2021 Oscar Predictions: January 14th Edition

My first Oscar predictions following the Golden Globes bestowing their winners and the SAG Award nods comes with not a whole lot of changes in who and what I’m actually predicting in the major categories.

However, there is a significant alteration in placement for Best Actress as Kristen Stewart’s shocking omission in Spencer from the SAG five drops her from 1st (where she’s been perched for months) to 4th. Rising to #1 is Globes victor Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos. This competition is beginning to resemble the unpredictable Actress lineup from 2020 and it should be fun to witness.

In Best Picture, I’m (perhaps stubbornly) sticking to the same ten. Yet there’s no doubt that Ricardos and House of Gucci could be on the rise and either or both could crack the lineup soon.

The only significant change is in Supporting Actor where I’m finally putting Jared Leto for Gucci in the mix. He’s in over Jamie Dornan (Belfast).

I’m also adding a new feature which shows how many eventual nominees from 2020 were correctly picked at this same juncture. I’ll keep that up until I make my final picks shortly before the February 8th announcement. This will be listed as 2020 Count. 

You can read all the movement below.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Being the Ricardos (PR: 14) (+3)

12. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Drive My Car (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Spider-Man: No Way Home

2020 Count: 7 of 8 eventual nominees

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (E)

9. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 2 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (+2)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (-3)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (+3)

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

8. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Judi Dench, Belfast

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 2) (E)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-2)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (-2)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (+1)

10. A Hero (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. My Sunny Maad (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Vivo (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (+1)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Procession (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Summer of Soul (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Ascension (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 6) (E)

7. The First Wave (PR: 7) (E)

8. President (PR: 8) (E)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 9) (E)

10. Julia (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

In the Same Breath

2020 Count: 1 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

No Time to Die

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-2)

8. King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Cruella (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Suicide Squad (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-2)

8. West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (+2)

7. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (-2)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cruella (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (+2)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Free Guy (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

And that equates to these movies hitting these numbers for their nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

9 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

4 Nominations

House of Gucci, Licorice Pizza, Tick, Tick… Boom!, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, Spencer

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Coming 2 America, Drive My Car, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

My first 2022 predictions for the 2021 Oscar season comes on the eve of the Golden Globes and four days before SAG announces their nominees. By my next update, we will have those useful bits of information to consider.

If you missed my predictions for the Globe winners, you can find them here:

2021 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

I’ll have my forecast for the SAG nominees up on the blog tomorrow so stay tuned! In the meantime, there are numerous changes to point out:

    • I keep going back and forth on whether momentum for Japan’s Drive My Car is still revving up or perhaps stalling. I’ve taken it out of my ten predicted BP contenders and put The Tragedy of Macbeth back in.
    • While I continue to struggle with all 5 Best Actress hopefuls representing non BP nominees, I’m back to that lineup. That means Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) returns with Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza) falling out.
    • For many weeks, I’ve held to same Best Actor five. That changes today with Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up) joining the quintet and Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) dropping.
    • In Supporting Actor, both Belfast boys are in so Jamie Dornan is back in the mix. That takes out Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog).
    • Drive My Car is also out for Adapted Screenplay with Dune in.
    • The Beyonce vs. Billie battle in Original Song switches places. Beyonce’s track “Be Alive” from King Richard has been my #1 for months, but I’ve now vaulted Billie’s “No Time to Die” to top position.

