Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway Box Office Prediction

After hopping around the release calendar at least half a dozen times due to COVID-19 delays, the hybrid live-action/animated comedic adventure Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway hits theaters June 11. Will Gluck returns to direct with James Corden again voicing the title character and Margot Robbie reprising her behind the mic work as Flopsy. Live-action participants include Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, and David Oyelowo. Elizabeth Debicki, Aimee Horne, Sia, and Sam Neill are among the voice cast.

In 2018, the first Rabbit premiered on the high end of expectations with $25 million and legged out nicely to a $115 overall domestic haul. Part 2 shouldn’t fall too far off that mark, but I do believe it’ll have trouble reaching that number. This won’t have anything to do with reviews. The 2018 pic had a mixed critical reaction with 63% on Rotten Tomatoes while the sequel is currently perched at 71%.

The Runaway has already opened in Australia and the United Kingdom to decent results. More than three years after the original, there could be a falloff of some youngsters not clamoring to see the followup. That said, a gross of $20 million is feasible. I’ll put it a few million below that figure though.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway opening weekend prediction: $15.9 million

For my In the Heights prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/02/in-the-heights-box-office-prediction/

2020 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

Awards watching season kicks into (later than usual) gear this Sunday with the 78th Annual Golden Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! While I have not spent time doing weekly posts on this ceremony like I do with the Oscars, it’s certainly a potential sign of things to come from the Academy (and sometimes not so much).

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a notoriously tricky bunch to predict as they often call up out of nowhere nominees in their major categories. This year is no exception and that will be discussed below. The pandemic uncertainty that was 2020 and some races that truly feel wild open gives us some real drama as to the pictures and actors who will win on Sunday.

Simply put, I’ll feel good if I get half my predictions right and that’s a lower bar than usual. Let’s walk through each category with my estimated victor and runner-up, shall we?

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Despite a better than anticipated showing for Promising Young Woman, this is likely a showdown between Nomadland and Trial (as I suspect it will be for the Oscars). Quite frankly, this is a tough call and basically a coin flip. However, I lean ever so slightly with HFPA going with the more traditional pick and that means Trial.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Nomadland

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

The inclusion of Sia’s critically drubbed Music stands as one of the more bizarre nods in recent Globes history and that’s saying a lot. Palm Springs certainly has its fervent fans while The Prom once seemed like a potential winner until its mixed reviews. Meryl Streep’s exclusion in the Actress field for it says something as well. So it’s Borat vs. Hamilton in my view. 14 years ago, the original Borat lost out to Dreamgirls. Certainly the overall pedigree and acclaim for Hamilton makes it a possibility, but the attention garnered by Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel might be too hard to resist.

Predicted Winner: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Hamilton

Best Director

Nominees: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

Even with my Trial pick in Picture, Chloe Zhao has emerged as a heavy favorite for the duration of awards season and she has the critics trophies already to prove it. Fincher is probably more of a threat to upset than Sorkin here, but Zhao is one of the safer bets of the night.

Predicted Winner: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Runner-Up: David Fincher, Mank

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

It’s Davis vs. McDormand vs. Mulligan as I see it and there’s a case to be made for all three. That said, I already mentioned that Promising was a major winner on nomination morning as it achieved nods everywhere it really could have been expected to. I feel it’ll win somewhere and this is the most probable. Had Rainey got a Picture nod, I would probably list Davis as the runner-up, but I’ll go with McDormand instead.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

Sunday night could very well be the start of Boseman sweeping his way through the season. I do have a nagging feeling that Hopkins is going to win either here or at SAG. It would not be a shock at all for that to occur yet I’ll stick with Boseman.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

Expect Taylor-Joy to win on Sunday night, but not here. Instead she appears bound to get some hardware on the TV side for the heralded Queen’s Gambit. Like the picture itself, Hudson’s nomination was totally unforeseen. Bakalova was the breakout star of Borat. She’s being campaigned for in Supporting Actress at the Oscars, but the HFPA seems destined to honor her. Pfeiffer and Pike are moderate threats and I’ll give the runner-up edge to the former.

Predicted Winner: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

Let’s face it: the Golden Globes this year has an excellent chance at turning into the Sacha Baron Cohen Show. He won this race for the first Borat and he’s the odds-on favorite to make it two for two. Miranda poses the only real threat in my opinion.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

For Foster and Zengel, it’s an honor to be nominated. As for the other three, this feels like a genuine three performer race in which I could easily foresee Close, Colman, or Seyfried’s name being called. I’m calling this (with zero confidence) for Seyfried as I think HFPA could go with the relative newcomer over Close and Colman (who have each won three Globes).

