) is in the directing quintet over Ruben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness.
    • Surprisingly enough, Actress and Actor remain the same.
    • Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) crashes the Supporting Actress party with Vanessa Kirby (The Son) dropping.
    • I’ve put Micheal Ward back in Supporting Actor (I elevated him to lead recently). He’s in the final five along with a bit of an upset selection in Barry Keoghan for The Banshees of Inisherin. Zen McGrath (The Son) and Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness) fall out.
    • Original Screenplay remains the same but Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in Adapted Screenplay over (you guessed it) The Son.

You can peruse all the movement below and my inaugural take on the other derbies!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Fabelmans (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Whale (PR: 7) (+2)

6. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Tar (PR: 8) (E)

9. Empire of Light (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (+1)

12. She Said (PR: 13) (+1)

13. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 20) (+6)

15. Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

The Son

Avatar: The Way of Water

White Noise

Bones and All

Armageddon Time

Till

Broker

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Living

Bardo

The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (E)

4. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (E)

5. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Florian Zeller, The Son

James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

Sam Mendes, Empire of Light

Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick

Noah Baumbach, White Noise

Baz Luhrmann, Elvis 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 12) (+5)

8. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 8) (E)

9. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Florence Pugh, The Wonder (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Carey Mulligan, She Said 

Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Taylor Russell, Bones and All

Tang Wei, Decision to Leave

Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Song King-ho, Broker (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (moved to Supporting)

Timothee Chalamet, Bones and All

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chevalier

Park Hae-il, Decision to Leave

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 3) (-4)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 15) (+5)

Dropped Out:

Laura Dern, The Son

Jean Smart, Babylon

Samantha Morton, She Said

Zoe Kazan, She Said

Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Micheal Ward, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Best Actor)

5. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (-5)

Dropped Out:

Zen McGrath, The Son

Tom Hanks, Elvis

Anthony Hopkins, The Son

Mark Strong, Tar

Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans

Ralph Fiennes, The Menu

Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Babylon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bros (PR: 11) (+1)

Dropped Out:

Broker

Aftersun

Cha Cha Real Smooth

Bardo

The Menu

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 2) (+1)

2. The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. She Said (PR: 4) (+1)

4. White Noise (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Son (PR: 1) (-5)

7. Living (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Bones and All (PR: 7) (-2)

10. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Till

The Lost King

The Greatest Beer Run Ever

The Wonder

Elvis

The Good Nurse 

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

2. Turning Red

3. Strange World

4. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

5. The Sea Beast

Other Possibilities:

6. Wendell and Wild

7. The Bad Guys

8. Lightyear

9. My Father’s Dragon

10. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Decision to Leave

2. All Quiet on the Western Front

3. Close

4. Saint Omer

5. Holy Spider

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo

7. RMN

8. RRR

9. Plan 75

10. Argentina, 1985

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

2. Descendant

3. Navalny

4. Fire of Love

5. Last Flight Home

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory

7. Moonage Daydream

8. Riotsville, U.S.A.

9. Good Night Oppy

10. All That Breathes

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. Empire of Light

3. The Fabelmans

4. All Quiet on the Western Front

5. Top Gun: Maverick

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo

7. Avatar: The Way of Water

8. The Banshees of Inisherin

9. The Whale

10. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. Elvis

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

4. The Fabelmans

5. The Woman King

Other Possibilities:

6. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

8. Three Thousand Years of Longing

9. The Northman

10. Corsage

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

2. Babylon

3. Top Gun: Maverick

4. The Fabelmans

5. Women Talking

Other Possibilities:

6. Elvis

7. Tar

8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

9. Triangle of Sadness

10. Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Whale

2. Babylon

3. Elvis

4. The Batman

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. Blonde

8. The Woman King

9. The Fabelmans

10. All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. The Fabelmans

3. Empire of Light

4. Women Talking

5. Tar

Other Possibilities:

6. The Banshees of Inisherin

7. Top Gun: Maverick

8. Avatar: The Way of Water

9. The Batman

10. All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Song

1. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

2. “Nobody Like U” from Turning Red

3. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

4. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman

Other Possibilities:

