December 9-11 Box Office Predictions

Audiences weren’t digging the leftovers in the first frame of December and it’ll get even worse this weekend. The top 5 could look awfully familiar with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on top for a fifth time before Avatar: The Way of Water looks to liven up multiplexes beginning December 16th.

There are only two semi-wide newcomers to speak of and I didn’t do individual prediction posts on either. Father Stu: Reborn is a recut version of this spring’s true life drama with Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson. It earned a not so heavenly but not terrible $20 million a few months back. This version is PG-13 and not R. I don’t believe it’ll clear $1 million and that puts it outside the top five.

Spoiler Alert, another true life drama and this one featuring Jim Parsons, expands to approximately 600 venues after opening in six theaters this past weekend. It generated a fair $13k per screen. Spoiler might be in line for a fifth or sixth place showing depending on Devotion‘s fall.

There’s a small chance that Violent Night, the Santa shoot-em-up with David Harbour, could elevate to 1st place after a decent debut (more on that below). However, I have it dipping in the higher 40s and if Black Panther doesn’t go beyond low to mid 50s, it should remain on top of the charts.

Meanwhile the battle for third could be razor thin between the third weekend of Disney dud Strange World and the fourth helping of The Menu.

Here’s how I see the top 6 playing out:

1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Predicted Gross: $8.2 million

2. Violent Night

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

3. The Menu

Predicted Gross: $2.5 million

4. Strange World

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

5. Devotion

Predicted Gross: $1.3 million

6. Spoiler Alert

Predicted Gross: $1.3 million

Box Office Results (December 2-4)

MCU sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever made it four in a row with $17.5 million. That’s under my projection of $21.3 million as the 62% fall was rather steep considering the lack of competition. The total did rise to $393 million.

Violent Night dropped at the higher end of its range with $13.4 million, outpacing my $9.4 million take. The grisly Yuletide tale could manage to play well over the coming holidays.

Strange World continued the embarrassing returns for the Mouse Factory with only $5 million in its sophomore weekend. I was close with $5.2 million. That’s a mere $25 million in its first 12 days.

The Menu was fourth with $3.4 million (I said $3.1 million) as it’s made $24 million thus far.

Devotion had a turbulent 54% plummet in weekend #2 with $2.7 million. I estimated a bit more at $3.3 million. Overall gross is $13 million.

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

Best Picture 2018: The Final Five


We have reached 2018 in my posts speculating on a specific piece of Oscar history. As awards followers are aware, 2009 saw the Academy expand the Best Picture category from five movies to ten. That lasted for two years and in 2011, it switched to anywhere from 5-10 with 8 or 9 as the magic numbers for several years. In 2021, the number reverted back to a set ten.

What if that hadn’t happened? What if the BP derby had stayed at a quintet? What pictures would have made the cut? If you missed my write-ups centered on 2009-16, they are linked at the bottom of the post.

2018 is a tricky year to winnow down. In fact, all 8 nominees have strong cases to make the final five. Only one thing is for sure. Peter Farrelly’s Green Book is one of the five considering it won Best Picture. It stands as one of the more surprising (and derided) victors in recent years. The race relations drama went an impressive 3/5 on its nominations – taking Picture, Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), and Original Screenplay and missing Actor (Viggo Mortensen) and Film Editing.

So what of the other seven hopefuls? Here’s my speculation:

Black Panther

The only MCU flick (and for that matter comic book adaptation) to score a BP nom was Ryan Coogler’s phenomenon with Chadwick Boseman as the title character. Its seven nominations included three wins for Score, Production Design, and Costume Design.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. Besides BP, the other six mentions were all technical. It missed directing, any acting inclusions, screenplay, and even editing. It’s hard to leave this out though that’s the case with everything here.

BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee received his first and only Oscar for his adapted screenplay. That’s the only victory of the night among its six total nods as Lee did make the quintet for direction. The others were Supporting Actor (Adam Driver), Score, and Film Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Had this not taken Adapted Screenplay, I’d leave this off. Yet that win has me (somewhat reluctantly) leaving it in.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek was crowned Best Actor for his performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the biopic. Despite mixed reviews, Rhapsody was successful in four of its five noms. Picture is the only race it didn’t win as it took Actor, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Film Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. That 80% ratio solidifies it even without attention for the direction or screenplay.

