Titanic 25th Anniversary Box Office Prediction

On February 10th, we will see if audiences are ready to go back to Titanic. The James Cameron romance pic/disaster flick is being re-released on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. This is just as Avatar: The Way of Water wraps up its seven-week #1 domestic stand with $2 billion+ worldwide run at multiplexes.

The movie that made Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet icons currently stands as the 8th largest stateside earner in history. At the time of its release, it vaulted to first place. With $659 million overall (and that includes some previous re-releases), it could jump a spot over Avengers: Infinity War ($678 million). Worldwide it is #3 ($2.2 billion) with Water ($2.1 billion) hot on its heels. And, yes, Cameron does now have three of the four all-time global grossers with Avatar ($2.8 billion) atop that chart.

Speaking of the original Avatar, it was put back in theaters last September a few months before the sequel was unleashed. It made $10.5 million in its first frame of re-issuance. I could see Titanic matching or maybe slightly exceeding that figure.

Titanic 25th Anniversary opening weekend prediction: $11.6 million

For my Magic Mike’s Last Dance prediction, click here:

February 3-5 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Update (02/01): I am adding a title to the top 5 that I previously didn’t have on Monday when I did my initial projections. The Chosen: Season 3 Finale is playing on over 2000 screens. As you may recall, the season premiere grossed nearly $9 million in December out of the gate. I’ll say the finale generates a little more than that and could challenge Avatar for the 3 spot. Changes are reflected below.

The seven-week reign of Avatar: The Way of Water at #1 should end in its 8th outing as February dawns at the box office. M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller Knock at the Cabin and the octogenarian comedy 80 for Brady debut and look to place 1-2. My detailed prediction posts on them can be found here:

Beginning with 2017’s Split, Shyamalan experienced a career resurgence that could carry Cabin (generating solid word-of-mouth) to a low to mid 20s start. Getting close to $30 million is not out of the question. That number should be enough to top the charts.

80 for Brady looks to appeal to a female audience and older viewers. A Man Called Otto recently showed the demographic is ready for a return at multiplexes. With a robust marketing campaign and the involvement of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno, I could absolutely see it over performing. My current mid teens forecast is worth keeping an eye on before Thursday (meaning it could rise).

As mentioned, Avatar: The Way of Water (while remaining above $10M) should finally relinquish its stranglehold in first. Fellow holdovers Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and A Man Called Otto should round out the top five and here’s how I see it looking:

1. Knock at the Cabin

Predicted Gross: $23.6 million

2. 80 for Brady

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million

3. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

4. The Chosen: Season 3 Finale

Predicted Gross: $11 million

5. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $8.9 million

6. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

Box Office Results (January 27-29)

Avatar: The Way of Water cruised to a seventh frame atop the charts with $15.9 million (ahead of my $14.3 million take). The domestic haul is $620 million, but the story of the weekend is that it surpassed Star Wars: The Force Awakens to become the fourth largest worldwide grosser in history. That means James Cameron now has three of the top four (with Avatar and Titanic also in the mix).

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was runner-up with $10.4 million, surpassing my $9.2 million prediction. In six weeks, the animated sequel has amassed $140 million.

The surprise of the weekend was Pathaan, a Hindu language action spectacle that I incorrectly had outside the top five. It was third with $6.8 million and $9.4 million since its Wednesday bow. The PTA of nearly $10k was easily the highest on the charts.

A Man Called Otto was fourth with $6.6 million (in line with my $6 million projection) for $45 million overall.

M3GAN rounded out the top five with $6.2 million (I said $5.8 million) as the campy horror tale is approaching nine figures at $82 million.

Finally, Missing was sixth in its sophomore weekend with $5.6 million, a tad above my $5.1 million call. The ten-day total is $17 million (doubling its reported $7 million budget).

Check out my new podcast at the following link:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/movies-at-the-speed-of-speculation/id1668006585

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

Oscars – The Case of Avatar: The Way of Water

My Case Of posts where I serve as the defense for and prosecution against the Best Picture, Director, and four acting competition hopefuls arrives at our second contender in the biggest race of all. That’s Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron’s long-in-development sequel to 2009’s 3D game changer.