6. “On My Way” from Marry Me

7. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

8. “New Body Rhuma” from White Noise

9. “Good Tonight” from The Bad Guys

10. “Paper Airplanes” from A Jazzman’s Blues

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon

2. The Fabelmans

3. Elvis

4. Avatar: The Way of Water

5. Empire of Light

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once

8. Bardo

9. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

10. The Batman

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick

2. Avatar: The Way of Water

3. Babylon

4. Elvis

5. The Batman

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. All Quiet on the Western Front

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once

9. Nope

10. The Fabelmans

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

2. Top Gun: Maverick

3. The Batman

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once

5. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Other Possibilities: 

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

7. RRR

8. All Quiet on the Western Front

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

10. Nope 

And that equates to this very first rundown of how many nominations I am projecting for each picture:

11 Nominations

Babylon

10 Nominations

The Fabelmans’

9 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

Women Talking

6 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Empire of Light, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

Elvis, The Whale

4 Nominations

Tar

3 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman

2 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Triangle of Sadness, Turning Red

1 Nomination

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Holy Spider, Last Flight Home, Living, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Navalny, Saint Omer, The Sea Beast, She Said, The Son, Strange World, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Where the Crawdads Sing, White Noise, The Woman King

July 22-24 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (07/21): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my Nope prediction slightly from $49.2M to $53.2M

Jordan Peele’s Nope should make it a hat trick for the director’s titles opening at #1. The only newcomer arriving in multiplexes this weekend, you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Nope Box Office Prediction

Most estimates have the supernatural horror tale debuting between $40-60 million. I’m putting it right in the middle of that range, but reserving the right to revise when the buzz and reviews materialize throughout the week. If anything, I could see it moving up.

As for holdovers, Thor: Love and Thunder should drop to second after two weeks. The MCU fourquel experienced a significant tumble in its sophomore frame (more on that below). It should stabilize some in its third outing with a drop in the late 40s to low 50s.

Minions: The Rise of Gru is likely to fall one slot to third while the 4-5 could be interesting. It’s all about the second weekend percentage dip for Where the Crawdads Sing, which had a solid start. I’m projecting mid 40s and that could allow Top Gun: Maverick to narrowly remain in fourth if it only sees a 20% or lower decrease.

Here’s how I see the top five shaking out:

1. Nope

Predicted Gross: $53.2 million

2. Thor: Love and Thunder

Predicted Gross: $22.4 million

3. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Predicted Gross: $17 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick 

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

5. Where the Crawdads Sing

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

Box Office Results (July 15-17) 

As anticipated, Thor: Love and Thunder remained atop the charts for a second frame. It was hammered a bit with a precipitous sophomore drop. Grossing $46.6 million (under my $50.2 million estimate), that’s a 68% decline and that’s a touch more than the 67% of MCU predecessor Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The ten-day earnings are $233 million.

Minions: The Rise of Gru was runner-up with $26.8 million, rising above my $23.1 million prediction. It’s up to an impressive $263 million with north of $300 million easily in its sights and then some.

Where the Crawdads Sing, based on a huge bestseller, satisfied an older and female crowd with $17.2 million out of the gate. While falling shy of my $18.7 million projection, it’s still a commendable start.

Top Gun: Maverick was fourth with $12.2 million (I said $10.9 million) as the phenomenon has reached $618 million in eight weeks.

Elvis was fifth and I incorrectly had it outside of the top five. The biopic added $8 million to its coffers as it passed the century mark with $106 million.

The animated Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hawk couldn’t find its family audience. Placing sixth with a piddly $6.3 million (well below my $10.5 million take), it got lost in the summer shuffle between Minions and the upcoming DC League of Super-Pets. 

Finally, critically appreciated Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (on a low number of 980 screens) made a so-so $1.9 million for ninth place. Paris didn’t quite reach my prediction of $2.3 million.

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

July 15-17 Box Office Predictions

A trio of new titles populate the mid-July box office though Thor is unlikely to be dethroned in his second frame. We have rural drama Where the Crawdads Sing (based on the bestseller), animated martial arts family comedy Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, and the 1950s set dramedy Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

Where the Crawdads Sing Box Office Prediction

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank Box Office Prediction

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Box Office Prediction

Despite solid reviews thus far, Paris won’t reach the top five and top ten could even be tricky. Part of that is due to its smallish output on roughly 900 screens. My estimate is $2.3 million.

The wild card could be Crawdads. The novel is recent (it was the top selling book of 2019) and has its ardent fans. A debut of over $20 million is possible and it could reach the runner-up position. I’m putting it a bit under that and that should mean third place.

