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…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 5th Edition

Back at it once again with my weekly Oscar predictions in the eight major categories as we move to October. Over the past week, I would say there’s been two significant developments. First, Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying debuted at the New York Film Festival to somewhat mixed results. I’ve had it in my predicted nine films to be nominated for Best Picture and that changes for now.

The other story is the critical reaction for Blade Runner 2049, which opens tomorrow. Many of the reviews have been raves and I believe it’s increased it chances greatly at nods for Picture and its director Denis Villeneuve, who was nominated just last year for Arrival. 

One further story line is the falling prospects of Battle of the Sexes, which is not performing up to expectations at the box office. Much of the reasoning for it receiving nominations was that it could turn into a hit audience pleaser. That hasn’t occurred and its chances are in doubt. Goodbye Christopher Robin has reviews out as well and its prospects are looking dim.

Per usual, just because I rank something at #1 doesn’t mean I think it wins. This is based on chances for a nomination. Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

7. Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 13)

9. Wonder Wheel (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

10. Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

11. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 9)

12. Last Flag Flying (PR: 8)

13. Detroit (PR: 18)

14. The Greatest Showman (PR: 12)

15. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 15)

16. Get Out (PR: 16)

17. I, Tonya (PR: 22)

18. Downsizing (PR: 19)

19. The Florida Project (PR: 23)

20. Lady Bird (PR: 21)

21. All the Money in the World (PR: 17)

22. The Big Sick (PR: 20)

23. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 14)

24. Wonderstruck (PR: 25)

25. Molly’s Game (PR: 24)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 5)

7. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

8. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 7)

9. Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel (PR: 11)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

11. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 8)

13. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 13)

14. Clint Eastwood, The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 15)

15. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 3)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 5)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq. (PR: 8)

8. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 6)

9. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 12)

10. Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker (PR: 11)

11. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 10)

12. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 15)

13. Jeremy Renner, Wind River (PR: 13)

14. Domhnall Gleeson, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 9)

15. Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 5)

4. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 7)

8. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 9)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 8)

10. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 10)

11. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 12)

12. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 11)

13. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: 13)

14. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 15)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: 14)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

5. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 7)

7. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 6)

8. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 11)

9. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

10. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: 8)

11. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 12)

12. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 13)

13. Christoph Waltz, Downsizing (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

15. Jim Belushi, Wonder Wheel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Dustin Hoffman, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 2)

3. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

4. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

5. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 8)

7. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 7)

8. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 6)

9. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 11)

10. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 9)

11. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck (PR: 12)

12. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: 13)

13. Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel (PR: 14)

14. Margot Robbie, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 10)

15. Cicely Tyson, Last Flag Flying (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tatiana Maslany, Stronger

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Post (PR: 1)

2. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

5. Molly’s Game (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 12)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

8. Wonderstruck (PR: 7)

9. All the Money in the World (PR: 6)

10. The Beguiled (PR: 9)

11. The Disaster Artist (PR: 11)

12. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 10)

13. Stronger (PR: 13)

14. Wonder (PR: 14)

15. Thank You for Your Service (PR: 15)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Get Out (PR: 6)

7. Dunkirk (PR: 8)

8. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

10. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 7)

11. The Florida Project (PR: 12)

12. Downsizing (PR: 11)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

14. Wind River (PR: 13)

15. The Greatest Showman (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Goodbye Christopher Robin

And there you have it! I’ll be back at it next Thursday with brand new Oscar updates…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 28th Edition

Back at it with my weekly Oscar predictions on the eight major categories and how those races are shaping up! In the next week, two big pieces of the Academy puzzle will come into focus. Last Flag Flying will screen this evening at the New York Film Festival and Blade Runner 2049 will have its reviews out as it opens a week from tomorrow (early word-of-mouth is strong). I’m also, for the first time, including Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris, which hasn’t been confirmed for release by the end of the year (though it’s expected to be).

As for this week, we’ve seen some significant changes in the rankings at the top for both Actress and Supporting Actress. Again, I’ll note that just because I’m ranking something first doesn’t mean I think it wins. This is strictly guesstimates on chances of being nominated.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 7)

6. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

7. Mudbound (PR: 5)

8. Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

9. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. Phantom Thread (PR: 11)

11. Wonder Wheel (PR: 12)

12. The Greatest Showman (PR: 10)

13. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 14)

14. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 15)

15. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: Not Ranked)

16. Get Out (PR: 24)

17. All the Money in the World (PR: 17)

18. Detroit (PR: 16)

19. Downsizing (PR: 13)

20. The Big Sick (PR: 21)

21. Lady Bird (PR: 25)

22. I, Tonya (PR: 20)

23. The Florida Project (PR: 19)

24. Molly’s Game (PR: Not Ranked)

25. Wonderstruck (PR: 22)

Dropped Out:

Coco

mother!