The Case for Avatar: The Way of Water:

If the Academy wants to honor the highest grossing worldwide pic of the bunch, this is your movie. Cameron’s follow-up just surpassed $2 billion at the global box office and has ruled the domestic box office for seven weeks running.

The Case Against Avatar: The Way of Water:

If the Academy wants to honor the highest grossing domestic pic of the bunch, Top Gun: Maverick is their movie. It’s the sequel that had the best nominations haul on Oscar noms morning. Water‘s four overall mentions are less than half of the nine achieved by the original 13 years ago. It won three – Art Direction (now Production Design), Cinematography, and Visual Effects. This one seems destined for a sole victory. Cameron couldn’t make the final five for his direction (he did get a Globes nod) and editing is another significant omission.

Other Nominations:

Production Design, Sound, Visual Effects

The Verdict:

That likely win is in Visual Effects. With the aforementioned whiffs in direction and editing and the less than impressive haul (compared to part 1), Water was pretty fortunate to make the cut at all.

My Case Of posts will continue with The Banshees of Inisherin!

If you missed my posts covering the other BP contenders, click here:

January 27-29 Box Office Predictions

2023 has gotten off to a pleasing start at the box office, but the last weekend of January should be rather quiet. Horror pic Fear is slated to be a wide release. I haven’t done an individual prediction post on it because I’ve yet to see a theater count. It would be surprising to see it in the top five. At the moment, I’m thinking it’ll be lucky to reach $2 million.

That means the chart should look very similar to this past frame with Avatar: The Way of Water spending a seventh weekend in first (very likely for the final time with Knock at the Cabin and 80 for Brady on deck). It might be the only feature to make over $10 million as I have dropping in the low to mid 30s for a low teens gross.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (after a great hold in its 5th life) should stay in second during its sixth. Holdovers A Man Called Otto, M3GAN, and Missing (after a slightly better than anticipated debut) appear poised to populate slots 3-5.

Here’s how I see it playing out:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million

3. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $6 million

4. M3GAN

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

5. Missing

Predicted Gross: $5.1 million

Box Office Results (January 20-22)

A six-peat greeted Avatar: The Way of Water with a take of $20.1 million, a bit under my $23.9 million forecast. James Cameron’s sequel crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide and neared $600 million domestically at $598 million.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is showing its multiple lives as it impressed in second with a mere 18% drop. Earning $11.8 million in its fifth outing (I was lower with $8.7 million), the animated follow-up has amassed $126 million.

M3GAN was third in weekend 3 with $9.7 million, on pace with my $9.5 million projection. The campy horror effort hit $73 million.

Missing, the stand-alone sequel to thriller Searching, found some fans in fourth with $9.1 million, surpassing my $6.8 million prediction. Considering the reported $7 million price tag, this should turn a tidy profit.

A Man Called Otto rounded out the top five at $8.8 million (I said $9.3 million). In its second weekend of wide release, it dipped a commendable 31%.

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

Box Office Predictions: Weekend of January 20-22, 2023

After a solid MLK long weekend at the box office, tech thriller Missing (a stand-alone sequel to 2018’s Searching) hopes to keep the 2023 momentum going in multiplexes. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

As the only new wide release, I’ve got Missing making the top five. However, it may fall under four holdovers. Avatar: The Way of Water should have no trouble staying in first for the sixth frame. The battle for #2 should be far more interesting. If Missing over performs, it could get there.

I’ve got the earnings of M3GAN, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and A Man Called Otto separated by under a million. All three did well over the holiday. M3GAN is likely to suffer the biggest drop, but I’ve still got it clinging to #2 with Otto right behind and Boots in fourth.