The Favourite

The period piece from Yorgos Lanthimos tied all nominees with 10. The lone victory was an unexpected one as Olivia Colman took Best Actress over the favored Glenn Close (The Wife).

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Despite the 10% ratio, it still led all contenders with key placements in Director, two Supporting Actress bids (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), Original Screenplay, and Editing.

Roma

Alfonso Cuaron was your Best Director in the Mexican drama that was the other picture with 10 nods. It also won Foreign Language Film and Cinematography while contending in Actress (Yalitza Aparicio), Supporting Actress (Marina de Tavira), Original Screenplay, both Sound competitions, and Production Design.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes and easily. The Netflix property was supposed to be the streamer’s first BP (they’re still waiting) and was favored before that Book upset.

A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper’s version of the frequently remade melodrama achieved 8 nominations and one win for the director’s duet with costar Lady Gaga “Shallow” in Original Song. Both Cooper and Gaga were up for their acting as was Sam Elliot in Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Sound Mixing, and Cinematography.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, but another tough call. Star‘s shine with voters seemed to dim as the season wore on. This is evidenced by it missing directing and editing.

Vice

This is a good time to point out that all 8 BP hopefuls won at least one statue. Adam McKay’s biopic of former Vice President Cheney (played by Christian Bale) took home the Makeup and Hairstyling award. Other noms were for the direction, Bale, Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell), Supporting Actress (Amy Adams), Original Screenplay, and Film Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No and I really struggled here. Vice landed mentions everywhere it needed to. The so-so critical reaction made it a tad easier to leave it out. Simply put, this could’ve been in over BlacKkKlansman or Bohemian, but I had to make the judgment call.

So that means my 2018 final five is:

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

I’ll have my post for 2019 up soon! The 2009-17 write-ups are here:

December 2-4 Box Office Predictions

After a historically weak Thanksgiving frame that left moviegoers hungry for other options, the first weekend of December should be rather quiet at multiplexes as well. The lone wide release is Violent Night with David Harbour as a gun toting Santa. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Night, even though I have it falling under $10 million, should slide into the runner-up position behind Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The MCU sequel looks to four-peat and should have no trouble doing so. A low to mid 50s drop would put it over $20 million. It’s likely to be #1 for five weekends until Avatar: The Way of Water arrives on December 16th.

After a disastrous opening (more on that below), Strange World should fall to third. With a weak B Cinemascore grade, the Disney animated flop could experience a plummet in the mid to high 50s. Who knows? Maybe even higher.

The four and five spots could be close between the second and third frames of Devotion and The Menu. Both should see dips in the mid 40s.

Here’s how I see the top 5 looking:

1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Predicted Gross: $21.3 million

2. Violent Night

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million

3. Strange World

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

4. Devotion

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

5. The Menu

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (Thanksgiving Weekend)

The Turkey Day holiday didn’t bring in the masses as the weekend fell under $100 million. That’s despite plenty of new releases for crowds to chew on.

Strangely enough, the biggest winner belonged to a streamer. Netflix doesn’t officially report numbers. They put Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the acclaimed sequel to 2019’s blockbuster, on just under 700 screens. Word is out that it did approximately $9.2 million from Friday to Sunday and $13.3 million since the Wednesday start. That per theater average of over $13k is easily the best of the bunch. Onion is scheduled to leave its venues tomorrow before it hits Netflix on December 23rd.

Now back to the movies that do report official tallies. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever easily stayed atop the charts with $45.5 million, besting my $37.9 million prediction in weekend #3. The 17-day total is $367 million.

The story of the holiday was the dismal Strange World performance. The Mouse Factory had a disappointing result over the summer with Lightyear. This made it look like a phenomenon. World took in an embarrassing $12.1 million from Friday to Sunday and $18.8 million in the five-day. I said it would manage $19.3 million and $26.7 million, respectively. Simply put, Disney animated efforts aren’t supposed to do those anemic figures.

I suppose technically Glass Onion was third, so the war saga Devotion was fourth. Despite mostly decent reviews, it was a flop considering the reported $90 million budget. The Friday to Sunday take was $5.9 million with $9 million when counting Wednesday and Thursday. I went higher with $7.2 million and $10.7 million.

The Menu rounded out the top five at $5.4 million (I said $6.4 million) to bring the two-week gross to $18 million.

Black Adam was sixth with $3.2 million, on target with my $3.3 million prediction. Total is $162 million.