As for Paws, my projection of just over $10 million would put it in a dead heat with Top Gun: Maverick in its 8th weekend. If anything, I could see my guesstimate for the animated pic being revised down.

Thor: Love and Thunder hammered out the third largest opening of 2022 (more on that below). Yet the B+ Cinemascore average (low for the MCU) could mean a hefty sophomore dip. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness had the same grade and tumbled 67%. A low mid 60s drop for the Asgardian king should mean a $50-55 million range.

Minions: The Rise of Gru should remain in second (unless Crawdads impresses) with a third weekend take of between $20-25 million.

Here’s how I envision the top five:

1. Thor: Love and Thunder

Predicted Gross: $50.2 million

2. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Predicted Gross: $23.1 million

3. Where the Crawdads Sing

Predicted Gross: $18.7 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $10.9 million

5. Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank

Predicted Gross: $10.5 million

Box Office Results (July 8-10)

Thor: Love and Thunder easily set a personal best among the four Chris Hemsworth led pics with $144.1 million, besting predecessor Ragnarok by over $20 million. While a rock solid start, it’s on the lower end of expectations and I said $155.7 million. Out of the 29 MCU blockbusters, it ranks 12th as far as beginnings.

Minions: The Rise of Gru slipped to second with $46.1 million, just shy of my $48.8 million prediction. The Illumination smash is up to $210 million already.

Top Gun: Maverick was third with $15.5 million and I was more generous with $18.5 million. Tom Cruise’s phenomenon is flying high with $597 million.

Elvis was fourth with $11.1 million (I said $11.6 million) as the biopic has taken in  a sturdy $91 million.

Jurassic World: Dominion rounded out the top five with $8.5 million. I went with $9.1 million. Total is $350 million.

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

July 8-10 Box Office Predictions

Thor: Love and Thunder is the 29th entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it will be the 29th to debut in first place when it opens Friday. My detailed prediction post on it can be accessed here:

Thor: Love and Thunder Box Office Prediction

The franchise is riding high off the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The former King of Asgard’s fourth adventure is getting mixed reviews, but that didn’t hurt Multiverse and it shouldn’t matter much here. My projection in the mid 150s gives it a slightly better start than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Captain Marvel. 

As for holdovers, Minions: The Rise of Gru blew away expectations (more on that below). It should lose around 50-55% of the Friday to Sunday portion of its opening holiday weekend. Top Gun: Maverick will land in third displaying the smallest dip of the bunch with Elvis and Jurassic World: Dominion rounding out the top five at 40% range falls.

Here’s how I see it looking:

1. Thor: Love and Thunder

Predicted Gross: $155.7 million

2. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Predicted Gross: $48.8 million

3. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million

4. Elvis

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. Jurassic World: Dominion

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million

Box Office Results (July 1-4)

Minions: The Rise of Gru set a pandemic era record for animated features with a bountiful $107 million. The fifth entry in the Despicable Me/Minions tales, Steve Carell and company soared past my (and everyone else’s) expectations. I had it making $86.4 million over the four-day Independence  Day weekend. With an A Cinemascore grade, it should perform well into the future and keep the series chugging along (the next one is slated for summer 2024 already).

Top Gun: Maverick remained in second with $32.2 million – above my $29.8 million take. On the weekend of his 60th birthday, Tom Cruise’s biggest hit ever is up to $570 million.

Elvis shimmied down to third after premiering in first with $22.7 million, right in line with my $23.2 million projection. Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic is at an impressive $71 million with $100 million firmly in its sights.

Jurassic World: Dominion was fourth with $19.6 million compared to my guesstimate of $17.3 million. The sixth dino flick’s tally roared to $335 million.

The Black Phone rounded out the top five with $14.1 million (I said $14.5 million) as the low budget horror pic has rung up a pleasing $49 million.

Finally, Pixar’s Lightyear continued its uninspiring run with $7.6 million for a $106 million tally. I was more generous at $10.2 million.

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

Oscar Predictions – Thor: Love and Thunder

The Thor entries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have yet to receive any attention at the Oscars. While that may not seem terribly surprising, it’s important to remember that 12 of the MCU blockbusters have nabbed Visual Effects nods. None have won.

