2020 Oscar Predictions: September 3rd Edition

We have arrived at Week #2 for my Oscar predictions in the eight major categories. I do so as the Venice Film Festival has kicked off with Telluride and Toronto slated to virtually get underway in the coming days. That means quite a few Oscar Watch posts will be up in short order, including for several of the features predicted below.

Since last Thursday, I’ve written only two Watch entries. Mulan isn’t likely to be a factor in any of the big races, but it could definitely contend for some technical categories. The forthcoming horror pic Antebellum didn’t impress critics and won’t be mentioned again here. If you would like to peruse those posts, you can do so here:



When I wrote my initial guesstimates one week ago, it was on the following day that movie lovers across the globe were hit with tragic news. The loss of Chadwick Boseman to colon cancer has shocked and saddened all of us. Despite his acclaimed performances in 42, Get On Up, and his iconic work as Black Panther, Mr. Boseman has yet to receive a nomination from the Academy. Last Thursday, I already had him listed at #2 in Supporting Actor for the upcoming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He is now listed first as is his costar Viola Davis in Best Actress.

Here are some other developments of note:

  • I am still higher on Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (which also featured Boseman) than some other prognosticators. I have it listed for inclusion in Best Picture, Actor (Delroy Lindo), and Original Screenplay. However, its numbers have fallen a bit and I am taking Spike Lee out of my Director five.
  • My estimated eight Best Picture nominees has remained intact with some shifting in the rankings.
  • Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7) and Paul Greengrass (News of the World) are in for Director with the aforementioned Spike Lee and Francis Lee (Ammonite) out.
  • The five in Actress has not changed. In Actor, I’ve made the move to take Bill Murray’s performance in On the Rocks and put it in the supporting field. That allows for Tom Hanks (News of the World) to move up. In general, I have soured a bit on Rocks. You’ll see below that its numbers have dropped precipitously.
  • Supporting Actress also includes the same five women and that’s also the case with Supporting Actor.
  • Though I don’t have it in the top five, I’ve corrected French Exit to be listed in Adapted Screenplay as opposed to Original. Soul replaces The French Dispatch in Original for the moment while The Father vaults over West Side Story in Adapted.

As you’ll see, there’s plenty of new faces being mentioned for the first time that didn’t make the list last week and others who have dropped.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

4. Dune (PR: 6)

5. News of the World (PR: 7)

6. Ammonite (PR: 5)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 16)

10. Soul (PR: 14)

11. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 12)

12. The French Dispatch (PR: 9)

13. One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 10)

15. Minari (PR: 18)

16. The Father (PR: 17)

17. Annette (PR: 13)

18. Stillwater (PR: 21)

19. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 22)

20. Respect (PR: Not Ranked)

21. Tenet (PR: 15)

22. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

23. Next Goal Wins (PR: 24)

24. French Exit (PR: 25)

25. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 20)

Dropped Out:

On the Rocks

C’Mon C’Mon

The Eyes of Tammy Faye 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4)

4. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

5. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

7. Francis Lee, Ammonite (PR: 5)

8. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8)

9. Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch (PR: 9)

10. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

11. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

12. Ron Howard, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 11)

13. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 12)

14. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Christopher Nolan, Tenet (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Sofia Coppola, On the Rocks

Leos Carax, Annette

Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 3)

4. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 4)

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 14)

8. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7)

9. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 11)

10. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 8)

11. Marion Cotillard, Annette

12. Julianne Moore, The Glorias (PR: 9)

13. Elisabeth Moss, Shirley (PR: 15)

14. Jessie Buckley, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 13)

15. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rashida Jones, On the Rocks 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 3)

3. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 2)

4. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 4)

5. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Eddie Redmayne, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7)

8. Matt Damon, Stillwater (PR: 13)

9. Adam Driver, Annette (PR: 8)

10. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 12)

12. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 10)

13. Trevante Rhodes, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 14)

14. Ansel Elgort, West Side Story (PR: 9)

15. Jesse Plemons, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bill Murray, On the Rocks (moved to Supporting Actor)

Timothee Chalamet, Dune

Ben Affleck, The Way Back 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

4. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 5)

5. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 7)

7. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 14)

8. Toni Collette, I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 6)

9. Abigail Breslin, Stillwater (PR: 9)

10. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Audra McDonald, Respect (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Debra Winger, Kajillionaire (PR: 8)