You can read all the movement below and keep an eye out for a Globes recap and SAG prognostications.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (+2)

8. CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Drive My Car (PR: 10) (-1)

12. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (E)

14. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 15) (E)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (E)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. King Richard (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Dune (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Passing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. My Sunny Maad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sing 2

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (E)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (E)

8. Great Freedom (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lamb

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Rescue (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ascension (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The First Wave (PR: 6) (-1)

8. President (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (-1)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 5) (+2)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cyrano (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Last Night in Soho

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 5) (-1)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Cyrano (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (-2)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. Spencer (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-1)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Green Knight

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (+1)

2. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (-1)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spencer (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (E)

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Free Guy (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (-1)

7. No Time to Die (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And that boils down to these pictures garnering these numbers for nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Drive My Car, Free Guy, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Parallel Mothers, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review

The original Ghostbusters, lest we forget, was filled with ribald humor coming from SNL vets that were in the prime of their careers. Overloading the reboot/sequel Afterlife with gooey family drama feels, in many ways, as misplaced as the missteps that 2016’s version took or that 1989’s traditional follow-up was a fairly weak retread of the first. This franchise hasn’t succeeded in their attempts to capitalize on what made 1984’s pic special and that extends to this.

It’s not for a lack of trying as the 2021 iteration goes to extreme lengths to get our nostalgia radars working into overdrive. Jason Reitman takes over directorial duties from his father Ivan, who made the 80s blockbusters. There’s not a piece of attire or Twinkie or demonic marshmallow from 1984 that isn’t placed with the clear purpose of inspiring wild cheers. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows the name of every nearly four decade old artifact, vehicle or gadget. In this Afterlife, it more often feels forced than welcome.

We shift from the Big Apple to the sleepy town of Summerville, Oklahoma. Egon Spangler, Harold Ramis’s nerdy scientist from the OG ‘Busters, has relocated to a dilapidated farmhouse and cut off contact with his family and former colleagues. His demise in the prologue causes his heirs to inhabit the dusty domicile. This includes down on her luck daughter Callie (Carrie Coon) and her two kids. Since I think it’s now contactually necessary for Stranger Things players to participate in these reboots, Finn Wolfhard is her teenage son Trevor. Mckenna Grace is the real lead as 12-year-old daughter Phoebe, who resembles her granddad in looks and interests. An outcast at school, she bonds with fellow geek Podcast (Logan Kim) and her summer school teacher Mr. Grooberson (Paul Rudd).

Trevor and Phoebe are completely unaware that Egon was a Ghostbuster (we’ll just go with that I suppose). Paranormal activities start revealing his life’s work including Phoebe’s ongoing chess game with an unseen spirit. The iconic car (yay!) is stored on the property. Of course, the late Egon was in Summerville for a reason and it has to do with familiar haunters from ’84 and preventing them from returning.

This all leads to familiar heroic faces eventually turning up (though not with significant screen time). With their limited participation, the question is whether the new and much younger generation of spirit crushers is compelling enough to warrant a feature. I didn’t think so, but there are some positives. Grace’s performance is terrific (while Wolfhard and his budding romance with his bellhop coworker Celeste O’Connor adds little). Rudd’s considerable talents (he takes a liking to Callie) add a bit of fun. The sight of Bill Murray randomly turning up anywhere is good for a smile (though not much more here than reading about how he does so in real life).

However, the tone in general struck me as off. It’s hard not to be touched by its tribute to the late Harold Ramis (a man responsible for so many laughs in landmark comedies of the past). I felt the sentiment because of that and not the absence of Egon. Afterlife seems trapped in the notion that our emotional connections to these characters run deeper than they do. Like many reboots nowadays, the mere presence of something old is meant to provide the requisite entertainment value. It made me feel mostly dispirited.

** (out of four)

December 31-January 2 Box Office Predictions

As 2021 transitions into 2022, the top five on the box office charts should look similar to as it did over Christmas with Spider-Man: No Way Home easily on top and Sing 2 firmly in the runner-up spot. There are no new wide releases this weekend as New Year’s Eve falls on Friday and holdovers should all experience fairly small drops.

One in particular – the football drama American Underdog with its A+ Cinemascore grade – could even gain viewers and rise to the third spot. That’s assuming The Matrix Resurrections, after its subpar debut and mixed audience reaction, has the steepest fall of the leftovers. The King’s Man should round out the top five in its sophomore frame.

