Flatliners Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (09/24) – My estimate for Flatliners continues to drop. I’m now putting it at just $6.3 million.

It isn’t the only September remake of a 1990 horror pic as Flatliners debuts in theaters next weekend. The film finds 5 medical students dangerously experimenting with near-death experiences with a cast that includes Ellen Page, Diego Luna, and Nina Dobrev. This is actually more of a sequel than remake to 1990’s version that was directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Julia Roberts, fresh off breakout Pretty Woman. Kiefer Sutherland, who costarred in the first, returns.

The original Flatliners probably benefited from Julia’s mega watt star power at the time. I don’t believe there’s an enormous amount of reverance for it. Sony Pictures best hope is that horror audiences who gobbled up It might be ready for something else.

That could be a tall order. I’m predicting Flatliners doesn’t hit double digits out of the gate.

Flatliners opening weekend prediction: $6.3 million

For my American Made prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/09/20/american-made-box-office-prediction/

 

 

Oscar Watch: Freeheld

While the Cannes, Venice, and Telluride film festivals were successful in showcasing a number of Oscar hopefuls including Carol, The Danish Girl, Steve Jobs, and Spotlight, among others – this year’s in progress Toronto Film Festival has already premiered several titles that have seen their awards hope dim.

One is Freeheld, a domestic partnership drama starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon. Directed by Peter Sollett and based on a 2007 documentary, this was looked at as a potential contender in several categories before it screened up north. Reviews have been very mixed and any chance it had at a Picture nod seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Still, it’s a little naive to completely count Moore in Best Actress out and her performance has received solid notices. Yet as mentioned in previous Oscar watch posts, that race is looking very crowded already with Cate Blanchett in Carol, possibly Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl (though she could be recognized instead in Supporting), Carey Mulligan in Suffragette, Brie Larson in Room, Lily Tomlin in Grandma, Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn, and the as yet unforeseen work of Jennifer Lawrence in Joy. In other words, the competition could crowd Moore out and Academy voters may be OK with that considering she won just last year for her work in Still Alice. She remains a possibility, however, and can’t be totally discounted. As for other performers, Michael Shannon has received positive word of mouth but is a long shot for Supporting Actor.

All in all, Toronto essentially dashed the hopes of Freeheld gaining any major traction in the 2015 awards derby.

2015 Early Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

It’s hard to believe but we are two thirds of the way through the calendar year and that means my first round of incredibly early Oscar predictions are making their way to the blog! Some caveats: it’s early. Real early. Truth be told, most of the main contenders in all the major categories will be rolling out in the fall. Many will be screening at the upcoming film fests like Toronto and New York, among others. As always, those festivals will help the picture become clearer over the next couple of months. Usually by Thanksgiving or early December, we’ve got a pretty good idea on how things are looking.

That said, I started my predictions for 2014 at the same time last year. In the Supporting Actress race, which I’m covering today, my impossibly early predictions yielded two of the five eventual nominees, Laura Dern for Wild and winner Patricia Arquette in Boyhood. It’s also worth noting that I predicted Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, who was nominated in the Lead Actress category. Let’s talk about how things look right now:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Already we seem to have one performer who appears to be a shoo in for a nod: Rooney Mara for Todd Haynes’s 1950s set lesbian romance Carol, which premiered to raves at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this summer. It would be very shocking not to see Mara included, unless she’s campaigned for in the Actress race. That seems unlikely because the studio should be putting her costar Cate Blanchett in that race.

After that – much uncertainty. The Irish immigration drama Brooklyn hit the festival circuit to a rapturous response and that could bode well for Julie Walters. Director Quentin Tarantino knows how to get his actors nominated which could mean a nom for The Hateful Eight’s Jennifer Jason Leigh. Director David O. Russell is exceptional at seeing his performers gets nods and his December release Joy could see kudos for either Virginia Madsen or Diane Ladd (I’m leaving both off, for now).

Elizabeth Olsen has had some critically applauded roles and her performance as Hank Williams’ wife in the biopic I Saw the Light could garner attention. So could Kate Winslet in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic.

The rest of the large field is filled with familiar names and some not. Remember the name Emayatzy Corinealdi for her work in the Don Cheadle/Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. And we have previous winners like Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Rachel Weisz in the mix.