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

7. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 7)

8. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 8)

9. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 11)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

11. Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel (PR: 12)

12. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 9)

13. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman (PR: 15)

15. Clint Eastwood, The 15:17 to Paris (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World

Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 3)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

5. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

7. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

8. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 7)

9. Domhnall Gleeson, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 8)

10. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 11)

11. Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker (PR: 10)

12. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Jeremy Renner, Wind River (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 13)

15. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (reportedly competing in Supporting Actor)

Liam Neeson, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House

Matt Damon, Downsizing

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 2)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 3)

3. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 1)

4. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 7)

7. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

8. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 10)

9. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

10. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 9)

11. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 11)

12. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 12)

13. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: 13)

15. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Carey Mulligan, Mudbound

Jane Fonda, Our Souls at Night

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

5. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 6)

7. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 8)

8. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

10. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

11. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 7)

12. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 12)

13. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 11)

14. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 15)

15. Dustin Hoffman, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound

Christoph Waltz, Downsizing

Best Supporting Actress

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 2)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 1)

3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 6)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

7. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 11)

8. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

9. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Margot Robbie, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 8)

11. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 9)

12. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel (PR: 14)

15. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Julianne Moore, Suburbicon

Michelle Pfeiffer, mother!

Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (moved to Lead Actress)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Post (PR: 1)

2. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

5. Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

7. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

8. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. The Beguiled (PR: 7)

10. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: Not Ranked)

11. The Disaster Artist (PR: 12)

12. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 11)

13. Stronger (PR: 9)

14. Wonder (PR: 13)

15. Thank You for Your Service (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Logan

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 2)

4. Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Get Out (PR: 7)

7. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

8. Dunkirk (PR: 8)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

10. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

11. Downsizing (PR: 9)

12. The Florida Project (PR: 11)

13. Wind River (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 14)

15. The Greatest Showman (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Coco

And there you have it! Updates will be on the way next Thursday…

Summer 1987: The Top 10 Hits and More

As we begin the month of August and the dog days of summer, I’ll be traveling back 30, 20, and 10 years ago to seasons past giving you the top ten hits and more of that particular time frame. Today we are going all the way to 1987.

It was a simpler time back then. There were very few sequels and franchises and reboots and a good portion of the highest grossing flicks dealt with law enforcement in action type settings. Only one picture grossed over $100 million dollars. Yes, the times have changed, but what a hoot to look back at what was burning up the box office charts three decades ago. This post will also discuss some other notable flicks outside the top ten and some big ole flops.

Let’s get to it!

10. The Living Daylights

Domestic Gross: $51 million

The 15th James Bond picture kicked off the brief two picture reign of Timothy Dalton, who took over the iconic role after the late Roger Moore’s 12 year long portrayal of 007. It’s $51M gross would just surpass the $50M earnings of Moore’s swan song, 1985’s A View to a Kill. Two summers later, Dalton would star in his swan song Licence to Kill before Pierce Brosnan donned the tuxedo six years later.

9. Robocop

Domestic Gross: $53 million

Paul Verhoeven’s futuristic sci-fi action thriller nearly received the dreaded X rating upon its release. It also received critical acclaim and spawned two sequels and a 2014 remake.

8. La Bamba

Domestic Gross: $54 million

This biopic of singer Ritchie Valens starring Lou Diamond Phillips was a major summer sleeper and even earned a Golden Globe nod for Best Picture (Drama). It also featured the Los Lobos cover of the title song that was in the top ten summer songs of 1987.

7. Dragnet

Domestic Gross: $57 million

A few years before Tom Hanks was earning back to back Best Actor Oscars, he was costarring in silly remakes of 1950s cop dramas. Dragnet managed to perform well and it’s a guilty pleasure, especially Dan Aykroyd’s take on Sgt. Joe Friday (a role made famous by Jack Webb).

6. Predator

Domestic Gross: $59 million

One of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finest action pics, Predator also kicked off an impressive three picture directorial run by John McTiernan that was followed up by Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October. This franchise is still going strong today, but nothing beats the hard edged original.

5. Dirty Dancing

Domestic Gross: $63 million

The biggest sleeper hit of the summer vaulted Patrick Swayze into super stardom and won the Oscar for Best Original Song for Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”.

4. The Witches of Eastwick

Domestic Gross: $63 million

Mad Max maker George Miller went Hollywood with this critically appreciated comedic fantasy with an all-star cast of Jack Nicholson, Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

3. Stakeout

Domestic Gross: $65 million

This was the height of the buddy cop era and it propelled this one starring Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez to big grosses. A less regarded sequel costarring Rosie O’Donnell would follow six years later.

2. The Untouchables

Domestic Gross: $76 million

Brian De Palma’s take on the classic TV series was a big-budget and highly entertaining affair headlined by Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia, and Sean Connery (who won a Supporting Actor Oscar for his work).

1. Beverly Hills Cop II

Domestic Gross: $153 million

Eddie Murphy was just about the biggest movie star in the world in summer 1987 and that’s shown here by the enormous gross of the sequel to his 1984 classic, directed by Tony Scott. A much less successful third entry would follow seven summers later after Murphy’s box office potency had waned.