Steven Spielberg’s awards hopeful The Fabelmans was on 638 screens and was seventh with $2.2 million ($3.1 million for the five-day). That’s under my guesstimates of $2.8 million and $4.1 million. While that’s easily the second best average of the newbies (after Onion), it’s still not too impressive. It will hope to develop legs during awards season.

The cannibalistic romance Bones and All wasn’t a recipe for success with an 8th place showing. The $2.2 million and $3.6 million three and five day earnings couldn’t match my $3.5 and $5.3 million projections.

Ticket to Paradise was ninth with $1.8 million (I went with $2.3 million) as the rom com is up to $65 million.

Fathom Event The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 and 2 was 10th as it dove 81% to $1.5 million. I was more giving at $2.4 million. In ten days, it’s made $13 million.

Finally, She Said was 11th after its poor premiere last weekend. With $1.1 million (I said $1.6 million), it’s at a lowly $4 million.

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

Violent Night Box Office Prediction

If Mel Gibson in 2020’s Fatman didn’t satiate your desire to see Kris Kringle toting semiautomatic weapons, we’ve got Violent Night sliding into theaters on December 2nd. David Harbour of Stranger Things fame is Santa in the satiric action pic from director Tommy Wirkola. Supporting players include John Leguizamo (currently appearing in The Menu), Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, and Beverly D’Angelo (already a holiday silver screen staple thanks to Christmas Vacation).

Universal is hoping audiences want a little comedic savagery in their Yuletide viewing plans. Harbour hasn’t had a big screen breakout. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as 2019’s Hellboy was a dud (he did turn up in last year’s MCU blockbuster Black Widow).

The best case scenario would be a premiere approaching 2015’s Krampus, which rolled out on the same December weekend. It made just over $16 million and eventually topped out at $42 million domestically. I don’t anticipate that kind of showing for Violent Night. There’s a chance it won’t even reach double digits. I’ll put it a hair under.

Violent Night opening weekend prediction: $9.4 million

Black Adam Review

In 1993, NBA superstar Charles Barkley famously told the world in a commercial that he was not a role model. Nearly three decades later, cinematic superstar Dwayne Johnson tells us repeatedly in Black Adam that he is not a hero. This latest offering from the DC Extended Universe kind of has a mid 90s vibe when it comes to comic book adaptations. That was a weak time for the genre prior to its explosion in the 21st century. As far as quality, this has more in common with 1996’s Kazaam, which starred Barkley’s Inside the NBA colleague Shaquille O’Neal. Adam may have a connection to 2019’s Shazam!, but shares little of its entertainment value.

A prologue in 2600 B.C. introduces us to the fictional Middle Eastern nation of Kahndaq. A young boy enslaved by an evil ruler chooses to take a stand against the oppression (even as his elders discourage it). He is rewarded by the Council of Wizards – hence that Shazam! tie-in as he’s given the immense powers of that character.

Flash forward 5000 years and Kahndaq is under a different kind of oppression from a crime syndicated known as Intergang. Archeologist Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) is in search of the Crown of Sabbac, which turns its wearer into a demonic being. Intergang is looking for it as well. When they clash, she manages to awaken Teth-Adam. He’s believed to be that heroic rebel from 50 centuries ago. Dwayne Johnson is the awoken being. Adam insists that’s he not a hero and keeps saying it.

The presence of this superhuman relic attracts the attention of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who you may remember as The Suicide Squad‘s recruiter. Adam is looked at as a potential threat. The Squad doesn’t intervene. Neither does Superman or Batman or The Flash (though they’re glimpsed on the bedroom wall of Adrianna’s teenage son). Instead the Justice Society books passage to Kahndaq to investigate just how dangerous Adam is. Pierce Brosnan is the clairvoyant Doctor Fate, Aldis Hodge is Hawkman, Noah Centineo plays Atom Smasher (think Ant-Man but he can only grow big), and Quintessa Swindell is the twirling Cyclone. If this sounds like the B list of the DC pages, that’s certainly how it feels. That superficiality extends to the villain (Marwan Kenzari), the Intergang leader who dons the devilish crown. He might be more forgettable than Justice League‘s baddie Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) and that’s saying a lot.