Predicted Winner: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Runner-Up: Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (just over Colman)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Another really tough one. It would be right up HFPA’s alley to give Leto the surprise win. And Kaluuya and Odom Jr. are strong possibilities. I don’t feel great about saying Sacha will have this big of a night, but I kinda feel that’s the way this goes. Confidence level? Zilch.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah 

Best Screenplay

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

This is an additional race where voters could choose to honor Promising Young Woman, but Trial is the frontrunner and I’m not picking against it.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Promising Young Woman

Best Animated Feature Film

Nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

Don’t be surprised if this is the same Oscar five with the same result. While Wolfwalkers is a critical darling, it’s risky to bet against Pixar and I won’t do so.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Wolfwalkers

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Another Round, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, Minari, Two of Us

The smart money is on Minari, which is expected to get a Best Picture nod from the Academy. However, I can’t help but point out that it picked up nominations nowhere else (including Actor, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay where it could have). That opens the door for Another Round which also has ardent supporters. I’m going for the slight upset.

Predicted Winner: Another Round

Runner-Up: Minari

Best Original Score

Nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet

Another category that Oscar could match. And this may come down to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross vs. themselves for Mank and Soul. I’ll give their Pixar work the edge.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Mank

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7), “lo si (Seen)” (The Life Ahead), “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami), “Tigress & Tweed” (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

Anything could happen here, but “Speak Now” is a trendy pick for the Oscar and HFPA could follow suit.

Predicted Winner: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)

Runner-Up: “lo si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead

That means I’m predicting the following number of wins for these pictures:

3 Wins

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Trial of the Chicago 7

2 Wins

Soul

1 Win

Another Round, Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

And there you have it! My picks for the Sacha Baron… err, Golden Globes! Let’s see how it shakes out and I’ll have a post up Sunday night with my thoughts about the show and how I performed….

2020 Golden Globes Nominations Reaction

If you had told me yesterday that the Kate Hudson’s Music, which is directed by pop star Sia and hasn’t been released yet domestically, would achieve two Golden Globe nominations and that Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods would get zero, I might have said you’re crazy. Yet welcome to Awards Season 2020 as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association weighed in with their nods this morning and provided some genuine shockers (as they normally do).

There’s no doubt that the big loser today was Da 5 Bloods which was shut out while Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman performed better than expected. Much more to discuss so let’s break it down by each category, shall we?

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 3/5

It must be said that The Father had a good morning as well along with Promising. Those two pictures made it in over my predictions of Da 5 Bloods and One Night in Miami. I will note that some pundits had Mank missing the cut, but I’ve never fully bought that it won’t perform well during this awards season.

Best Director

Nominees: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

How I Did: 4/5

Fennell’s inclusion here is the surest indication of HFPA’s love for her film. She makes it in over Spike Lee for Bloods. The HFPA did make some history in this race with 3 women nominated out of the five.

Best Actress – Drama

Nominees: Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

How I Did: 4/5

This pushes forward the narrative that Davis/Kirby/McDormand/Mulligan are a quartet likely to see SAG and Oscar nods. It’s been the fifth slot up for grabs and Andra Day got there over my prediction for Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead. A GG nod could have helped Loren’s Oscar viability (let’s see if SAG mentions her tomorrow).

Best Actor – Drama

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

How I Did: 4/5

The 5 Bloods shutout produced the largest shocker in this particular category with Delroy Lindo being snubbed in favor of Tahar Rahim. Lindo should bounce back at SAG and we’ll know soon enough.

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

How I Did: 4/5

As previously stated, this Music pic came out of nowhere and stands as one of the enormous surprises. It got in over Emma. Others had On the Rocks in that spot and it whiffed too.

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

How I Did: 3/5

Once again, Hudson’s name was certainly not expected. Pike’s inclusion is less surprising as I had her as my first alternate. They make the cut over Cristin Milioti (Palm Springs) and another unforeseen development… Meryl Streep (The Prom) not getting her expected nod. That doesn’t happen often.

