September 2-5 Box Office Predictions

Just like last year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe may land atop the charts over Labor Day weekend. This time around, it’ll be with considerably less money… as in, less than one-tenth of what we witnessed in 2021. Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition (with 11 minutes of extra footage) is scheduled for the widest (re)release of the holiday frame.

Steven Spielberg’s OG summer blockbuster Jaws also returns to cinemas. The only true newcomer is the Regina Hall/Sterling K. Brown satire Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul,, which is also available on streaming via Peacock.

My detailed prediction posts on each are accessible here:

Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition Box Office Prediction

Jaws Box Office Prediction

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Box Office Prediction

Let’s start with Jesus as I have its $2.4 million projected Friday-Monday offering potentially falling outside of the top ten. There’s a slight chance it could surprise, but I doubt it.

There’s been a narrative developing for awhile that Top Gun: Maverick could manage to return to first position in its 15th week. During Labor Day, popular holdovers do often expand their gross from the previous frame. I expect that will be the case here. However, I do believe Spidey’s 3000 screens (some IMAX) should allow it to swing back to #1 after it originally debuted last December. This should leave the runner-up spot for Maverick or Bullet Train (they should be close). That’s a far cry from this same period in 2021 when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings decimated the all-time Labor Day record with $94 million.

Jaws is only on a fraction of the webbed superhero’s venues (about 1200) so the possibilities are limited. My estimate of $3.1 million would probably put it in seventh place.

Current champ The Invitation hardly impressed in its premiere (more on that below). With a troubling C Cinemascore grade, expect it to be one of the only leftovers that does see diminished returns. It should drop to at least fourth while the five spot could be close between DC League of Super-Pets and Beast. 

And with that, let’s do a top 7 outlook and keep in mind these numbers are for the four-day holiday:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Edition

Predicted Gross: $7 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $6 million

4. The Invitation

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

6. Beast

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

7. Jaws

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (August 26-28)

I’ll go the obvious route… there weren’t many RSVP’s for YA horror tale The Invitation. This is the first time in 15 months that the #1 pic didn’t manage to make over $10 million. The Invitation stumbled with $6.8 million, below my $8.1 million forecast.

Bullet Train was second with $5.6 million (on target of my $5.5 million call) with an overall take of $78 million.

Top Gun: Maverick was third with $4.7 million (I went with $5.2 million) as the juggernaut has now gathered $691 million. The biggest hit of the year is on a glide path to topple Black Panther ($700 million) next and become the fifth largest domestic earner in history.

Beast had a hefty sophomore drop of 58% for $4.8 million and fourth place. That’s under my $5.7 million prediction. The subpar two-week tally is $20 million.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, as anticipated, plummeted in its second weekend (its genre is extremely front loaded). After a fantastic $21 million start, Hero fell 78% to fifth with $4.6 million (I was more generous at $5 million). After ten days, it’s taken in $30 million stateside.

DC League of Super-Pets was sixth with $4.1 million (I said $4.6 million) for $74 million in its 5 weeks of release.

Finally, George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing was a pricey dud for MGM. The Idris Elba/Tilda Swinton Djinn fantasy, with a reported $60 million budget, opened in 7th with a mere $2.9 million. I thought it could at least manage $4 million. The studio is certainly wishing they hadn’t spent what they did after that performance.

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

Three Thousand Years of Longing Review

It’s not that I wished I hadn’t watched Three Thousand Years of Longing, George Miller’s deconstruction of a Djinn’s fulfillment offerings. There are fascinating moments and the maker of the Mad Max franchise will always be good for a visual spectacle. By its conclusion, I wished I’d been more compelled by its narratologist lead Alithea (Tilda Swinton). Early on she expresses that she finds her feelings via stories. That translates to her personal life where she claims to be content being a loner. In her professional life, Alithea basically regales conference attendees and students with her takes about grand tales and the mythology behind them.