Jaume Collet-Serra directed Johnson in the pretty enjoyable Jungle Cruise. That collaboration was a better ride than this. Johnson is saddled with a hero (wait… NOT a hero!!!) who’s often a sullen bore. Very little of the actor’s dynamic personality comes through. It break through on occasion but not nearly enough. We’re cooking at a low boil. Everything in Black Adam has been done with more pizzazz in other DCEU and especially MCU pictures. Dwayne Johnson (and Tina Turner) are right in this case. We don’t need another hero.

*1/2 (out of four)

November 25-27 Box Office Predictions

Hollywood is hoping audiences mix a trip to the multiplex in their holiday plans. We have a slew of new releases, but it should be a three-week old leftover topping the Turkey weekend charts. Disney’s animated Strange World, aerial adventure Devotion, cannibalistic romance Bones and All, and Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age awards hopeful The Fabelmans all debut or expand. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Let’s begin with a title you don’t see. Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is the eagerly awaited and well-reviewed follow-up to Knives Out, which opened over the same holiday three years ago. Netflix is the distributor and it will be before our streaming eyes for Christmas. Onion is hitting approximately 600 venues for a sneak preview from Wednesday to Sunday. It is not expected that Netflix will report its financials. That’s why you won’t find it in the top 10. If they do end up deciding to do so, I imagine it’ll do quite well (and be either third or fourth).

Back to movies where we expect box office grosses! Strange World is the Mouse Factory’s latest animated offering to be unveiled over Thanksgiving. Yet the marketing campaign has been weak. My high teens three-day and mid 20s five-day is very subpar for the studio. On the bright side, they’ll certainly have numbers 1-2 as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should three-peat with a drop in the low 40s range.

Devotion could over perform if enough older moviegoers check in. I have it settling for a so-so third place in the high single digits for the traditional frame and low double digits for the Wednesday to Sunday portion.

The Menu should be fourth after an appetizing start (more on that below). I think it’ll only fall in the high 20s or low 30s for the sophomore outing. Bones and All could round out the top five. Its gory subject matter could prevent crowds from perusing its gruesome menu.

Spielberg’s The Fabelmans is out on just 600 screens. That limits the potential and I have a gut feeling it may fall short of expectations anyway. I have it pegged for 7th place as it hopes that Oscar buzz improves its earnings in later weekends.

Here’s how I envision the top 10 looking with 3 and 5 day estimates for the newcomers:

1. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Predicted Gross: $37.9 million

2. Strange World

Predicted Gross: $19.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $26.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Devotion

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

4. The Menu

Predicted Gross: $6.4 million

5. Bones and All

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $5.3 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

6. Black Adam

Predicted Gross: $3.3 million

7. The Fabelmans

Predicted Gross: $2.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $4.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

8. The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 and 2

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

9. Ticket to Paradise

Predicted Gross: $2.3 million

10. She Said

Predicted Gross: $1.6 million

Box Office Results (November 18-20)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever didn’t quite drop as far as MCU predecessors Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness or Thor: Love and Thunder, but it was still a steep decline. The sequel to 2018’s phenomenon slid 63% in weekend 2 with $66.4 million, under my $70.3 million projection. The ten-day tally is $287 million.

The Menu was the rare pic for the grown-ups that performed admirably. The culinary satire was runner-up with $9 million, a bit ahead of my $8.2 million prediction. Look for it for to hold well over Thanksgiving.

The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 and 2 had its core audience believing as the Fathom Events experience was third with $8.7 million (topping my $7.5 million estimate). Last December, Christmas with the Chosen: The Messengers had a 71% plummet in its second weekend. Expect similar results here.

Black Adam was fourth with $4.6 million (I said $5.3 million) as the superhero pic is up to $157 million after four weeks.

Ticket to Paradise rounded out the top five at $3.1 million, below my $4.1 million prediction. The rom com has grossed $61 million.

Finally, She Said was a dud. Focused on the journalistic journey to expose Harvey Weinstein, it was a quiet sixth at $2.2 million. I went with $3.4 million.

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

November 18-20 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (11/17): The Fathom Events theatrical output of The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 and 2 wasn’t on my radar last week when I made projections. I believe it should open in third place (with #2 certainly possible). My estimates have been updated below to reflect the change.

Culinary satire The Menu and true life journalistic expose She Said are the newbies premiering Friday. Each will vie for runner-up status as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will undoubtedly remain in first place in its sophomore outing. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the fresh product here:

I’m giving the edge to The Menu for #2. I don’t think anything other than Panther will manage double digits and my higher single digits estimate for Menu outweighs the low to mid ones for She Said.