Love and Thunder opens Friday and it’s the fourth adventure centered on Chris Hemworth’s Asgardian former King. Taika Waititi returns to direct after helming 2017’s Ragnarok. It was easily the most acclaimed of the series with a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score. It didn’t make the cut for its visuals though while fellow MCU entry Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 did. Thunder‘s reviews don’t match its predecessor as it currently stands at 71%.

The MCU should get a 13th VE mention for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. If Ragnarok couldn’t manage the final five for the visuals or Makeup or Hairstyling or Costume Design, I’m skeptical this follow-up will. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Thor: Love and Thunder Box Office Prediction

Each Thor pic has outdone the last and Disney hopes that trend continues when Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8th. The sixth MCU entry in the past 14 months, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down as this follows juggernauts Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. 

This particular series is only the second to have a fourth feature (the other being Avengers). Taika Waititi, who made 2017’s predecessor Ragnarok, returns behind the camera with Chris Hemsworth once again hammering away as the title character. Natalie Portman’s Jane is back after sitting out part 3 and other familiar faces include Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, and Jeff Goldblum. The Guardians of the Galaxy are also in the mix. Newcomers to the fold are Christian Bale as main villain Gorr the God Butcher and Russell Crowe as Zeus. Expect plenty of cameos as well.

The first Thor (only the 4th of now 29 MCU flicks) grossed $65 million out of the gate with an overall gross of $181 million. Two and a half years later, The Dark World improved upon that with $85 and $206 million, respectively. Ragnarok easily surpassed that with $122 million and $315 million eventually.

Love and Thunder should continue the trend. Since the character’s last stand-alone effort, Thor was prominently placed in the massive Avengers sagas Infinity War and Endgame. That said, Multiverse from early May was a direct benefactor of following No Way Home when it premiered with $187 million. Its Spidey predecessor swung the second largest domestic opening of all time behind Endgame. 

I don’t believe Thunder will reach the stratosphere of Multiverse. Somewhere between $140-$160 million seems doable. If buzz continues to grow louder in the coming days, I reserve the right to revise up. My current take puts it in the range of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($146 million) and Captain Marvel ($153 million). I’ll put it slightly over both.

Thor: Love and Thunder opening weekend prediction: $155.7 million

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Review

Sam Raimi’s horror sense and gory sensibilities (Evil Dead style) permeates Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. On paper this is a sequel to 2016’s predecessor which introduced Benedict Cumberbatch as the cocky mythical surgeon Stephen Strange. As with most sagas in the MCU, his character has been in plenty of other adventures in the interim (most notably the gargantuan Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame). The fifth word is the most key in the title. As Spider-Man: No Way Home (with its understandably audience pleasing cameos) showed just a few months back, this cinematic universe is now comprised of scores of them. Multiverse has a limited amount of fun with this development that’s far less memorable.

Instead this sequel often serves as a continuation of Disney Plus’s first Marvel streaming series WandaVision with Elizabeth Olsen. If you didn’t watch that, you’re going to be a little lost. Olsen’s Wanda, on the TV show, created an idyllic home life with Vision (Paul Bettany) and two cute kids with superhero powers. The problem – it was a completely invented reality and Wanda was causing harm to others by continuing the charade. She comes to her senses eventually. Multiverse finds Wanda being taken over by her alter ego the Scarlet Witch after acquiring a book of magic spells. Her character motivations stretch credibility with the same elasticity as a certain cameo where she battles familiar MCUers with some different faces.

Wanda/Scarlet’s plans to reunite with her made up kiddos jeopardize life in plenty of multiverses. None of them involve her wanting to reunite with the love of her life Vision (there’s that credibility issue). It does involve Doctor Strange teaming up with America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). I’m sure her persona will be fleshed out in future installments. For now she’s a teen with the ability to jump multiverses who possesses powers she’s just beginning to harness. Strange first makes her acquaintance while attending the wedding of his former flame Christine (Rachel McAdams). A CG monster interrupts the reception on the streets outside and an eye popping (literally) battle ensues. The Scarlet Witch wants America for her own nefarious purposes so the Doc must protect her across multiple dimensions.

Actually… only a couple of dimensions as Multiverse never gets much screen time to explore the possibilities other than a brief and very cool sequence. Therein lies part of the problem. While I know we’re dealing with intergalactic mayhem that can mean all sorts of unanticipated cameos and landscapes, Madness can feel surprisingly low stakes. It doesn’t help with the aforementioned matters of Scarlet’s clunky story treatment.