While on assignment in Istanbul, she purchases an antique artifact that summons the Djinn (Idris Elba) in her hotel lavatory. The London scholar is soon presented with a predictable request – three wishes for the pointy eared visitor’s freedom. She doesn’t bite because her occupation tells her that the genie story is always cautionary in nature.

Alithea does get what she wants for awhile as the pair converse in their bathrobes. Djinn provides her with his history of being bottled and not bottled. As the title suggests, it’s 30 centuries of anecdotes and they involve harems of plus size concubines and being part of a Solomon and Sheba love triangle. The most effective involves a captive love interest (Burca Golgedar) whose genius inventions are ahead of their time and not proper for her gender to tout.

I will acknowledge that Longing is unpredictable in a frequently fun way as Djinn recounts his unique brand of cautionary tales (Alithea’s not exactly wrong with her gut reaction). The interplay between Swinton and Elba allows for some humorous and highly entertaining passages. When their association rises to a higher level, it’s where I felt Miller and cowriter Augusta Gore’s screenplay doesn’t emotionally land. The lover from the lamp’s past is more spellbinding than his present with Alithea. That makes the third act, in particular, disappointing and made me long for more from this story.

**1/2 (out of four)

August 26-28 Box Office Predictions

For the first time since May of 2021, we may have  a box office outing where no picture tops $10 million. We’re in a bit of a late August spiral as the YA centered vampire tale The Invitation and George Miller’s genie saga Three Thousand Years of Longing debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The Invitation Box Office Prediction

Three Thousand Years of Longing Box Office Prediction

I’m not expecting much out of either. This isn’t a time when studios typically bring out heavy hitters (though it is worth noting that Universal impressed on this same weekend last year with Candyman‘s $22 million haul). I wouldn’t anticipate the newcomers coming anywhere close to that.

My Invitation estimate would give it to #1 spot while Longing could place anywhere from 2-7.  I’m thinking #7 is more probable than second as the Tilda Swinton/Idris Elba fantasy seems to be suffering from a quiet marketing campaign.

The runner-up position could be determined by the sophomore drop of current champ Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, which easily surpassed expectations (more on that below). It’s worth noting that its immediate predecessor Dragon Ball Super: Broly experienced a second frame plummet of nearly 70%. Broly actually premiered on a Wednesday before MLK weekend in 2018. In six days, it took in $22 million (similar to Hero‘s three-day mark). Broly only managed $3 million in weekend #2. I think Hero should surpass that, but don’t be surprised it drops in the low 70s.

If so, Beast could stay in second place if it only loses half its audience. While its B Cinemascore grade isn’t great, the lack of competition could mean it avoids a precipitous fall. Bullet Train, Top Gun: Maverick, and DC League of Super-Pets should all hold solidly and that could place them above Longing.

And with that, here’s how I envision the top 7 looking:

1. The Invitation 

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

2. Beast

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

5. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero

Predicted Gross: $5 million

6. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

7. Three Thousand Years of Longing

Predicted Gross: $4 million

Box Office Results (August 20-22)

As mentioned, it was a bountiful harvest for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as the animated Japanese martial arts fantasy crunched an impressive $21 million. That’s well above my $13.2 million projection. These titles are extremely front loaded so expect a sharp downturn, but that’s a terrific gross and we can anticipate plenty more wide openings for these genre titles.

Idris Elba battled a Beast in the form of a lion and the picture opened in line with most estimates. At $11.5 million (I said $11.3 million), it will hope to match its $36 million budget stateside in coming weeks.

Bullet Train was third with $8 million, rising ahead of my $7 million call. The three-week total is $69 million as it hopes to reach nine figures domestically.

Top Gun: Maverick soared to new heights with $5.9 million, a little under my $6.7 million prediction. In its 13th (!) weekend, Maverick surpassed Avengers: Infinity War to become the 6th largest domestic earner of all time. The tally is $683 million as it looks to top Black Panther‘s $700 million next.