And with that – here’s I foresee the year closing out and the new one beginning at multiplexes:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $52.8 million

2. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $19.6 million

3. American Underdog

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

4. The Matrix Resurrections

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

5. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

Box Office Results (December 24-26)

Let’s start with this caveat – some studios (namely Sony and Warner Bros) are apparently taking a holiday break and haven’t reported final box numbers from the Christmas weekend. So some of these tallies are estimates…

As anticipated, Spider-Man: No Way Home dominated the holiday with a reported take of $84.5 million in weekend 2. That brings its total to approximately $470 million through December 26th. The 68% drop is considerably larger than I anticipated and I had it making $125.2 million over the three days. Regardless – this movie is setting pandemic records right and left.

Sing 2 was second with $22.3 million from Friday to Sunday and $37.9 million when counting its Wednesday and Thursday opening grosses. I went a bit higher at $31.3 million and $46.8 million, respectively, but you can expect the Illumination Entertainment animated sequel to play well into the next few weeks.

The Matrix Resurrections, as mentioned, disappointed. Perhaps the HBO Max simultaneous release didn’t help, but there’s no way to spin the fourth franchise entry (arriving 18 years after the last) simply failed to meet expectations. It took in an estimated $12 million from Friday to Sunday and $22.5 million since Wednesday for third place. I was far more generous at $26.7 million and $40.3 million.

Sequelitis also struck down The King’s Man. The Kingsman prequel was fourth with $5.9 million (Friday to Sunday) and $9.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday) compared to my projections of $8.8 million and $13.1 million.

American Underdog debuted on Christmas Day for a two-day haul of $5.8 million. I said $7.2 million. As discussed above, I look for this to stick around and rise from fifth to third.

West Side Story was sixth with $2.8 million, outpacing my $2 million prediction for $23 million total.

A Journal for Jordan also started on Saturday and made $2.2 million over two days. I was a tad higher at $2.9 million.

Eighth place belonged to the expansion of Licorice Pizza with $1.9 million, right on target with my $1.8 million estimate. It’s made just over $3 million overall.

Sing 2 took a big bite out of Encanto‘s audience (plus it became available on Disney Plus). It was ninth with $1.8 million and I overshot with $4.3 million. Total is $88 million.

Finally, Ghostbusters: Afterlife rounded out the top ten with $1.2 million (I went with $2 million) for $120 million total.

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

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 29th Edition

My final Oscar predictions of the calendar year brings changes in three major categories:

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, in addition to spending its second week at #1 in International Feature Film, pulls into the top ten for Best Picture. That’s at the expense of The Tragedy of Macbeth. I toyed with the idea of removing Don’t Look Up (which has drawn wildly mixed reactions from audiences and critics). I’m keeping it in as its most vocal supporters could keep Adam McKay’s satire in the mix.

In Best Actress, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that the quintet of Kristen Stewart, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman, and Lady Gaga may not be the final five. Why? Mainly because I don’t have any of their movies getting BP nods. Since the Academy expanded to 5-10 nominees in that big race, there hasn’t been a year where the acting nominees didn’t represent at least one Best Picture nominee. That was in 2009. If you still went with the previously mentioned five, it might be wise to consider Spencer or Being the Ricardos or The Lost Daughter making the 10 BP contenders. I’m not prepared to put any of that trio in at the moment. Therefore – I’m dropping Gaga and elevating Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza). It could also be Rachel Zegler (West Side Story).

I’m going with a somewhat surprise nominee (perhaps two) in Supporting Actor. I still have Bradley Cooper (Pizza) making the cut and now I’m putting in Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog). This knocks out Jamie Dornan for Belfast. Last year, we saw a shocker when Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) made the supporting five. Power‘s potency (I have it as the favorite to take BP) could sweep Plemons in along with his costar Kodi Smit-McPhee (my #1). That could be a repeat of 2020 when Daniel Kaluuya won for Judas and Stanfield was in the race.