What does occasionally assist in the entertainment value is Raimi being in the director’s chair. Taking over for Scott Derrickson, the veteran filmmaker doesn’t shy away from jump scares and his unique brand made notable four decades ago in Evil Dead. There are unquestionably some impressive and spellbinding visuals. There’s also a pop-in by Bruce Campbell that is more satisfying than higher profile cameos. Unfortunately this suffers from a malady similar to Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 with villainous plots that don’t quite ultimately work. Chiwetel Ejiofor unceremoniously returns as a version of Mordo, Strange’s former ally turned foe.

All this Strange magic while Stephen pines for Christine makes for a middle of the universe to lower tier universe experience. I appreciate Kevin Feige and the team allowing Raimi so much creative control. However, while previous confrontations were fought in fewer dimensions, I felt they covered more meaningful ground. As the MCU moves forward across all these galaxies (sometimes with inspiration and sometimes trudging on shaky foundations), we’ll have lots of opportunities to see how the mix turns out. I still have guarded optimism.

**1/2 (out of four)

June 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (06/23): On the eve of its premiere, I am revising my Elvis prediction from $42.6M to $35.6M. That still gives it the #1 slot over Top Gun: Maverick… barely.

In what should be an intriguing and potentially unpredictable weekend to close out the June box office, Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic Elvis and critically lauded horror pic The Black Phone debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

Elvis Box Office Prediction

The Black Phone Box Office Prediction

There’s plenty of possibilities for how the top 5 will look. While there’s no doubt about which quintet will populate the list, the order is up for grabs. I believe Elvis will open closer to the $51 million of Bohemian Rhapsody than the $25 million of Rocketman. That should be enough to earn it the title of Box Office King.

However, if it does premiere in the mid to late 20s range, the chances of a #1 start are considerably lower. We could legitimately see Top Gun: Maverick rise from 3rd to 1st. With a projected dip in the low to mid 20s, it should at least rise to 2nd place. That’s assuming current two-week champ Jurassic World: Dominion loses more than half its audience in its third go-round and Lightyear also sees a sophomore fall of around 55%. I’m assuming both.

And there’s the wild card that is The Black Phone. Horror titles often outdo expectations and with its aforementioned solid reviews, that could apply here. I’m sticking with a debut of just under $20 million and that would likely mean a fifth place reception.

Here’s how I envision perhaps the most fascinating box office weekend so far in the pandemic era looking:

1. Elvis

Predicted Gross: $35.6 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $34.8 million

3. Jurassic World: Dominion

Predicted Gross: $28.3 million

4. Lightyear

Predicted Gross: $23.2 million

5. The Black Phone

Predicted Gross: $18.6 million

Box Office Results (June 17-19)

In a major upset, Jurassic World: Dominion remained #1 for the second frame with $59.1 million. That’s stronger than my $54.8 million estimate as the threequel is up to $250 million in its first ten days. That’s $15 million under where predecessor was at four summers ago.

Jurassic‘s reign was unexpected because Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story spinoff Lightyear was widely anticipated to rule the charts. Instead it grossed $50.5 million for second place. That’s, ahem, $35 million under my projection of $85.5 million and less than half of what Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4 made out of the gate. There’s plenty of think pieces out there for why Lightyear was a disappointment. It includes theories about politics, Disney Plus being the same day distributor for recent Pixar material, and the absence of Tim Allen as the voice of the title character. Any way you slice it, it’s a shocker.

Top Gun: Maverick continued its amazing run in third with $44.6 million – dropping a scant 14%. I was lower at $36 million. The biggest hit of the year (and of Tom Cruise’s career by far) is flying at $466 million as its domestic haul will reach $500 million shortly. As mentioned, if Elvis doesn’t reach my projection, it could see a return to the top spot. I wrote more about Maverick‘s unreal performance yesterday on the blog and it’s here:

Top Gun: Maverick – Lightyears Ahead of Expectations

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was fourth with $4.4 million compared to my $3.4 million take. The tally is $405 million.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie rounded out the top five with $1.1 million. I incorrectly had it outside the high five. It’s made $29 million.

I figured The Bad Guys would be fifth, but it was sixth with $1 million (I said $1.5 million)/ The overall take is $94 million.

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