Here’s how I see it looking for your high five:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $23.9 million

2. M3GAN

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

3. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $9.3 million

4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $8.7 million

5. Missing

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million

Box Office Results (January 13-16)

Friday the 13th and the rest of the weekend was not unlucky as Avatar: The Way of Water 5-peated wtih $39.8 million. That’s just below my take of $41.2 million as James Cameron’s massive sequel sits at $571 million.

M3GAN held up well in its sophomore frame in second with $21.6 million from Friday to Monday. Ahead of my $18.7 million projection, the campy horror hit is grooving to $60 million thus far.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish actually increased from the previous weekend in third at $18.9 million (slashing past my $13 million estimate). The animated sequel is now in nine figures with a lively $111 million.

Tom Hanks helped bring in adult moviegoers as A Man Called Otto expanded nationwide with a fourth place gross of $15.4 million (on target with my $15.9 million prediction). With an A Cinemascore grade, look for this to hold up well in the coming weeks. The tally is $21 million and growing.

Gerard Butler’s Plane took off in fifth with a decent $11.8 million (flying higher than my $7.2 million forecast). I suspect a drop at or close to 50% is where this lands next weekend.

Finally, comedic remake House Party did OK considering its lowly 1400 screen count. It was sixth with $4.6 million and that’s more RSVPs than my $3 million guesstimate.

That does it for now, folks! Until next time…

95th Academy Awards Predictions: January 16th Edition

It has been two weeks since my last Oscar predictions and a lot has transpired since. The Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards aired. SAG nominations came out. So did the BAFTA shortlists and PGA and DGA contenders.

All of this has made the puzzle a little clearer. Yet the fact remains – Oscar will Oscar when noms are released in a week. This is my penultimate forecast. Final predictions will arrive this weekend. Tonight’s estimates are your last look at rankings. It will simply be the listed picks a few days from now with commentary and a runner-up projection in each feature film category.

Here’s the latest developments as we are almost at the end of the line:

The Whale rises as it is back in my top 10 BP nominees. Women Talking falls out. A similar scenario in Supporting Actress as The Whale‘s Hong Chau is in over Women Talking‘s Claire Foy. After victories at the Globes and Critics Choice, Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) vaults over Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin) for the #1 slot in Supporting Actress.

On the other hand, I’m putting Austin Butler (Elvis) back in first over Brendan Fraser (The Whale). This is essentially a coin flip with Colin Farrell from Banshees as a legit spoiler.

Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front) returns to the directorial quintet and James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water) is out.

In Actress, Viola Davis (The Woman King) at last makes the cut with Margot Robbie (Babylon) dropping. That’s not the only news in this derby. I almost went with Ana de Armas (Blonde) instead of Davis. And there’s the recent development of Andrea Riseborough’s online campaign for the micro budget indie drama To Leslie. Numerous performers, including Cate Blanchett, have boarded the Riseborough bandwagon. Two weeks ago – she was on no one’s radar screen. Now the buzz is enough to put her in 8th.

You can read all the movement below and look for those FINAL predictions this weekend!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tár (PR: 5) (E)

6. Elvis (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (-1)

8. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Whale (PR: 12) (+3)

10. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Babylon (PR: 11) (E)

12. RRR (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Women Talking (PR: 8) (-5)

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 14) (E)

15. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 10) (+3)

8. S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Sarah Polley, Women Talking

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 4) (E)

5. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway

Emma Thompson, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 6) (E)

7. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Adam Sandler, Hustle (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (+3)

2. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Janelle Monáe, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 5) (-4)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Aftersun (PR: 6) (E)

7. Babylon (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Menu (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bardo

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 2) (-1)

4. She Said (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (E)

8. White Noise (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bones and All (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 1) (E)

2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 2) (E)

3. Turning Red (PR: 3) (E)

4. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PR: 4) (E)

5. Wendell and Wild (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Bad Guys (PR: 6) (E)

7. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Strange World (PR: 8) (E)

9. Inu-Oh (PR: 9) (E)

10. Lightyear (PR: 10) (E)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 1) (E)

2. Decision to Leave (PR: 2) (E)

3. Close (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 4) (E)

5. EO (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saint Omer (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Bardo (PR: 5) (-2)