14. Mary J. Blige, Respect (PR: 11)

15. Kristin Scott Thomas, Rebecca (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Gaby Hoffman, C’Mon C’Mon

Rebecca Ferguson, Dune

Nicole Kidman, The Prom

Elisabeth Moss, Next Goal Wins

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

2. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

5. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Pelphrey, Mank (PR: 7)

7. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Best Actor)

8. Tom Burke, Mank (PR: 6)

9, Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 12)

10. Jeremy Strong, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Lucas Hedges, French Exit (PR: 9)

14. Jonathan Majors, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 10)

15. David Alvarez, West Side Story (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Jesse Plemons, Judas and the Black Messiah

Clarke Peters, Da 5 Bloods

Oscar Isaac, Dune

Forest Whitaker, Respect 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Ammonite (PR: 4)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

5. Soul (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 5)

7. Minari (PR: 10)

8. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

9. Stillwater (PR: 11)

10. Promising Young Woman (PR: 15)

11. Annette (PR: 13)

12. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9)

13. On the Rocks (PR: 7)

14. Red, White, and Water (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Tenet (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

French Exit (moved to Adapted Screenplay)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 3)

3. Dune (PR: 2)

4. The Father (PR: 6)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 7)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 8)

8. West Side Story (PR: 4)

9. One Night in Miami (PR: 13)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 10)

11. French Exit (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Original Screenplay)

12. Next Goal Wins (PR: 9)

13. The Humans (PR: Not Ranked)

14. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 11)

15. Respect (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

The White Tiger

The Midnight Sky 

I’ll be back at it with updated predictions next Thursday!

21 Bridges Box Office Prediction

For a time, Chadwick Boseman was best known for inhabiting real life figures in pictures such as 42, Get On Up, and Marshall. That all changed last year when he became Black Panther in that phenomenon and has played the superhero twice since in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. His latest effort 21 Bridges (out next weekend) finds him in neither type of role. Boseman is a NYC cop chasing down two killers in this action thriller from director Brian Kirk. Joe and Anthony Russo, who made those last two massive Avengers flicks, are producers. Costars include Sienna Miller, Stephan James, Taylor Kitsch, Keith David, snd J.K. Simmons.

Bridges should prove to be a legitimate test of its lead performer’s box office prowess. The trailers and TV spots have struggled to suggest it’s much more than a run of the mill genre piece (no reviews are out at press time). With little buzz, I believe this will have an unexceptional start. Unless I’m underestimating Boseman’s bankability, this may even have a tough time hitting double digits.

21 Bridges opening weekend prediction: $9.8 million

For my Frozen II prediction, click here:


For my A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood prediction, click here:


Music Biopics: The Name Game

A growing trend in movies for the past few years (and a bit beyond) is the musical biopic that incorporates one of the band or artist’s songs into the title. The latest example will come out this fall with Bohemian Rhapsody, the behind the scenes story of Queen.

2019 will bring us Rocketman with Taron Egerton as the legendary Elton John.

We’ve seen this trend in years past. For instance, the 1980s saw La Bamba about Richie Valens.

The 1990s gave us Angela Bassett in her Oscar nominated role playing Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?

In 2005, we had Walk the Line with Joaquin Phoenix in his Academy nominated turn as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon winning as June.

More recent ones have been in the hip hop world with Straight Outta Compton (N.W.A.) and All Eyez on Me (Tupac Shakur). There’s also Get On Up with Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

So this got me thinking. What would be some other movie/song titles if certain iconic musicians got their biopic? For this blog post’s purposes, I tried to focus on artists where I feel a big screen treatment on them is at least feasible. In other words, while Rico Suave might be a spectacular title, I don’t envision two hours on Gerardo coming anytime soon.

There is already a Madonna flick reportedly in the works and it takes its name not from a tune, but from one of her tours – Blond Ambition. I suppose Material Girl or Like a Prayer could have worked, but Blond Ambition is just about perfect.

Some choices seem obvious. You gotta call the Bon Jovi story Livin on a Prayer, after all. And My Way seems like the natural fit for Frank Sinatra. And Born to Run for Bruce Springsteen. And there’s Piano Man for Billy Joel.

It doesn’t end there. Respect (Aretha Franklin) and Fire and Rain (James Taylor).

When it comes to some recently dearly departed legends, Prince presents a challenge because you can’t call it Purple Rain. And a number of his other massive hits don’t fit. When Doves Cry is probably the name the studio would go for considering it’s his biggest hit. Personally, I rather like the thought of My Name is Prince, taken from his Love Symbol album of 1992.