Their placement at 2 and 5 is reliant on neither drastically underperforming and Black Adam having a low to mid 40s dip for fourth. Ticket to Paradise should be fourth depending on the She Said gross.

Back to Panther. The MCU sequel fell $6 million short of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness for biggest domestic premiere of 2022. Strange fell 67% in its second weekend while the year’s other MCU title Thor: Love and Thunder dropped 68%. With its A Cinemascore grade, Wakanda may not fall quite that precipitously.

Here’s how I see the top 5 playing out:

1 . Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Predicted Gross: $70.3 million

2. The Menu

Predicted Gross: $8.2 million

3. The Chosen Season 3: Episodes 1 and 2

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

4. Black Adam

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million

5. Ticket to Paradise

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

6. She Said

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

Box Office Results (November 11-13)

I went a little high in projecting that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would achieve the largest debut of the year. It made $181.3 million compared to my call of $195.2 million. As mentioned, that didn’t reach the $187 million that Multiverse did (though it easily outpaced Thor‘s $144 million). Wakanda also fell under the $202 million that its 2018 predecessor made out of the gate.

Black Adam fell to second after two weeks on top with $8 million (in line with my $8.7 million estimate). This comic book adaptation is up to $150 million after three weeks.

Ticket to Paradise was third at $5.9 million, on target with my $5.8 million prediction. The rom com hit $56 million after its third frame.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile was fourth with $3.2 million (a bit ahead of my $2.5 million estimate) for $40 million total.

Smile rounded out the top five with $2.3 million (I said $2.4 million) as it passed the century mark with $102 million.

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

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Review

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does a commendable job in its treatment of Chadwick Boseman’s 2020 passing. What remains in the sequel feels bloated (161 minutes) and is a significant decline from its 2018 predecessor. The MCU in 2022 has been in a relative rut (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse and Thor: Love and Thunder) and Forever extends that.

I will start by accentuating the aforementioned positive. Director and co-writer Ryan Coogler and his team were obviously faced with a sad and unenviable task of handling the title character’s real life death. King T’Challa’s absence is addressed immediately. The departure is the emotional ripple that causes genuine waves of emotion in the beginning and especially the end.

However, we are left to wonder if the filmmakers would’ve been better off recasting the role. Boseman’s presence and the idea of having a central protagonist is missed in the follow-up. The narrative of Wakanda often feels pulled into too many directions. I found myself wishing to untangle it and cut loose ends.

The plot comes into focus one year after T’Challah’s funeral. Sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) is haunted that her tech skills couldn’t save her sibling. Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett) rules the country with an iron fist. Other nations, including the United States, are jealous of their vibranium hoarding ways. It turns out the precious metal is also present under the surface in the underwater land of Talokan. Their ruler is Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and his legion of Avatar looking subjects are grappling with how to handle their valuable commodity. Namor decides that Wakanda either needs to join him in declaring war on the rest of the world (who want that sweet vibranium) or become a nemesis of the subsurface society.

Namor, as written, is a fairly decent antagonist. Like Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger in the original, his motives to be “the bad guy” are rather understandable. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had plenty of forgettable villains. Namor isn’t one, but Huerta also isn’t much of a threatening presence. This is especially true when comparing Namor to Killmonger as there is no comparison.

My biggest gripe is the one item that also hindered the third act of 2018’s adventure. The action sequences are frequently handled in clumsy fashion. They are too dimly lit or the CG happenings are confusing.

There are some welcome returns with Winston Duke as the warrior M’Baku and Danai Gurira as Okoye, leader of Wakanda’s all female fighting force. Lupita Nyong’o is back as Nakia, T’Challah’s love interest. She is summoned back to her native land by Ramonda and Bassett is given a couple of potent monologues as the mourning Queen.

Then there’s Martin Freeman back on duty as CIA agent Everett Ross. This time around, he’s teamed with his boss and ex-wife Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as they are at odds in their views on how to deal with Wakanda. The screenwriters should have dealt them off the page. They could have been eliminated altogether and the only difference would be a thankfully shorter runtime.

For all the working in water happening during Wakanda Forever, the real waterworks occur as Mr. Boseman is honored and those are powerful moments. Too much of the rest doesn’t work at all.