8. The Quiet Girl (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Joyland (PR: 9) (E)

10. Holy Spider (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 1) (E)

2. All That Breathes (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Fire of Love (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Navalny (PR: 2) (-2)

5. The Territory (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Descendant (PR: 6) (E)

7. Moonage Daydream (PR: 7) (E)

8. Retrograde (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Bad Axe (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Flight Home (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Janes

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 4) (E)

5. Empire of Light (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Batman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Nope (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bardo

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Tár

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Woman King (PR: 4) (E)

5. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Living (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (E)

9. Corsage (PR: 9) (E)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (+3)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tár (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Women Talking

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 2 (+1)

2. The Whale (PR: 1) (-1)

3. The Batman (PR: 3) (E)

4. Babylon (PR: 4) (E)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 6) (E)

7. Amsterdam (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Blonde (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Emancipation (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Crimes of the Future (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nomnees:

1. The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Babylon (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Women Talking (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Woman King (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (-3)

10. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 2) (+1)

2. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (-1)

3. “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 7) (E)

8. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 8) (E)

9. “Good Afternoon” from Spirited (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

“Nothing is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (-2)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Batman (PR: 10) (E)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Elvis (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Batman (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (E)

7. Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 8) (E)

9. Moonage Daydream (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Batman (PR: 3) (E)

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 4) (E)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 6) (E)

7. Nope (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Thirteen Lives (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jurassic World: Dominion (PR: 9) (E)

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (PR: 10) (E)

That equates to these movies garnering these numbers in terms of nominations:

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

7 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

6 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water

5 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Whale

4 Nominations

Babylon, Tár

3 Nominations

The Batman, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Triangle of Sadness

2 Nominations

Living, The Woman King, Women Talking

1 Nominations

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Empire of Light, EO, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, RRR, She Said, Tell It Like a Woman, The Territory, Till, Turning Red, Wendell and Wild

28th Annual Critics Choice Awards Winner Predictions

Airing only five days after the Golden Globes solidified some potential paths to Oscar glory, the Critics Choice Awards come our way on the CW tomorrow evening with Chelsea Handler hosting.

We have a number of feature film categories to pick and I’ll do so by forecasting a winner and a runner-up. I’m not going into details for these (frankly because I’m on a vacation this weekend), but a few quick questions to ponder:

Is this where Brendan Fraser (The Whale) gets a needed victory over Globe recipients Austin Butler (Elvis) or Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) to keep himself in the winner conversation? The same narratives apply to Everything Everywhere All at Once being named BP instead of Banshees and The Fabelmans. If Everything is going to make a stand, it should begin here and I’m projecting that it will. Will Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) begin a streak of trophies that the Globes started or will there be a mix of Supporting Actress honorees as we head toward Oscar?

I’ll have a recap up (probably Monday morning) with my thoughts, but here’s how I see this particular show shaking out!

Best Picture

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, RRR, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Director

The Nominees: James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water), Damien Chazelle (Babylon), Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Todd Field (Tár), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Sarah Polley (Women Talking), Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Woman King), S.S. Rajamouli (RRR), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

PREDICTED WINNER: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actress

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Margot Robbie (Babylon), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

PREDICTED WINNER: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Runner-Up: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actor

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

PREDICTED WINNER: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Jessie Buckley (Women Talking), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Janelle Monáe (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery)

PREDICTED WINNER: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

PREDICTED WINNER: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees: Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár

PREDICTED WINNER: The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Living, She Said, The Whale, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Women Talking

Runner-Up: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Best Acting Ensemble

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Woman King, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Women Talking

Best Young Actor/Actress

The Nominees: Frankie Corio (Aftersun), Jalyn Hall (Till), Gabriel LaBelle (The Fabelmans), Bella Ramsey (Catherine Called Birdy), Banks Repeta (Armageddon Time), Sadie Sink (The Whale)

PREDICTED WINNER: Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Frankie Corio, Aftersun

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Turning Red, Wendell and Wild

PREDICTED WINNER: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Best Comedy