With Michael Jackson, Thriller would work but it’s hard to imagine Man in the Mirror not being the choice.

For David Bowie, Starman seems like the winner, but that’s also the name of a fairly well-known 1980s science fiction effort starring Jeff Bridges. That may not matter, but if so, Space Oddity or simply calling it Ziggy Stardust might fit.

Tom Petty? How about Free Fallin or Runnin Down a Dream. George Michael? Faith or Freedom. Whitney Houston? Tough one. Perhaps a studio would want I Will Always Love You. Maybe So Emotional works as well.

Some bands have more than one title that seem appropriate. Aerosmith has three great ones: Dream On, Sweet Emotion, or Walk This Way. With AC/DC – Back in Black or Thunderstruck.

Guns n Roses is an interesting one. Welcome to the Jungle is fantastic, but it was just the subtitle for the blockbuster Jumanji reboot. In this matter, you might have to go with their album name Appetite for Destruction, which is ideal.

Metallica could have For Whom the Bell Tolls or Enter Sandman. Nirvana might have Smells Like Teen Spirit as the studio choice, but I’m a little partial to Come As You Are.

I like Runnin with the Devil for Van Halen and I suppose Stairway to Heaven would be the choice for Led Zeppelin.

Let’s move off rock. How about Britney Spears? That may depend on what direction the studio goes. It could be Toxic or Stronger. Maybe Baby One More Time instead.

Stevie Wonder? Superstition or Sir Duke are possibilities, but I like Higher Ground.

With Bob Marley, maybe Get Up, Stand Up or One Love.

Circling back to hip hop, Fight the Power is the clear pick for Public Enemy and the same may hold true for Mama Said Knock You Out with LL Cool J.

And then there’s my favorite… the Rick James biopic Super Freak. Why hasn’t this been made already?

I could go on, but you get the idea. Let’s see if any of these suggested titles end up playing out in the future. Maybe there will be surprises… Barbie Girl: The Aqua Story, anyone?

Marshall Box Office Prediction

Chadwick Boseman is back in biopic form next weekend when Marshall debuts. The courtroom drama finds the actor playing a young Thurgood Marshall, who would eventually becomes the nation’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Reginald Hudlin directs with a supporting cast that includes Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell.

This is Boseman’s third go-round playing a high-profile real figure. In 2013, he starred as Jackie Robinson in 42, which opened to $27 million. The following year, he was the Godfather of Soul James Brown in Get On Up, which debuted with $13 million.

In my view, Marshall would need some Oscar buzz and great reviews to make an impact with audiences. It doesn’t appear that will be the case. My verdict is a mid single digits premiere for the Open Roads feature.

Marshall opening weekend prediction: $4 million

For my Happy Death Day prediction, click here:


For my The Foreigner prediction, click here:


Oscar Watch: Marshall

Early reviews are out for Marshall, which casts Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall in this courtroom drama set decades before he became the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court. The film comes from director Reginald Hudlin, known mostly for 90s comedies like House Party and Boomerang. Costars include Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell.

With a Best Actor race that’s looking somewhat thin thus far, Boseman seemed like a decent possibility for inclusion. He’s had an impressive career playing real-life figures Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get On Up. The actor has also increased his visibility with a larger audience as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War and in his own spin-off next year. Yet he hasn’t received attention from the Academy.

Marshall is getting decent critical notices so far, but not to the level where Best Picture seems feasible. I also find it likely that Boseman will be 0 for 3 in Best Actor portraying his third high-profile person, unless the picture manages to really break out with audiences.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…


Get On Up Movie Review

Get On Up never fully finds a way to break out of the typical biopic conventions that we’ve come to anticipate from the genre. The same holds true for some of the prevalent flaws we find in these types of pictures. The rough edges of the central subject are mostly glossed over. Family dynamics including mother abandonment issues, no matter how true, are too familiar.

What director Tate Taylor has going in his favor are two big things: James Brown is one hell of a subject and Chadwick Boseman was born to play him. Told in a non linear structure, Get On Up explores sixty years of history for the Godfather of Soul, from childhood to the early 90s. We witness his troubled and poor upbringing, his rise to stardom, his business abilities that earned him more money than any other African American musician at the time, and so forth. There’s also his well known history with women that includes domestic violence and infidelity yet that subject is not a primary focus.