Finally, DC League of Super-Pets rounded out the top five with $5.6 million (I went with $5 million). The overall gross after 4 weeks is $67 million.

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

Beast Review

The easiest way to review Beast is as follows: if you want to watch Idris Elba attempt to cold-cock a lion, you’re in luck! Of course I want to see that and it happens in this survival thriller. The remaining hour and a half surrounding it is a disappointingly low energy affair with a screenplay that borders on laughable at times. The CG isn’t laughable, but I never forgot Elba and his daughters were battling a giant cat of pixelated proportions.

Elba is Dr. Samuels, who travels from America to South Africa for a needed excursion with daughters Meredith (Iyana Halley) and Norah (Leah Sava Jeffries). The family is mourning the recent loss of the matriarch who the doctor was separated from. They aren’t the only mammals grieving. Poachers have taken out a pride of lions, but one survived. That wounded creature (emotionally and physically I suppose) is hungry for revenge.

When the Samuels clan joins an old friend and wildlife biologist (Sharlto Copley) on a nature reserve trip, that vengeful roarer disrupts it. In Cujo style, the title character torments the family in and around their immobile vehicle. The movie itself struggles to get its motor running.

Baltasar Kormakur directs and he’s well-versed in nature tales like Everest and Adrift. His work is sometimes overly flashy or bordering on boring with a jump scare every few minutes to break the monotony. There’s hardly an in-between.

Beast could have coasted on its B flick concept. Ryan Engle’s clunky screenplay gets in the way from its lame family therapy sessions to lines designed for trailers only (“We’re in his territory now!”). The script attempts to push an anti-poaching theme… as evidenced by the youngest daughter at one point exclaiming “God, I hate these poachers!” That kind of subtlety is what you get here. If you want to watch Idris Elba punch a lion, expect to fight through the mediocrity of it all.

** (out of four)

Three Thousand Years of Longing Box Office Prediction

MGM may need more than three wishes for Three Thousand Years of Longing to become a box office success when it opens August 26th. Based on a 1994 short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt, the reported $60 million production is the latest fantasy from acclaimed filmmaker George Miller. Idris Elba stars as a genie hoping to gain his freedom through an academic played by Tilda Swinton.

Miller hasn’t been behind the camera since 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which landed 10 Oscar nominations and six wins (all tech categories). He’ll be back helming the franchise again with 2024’s Furiosa. This in-between effort premiered at Cannes back in May to mixed reaction. While its visuals were praised, several critics weren’t overly keen on the story. The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 62%.

Elba is a busy man in the last half of August with Beast debuting the week prior. That survival tale might make more in its second frame than Longing accomplishes in its first.

When the theater count is released, my estimate could fluctuate. Initial projections have this potentially reaching $10 million. I’m not buying it. The awareness factor for it seems low and it generated little buzz with the French festival premiere. This has the feel of a significant flop and the late August placement hardly dispels that possibility. I’m projecting that it might not reach $5 million as Miller’s most ardent supporters could be the only moviegoers turning up.

Three Thousand Years of Longing opening weekend prediction: $4 million

For my The Invitation prediction, click here:

The Invitation Box Office Prediction

August 19-21 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (08/17): Two days before its premiere, I’m revising Beast down from $14.3M to $11.3M. That puts it in second place instead of first with Dragon Ball rising to first.

Survival thriller Beast with Idris Elba and the animated Japanese fantasy sequel Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero will compete for the #1 spot this weekend. It could be a close competition and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:

Beast Box Office Prediction

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Box Office Prediction

I’m projecting that both will manage a low teens opening and I’m giving Beast an ever so slight edge. Either could over perform, but both could also top out in low double digits. As long as neither falls significantly short of expectations, they should place 1-2.

Bullet Train, after two weeks in first, should fall to 3rd or 4th depending on how well Top Gun: Maverick holds. It’s a safe bet that the latter will hold quite solidly so it could be a stiff competition for third with DC League of Super-Pets rounding out the top five.

