Knives Out Box Office Prediction

In his first feature since dividing audiences and critics with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has come up with a comedic whodunit in Knives Out. The pic debuted at the Toronto Film Festival back in September and critics have pointed it out as a winner. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 97%. Daniel Craig leads a cast of familiar faces including Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.

Rolling out over the long Thanksgiving holiday (with previews scheduled for this Friday to build anticipated word of mouth as an audience pleaser), Knives hopes to generate a #2 debut behind the second weekend of Frozen II. It will likely compete with the sophomore frame of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and perhaps Ford v Ferrari for that distinction.

I believe this should serve as a solid option for adults over the Turkey Day period. A start in the mid to high teens for the traditional Friday to Sunday portion and mid 20s for the five-day looks probable. That doesn’t get it near the $28 million earned two years ago in November by Murder on the Orient Express. However, if moviegoers enjoy what they see, Knives should succeed in avoiding sharp declines in the weekends ahead.

Knives Out opening weekend prediction: $16.6 million (Friday to Sunday); $24.9 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

The Current War Box Office Prediction

Historical drama The Current War has experienced a very bumpy road on its journey to the big screen. The film in September 2017 at the Toronto Film Festival with Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon starring as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, respectively. Once looked at as an awards hopeful, it failed to electrify critics and it currently sports a dim 31% Rotten Tomatoes score. To add insult to injury, War was being distributed by The Weinstein Company and its co-founder’s legal issues put its release on hold.

That ends this Friday as Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s effort is out with trailers calling it the “Director’s Cut” (an odd choice considering only reviewers and Toronto goers saw it two years back). Costars include Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland (who’s appeared as Spider-Man several times since making this), and Nicholas Hoult.

Simply put, I see no little anticipation here and there’s plenty of actual Oscar contenders out in limited or wide release for adults to attend. There’s no screen count yet and that could alter my estimate, but I believe this will lucky to even reach $2 million.

The Current War opening weekend prediction: $1.7 million

For my Countdown prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/16/countdown-box-office-prediction/

For my Black and Blue prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/17/black-and-blue-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Knives Out

Good old fashioned whodunnits are rare on the silver screen, but Rian Johnson has one on deck with Knives Out. It’s premiered in Toronto and early reaction indicates a major crowd favorite that has killer box office potential. The Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi maker has apparently fashioned a laugh out loud comedy that makes fine use of its all-star cast led by Daniel Craig. We also have Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, and Christopher Plummer onboard.

So when it comes to this genre, will Knives follow in the path of Robert Altman’s Gosford Park (multiple nominations) or Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 version of Murder on the Orient Express (nada). The likelihood is that nods in the major categories could be elusive even if it strikes a chord with crowds. The best hope could be with Johnson’s original screenplay or supporting turns that have been singled out, like Evans and especially de Armas.

The better bet is a nomination for Production Design, which has been praised in every write up I’ve scanned. Bottom line: Knives Out has announced itself as a probable hit and there’s at least a chance that Academy voters could notice. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The 2019 Oscar Season Cometh

As the summer season winds down, the movie industry and this blog’s attention will soon turn to the Oscar race. And if you think it’s too early to do that, consider that less than a month from now – an avalanche of Academy hopefuls will be unveiled at film festivals. Toronto, Venice, Telluride, and the New York festivals are on deck. The programmers behind those events have already released the names of many of the pictures premiering. Here are some of the pictures wishing for Oscar glory that are hitting the circuit:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Tom Hanks is iconic children’s host Mr. Rogers in director Marielle Heller’s follow-up to last year’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which nabbed nods for Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. Premiering at Toronto.

Ad Astra

James Gray has made multiple critical darlings, but has yet to pop up on the awards circuit radar screen. Could this sci fi drama with Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones change that? Premiering at Venice.

An Officer and a Spy

It will need serious acclaim to overcome the baggage that comes from its maker Roman Polanski, but this historical thriller will attempt to do so in Venice.

Dolemite Is My Name

Prior to its anticipated Netflix launch, Craig Brewer’s biopic of comedian Rudy Ray Moore portrayed by legendary comic Eddie Murphy will bow at Toronto.

Ema

Pablo Larrain has had his pics No and Jackie attract awards nods and this Chilean drama hopes to follow suit. Premiering at Venice.