You can read all the movement below and my predictions will continue into the new year!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Dune (PR: 3) (-2)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Drive My Car (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Being the Ricardos (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (E)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

A Hero

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 9) (E)

10. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-1)

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

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 7) (-2)

10. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Isaacs, Mass

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Sing 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Where Is Anne Frank

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Lamb (PR: 10) (E)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Attica (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ascension (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (E)

9. President (PR: 7) (-2)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Velvet Underground

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Last Night in Soho (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Harder They Fall

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: 10) (E)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And this all equates to these numbers of nominations for said movies:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

6 Nominations

Licorice Pizza

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

3 Nominations

CODA, Drive My Car, Flee, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, House of Gucci, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, The Tragedy of Macbeth

1 Nomination

Attica, Coming 2 America, Cyrano, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 23rd Edition

My pre-Christmas Oscar predictions implements no changes in Director, the acting races, or Original Screenplay. However, the Best Picture landscape is altered slightly as Tick Tick… Boom! is back in the top 10 with Nightmare Alley falling out.

In Adapted Screenplay, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car makes the cut in place of Dune. In fact, Car is driving up higher in Picture and Director (where I have it placed in Other Possibilities for the first time). It’s also listed at #1 in International Feature Film over previous frontrunner A Hero. Don’t be surprised if Car keeps rising (it seems to be the foreign entry that could crash the BP derby).

Earlier this week, the shortlists came out in 7 feature film categories: International Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song, Sound, Visual Effects. I wrote about that activity and it obviously changes the landscape in each of the races:

2021 Oscar Shortlists: Reaction

All the movement is contained below and have a Happy Holidays y’all!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Dune (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 11) (+3)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

11. Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-1)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 13 (-1)

15. A Hero (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

C’Mon C’Mon

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (E)

9. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Judi Dench, Belfast

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Hero (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Mass (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 2) (+1)

2. A Hero (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (E)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Great Freedom (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Lamb (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Titane

Memoria

The Good Boss

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Attica (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 5) (-1)

7. President (PR: 7) (E)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ascension (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Velvet Underground (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Lost Leonardo

Becoming Cousteau

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (+2)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Spencer (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (-1)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (E)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

9. West Side Story (PR: 8) (-1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spencer

Being the Ricardos

The Last Duel

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Encanto (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Harder They Fall (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Cyrano

Being the Ricardos

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 10) (+4)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 6) (-2)

9. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Believe” from The Rescue

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Last Duel

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 3) (E)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 8) (+2)

7. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Eternals (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Black Widow (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

Finch

And that works out to these films garnering these numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth

4 Nominations

Don’t Look Up

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Nightmare Alley, Tick Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Drive My Car, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, Spencer

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, Cyrano, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Shortlists: Reaction

It’s a big day for us Oscar prognosticators as the shortlists were revealed this afternoon. For the uninitiated, there are seven feature film races where the Academy releases contenders ranging from 10-15 nominees. For Original Score, Song, International Feature Film, and Documentary Feature – we are given 15 hopefuls. In Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound, and Visual Effects – the list is dwindled to 10.

Let’s walk thru them one by one and I’ll talk about some surprises and omissions!

Best Original Score

The 15 Contenders:

Being the Ricardos

Candyman

Don’t Look Up

Dune

Encanto

The French Dispatch

The Green Knight

The Harder They Fall

King Richard

The Last Duel

No Time to Die

Parallel Mothers

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Commentary: 

Based on my latest Oscar forecast from December 15th, my five predicted nominees (Dune, The Power of the Dog, Spencer, Don’t Look Up, The Tragedy of Macbeth) all made the cut. So did my #7 (The French Dispatch), #9 (Being the Ricardos), and #10 (King Richard). The two omissions from my top 10: (6) Nightmare Alley and (8) Cyrano.

The biggest surprise might be the inclusion of Candyman. 