Best Actor – Musical/Comedy

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

How I Did: 4/5

Not many pundits were guessing James Corden’s work in The Prom would be nominated and not his costar Meryl Streep. I had him off in favor of Leslie Odom, Jr. for Hamilton.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

How I Did: 4/5

Zengel’s inclusion here increases her visibility and if she gets a SAG nomination, her Oscar chances become quite real. The young performer made it in over the legendary Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami)

How I Did: 4/5

With the exception of that Kate Hudson movie, another morning jaw dropper was Jared Leto being recognized for The Little Things. Per another storyline of the day, he replaces Chadwick Boseman in the blanked Da 5 Bloods.

Best Film Screenplay

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 3/5

The Father and Promising Young Woman continued their encouraging runs here to the detriment of One Night in Miami and (again) Da 5 Bloods.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Behold the only race where I called it perfectly! Don’t be surprised if this is Oscar’s quintet as well.

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Another Round, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, Minari, Two of Us

How I Did: 3/5

Llorona and Two were named over Martin Eden and Quo Vadis, Aida? in a lineup that should come down to Round or (more likely) Minari.

Best Original Score

Nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet

How I Did: 4/5

No big surprise that Midnight Sky got in over Minari. This could well by the Oscar lineup.

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah, “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Seen” from The Life Ahead, “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami, “Tigress & Tweed” from The United State vs. Billie Holiday

How I Did: 2/5

An unpredictable group of songs for awards consideration proved to be just that with my worst performance of the day. It was “Fight”, “Voice” and “Tigress” in over “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest, “Only the Young” from Miss Americana, and “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon. 

How I Did Overall: 51/70

That shakes out to the following number of nods for these pictures:

6 Nominations

Mank

5 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

4 Nominations

The Father, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman

3 Nominations

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, One Night in Miami

2 Nominations

Hamilton, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Life Ahead, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Mauritanian, Music, News of the World, Palm Springs, The Prom, Soul, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, The Croods: A New Age, Emma, French Exit, Hillbilly Elegy, I Care a Lot, La Llorona, The Little Things, The Midnight Sky, Minari, On the Rocks, Onward, Over the Moon, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Pieces of a Woman, Sound of Metal, Tenet, Two of Us, Wolfwalkers

You can expect predictions in all these races a couple of days before showtime on February 28th!

2020 Golden Globe Nomination Predictions

The biggest Oscar precursor thus far drops their nominations this Wednesday (with SAG following the next day) in a week where the awards picture should become a bit clearer.

Of course, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a habit of making some left field picks from time to time. And unlike the Academy, they split their film and lead acting races into Drama and Comedy/Musical.

Every week on the blog, I have been forecasting each Oscar race. However, for the Globes, it’s just one post with my final predictions for what I feel will happen on Wednesday. In every category, I’m also selecting a first and second alternate. We shall see how I do shortly!

P.S. – SAG Predictions are up tomorrow! Let’s get to it…

Best Film Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

The Trial of the Chicago 7

First Alternate – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Second Alternate – The Father

Best Film Director

Predicted Nominees:

David Fincher, Mank

Regina King, One Night in Miami

Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods

Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

First Alternate – Florian Zeller, The Father

Second Alternate – Paul Greengrass, News of the World

Best Actress – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

First Alternate – Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie

Second Alternate – Kate Winslet, Ammonite

Best Actor – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods

Gary Oldman, Mank

First Alternate – Steven Yeun, Minari

Second Alternate – Tom Hanks, News of the World

Best Film Comedy/Musical

Predicted Nominees:

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Emma

Hamilton

Palm Springs

The Prom

First Alternate – On the Rocks

Second Alternate – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Actress – Comedy/Musical

Predicted Nominees:

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs

Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Meryl Streep, The Prom

Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma

First Alternate – Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot

Second Alternate – Rashida Jones, On the Rocks

Best Actor – Comedy/Musical

Predicted Nominees:

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

First Alternate – Pete Davidson, The King of Staten Island

Second Alternate – James Corden, The Prom

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman, The Father

Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian 

Amanda Seyfried, Mank

First Alternate – Youn Yuh-jung, Minari

Second Alternate – Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Bill Murray, On the Rocks

Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami

First Alternate – Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

Second Alternate – Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Film Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

The Trial of the Chicago 7

First Alternate – The Father

Second Alternate – Promising Young Woman

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

The Croods: A New Age

Onward

Over the Moon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

First Alternate – The Willoughbys

Second Alternate – Earwig and the Witch

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

Another Round

The Life Ahead

Martin Eden

Minari

Quo Vadis, Aida?

First Alternate – Dear Comrades!

