Oscar Predictions: Eternals

Chloe Zhao was the big winner at the previous Academy Awards when Nomadland took Best Picture and she became the second female filmmaker to take the trophy for her direction. Her follow-up is a high profile one in Marvel’s Eternals, which opens November 5th and had its review embargo lifted today.

With an eclectic cast including Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie, MCU entry #26 is undoubtedly one of 2021’s most anticipated blockbusters. However, critical reaction is certainly mixed. The 74% Rotten Tomatoes score is on the lower side for this series. Just this year, Black Widow stands at 79% while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings got to 92%.

Any thought of Zhao’s having two Best Picture winners or nominees in a row (or being mentioned again in Director) has fallen by the wayside. The one race where I did feel hope for Eternals sprung was in Visual Effects. That could still happen, but I’m not near as confident. Competition will be fairly strong. Dune is easily the frontrunner and will likely win. Other notable contenders include The Matrix Resurrections, Don’t Look Up, Godzilla vs. Kong, Nightmare Alley, Jungle Cruise, Finch, and Free Guy. And then there’s the other MCU rivals like Shang-Chi and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

There could still be room for Eternals in VE, but I’m thinking it may on the outside looking in. Even some of the reviews aren’t gushing about the visuals. Bottom line: Eternals took itself out of the running for the big races and could be iffy in the one tech competition where I thought it stood an excellent shot. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

Amanda Seyfried headlines the postpartum depression drama A Mouthful of Air, which releases in approximately 800 theaters on October 29th. From writer/director Amy Koppelman (adapting her own novel), Air costars Finn Wittrock, Jennifer Carpenter, Amy Irving, and Paul Giamatti.

The soft output screen wise likely means small returns for the feature. While Air will hope to attract a female audience, I believe it could struggle to reach $1 million for its start. I’ll put it just past that meager figure, but not by much. That means it could premiere outside of the top ten.

A Mouthful of Air opening weekend prediction: $1.2 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my Antlers prediction, click here:

Antlers Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

Wes Anderson’s latest comedy The French Dispatch is being delivered to 52 theaters on October 22nd before its wide release the following weekend. The anthology pic arrives a year after its COVID delay. It received a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival over the summer.

Like most of his unique tales, Dispatch features a massive cast (many of whom have appeared in multiple previous works from the director). That list includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Moss, Liev Schrieber, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Fisher Stevens, Henry Winkler, Bob Balaban, Rupert Friend, Griffin Dunne, and three actors from No Time to Die (Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, and Christoph Waltz).

There is no question that Anderson has an ardent fanbase. However, there’s some drawbacks. Reviews are not quite up to the level of other features like Moonrise Kingdom or The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 79% and it is not thought to be an awards contender. That’s unlike his previous live-action film Hotel, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won four. It ended up with $59 million domestically after a long and leggy run in multiplexes. This might be fortunate to nab a couple of tech nods from the Academy.

Dispatch‘s wide release on October 29th comes with caveats in terms of my prediction. I have yet to see a theater count and that could easily alter my projection once known. However, I’m leaning towards this being one of Anderson’s lesser earning titles. This is somewhat of a placeholder estimate, but I’ll say $3-5 million seems likeliest.

The French Dispatch opening weekend prediction: $3.6 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my Antlers prediction, click here:

Antlers Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

Just prior to the COVID era in February 2020, the second feature in the animated superhero franchise from Japan My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising took in $5.8 million at the domestic box office. From director Kenji Nagasaki, the Toho distributed pic placed fourth on the charts and ended its stateside run at $13.5 million.

On October 29th, the follow-up hits multiplexes. My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission debuted in its home country back in August. Earning $29 million, it became the highest grossing entry in the series thus far. Will American audiences turn out again?

I don’t see why not. This particular genre has a devoted fanbase that should show up in similar numbers to its predecessor. In fact, I suspect Heroes could outgross the competition (Last Night in Soho, Antlers) opening directly against it. I’ll give this third Mission a slight bump over what part II achieved.

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission opening weekend prediction: $6.1 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my Antlers prediction, click here:

Antlers Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: Attica

Premiering this weekend in limited theatrical release before its November 6th bow on Showtime, the documentary Attica focuses on the prison riot that took place 50 years ago. From filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the pic was unveiled at the Toronto Film Festival last month to laudatory reaction. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 100% based on 26 reviews.

Attica could definitely make the final five in the Documentary Feature category with the Academy. I have it ranked third in my latest weekly projections behind The Rescue and Flee. Those two docs appear to be the ones vying for the victory, but don’t be surprised if Attica is deemed a dark horse contender for a surprise win. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Antlers Box Office Prediction

With a production assist from the king of creature features Guillermo del Toro, the supernatural horror tale Antlers crosses into theaters October 29th. From Black Widow and Hostiles director Scott Cooper, the pic is finally hitting screens a year and a half after its COVID postponement. Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane, and Amy Madigan star.

The Searchlight pictures production has scored decent reviews and it stands at 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Coming out Halloween weekend, Antlers is genre material in a market that’s been saturated with it. Last Night in Soho opens against it while Halloween Kills will be in its third frame.

Despite the mostly positive critical reaction, I don’t really see this registering with mainstream audiences. The competition won’t help and there’s no star power to draw crowds in. Furthermore the trailers and TV spots may make it look simply too strange to have widespread appeal. I could see this earning about as much as The Night House, which opened in August to a mere $2.9 million. If so, Antlers won’t approach the top five during its scary weekend.