Best Original Song

The 15 Contenders:

“So May We Start” from Annette

“Down to Joy” from Belfast

“Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

“Automatic Woman” from Bruised

“Dream Girl” from Cinderella

“Beyond the Shore” from CODA

“The Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen

“Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

“Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto

“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days

“Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall

“Be Alive” from King Richard

“No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

“Here I Am” from Respect

“Your Song Saved My Life” from Sing 2

Commentary:

My only top 10 ditty from 12/15 not on this list is “Believe” from The Rescue. I will note that “Every Letter” from Cyrano just dropped from my 10 last week and that turned out to be the correct call. This race still likely boils down to Beyonce (“Be Alive”) vs. Billie (“No Time to Die”).

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

The 10 Contenders:

Coming 2 America

Cruella

Cyrano

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Nightmare Alley

No Time to Die

The Suicide Squad

West Side Story

Commentary:

A race where Cyrano isn’t left out! Last week I had Spencer in fifth position and it falls out. Same goes for Being the Ricardos (7) and The Last Duel (10). This is a competition that could go for Dune, Gucci, or Tammy as I see it.

Best Sound

The 10 Contenders:

Belfast

Dune

Last Night in Soho

The Matrix Resurrections

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

A Quiet Place Part II

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Tick Tick… Boom!

West Side Story

Commentary:

My predicted five from six days ago (Dune, West Side Story, Belfast, No Time to Die, Tick Tick… Boom!) are intact as are my #6 (Matrix) and #9 (A Quiet Place Part II). Not so for the films I had at 7, 8 and 10: Nightmare Alley, The Tragedy of Macbeth, The Last Duel). Fresh off its gargantuan box office, the Spidey mention shows potential strength at making the shorter shortlist.

Best Visual Effects

The 10 Contenders:

Black Widow

Dune

Eternals

Free Guy

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 

Godzilla vs. Kong

The Matrix Resurrections

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Commentary:

All 4 MCU movies from 2021 make it in as do three Warner Bros spectacles  (Dune, Matrix, Godzilla). I had Don’t Look Up placed fourth but it falls out. So does Finch which I rated seventh. This certainly increases the chances for Marvel to have at least two in the final five, but there’s Dune and then everything else in this race.

Best Documentary Feature

The 15 Contenders:

Ascension

Attica

Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry

Faya Dayi

The First Wave

Flee

In the Same Breath

Julia

President

Procession

The Rescue

Simple As Water

Summer of Soul

The Velvet Underground

Writing with Fire

Commentary:

It’s tough luck for my #9 (The Lost Leonardo) and #10 (Becoming Cousteau) as this fascinating race plays out between The Rescue, Flee, and Summer of Soul. 

Best International Feature Film

The 15 Contenders:

Compartment No. 6

Drive My Car

Flee

The Good Boss

Great Freedom 

The Hand of God

A Hero

Hive

I’m Your Man

Lamb

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Playground

Plaza Catedral

Prayers for the Stolen

The Worst Person in the World

Commentary:

Lamb and a Yak walk into the international competition, but the shocker of the day might be France’s Titane (which I had it 7th) not being mentioned. Same goes for #9 Memoria. This could be the category where Flee wins, but A Hero has been my #1. When I update my projections tomorrow, don’t be surprised if the rising Drive My Car from Japan takes over the top spot.

I’ll have fresh estimates in ALL feature categories posted tomorrow!

December 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (12/21): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising down Resurrections prediction from $30.7 million for the three-day and $47.2 million for the five-day to $26.7 million and $40.3 million for the five-day. This puts Sing 2 in the 2 spot.

The Christmas box office weekend is nearly upon us as a quintet of newcomers are presented either Wednesday or Saturday. We have the return of Neo and Trinity in The Matrix Resurrections, animated sequel Sing 2, Kingsman prequel The King’s Man, true life gridiron tale American Underdog, and the Denzel Washington directed romantic drama A Journal for Jordan. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Matrix Resurrections Box Office Prediction

Sing 2 Box Office Prediction

The King’s Man Box Office Prediction

American Underdog Box Office Prediction

A Journal for Jordan Box Office Prediction

None of the newcomers stand a chance at dethroning the reign of Spider-Man atop the charts after it achieved the second largest opening of all-time (more on that below). No Way Home should dominate yet again and the question is how much it falls in weekend #2. The MCU juggernaut scored a rare A+ Cinemascore average meaning audiences are loving what they see.