Second Alternate – Beanpole

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Soul

Tenet

First Alternate – Hillbilly Elegy

Second Alternate – The Midnight Sky

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

“Only the Young” from Miss Americana

“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

“Seen” from The Life Ahead

“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

First Alternate – “Wear Your Crown” from The Prom

Second Alternate – “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

And that breaks out to the following pictures receiving these numbers for nominations:

6 Nominations

Mank

5 Nominations

One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

3 Nominations

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, The Life Ahead, Minari, Palm Springs

2 Nominations

Emma, The Father, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, The Prom, Soul

1 Nomination

Another Round, The Croods: A New Age, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, French Exit, Hillbilly Elegy, Judas and the Black Messiah, Martin Eden, The Mauritanian, Miss Americana, News of the World, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Promising Young Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Sound of Metal, Tenet, Wolfwalkers

I’ll have reaction to the Globe nods up on Wednesday!

 

Oscar Watch: The Prom

Prior to its December 11th bow on Netflix, the musical romantic comedy The Prom has screened for critics and the general consensus is that it’s a crowd pleaser that should see plenty of streams in a few days. An adaptation of the 2018 Broadway musical, super producer Ryan Murphy handles directorial duties with an impressive cast including Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, and Jo Ellen Pellman.

The current Rotten Tomatoes score sits at 75%. Plenty of reviews praise its feel good vibes and that could be especially welcome in this thing we call 2020. On the other hand, the negative reaction is quite negative and that includes some pretty high profile publications that include EW and The AV Club. Netflix has plenty of major Oscar contenders this year and I wonder how hard they’ll press for inclusion here. While it should nab some Golden Globe nods (including the Musical/Comedy Picture race), the Academy’s love is far less certain.

If audiences sing its praises and it’s a runaway hit, I believe The Prom has an outside shot at Picture. As for its performers, Streep should never be counted out and this would mark her 22nd nomination. I feel her chances in the final five are better than they were a couple weeks back, but I’m currently reluctant having her make the cut. Same goes for Nicole Kidman in Supporting Actress or anyone else.

The best shot could be in down the line categories such as Costume Design, Sound, or one of its songs (though the recently released “Wear Your Crown” with Streep rapping has drawn plenty of eye rolls). Bottom line: don’t discount The Prom‘s ability to make it into the dance in Picture or Actress, but it’ll need lots of goodwill to get there.

Oscar Watch: Trolls World Tour

Well… it feels a little strange to be back doing an Oscar Watch post, but here we are! The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives during this time and that certainly has impacted the release of films as movie theaters are shut down.

Studios have had to be creative lately and the animated sequel Trolls World Tour became available for digital distribution today in lieu of a theatrical bow. The DreamWorks Animation flick is a follow-up to the hit 2016 musical and features the voice work of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, and Ozzy Osbourne.

Four years back, the original Trolls broke through with audiences and most critics with a 76% Rotten Tomatoes score. Part 2 is a notch below that with a still solid 71%. That said, the predecessor failed to nab a Best Animated Feature nomination and I wouldn’t expect this to grab one either.

Of course, there is the genuine question of shifting release dates with various titles already pushed to 2021. That could potentially increase the chance for a nomination, but I wouldn’t count on it.

In 2016, Trolls did achieve one nomination. That was for Justin Timberlake’s hit song “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”. It lost to “City of Stars” from La La Land. Mr. Timberlake has teamed with SZA for “The Other Side” and that seems to be the track that DreamWorks might campaign for an Original Song nod. However, “Side” has currently peaked at 17 on the Billboard Top 40. Its road to a nomination is certainly less assured than the massive “Feeling!”.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Cats

Yes, readers, the words Oscar and Cats are in the same post title, so get on board! Truthfully, this shouldn’t be surprising at all. The adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical comes from director Tom Hooper. His last three films (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Danish Girl) garnered a total of 24 nominations and 8 wins, including Speech nabbing Best Picture. Each one of them gave us one acting winner – Colin Firth in Speech, Anne Hathaway in Miserables, and Alicia Vikander for Danish. 

So to say Cats had potential awards pedigree is not an understatement. Had being the objective term. One day before its release, the review embargo is up. Note to everyone: Oscar contenders don’t lapse their embargo 24 hours before release.

This has proven accurate as the Rotten Tomatoes score for Cats is currently… 19%. Some reviews are of a mixed nature while others are deeming it an unmitigated disaster. Weeks ago, the prospect of a Jennifer Hudson nod in Supporting Actress seemed at least feasible. There will be no second nomination for the Dreamgirls winner.