Here’s how I see it playing out:

1. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero 

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

2. Beast

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million

3. Bullet Train

Predicted Gross: $7 million

4. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

5. DC League of Super-Pets

Predicted Gross: $5 million

Box Office Results (August 12-14) 

Brad Pitt and the Bullet Train was #1 again with $13.4 million, just shy of my $14.1 million take. The two-week total is $55 million as it is tracking to come in under $100 million domestically when all is said and done.

In a photo finish for second, Top Gun: Maverick achieved another remarkable feat. Rising from sixth to the runner-up position, Tom Cruise’s biggest hit ever (and then some) earned $7 million in its 12th outing. I projected a tad lower at $6.2 million. Sitting at $673 million and #7 all-time stateside, it will eventually get to the #5 slot and overtake Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War in the coming days.

DC League of Super-Pets was third and it also made $7 million, in line with my $7.2 million prediction. The animated tale has made $58 million in its three weeks of release.

It was a razor thin margin for 4th and 5th with Thor: Love and Thunder barely surpassing Nope. The former made $5.3 million (I was right there at $5.4 million) as the MCU sequel has rung up $325 million.

Nope was fifth and also did $5.3 million, outpacing my $4.2 million guesstimate. Jordan Peele’s effort has made $107 million.

Minions: The Rise of Gru was sixth with $5 million. I went with $5.2 million and it’s amassed $343 million.

#7 was Where the Crawdads Sing with $4 million (I said $4.1 million) with a $72 million overall haul.

Bodies Bodies Bodies couldn’t really capitalize on its impressive NY/LA limited rollout last weekend. Expanding wide, it took in $3.2 million for eighth place. I was a bit more optimistic at $4.4 million. While its per screen average was 2nd in the top 10 behind only Train, look for it to fade quickly.

Elvis was ninth with $2.5 million (I said $2.6 million) as the biopic has shook up $141 million.

The climbing thriller Fall debuted in 10th with $2.5 million. That’s nothing to brag about, but it did come in with better earnings than most prognoses. This includes my own at $1.2 million.

Easter Sunday fell outside of the top ten in 11th with $2.4 million in its sophomore frame (I was on target at $2.5 million). The meager total is $9 million.

Last and least, Diane Keaton’s comedy Mack & Rita was a massive flop in 13th position with $1 million. I gave it too much leeway at $2.3 million. As if that start wasn’t bad enough, it earned a dreadful D+ Cinemascore grade.

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

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Box Office Prediction

Over three and a half years ago, Dragon Ball Super: Broly significantly exceeded expectations stateside. As summer closes out, the follow-up Super Hero hopes to do the same. The martial arts fantasy from Toei Animation is actually the 21st feature in the long running Japanese franchise. Tetsuro Kodama directs.

The pic already did brisk business in its native country when it opened in June. Over the long MLK frame in 2019, Broly got a kickstart to the weekend with a Wednesday bow. In its first two days of release, it captured $10.4 million with a six-day overall haul of over $22 million.

Hero is not slated for a hump day start nor is it premiering over a holiday. That makes comparisons to Broly a little tricky. There’s no doubt that this genre is extremely front loaded and I certainly see it hitting double digits. It could find itself in a battle for #1 with the Idris Elba headlined survival thriller Beast. Both could be competing for some of the same eyeballs. I’ll project $12-14 million is where this lands and that puts it barely behind where I have Beast at.

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero opening weekend prediction: $13.2 million

For my Beast prediction, click here:

Beast Box Office Prediction

Beast Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (08/17): Two days before its premiere, I’m revising Beast down from $14.3M to $11.3M

Idris Elba faces single fatherhood and a murderous lion in the survival thriller Beast when it opens August 19th. It comes from Balthasar Kormakur, who recently directed nature related efforts Everest and Adrift. Costars include Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley, and Leah Sava Jeffries. The selling point for the Universal Pictures pic is, of course, the big cat hunting Elba and family in the South African setting.