TODD’S FIRST PREDICTIONS – BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Elizabeth Olsen, I Saw the Light

Julie Walters, Brooklyn

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

 

Other Possibilities:

Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy

Cate Blanchett, Truth

Helena Bonham Carter,  Suffragette

Jessica Chastain, The Martian

Emayatzy Corinealdi, Miles Ahead

Marion Cotillard, Macbeth

Ann Dowd, Our Brand is Crisis

Jane Fonda, Youth

Nicole Kidman, Genius

Diane Ladd, Joy

Melanie Laurent, By the Sea

Laura Linney, Genius

Virginia Madsen, Joy

Helen Mirren, Trumbo

Ellen Page, Freeheld

Julia Roberts, The Secret in their Eyes

Amy Ryan, Bridge of Spies

Meryl Streep, Suffragette

Rachel Weisz, Youth

And there’s part one of my early Oscar picks. Supporting Actor coming your way tomorrow…

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review

Some apologies are more sincere than others and X-Men: Days of Future Past may just have the distinction of being 20th Century Fox and Bryan Singer’s most expensive apology ever. Why? Essentially, the seventh X-Men installment (counting the two Wolverine one-offs) renders a lot of 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand moot. That picture sent comic book fans into a frenzy with how sub par it was after Brett Ratner took over the directorial reigns from Singer, who made the high quality first two flicks.

In order for Singer to pull off his most miraculous trick since Kevin Spacey started walking straight almost 20 years ago, the franchise must incorporate time travel. That means we get to see the cast from the original trilogy and those who populated 2011’s X-Men: First Class, which triumphantly reinvigorated the series.

At the center of it all is Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, who warps back and forth between 1973 and the near future. In the “sort of” present, giant robots called Sentinels are exterminating Earth’s mutant species. Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Erik/Magneto (Ian McKellen) have actually formed a truce (maybe) to fight them. The solution involves having Wolverine go back 40 years to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Trask (Peter Dinklage), the Sentinel’s creator. Once Wolverine is among the glorious 70s fashion, he has to find younger Charles (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and convince them to work together (no easy assignment) to alter history. Even President Richard Nixon is part of the action, though it’s never established if any of the future dwellers helped him out with that whole Watergate thing.

Along the way, we’re introduced to a new character that inspires the coolest sequence in the picture. That’s Quicksilver (Evan Peters), whose super fast abilities allow for a rather jaw dropping action scene. His presence in the upcoming sequels will be welcome I trust.

To set the future right, Charles can only truly help by giving up a nasty drug addiction that renders his telepathy useless, but allows him to walk. Only by embracing his paralyzed status can he enter the Cerebro chamber and do his Professor X thing. In essence, he’s sort of like the cinematic Bizarro equivalent of Lieutenant Dan.

Besides the company already mentioned, other X-Men favorites (and not so favorites) return. There’s Beast and Shadowcat and Iceman. Halle Berry returns as Storm and, just like in the original trilogy, she doesn’t add much to the proceedings.

For all the time travel gobbledygook, Future Past works best as a highly entertaining action pic spent with old friends. Singer proved himself a great choice for the X material (unlike with Superman) in 2000 and 2002 and that holds true today. We already know how effective Jackman and the fine actors playing young and old Professor X and Magneto are. And with Jennifer Lawrence having become one of the biggest stars in the world since First Class, her role as Mystique is certainly magnified, as would be expected.

Future Past continues the positive trend that the series has been on since First Class washed the bad taste of Last Stand away. Brett Ratner might deservedly feel like a scapegoat once the credits roll here, but you’ll feel pretty satisfied.

*** (out of four)

Oscar History: 2007

Tonight on the blog – we review the Oscars from 2007, continuing with my series of Oscar History posts. 2007 was a year in which the brilliant Coen Brothers finally received some Academy love. Their critically lauded No Country for Old Men won Best Picture and earned the twosome the Best Director prize. It’s hard to argue with the Academy’s choice of this terrific pic for the top prize.

In my view, There Will Be Blood would’ve been another deserving recipient and it was nominated for Best Picture, along with Joe Wright’s Atonement, Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton, and Jason Reitman’s Juno. I likely would’ve left Atonement and Juno off the list and considered David Fincher’s meticulously crafted Zodiac and/or Ridley Scott’s American Gangster.

A running theme of my Oscar posts has been the Academy’s consistent lack of comedy inclusion and, for me, the genre’s 2007 highlight was Superbad, one of the finest raunch-fests in quite some time.

I was also a huge fan of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s ode to B movies, Grindhouse.

There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson was included in the Best Director race along with Gilroy and Reitman. Atonement director Joe Wright was the lone director left out whose film was nominated and Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was a bit of a surprise nominee. As mentioned, they all lost to the Coens. I would have certainly included Fincher’s work in Zodiac.