And now – here’s some other notable pictures from the season:

Full Metal Jacket

Domestic Gross: $46 million

Legendary director Stanley Kubrick’s first film in seven years (since The Shining) is now considered a modern classic, especially for its unforgettable first half featuring R. Lee Ermey’s Vietnam drill sergeant.

Spaceballs

Domestic Gross: $38 million

This Mel Brooks spoof of Star Wars may not be in Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein territory, but it’s certainly earned quite a cult status through the last 30 years.

Adventures in Babysitting

Domestic Gross: $34 million

The directorial debut of Chris Columbus (who would go on to make Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter pics), Babysitting has also achieved cult cred in addition to its decent box office showing at the time.

The Lost Boys

Domestic Gross: $32 million

Another flick with a rabid fan base, the teen pic cast Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, and Corey Feldman in a California town overrun by vampires.

And now for a couple of 1987 summer box office bombs:

Jaws IV: The Revenge

Domestic Gross: $20 million

12 summers prior, Steven Spielberg’s original was a landmark motion picture. By the time the fourth entry came around, the series had gotten terrible. It still has a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes and Michael Caine actually missed picking up his Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters because he was shooting this turkey.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Domestic Gross: $15 million

Not a solid summer for four-quels. This served as a bad ending to a series started nine years earlier. There was a moratorium on Supes pic for the next 19 years.

Ishtar

Domestic Gross: $14 million

Considered one of the largest bombs in film history at the time, this comedy with Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman was a punchline for years. Its reputation has grown a bit since.

And that’s my recap folks! I’ll be back recounting summer 1997 very soon…

Oscar Watch: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Another Cannes Film Festival screening has put two items in the same sentence that don’t really belong together: Oscar buzz and Adam Sandler. Yes, it’s true. When we think of Sandler pics premiering on Netflix over the last couple of years, quality doesn’t immediately spring to mind.

However, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) isn’t your typical Sandler fare. The comedic drama (or dramatic comedy if you will) is from acclaimed indie director Noah Baumbach, maker of The Squid and the Whale and Frances Ha. Instead of David Spade and Rob Schneider, the costars here include Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Emma Thompson.

Early reviews from France suggest this is Mr. Sandler’ finest performance since at least PunchDrunk Love 15 years ago. And that has some folks whispering Oscar nomination. In all likelihood, even with strong notices and a current 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the star of Meyerowitz is probably a bit of a long shot. Yet a weak Best Actor race could change that dynamic come autumn.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Kung Fu Panda 3 Box Office Prediction

Jack Black is back kicking it again as Po in Dreamworks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 3, out next weekend. The threequel comes nearly five years after the second installment with a slew of famous faces voicing characters in the martial arts comedy toon. They include Angelina Jolie Pitt, Dustin Hoffman, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Kate Hudson, J.K. Simmons, and David Cross.

In 2008, the original Panda chopped its way to a fabulous $60 million opening on its way to a $215 million domestic haul. The inevitable 2011 sequel couldn’t quite match that performance with a $47 million premiere and $165 million take. Part 3, unlike its two predecessors, isn’t debuting in the summer so competition is less steep. That said, the five year old layover could lead to slightly dwindling returns once again.

Kung Fu Panda 3 will almost undoubtedly set one record: biggest animated opening of all time in January (it only needs to top the $19.4 million accomplished by The Nut Job two years ago). It should double that at least, but I’ll predict it has the lowest opening of the trio.

Kung Fu Panda 3 opening weekend prediction: $41.7 million

For my Fifty Shades of Black prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/01/21/fifty-shades-of-black-box-office-prediction/

For my The Finest Hours prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/01/21/the-finest-hours-box-office-prediction/

For my Jane Got a Gun prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/01/21/jane-got-a-gun-box-office-prediction/

This Day in Movie History: January 13

25 years ago Today in Movie History – January 13 – Barry Levinson’s Rain Man would spend its third out of five weeks in the #1 spot. The drama about long-lost brothers – one an autistic savant, one a hotshot yuppie – starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Rain Man would greatly capture the attention of audiences and critics. It would win Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Actor for Hoffman, earning his second statue after 1979’s Kramer vs. Kramer. Rain Man would end up being the highest grossing picture of 1988 with $172 million domestically.

As for birthdays, two actors known for their appearances in film franchises celebrate today. Orlando Bloom is 37. He’s starred in some of highest-grossing pictures this century due to his involvement in the Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and Hobbit series. Other notable film appearances include Black Hawk Down, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, and Elizabethtown.

Liam Hemsworth is 24 today. He is most known for playing Gale Hawthorne in the enormous Hunger Games franchise that will continue through 2015. He also appeared in The Expendables 2 and last year’s box office bomb Paranoia.

As for Six Degrees of Separation between Mr. Bloom and Mr. Hemsworth:

Orlando Bloom was in the Pirates of the Caribbean films with Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp was in Public Enemies with Christian Bale

Christian Bale was in American Hustle with Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence is in The Hunger Games films with Liam Hemsworth

And that’s today – January 13 – in Movie History!