Taylor enlists some of his cast from his blockbuster The Help with Viola Davis as his mother who left him and Octavia Spencer as the aunt who raised him. Dan Aykroyd appears as Brown’s longtime business manager. The real Brown, by the way, had a cameo in Aykroyd’s The Blues Brothers in 1980. The second best performance belongs to Nelsan Eddie as best friend and JB hype man Bobby Byrd.

Just as Mr. Brown (his preferred method of what to be called) owned every stage he was on, the man playing him owns this picture and makes it worthwhile. Boseman embodies Brown and is quite remarkable during the musical numbers. Those sequences are the best thing about Get On Up. One of them includes mingling Boseman with the real Brown and it’s thrilling. Let’s face it: by now we have witnessd a lot of biopics that include the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, musicians with inflated egos, addictions, and Mommy and Daddy issues. The music isn’t usually as impossibly funky though with an actor expertly channeling a complicated legend.

*** (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: August 15-17

This weekend – three new titles (The Expendables 3, Let’s Be Cops, The Giver) open and attempt to compete with the second weekend of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and third weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy. You can find my detailed individual prediction posts on the newbies here:




As I see it, there could be a legitimate four-way race for the #1 spot – something that’s extremely rare. Ninja Turtles opened WAY beyond expectations (more on that below) yet its mediocre B Cinemascore likely means a big drop in its sophomore frame. Guardians should hold up better, creating a tight race with Turtles. The wild cards are the third Expendables and Let’s Be Cops. Either one could easily exceed my expectations and debut at #1. However, my predictions reflect a belief that Turtles barely manages to outdo Galaxy with Expendables and Cops third and fourth. The badly marketed The Giver should round out the top five.

And with that, my predictions for the mid-August top five:

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Predicted Gross: $25.7 million (representing a drop of 60%)

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

Predicted Gross: $24.1 million (representing a drop of 42%)

3. The Expendables 3

Predicted Gross: $21.5 million

4. Let’s Be Cops

Predicted Gross: $17.7 million (opens Wednesday: $23.4 million predicted for five-day debut)

5. The Giver

Predicted Gross: $11 million

Box Office Results (August 8-10)

Box office prognosticators like me were shell shocked this weekend by the terrific performance of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which posted the fourth largest August opening ever with $65.5 million, way beyond my $28.2M projection. A sequel was greenlit immediately and a new Turtle franchise is born. I was clearly way off on believing the pizza-loving amphibians popularity had waned. Whoops.

Guardians of the Galaxy held up well in weekend #2 with $42.1 million, in line with my $42.9M prediction. The Marvel blockbuster has amassed a fantastic $176M in ten days.

Opening decently in third was disaster flick Into the Storm with $17.3 million, ahead of my $13.6M estimate. Look for it to fall pretty far in its second weekend, though. The Helen Mirren comedic drama The Hundred-Foot Journey debuted fourth with $10.9 million, on pace with my $10.7M projection. Holdover Lucy rounded out the top five with $9.4 million, just ahead of my $8.1M prediction. Newcomer Step Up: All In kept the dance franchise’s earnings plummeting with only $6.4 million, below my $8.4M estimate. Finally, the James Brown biopic Get On Up continues its highly disappointing run. I believed it wouldn’t fall much in weekend two, but it certainly did. Up was down 62% with $5.1 million, well below my generous $8.8M prediction.

That’s all for now, folks!

Box Office Predictions: August 8-10

This Friday, four new titles will try to knock massive hit Guardians of the Galaxy from its perch atop the box office. They are the franchise reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, found footage disaster flick Into the Storm, the Helen Mirren led comedic drama The Hundred-Foot Journey, and dance competition sequel Step Up: All In. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:





The only newbie with a fair shot of challenging Guardians would seem to be Turtles. However, I am going on the low end of expectations for it. Some have it grossing above $30 million and even closer to $40M, but I believe excitement isn’t quite that high and a robust second weekend for Guardians may hurt it.

Into the Storm looks like a relative flop to me, though some have it outpacing my estimate. The Hundred-Foot Journey should barely top double digits while diminishing results for each successive Step Up flick could hurt All In.

As for holdovers, Guardians got off to a truly spectacular start (more on that below). It will likely fall in the same range as other Marvel hits in their sophomore weekends. In its third weekend, Luc Besson’s Lucy should continue to lose over half its audience. The James Brown biopic Get On Up got off to a disappointing start, but with its A Cinemascore grade, I see it having the smallest decline in its second weekend.