That said, Cats is definitely contending in one race. Earlier this week, the Academy released their shortlist for Visual Effects nominees. Ten pictures were named and this is one of them. This seems potentially amusing as a number of reviews say the visual look is ugly and garish. I don’t expect this to make the final five and I foresee chatter as to how this got on the shortlist over material like Ad Astra and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Could this show up in other races like Production Design or Makeup and Hairstyling? That seems like a reach.

The one category where Cats did seem like a genuine player was Best Original Song via “Beautiful Ghosts”. That track is sung by costar Taylor Swift and it seemed like a good excuse for the Academy to get her on the stage. Surprisingly, “Ghosts” was excluded from the 15 finalists that were also named this week.

I’ve ended dozens and dozens of these Oscar Watch posts with “My Oscar Watch posts will continue…”. Indeed they will. However, this appears to be the final one of 2019. Have no fear as the Sundance Film Festival is around the corner in January and there’s always Oscar bait at that event. Therefore, my Oscar Watch posts will continue… in 2020. And in the meantime, my predictions for this year’s Academy nominees will continue as well.

Cats Box Office Prediction

One of the longest running Broadway musicals of all time gets the big budget screen treatment next weekend with the unleashing of Cats. The rendering of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s work comes from the Oscar-winning director of The King’s Speech Tom Hooper, who also made the Les Miserables adaptation in 2012. Performers donning the fur include James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Howard.

When the Cats trailer was posted a few months back, it was greeted with a certain amount of derision. Even with that negative buzz and a review embargo that doesn’t lapse until right before its release, these musicals with hefty price tags have shown their muscle before during the holiday season.

In 2017, The Greatest Showman was met with mixed reviews. Its $8.8 million opening on the same pre Christmas weekend was a disappointment, but it legged out to an amazing $174 million domestically. Five years back, Into the Woods took in a joyous $45 million over its extended Christmas rollout.

This is not expected to reach the highs of Woods or lows of Showman out of the gate. Competition is fierce with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiering on the same day. That said, Universal Pictures has perhaps smartly scheduled this as counter programming for female and older crowds. On the other hand, Bombshell (also out next Friday) is searching for the same audience.

I believe this manages low to mid teens haul for starters as it hopes for positive word-of-mouth afterwards and nine lives of profitability in subsequent frames.

Cats opening weekend prediction: $14.5 million

For my Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/10/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-box-office-prediction/

For my Bombshell prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/11/bombshell-box-office-prediction/

Smallfoot Box Office Prediction

The Warner Animation Group sets the Legos aside momentarily when Smallfoot debuts next weekend. The 3D computer animated comedic musical (a twist on the Bigfoot story) comes from director Karey Kirkpatrick. He made the well-received Over the Hedge over a decade ago and the not so well-received live-action Eddie Murphy pic Imagine That in 2009. Channing Tatum, James Corden, LeBron James, Zendaya, Common, Danny DeVito, and Gina Rodriguez are among the voices heard here.

As mentioned, the current animation department at Warner Bros has mostly been giving us Lego titles as of late. One exception was 2016’s Storks. It also opened in September and made $21.3 million for its start. That is likely a far better comparison that anything involving those famous blocks.

A low 20s to mid gross should put this in second place next weekend behind the Kevin Hart/Tiffany Haddish comedy Night School. 

Smallfoot opening weekend prediction: $23 million

For my Night School prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/18/night-school-box-office-prediction/

For my Hell Fest prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/20/hell-fest-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Teen Titans! Go To the Movies

This Friday, Warner Bros animation is out with Teen Titans! Go To the Movies based on the Cartoon Network series. It’s a superhero spoof blending the characters of the show with notable icons from their catalog, including Nicolas Cage voicing Superman and Jimmy Kimmel as the Caped Crusader.

Early reviews are quite encouraging and it currently stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It has the potential to be a summer sleeper that could appeal to kids and their parents. Will  Oscar take note?

That could be a reach. Warner Bros has had a critically acclaimed output recently with their Lego series. However, The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie, and The Lego Ninjago Movie all failed to garner recognition in the Best Animated Feature category.

We can pretty safely say that two 2018 releases are already in for nods: Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs and Pixar’s superhero toon Incredibles 2. And there’s plenty more animated material to come. Despite positive buzz, that could mean Academy voters could fail to remember the Titans in a few months.