The Best Actor race was over as soon as Daniel Day-Lewis’s work in There Will Be Blood was seen and it would mark his second win after being honored for My Left Foot eighteen years earlier. Other nominees (who truly can say it was just an honor to be nominated after Day-Lewis’s tour de force): George Clooney in Michael Clayton, Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd, Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah, and Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises.

Nobody plays a calculating bad guy better than Denzel Washington and I probably would have found room for him with his turn in American Gangster.

In the Best Actress race, Marion Cotillard would win for La Vie En Rose – beating out Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away from Her), Laura Linney (The Savages), and Ellen Page (Juno).

Leaving out Keira Knightley’s work in Atonement was a surprise. For my dark horse contender, Christina Ricci’s fearless work in Black Snake Moan might’ve made my cut.

Like the Best Actor category, the Supporting Actor race was over when audiences and critics saw Javier Bardem’s amazing performance in No Country for Old Men. Other nominees: Casey Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson’s War, Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild, and Tom Wilkinson in Michael Clayton.

Paul Dano’s performance in There Will Be Blood certainly should’ve been acknowledged here. Two others to consider: Robert Downey Jr.’s work as a boozy reporter in Zodiac and Kurt Russell’s hilarious and sadistic role in Grindhouse.

The Supporting Actress race belonged to Tilda Swinton as a ruthless attorney in Michael Clayton. She would win over double nominee Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There, Ruby Dee for American Gangster, Saoirse Ronan in Atonement, and Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone.

I would’ve included Kelly MacDonald as Josh Brolin’s wife in No Country for Old Men.

And there’s my take on the ’07 Oscars, my friends! I’ll have 2008 posted soon.

X-Men: Days of Future Past Box Office Prediction

The Memorial Day weekend box office gets underway with X-Men: Days of Future Past, the seventh installment in the venerable Fox franchise. It’s probably safe to say that audience anticipation for this one is the highest it’s been in the series in a while. Why? That would be the combination of the casts from the original X-Men franchise alongside the group from 2011’s X-Men: First Class. That means Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen matching up against their younger counterparts James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. It also means Hugh Jackman returning as Wolverine with Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, as well as Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hault, and Shawn Ashmore.

Director Bryan Singer, who was behind the camera for the franchise’s critically acclaimed first two installments, is back in the mix, too. This has all led to some box office prognosticators forecasting a healthy $125 million four-day holiday opening for the pic. In my view, that seems just a bit high. However, it’s worth noting that I’ve been quite a bit under on both Neighbors and Godzilla‘s debuts so far this summer season. As far as Memorial Day weekends go, the champ is 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which earned $139.8 million. The silver prize goes to 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, which took in $126.9M. Last year’s holiday winner was Fast and Furious 6 with its $117M haul. To me, that seems like a more reasonable ballpark for what Future Past could open at.

In order for the film to break the all-time franchise record, it will need to outdo the $122.8M that X-Men: The Last Stand made over Memorial Day weekend in 2006. It’s certainly possible, but my estimate puts it a bit below that. Either way, this should certainly far outshine the $55.1 million made by First Class three summers ago and set up nicely for the next planned installment, X-Men: Apocalypse, slated for 2016.

X-Men: Days of Future Past four day opening weekend prediction: $114.3 million

For my Blended prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/05/18/blended-box-office-prediction/

This Day in Movie History: January 4

This Day in Movie History – January 4 – saw Jason Reitman’s Juno begin to develop into an unexpected huge hit six years ago. The comedy drama, with a script from Diablo Cody, starred Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, and JK Simmons. The teen pregnancy tale really connected with audiences and critics and earned an incredible $143 million domestically (its budget was around $7 million). It received four Oscar nominations – Best Picture, Director, Actress (Page), and Original Screenplay (which it won). Reitman has gone onto to direct a follow-up picture that received Academy attention, 2009’s Up in the Air, as well as Young Adult and the upcoming Labor Day.

As for birthdays, Julia Ormond is 49 today. She broke out in the mid 90s with high-profile roles in Legends of the Fall, Sabrina, and First Knight. Things slowed down for awhile, but recently she’s had success with an Emmy winning role in 2010’s Temple Grandin and roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and My Week with Marilyn.

Charlyne Yi is 28 today. The comedic actress was a regular on the FOX series “House” and she co-wrote and starred alongside Michael Cera in the 2009 rom com Paper Heart. Judd Apatow cast her in Knocked Up and This Is 40 and other credits include Semi-Pro and All About Steve.

As for Six Degrees of Separation between the two ladies:

Julia Ormond was in Sabrina with Greg Kinnear and Harrison Ford

Greg Kinnear and Harrison Ford were in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues with Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell was in Semi-Pro with Charlyne Yi

And that’s today – January 4 – in Movie History!