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Bros, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Triangle of Sadness, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Bardo, Close, Decision to Leave, RRR

PREDICTED WINNER: RRR

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Cinematography

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Empire of Light, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTED WINNER: Top Gun: Maverick

Runner-Up: Babylon

Best Costume Design

The Nominees: Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Woman King

PREDICTED WINNER: Elvis

Runner-Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Film Editing

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTED WINNER: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Hair and Makeup

The Nominees: Babylon, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Whale

PREDICTED WINNER: Elvis

Runner-Up: The Whale

Best Production Design

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans

PREDICTED WINNER: Babylon

Runner-Up: Avatar: The Way of Water

Best Score

The Nominees: Babylon, The Batman, The Fabelmans, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Tár, Women Talking

PREDICTED WINNER: Babylon

Runner-Up: Women Talking

Best Song

“Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing, “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise

PREDICTED WINNER: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Runner-Up: “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Everything Everywhere All at Once, RRR, Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTED WINNER: Avatar: The Way of Water

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

That works out to the following movies garnering these numbers of wins:

5 Wins

Everything Everywhere All at Once

3 Wins

The Banshees of Inisherin

2 Wins

Babylon, Elvis, The Fabelmans, RRR

1 Win

Avatar: The Way of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking

75th DGA Nominations Reaction

It wasn’t just the Screen Actors Guild revealing their list of nominees today as the Directors Guild of America (DGA) put out the five filmmakers vying for their top prize.

First things first. The three pictures that I believe have the best shot at taking BP at the Oscars all saw their conductors brought to this stage. That would be the Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans). This trio were all obvious ones to predict and that I did.

Yet I ultimately went 3 for 5. That’s because my picks of James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water) and Baz Luhrmann (Elvis), makers of two popular commercial moneymakers, were left on the cutting room floor. Instead we got the surprising selection of Joseph Kosinski, maker of the year’s biggest moneymaker domestically with Top Gun: Maverick. I’ve only had Kosinski in my top 10 possibilities for the Academy on a couple of occasions. He’s never been in my high five.

The directing category at the Oscars usually match DGA on a 4 for 5 accuracy scale. You have to go back to 2009 to find the last time they matched 5 for 5. In other words, I wouldn’t rush to put Kosinski in the quintet.

My other miss was Todd Field, conductor of Tár. His inclusion was more anticipated and I had him as my runner-up.

Assuming we don’t get a total match, what’s the state of the Academy competition? The Daniels and McDonagh and Spielberg (despite the BAFTA snub) are probably safe and Field seems right up the Academy’s alley.

The fifth slot, while it could be Kosinski, is still available for Cameron or Luhrmann. Charlotte Wells (Aftersun) is beginning to get some ink. And we could absolutely still see a foreign director slide in like Edward Berger for All Quiet on the Western Front. Longer shots in that vein are S.S. Rajamouli (RRR) and Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave).

Who got hurt by being left out today? Certainly Sarah Polley for Women Talking and Ruben Ostlund for Triangle of Sadness. Either one of them could have used this as a momentum boost. Same for Babylon‘s Damien Chazelle.

The DGA’s will be presented on February 18th and my winning projection will be made shortly beforehand.

75th Directors Guild of America Awards Nomination Predictions

In addition to the SAG Awards announcing their nominees on Wednesday, we also have the Director Guild of America (DGA) revealing its five contenders for Outstanding Directing in a Feature Film.

This is a race that usually matches the Academy’s eventual 5 nominees with 80% accuracy. In the past decade, there’s been a 4 for 5 correlation in 8 of those years. There hasn’t been a 5 for 5 match since 2009.

Even though BAFTA shockingly left Steven Spielberg off its shortlist last week, he should make the cut here for The Fabelmans. It would also be quite unexpected for Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert to miss for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

After that, it gets interesting. I do believe James Cameron is recognized for Avatar: The Way of Water. The DGA has recently named pics in the sci-fi genre that the Academy surprisingly ignored. Recent examples are Ridley Scott (The Martian) and Denis Villeneuve (Dune).