**1/2 (out of four)

Oscar Predictions – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hopes to land the biggest opening of 2022 when it debuts this weekend. Disney would also love to see the MCU sequel to 2018’s cultural phenomenon achieve the awards love that its predecessor got. It’s not out of the question that it could.

The review embargo is up today and the Rotten Tomatoes meter is an impressive 90% (under part 1’s 96%). Critics are praising the film’s treatment of the loss of its star Chadwick Boseman in 2020. There is some griping about it being overlong. Few reviews are saying it surpasses the original in terms of quality.

The first Panther was nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Still the only superhero pic to make the BP cut, it took 3 of 7 (Score, Production Design, Costume Design). The other nods were Original Song (“All the Stars” from Kendrick Lamar) and Sound Editing and Sound Mixing (these categories have since been combined).

All 3 races where it won four years ago could pop up this time around. Production Design and Costume Design seem like givens. Sound appears a fairly safe bet. Same with Original Song as Rihanna’s closing credits ballad “Lift Me Up” is a threat to win. Ironically, Mr. Lamar lost in 2018 to Lady Gaga and “Shallow”. Gaga could strike again with “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick.

Panther did miss Visual Effects four years back and there were grumbles about the quality. The general consensus is that Wakanda‘s effects are a step up. I don’t think it’s guaranteed to make the VE quintet. However, I do think it has the best shot of the MCU’s 2022 slate (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder are the others).

As for performances, I could see Angela Bassett nabbing some ink. Ultimately I don’t see a second nom materializing nearly 30 years after her first one for What’s Love Got to Do with It.

Now the major question – can Wakanda Forever get a BP nomination? Short answer is yes. Longer answer is more complicated. With Maverick, there’s already one sequel that looks pretty safe. We still have Avatar: The Way of Water and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery waiting in the wings. I think it’s logical to say we won’t see four sequels in BP. Three seems like a stretch. While I wouldn’t discount Wakanda in the big race, I believe the more feasible scenario is tech nods and possibly 5 to even 7 of them. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

November 11-13 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (11/09): I am revising my Black Panther: Wakanda Forever estimate down from $205.2M to $195.2M.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever looks to achieve the largest opening of 2022 when it is unveiled Friday. The sequel to 2018’s $700 million domestic grosser is understandably the only new release this weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

My estimate puts Wakanda at the higher end of its expected range and has it surpassing its predecessor for the 8th largest debut of all time. It needs to get beyond $191 million to topple the year’s best opening currently held by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I believe it can with room to spare.

After a three-week reign atop the charts and a better than anticipated 3rd frame hold (more on that below), Black Adam will drop to second. One Piece Film: Red should have the heftiest percentage fall of all holdovers (typical for its genre). That should allow Ticket to Paradise to remain in third. We could even see Smile or Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile in the four or five spot ahead of Red (it could be awfully close for those 4-6 positions).

Here’s how I see it all playing out:

1 . Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Predicted Gross: $195.2 million

2. Black Adam

Predicted Gross: $8.7 million

3. Ticket to Paradise

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

4. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

Predicted Gross: $2.5 million

5. Smile

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

6. One Piece Film: Red

Predicted Gross: $2.2 million

Box Office Predictions (November 4-6)

Dwayne Johnson rocked another #1 weekend as Black Adam took in $18.2 million (besting my $14.4 million take). That’s a solid dip of 33% as its stateside tally stands at $137 million. The reported $200 million budget is preventing this from being considered a runaway success, but the total is decent in this marketplace.

One Piece Film: Red, the animated fantasy from Japan, premiered in line with its range at $9.3 million for runner-up status. I went slightly higher at $10.2 million. As mentioned above, a sophomore plummet of over 70% is likely.

Ticket to Paradise continued to prevent the death of the rom com in third with $8.5 million, holding up sturdier than my $6.8 million forecast. The three-week gross is $46 million.

Smile was fourth with $3.9 million (I said $3.4 million) as the sleeper horror hit is up to $99 million (with over $200 million already domestically). The Paramount release should join the century club tonight.

Prey for the Devil was right behind in firth as that scary movie earned $3.8 million in weekend #2. I said a little less with $3.1 million. It’s made $13 million.

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile managed to jump up 23% for sixth place with $3.3 million. The kiddie pic is at $36 million.

Finally, Oscar hopeful The Banshees of Inisherin was seventh with $2 million. The Irish set black comedy with Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson came in a tad below my $2.2 million projection.

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