One potential comp could be Star Wars: The Force Awakens which dropped 40% in its sophomore holiday frame. I’ll say Spidey falls a bit more than that (more in the 50-55% percent range).

With the webslinger secure in first position, there could be a real fight for the runner-up spot. I have Matrix barely getting by Sing 2 (though the latter will almost certainly leg out stronger in subsequent weekends). I’m only forecasting a $400k difference between them.

The King’s Man could be the odd sequel/prequel out as far as interest in concerned. I have it falling under double digits for the traditional Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend. That should be good enough for fourth place.

Underdog and Journal both premiere on Christmas Day and will only have two days tallied toward their grosses. I have the former at just over $6 million and the latter a tad shy of $3 million.

Holdovers not named Spider-Man should experience declines in the 40s and up range (this appears to be case when Christmas falls on a Saturday and Christmas Eve is a somewhat smaller day for earnings). Encanto could be an outlier and probably suffers the smallest drop.

Finally, Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed awards contender Licorice Pizza expands and could deliver a $1-2 million showing (I’ll skew toward the middle of the range as it’s out on approximately 750 screens).

With all this Yuletide activity, I’m expanding my normal top 5 to a top 10 and here’s how I see it:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $125.2 million

2. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $31.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $46.8 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. The Matrix Resurrections

Predicted Gross: $26.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $40.3 million

4. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. American Underdog

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

6. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

7. A Journal for Jordan

Predicted Gross: $2.9 million

8. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $2 million

9. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $2 million

10. Licorice Pizza

Predicted Gross: $1.8 million

Box Office Results (December 17-19)

Spider-Man: No Way Home swung to unprecedented heights (regardless of pandemic times) as it demolished box office records and accomplished the #2 highest domestic opening of all-time (behind only the MCU’s Avengers: Endgame). Coming in just ahead of previous runner-up Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Spidey sequel made $260.1 million (laying my estimate of $213.7 million to waste). While other pics are struggling in the marketplace, audiences were clearly primed for the event flick.

Encanto took second with $6.4 million, in range with my $6 million for projection and the Disney toon is up to $81 million.

West Side Story plummeted a troubling 65% for third in its sophomore outing with $3.6 million (below my $5.5 million take). Steven Spielberg’s musical has managed only $18 million in its ten days of release.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was fourth with $3.4 million (I said $3.6 million) for $117 million overall.

Finally, Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley struggled to find a crowd preoccupied with Spider-Man. Despite star power and its Oscar winning filmmaker, the noir thriller debuted in fifth with a measly $2.8 million compared to my $3.3 million prediction.

And that does it for now, folks! Have a Happy Holidays!

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of December 17-19

**Blogger’s Note (12/14): After elevating my Spidey prediction from $193.7M to $223.7M – I’m reverting down to $188.7M… (12/16) – Spidey revised to $213.7M and Alley down to $3.3M

Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to demolish pandemic era records and possibly double the opening weekend record of these COVID times and then some. We also have Guillermo del Toro’s noir thriller Nightmare Alley with Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and plenty of other Oscar winners and nominees out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newbies right here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home Box Office Prediction

Nightmare Alley Box Office Prediction

Spidey is poised for numbers not seen since 2019. Some prognostications have this as high as $250 million. I’m going with a $223.7 million haul, but I must say I do so with some trepidation due to these continuing uncertain times. If it achieves my mark, that would be good for the 4th largest domestic debut of all time (right behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens and just ahead of its sequel The Last Jedi).