Ford v Ferrari

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in James Mangold’s 1960s set tale of the flashy automotive industry. Premiering at Toronto.

Harriet

Cynthia Erica was a breakout in last year’s Widows. This year she has an Academy baity role as abolitionist Harriet Tubman in this historical epic from Kasi Lemmons. Premiering at Toronto.

Jojo Rabbit

This concoction from Taika Waititi is set during WWII with a dark comedic premise finding a young child with an imaginary friend who happens to be Hitler. The filmmaker himself plays Hitler. Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell are among the cast.

Joker

Heath Ledger won a posthumous gold statue as the comic book villain in The Dark Knight. Joaquin Phoenix will attempt the same here. Premiering at Venice.

Judy

It’s been awhile since Renee Zellweger had a role receiving awards buzz. This biopic of Judy Garland could alter that. Premiering at Toronto.

Just Mercy

This drama about a falsely accused prisoner features Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson. Premiering at Toronto.

Knives Out

Rian Johnson’s murder mystery has a sprawling cast of hopefuls including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and Michael Shannon. Premiering at Toronto.

Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach is a favorite of the critical community. This drama is headlined by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver and hits Venice and other fests before its Netflix premiere.

The Goldfinch

Brooklyn director John Crowley adapts this drama based on a well-known 2013 novel. The cast includes Nicole Kidman and Oakes Fegley. Premiering at Toronto.

The Irishman

Rightly kicking off the New York Festival, Martin Scorsese directs this gangster saga starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

The Laundromat

Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh directs this dramatic thriller with Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas. Premiering at Venice.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Lion nominee Dev Patel is the Charles Dickens character with a supporting cast including Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie. Premiering at Toronto.

The Two Popes

Jonathan Pryce is Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins is Pope Benedict in this Netflix effort from director Fernando Meirelles. Premiering at Toronto.

Followers of this blog know that I’ll do Oscar Watch posts on each of these and many others as they screen in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

 

Oscar Watch: What They Had

A week from today, Bleecker Street releases What They Had in limited fashion. The film marks the directorial debut of Elizabeth Chomko (who also wrote the script) and centers on a family dealing with a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It premiered at Sundance back in January and features a cast including Hilary Swank (two-time winner for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby), Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster, Taissa Farmiga, and Josh Lucas.

Early reviews have been positive and it stands at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, critical reaction likely isn’t strong enough to make this a player in Best Picture. What They Had could struggle generally to get noticed at all. Its best chances aren’t with Swank or Shannon, but with Danner and Forster. For them to get noticed, the picture will need to at least break through with audiences to a certain degree. That could be a tall order in the midst of more high-profile contenders.

Bottom line: while this is generating solid reviews, Had is a long shot for Academy attention. My Oscar watch posts will continue…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: January 15th Edition

We have arrived at my penultimate weekly Oscar predictions. With the Oscar nods arriving in 8 days, I will be making my final estimates next Monday. And as we get closer and closer to actually knowing the nominees, there are some notable changes today:

  • Jordan Peele has at last entered my predicted five in the Director category,  replacing Steven Spielberg.
  • Daniel Kaluuya is in Best Actor for the first time, replacing Tom Hanks.
  • Frances McDormand has taken the #1 spot in Actress over Saoirse Ronan.
  • In more good news for Three Billboards, Sam Rockwell has reached the top spot in Supporting Actor over Willem Dafoe.
  • Octavia Spencer has replaced Holly Hunter in Supporting Actress.

You can read it all here with those last estimates coming in one week!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Dunkirk (PR: 4)

5. Get Out (PR: 6)

6. The Post (PR: 5)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

9. The Big Sick (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

11. Mudbound (PR: 10)

12. Darkest Hour (PR: 13)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

14. Molly’s Game (PR: 14)

15. Wonder Woman (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 5)

7. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 7)

8. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

9. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 9)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (PR: 7)

5. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 6)

8. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 8)

9. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 9)

10. Robert Pattinson, Good Time (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

2. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

9. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

10. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

2. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World (PR: 7)

7. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

8. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

9. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 10)

10. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 5)

7. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

8. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 7)

9. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bria Vinaite, The Florida Project