Beast should find itself in position for a #1 opening with Bullet Train in its third weekend. That said, the Japanese animated adventure Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero could certainly give it a run for its money.

Estimates have this as low as $10 million or in the $15 million range. Approaching or slightly exceeding the latter seems more likely as long as buzz is decent (early word-of-mouth is encouraging). Higher teens even seems doable, but I’m not ready to go into that mode as of yet.

Beast opening weekend prediction: $11.3 million

For my Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero prediction, click here:

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero Box Office Prediction

2022 Oscar Predictions: May 29th Edition

As May comes to a close and the Cannes Film Festival wraps up, I’m giving you a fresh update in the six major Oscar categories!

In Best Picture, I’m elevating Empire of Light from Sam Mendes into the top ten and that takes Rustin out. The Daniels from Everything Everywhere All at Once vault into Director to the detriment of Sarah Polley for Women Talking. 

Empire of Light also benefits in Best Actress with Olivia Colman in over Carey Mulligan from She Said. While Actor and Supporting Actress remain unchanged, there’s two alterations in Supporting Actor with Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere…) and Jesse Plemons (Killers of the Flower Moon) in over John David Washington (Amsterdam) and Tom Hanks (Elvis).

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

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

5. The Son (PR: 5) (E)

6. Women Talking (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Bardo (PR: 8) (+1)

8. She Said (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Empire of Light (PR: 16) (+7)

10. The Whale (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Rustin (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 11) (-3)

15. White Noise (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Thirteen Lives (PR: 21) (+5)

17. Elvis (PR: 20) (+3)

18. Poor Things (PR: 14) (-4)

19. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 15) (-4)

20. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

21. Armageddon Time (PR: 19) (-2)

22. Till (PR: 18) (-4)

23. Next Goal Wins (PR: 25) (+2)

24. Tar (PR: 17) (-7)

25. Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Don’t Worry Darling 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

    1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 15) (+6)

10. Hirokazu Kore’eda, Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 8) (-4)

13. David O. Russell, Amsterdam (PR: 13) (E)

14. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

George C. Wolfe, Rustin 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 2) (E)

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

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+5)

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

Other Possibilities: 

6. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 14) (E)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling

Tilda Swinton, Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 7 (-3)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 8) (-5)

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

15. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Joaquin Phoenix, Disappointment Blvd.

Idris Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 13) (+5)

9. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Whoopi Goldberg, Till (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 9) (-3)

13. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rooney Mara, Women Talking 

Margaret Qualley, Poor Things

Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 15) (+8)

8. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Andre Holland, Shirley (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 12) (E)

13. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 4) (-10)

15. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 10) (-5)

Dropped Out:

Frankie Faison, Till 

Oscar Predictions: Three Thousand Years of Longing

When legendary filmmaker George Miller was last behind the camera, 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road garnered 10 nominations and a ceremony high 6 victories in tech categories. Before he moves to Fury‘s prequel Furiosa, his in-between picture is Three Thousand Years of Longing and it’s premiered at Cannes before its late summer bow.

The fantastical romance casts Tilda Swinton as an academic whose life is turned upside down when she encounters a genie in the form of Idris Elba. If the movie is wishing for Oscar attention, the answer is cloudy as to whether that is granted. Early reviews have resulted in a 78% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Some critical reaction is gushing while some is decidedly more mixed.

Miller is, of course, known for visual skills and Longing could be in play for its Cinematography (by the great John Seale), Production Design, and Visual Effects. As for the leads, Swinton is (rather shockingly) just a one-time nominee when she won for 2007’s Michael Clayton. Elba is no time nominee having notably been snubbed for 2015’s Beasts of No Nation (for which he took home the SAG).

My feeling is that this would have to vault into serious Best Picture discussion (and for Miller’s direction) for Swinton and Elba to be viable. This will certainly have its vocal supporters based on Cannes chatter, but I’m not confident it will be enough. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…