And with that – we’ll do a Top Seven for my projections this weekend:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

Predicted Gross: $42.9 million (representing a drop of 54%)

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Predicted Gross: $28.2 million

3. Into the Storm

Predicted Gross: $13.6 million

4. The Hundred-Foot Journey

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million

5. Get On Up

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million (representing a drop of 34%)

6. Step Up: All In

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

7. Lucy

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million (representing a drop of 55%)

Box Office Results (August 1-3)

As previously mentioned, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy got off to an astonishingly terrific run with $94.3 million. The very well-reviewed pic boasted the third highest opening of 2014, behind Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It opened nearly $20M above my $74.6M prediction. Guardians may well be in a position to eventually become the summer’s largest grosser. Simply put, the Marvel gravy train keeps chugging along…

Lucy dropped to second with $18.2 million in its sophomore weekend, above my $16.6M projection. The Scarlett Johannson actioner has taken in $79M so far and should certainly top $100M domestically.

Get On Up had a lackluster premiere with $13.5 million, way below my $24.9M estimate. It received solid reviews, especially for star Chadwick Boseman, yet it failed to bring in its intended adult audience.

Hercules dropped to fourth in weekend #2 with $11 million, below my $13M prediction. The Rock’s flick has earned $52 million and should top out around $75M.

In fifth was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in its fourth weekend with $8.6 million, on target with my $8.5M estimate. Dawn has made $189M and should get to around $215M overall.

And that’s all for now, friends!

Oscar Watch: Chadwick Boseman in Get On Up

It’s not out until Friday but the James Brown biopic Get On Up has so far been earning very solid reviews, especially for its star Chadwick Boseman. The actor became well-known to audiences last year for his portrayal of another real-life figure, Jackie Robinson, in 42. His well-received turn in that part and critical lauds for Up could mean Boseman’s chances for a Best Actor nomination are decent.

Obviously the race is in its early stages though, based on festival buzz, you can bet Steve Carell will earn one of the five spots for Foxcatcher. Everything else is currently uncertain. A win or nomination for an actor playing a musical legend is nothing new. In 2004, Jamie Foxx took the prize playing Ray Charles in Ray. The following year, Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line and Joaquin Phoenix was nominated as Johnny Cash. Other past nominees include Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story, Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne in the Tina Turner pic What’s Love Got to Do With It?, Diana Ross as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues, Jessica Lange as Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams, and a win for Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter.

If the movie turns out to be a huge hit, it might even stand a chance for a Best Picture nomination. However, that currently appears to be a long shot. Boseman’s chances are much greater and his name is one to remember come nomination time next year.


Box Office Predictions: August 1-3

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy should easily rule the first weekend of the August box office while the James Brown biopic Get On Up could come in for a second place finish. You can find my individual prediction posts on each of them here:



Current #1 and #2 Lucy and Hercules both got off to healthy debuts this past weekend and both are likely to suffer hefty declines in their sophomore frames. In its fourth weekend, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes should round out the top five.

And with that, my predictions for the upcoming weekend:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

Predicted Gross: $74.6 million

2. Get On Up

Predicted Gross: $24.9 million

3. Lucy

Predicted Gross: $16.6 million (representing a drop of 62%)

4. Hercules

Predicted Gross: $13 million (representing a drop of 57%)

5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Predicted Gross: $8.5 million (representing a drop of 49%)

Box Office Results (July 25-27)

Luc Besson’s Lucy with Scarlett Johannson easily took the #1 spot with a terrific $43.8 million – well above my $28.1M prediction. While its opening is undeniably fantastic, it received only a C+ Cinemascore rating meaning audiences weren’t pleased with the results.

Hercules with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had a solid #2 premiere with $29.8 million, above my $21.4M estimate. Better than expected reviews could have contributed to its decent performance.

Falling to third after two weeks on top, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made $16.7 million, a bit under my $19.4M projection. The ape sequel has earned $172 million so far and should approach a final gross of $215M.

The Purge: Anarchy was expected to suffer a precipitous drop and it did with $10.4 million in weekend #2, right on par with my $10.3M prediction.

Rounding out the top five was Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue with $9.5 million in its sophomore frame, under my $11.2M projection. The animated sequel has made a middling $35 million.

Finally, the Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton rom com And So It Goes sputtered with only $4.6 million for an eighth place debut – less than half of my generous $9.3M estimate.

And that’s all for now, folks! ‘Till next time…