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Molly’s Game (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Wonder (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

9. Wonder Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Hostiles (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Beguiled

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Get Out (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

7. I, Tonya (PR: 8)

8. The Post (PR: 7)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dunkirk

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. The Girl Without Hands (PR: 4)

5. Ferdinand (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cars 3 (PR: 7)

7. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

8. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 8)

9. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 9)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Foxtrot (PR: 1)

2. Loveless (PR: 2)

3. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 4)

4. In the Fade (PR: 5)

5. The Insult (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square (PR: 6)

7. The Wound (PR: 7)

8. On Body and Soul (PR: 8)

9. Felicite (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane (PR: 1)

2. Faces Places (PR: 2)

3. Long Strange Trip (PR: 3)

4. Icarus (PR: 5)

5. City of Ghosts (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Strong Island (PR: 6)

7. Last Men in Aleppo (PR: 7)

8. LA 92 (PR: 9)

9. One of Us (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Human Flow (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

5. The Post (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. I, Tonya (PR: 5)

7. Get Out (PR: 7)

8. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. Mudbound (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 7)

8. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

9. Wonderstruck (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lady Bird

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 3)

3. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

5. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. Phantom Thread (PR: 5)

8. Downsizing (PR: 9)

9. The Post (PR: 7)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Greatest Showman

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 5)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. The Beguiled (PR: 10)

8. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

9. The Greatest Showman (PR: 8)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 4)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Wonder (PR: 2)

3. I, Tonya (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Bright (PR: 4)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 5)

7. Ghost in the Shell (PR: 7)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Okja (PR: 6)

7. Kong: Skull Island (PR: 8)

8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 7)

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PR: 9)

10. Alien: Covenant (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

7. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

8. Coco (PR: 8)

9. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 10)

10. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

7. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

8. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Coco (PR: 8)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Phantom Thread (PR: 4)

4. The Post (PR: 3)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 9)

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: 10)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall (PR: 1)

2. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 2)

3. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 3)

4. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 5)

5. “Mighty River” from Mudbound (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

7. “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

8. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 7)

9. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 9)

10. “The Star” from The Star (PR: 10)

And that leaves the following breakdown of nominations for each picture –

14 Nominations

The Shape of Water

9 Nominations

Dunkirk

7 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

6 Nominations

The Post

5 Nominations

Lady Bird, Blade Runner 2049

4 Nominations

Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Mudbound

3 Nominations

Phantom Thread, I, Tonya, Baby Driver

2 Nominations

The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, Wonder, Coco, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Greatest Showman

1 Nomination

Downsizing, Molly’s Game, The Big Sick, Victoria and Abdul, War for the Planet of the Apes, Marshall, Detroit, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Ferdinand, Foxtrot, Loveless, A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade, The Insult, Jane, Faces Places, Long Strange Trip, Icarus, City of Ghosts

See you next week!

12 Strong Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (01/18/18): I am revising my 12 Strong prediction from $17.9 million down to $13.9 million

Warner Bros is hoping to show a force of box office strength when 12 Strong debuts in theaters next Friday. Subtitled The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, the action drama recounts the true story of the first fighters sent overseas immediately following the 9/11 attacks. Marking the directorial debut of former war photojournalist Nicolai Fuglsig, the cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Trevante Rhodes, William Fichtner, and Rob Riggle.

Over the last few years, January has proven to be fertile ground for similarly themed pics. In 2014, Lone Survivor debuted to a terrific $37 million. Two years ago, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi took in a little over $19 million out of the gate, though it opened over the four-day MLK frame. The pinnacle of the genre (and openings for the month of January overall) was in 2015 when American Sniper astonished prognosticators with $107 million for its four-day MLK weekend premiere.

As you can see, it isn’t rare to see these true life war tales perform quite nicely with moviegoers. Hemsworth brings some star power and he’s just coming off the franchise best performance of his Thor series.

That said, expectations are certainly more in line with Benghazi and not Survivor and definitely not Sniper. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a debut slightly over $20 million, but I’ll estimate Strong takes in high teens for its start.

12 Strong opening weekend prediction: $13.9 million

For my Den of Thieves prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/10/den-of-thieves-box-office-prediction/