There’s obviously no question as to what will be #1. Home will do that by outgrossing the rest of the top five combined with possibly $200 million to spare. What’s #2 is a legitimate question. West Side Story had a disappointing debut and will hope to leg out well over the coming holiday frames. It may have a soft sophomore dip due to being counter programming to Spidey. Yet I’ll peg it for a 40% drop as it hopes to rebound over Christmas and with ongoing awards buzz. That could put it in a fierce battle for the runner-up position with Encanto.

Or… Nightmare Alley could open in second. I’m skeptical. Despite an all-star cast and coming from an acclaimed director, Alley is starting out at a distinct disadvantage with the web slinger siphoning away much of its intended crowd. I’ll say it kicks off with a subdued 4th place start. Ghostbusters: Afterlife should round out the top five.

And with that, my take on what should be a record breaking weekend:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $213.7 million

2. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $6 million

3. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

5. Nightmare Alley

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

Box Office Results (December 10-12)

There likely wasn’t a whole lot of celebratory dancing at 20th Century Studios as West Side Story struggled out of the gate. Its $10.5 million barely managed a #1 showing and came in under my $14.8 million call. As mentioned, the story may not be over as audiences could find it over the holidays. Its studio is certainly hoping so.

Encanto slipped to second with $9.9 million, above my $8.5 million take for $71 million overall.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was third at $7.1 million (ahead of my $5.8 million prediction) for $112 million total.

Fourth place was House of Gucci with $4.1 million. My projection was on the money at $4 million. Tally is $41 million.

Eternals was in the five spot with $3.1 million (I said $2.8 million) as it’s up to $161 million.

Last and least, the football drama National Champions fumbled terribly. I thought it might manage $1.6 million. Not so much. It was an unlucky 13th with $321,000. Oof.

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

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of December 10-12

**Blogger’s Note (12/09): National Champions is only being released on approximately 1100 screens. I am revising my projection from $3.2 million to $1.6 million. That puts it outside the top five. Eternals moves to the 5 spot.

After a sluggish post Thanksgiving weekend, theater owners are hoping that Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story provides pleasing numbers in the frame before Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to set pandemic era records. We also have the sports drama National Champions looking to make a play. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both newcomers here:

West Side Story Box Office Prediction

National Champions Box Office Prediction

After a year long delay, the West Side remake has generated mostly glowing reviews and Oscar buzz. It should easily open in first place. That said, December pics (especially those with awards chatter) often start a little slow and hope to leg out during the holidays and January. A debut over $20 million would be fantastic, but I’ll project low to mid teens is more plausible.

As for Champions, I’m not anticipating much and it may find itself at the bottom of the top five.

Holdovers should fill the rest of the chart with EncantoGhostbusters: Afterlife and House of Gucci sliding down a spot.

Here’s how I see it:

1. West Side Story

Predicted Gross: $14.8 million

2. Encanto

Predicted Gross: $8.5 million

3. Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

4. House of Gucci

Predicted Gross: $4 million

5. Eternals

Predicted Gross: $2.8 million

Box Office Results (December 3-5)

Holiday leftovers filled with the top 3 slots as December kicked off. A pic I didn’t factor in nabbed the 4 position. Nearly all the returnees fell a tad short of my projections.

As expected, Disney’s Encanto stayed at #1 with $13.1 million, a shade below my $14.1 million take. Two-week total is $58 million with $100 million firmly in its sights.

Crossing the nine digit milestone was Ghostbusters: Afterlife in second with $10.3 million (I went with more at $12 million). After three weeks, the ‘Busters have crossed that milestone with $102 million.

House of Gucci was third in its sophomore frame with $7 million (I said $7.8 million). Tally is $33 million.

I had a blind spot in fourth courtesy of Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers. The limited release event featuring inspirational holiday music released on 1700 screens and made $4.1 million. I simply didn’t have it on my Yuletide radar.

Eternals closed out the high five with $4 million. My prediction? $4 million!! It’s the second weekend in a row where I correctly called the MCU adventure and it’s made $156 million.

Back at it next week as Spider-Man and Nightmare Alley debut!