On the flip side, the DGA has left off foreign filmmakers that the Academy does recognize. This includes Thomas Vinterberg (Another Round) and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car) in the preceding two cycles. That could make the odds longer here for Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front), Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave), or S.S. Rajamouli (RRR) than at the Oscars.

My hunch is that the trio of Todd Field (Tár), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis), and Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin) are angling for the final two slots with Sarah Polley (Women Talking) as a potential spoiler. I’ve got Field in my Academy quintet right now but missing here.

DGA PREDICTIONS

James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Baz Luhrmann, Elvis

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Todd Field, Tár

80th Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions

After controversies kept the 79th ceremony off of the air in 2021, the 80th Golden Golden Awards is set to air on NBC Tuesday night with Jerrod Carmichael hosting. When it comes down to winners for their contribution to film, we can safely bet on one. Eddie Murphy will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his four decades of work onscreen. We can probably safely bet on more than just Eddie (Colin Farrell comes to mind).

Most categories are tougher to project. There are a number of races where I don’t feel confident with my arrived at winner. Quite frankly, if I go 7/14 this year, I’ll be content.

For each category, I’ll give you my pick and my runner-up. Unlike the Oscars, you won’t get detailed analysis though I will say here’s some of the categories that are tough:

Best Motion Picture (Drama) is a four-way race between everything not named Tár while Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) is a genuine two-way competition between The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The Fabelmans might be fading with the Academy and that could hinder Spielberg’s chance at Director. The legendary filmmaker was very notably snubbed from the sixteen shortlist possibilities at BAFTA. However, that happened after voting had closed with HFPA. I still give him the slight edge with the Globes, but watch out for the Daniels or Baz Luhrmann.

In the lead acting races, three are easy to pick. Actor in a Drama is not as I think it’s a coin flip between Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser. My selection comes down to what I chose for Best Picture.

I don’t think Carey Mulligan takes Supporting Actress for She Said. The other four are all viable. While Kerry Condon might be the soft favorite for Oscar, I could see the HFPA going with a more famous performer with a celebrated body of work. Whether that’s Angela Bassett or Jamie Lee Curtis is an excellent question.

RRR could take Non-English Language Film and Song though the runners-up are both strong spoilers. Women Talking, The Fabelmans, and Babylon are all totally feasible for Score.

All right – enough talk! Time to (yikes) choose…

BEST MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Winner: Elvis

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

BEST MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)

The Nominees: Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Triangle of Sadness

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

BEST DIRECTOR

The Nominees: James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water), Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

Predicted Winner: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Olivia Colman (Empire of Light), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans)

Predicted Winner: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Runner-Up: Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Hugh Jackman (The Son), Bill Nighy (Living), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection)

Predicted Winner: Austin Butler, Elvis

Runner-Up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)

The Nominees: Lesley Manville (Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris), Margot Robbie (Babylon), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Menu), Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Predicted Winner: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Margot Robbie, Babylon

BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)

The Nominees: Diego Calva (Babylon), Daniel Craig (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery), Adam Driver (White Noise), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ralph Fiennes (The Menu)

Predicted Winner: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Is there one?? Let’s say Daniel Craig, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

The Nominees: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Carey Mulligan (She Said)

Predicted Winner: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Runner-Up: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

The Nominees: Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brad Pitt (Babylon), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse)

Predicted Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

BEST SCREENPLAY

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Women Talking

Predicted Winner: The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Nominees: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Inu-oh, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Turning Red

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

BEST NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, RRR

Predicted Winner: RRR

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Nominees: Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Women Talking

Predicted Winner: Women Talking

Runner-Up: The Fabelmans

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

The Nominees: “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing, “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Predicted Winner: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Runner-Up: “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

That equates to these movies achieving these numbers in terms of wins:

3 Wins

Everything Everywhere All at Once

2 Wins

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, RRR

1 Win

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Fabelmans, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Tár, Women Talking

I’ll have a recap up Tuesday night with analysis!