Antlers opening weekend prediction: $3.2 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

Edgar Wright’s latest vehicle Last Night in Soho zooms into theaters October 29th, four years after his massive success Baby Driver. The psychological horror thriller, set in mid 60s London, features Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp, and Diana Rigg in her final role.

Soho premiered at the Venice Film Festival in early September and garnered  mixed buzz. The Rotten Tomatoes meter is parked at 70%. The overseas reaction took the pic out of awards contention but Focus Features is hoping horror fans turn out on Halloween weekend.

That could be a challenge. This doesn’t look like your average genre fare and that could keep younger viewers away. It also has Antlers debuting against it and, perhaps most notably, Halloween Kills will be in its third frame. We have seen time and again that original material hoping for an adult crowd has struggled at multiplexes in recent times.

I assume that struggle will apply here. The studio is probably hoping for a $10 million start. Soho may be lucky to reach half of that figure.

Last Night in Soho opening weekend prediction: $4.8 million

For my Antlers prediction, click here:

Antlers Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my The French Dispatch prediction, click here:

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

October 22-24 Box Office Predictions

Arriving a year after its COVID delay is Denis Villeneuve’s version of the sci-fi epic Dune along with the animated Ron’s Gone Wrong. The latter will try to keep the October box office hot streak rolling along with the latter attempting to bring in family audiences. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Dune Box Office Prediction

Ron’s Gone Wrong Box Office Prediction

We have had three weekends in a row with newcomers premiering at over $50 million or darn close. Dune could fall right in that range. A potential drawback could be its simultaneous availability on HBO Max. However, I do believe enough viewers are aware that it should be seen on the biggest screen possible. I have it in the low 40s, but as Venom and Halloween Kills have shown us, the chance of over performing is certainly there for the taking.

As for Ron’s Gone Wrong, it has the disadvantage of not being based on known IP. Reviews are decent yet I have it placing fifth and under $10 million.

Halloween Kills exceeded most estimates (more on that below). Its 2018 predecessor fell 59% in its sophomore frame with a B+ Cinemascore average. The sequel has a B- and I envision it dropping in the high 60s range. No Time to Die could see around 50% decline in its third outing while Venom: Let There Be Carnage may see only a dip in the low 40s to mid 40s.

And with that, my top 5 take on the weekend ahead:

1. Dune

Predicted Gross: $42.8 million

2. Halloween Kills

Predicted Gross: $15.4 million

3. No Time to Die

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

4. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Predicted Gross: $9.5 million

5. Ron’s Gone Wrong

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

Box Office Results (October 15-17)

Haddonfield wasn’t the only place where Michael Myers made a killing over the weekend as Halloween Kills premiered at the highest end of projections. The $49.4 million start slashed my $41.2 million prediction. Its simultaneous release on Peacock didn’t appear to make much of a difference. That’s no huge surprise considering the streamer’s membership is minuscule compared to Netflix, HBO Max, and others. While the Kills gross is far under the $76 million achieved by Halloween in 2018, this is still a big win for Universal.

No Time to Die slipped to second with $23.7 million, a bit below my $25.8 million take. The 25th Bond adventure stands at $99 million. While its overseas earnings are pleasing, Daniel Craig’s swan song isn’t quite hitting the anticipated target stateside.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage was third with $16.5 million (I said $14.1 million) and it’s up to $168 million.

The Addams Family 2 had the best hold of all in fourth with $7 million, in range with my $6.6 million projection for $42 million total.

Finally, despite mostly solid reviews, Ridley Scott’s medieval tale The Last Duel with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jodie Comer, and Adam Driver received little good will from moviegoers. It bombed hard with only $4.7 million in fifth. That’s a far cry from my estimate of $10.4 million. Duel is further proof that adult themed product is having a difficult time getting the intended demographic to the multiplex.

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

2021 Oscar Predictions: October 17th Edition

We actually had two weeks in a row of my Best Actor predictions staying the same after the five spot seemed to be constantly shifting. Not anymore as Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) makes his first appearance in the predicted hopefuls at the expense of Joaquin Phoenix in C’Mon C’Mon. That films also drops out of Original Screenplay in favor of Spencer.

The biggest change is in International Feature Film as France somewhat surprisingly picked Julia Ducournau’s Titane as their selection. That drops Happening from the race and vaults Titane to the five. I’m also putting in Drive My Car over The Hand of God. 

A note – the 10 Best Picture nominees has stayed steady as of late. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that a Sundance selection from early this year (Mass, Flee, or CODA) will end up making the cut. I just can’t decide what to take out yet. We will know soon whether Nightmare Alley, West Side Story, Licorice Pizza, or House of Gucci (the unscreened titles) are vulnerable.

You can read all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. King Richard (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Dune (PR: 5) (E)

6. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-2)

7. West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. House of Gucci (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Mass (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Don’t Look Up (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Flee (PR: 13) (-1)

15. CODA (PR: 14) (-1)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 6) (E)

7. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Julia Ducournau, Titane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Martha Plimpton, Mass (PR: 10) (E)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 7) (E)

8. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Humans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Dune (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Passing (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Tender Bar

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Encanto (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (E)

7. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Vivo (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (-1)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 2) (E)

3. Flee (PR: 3) (E)

4. Titane (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (-1)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 9) (+2)

8. 7 Prisoners (PR: 8) (E)

9. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Memoria (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Happening

The Good Boss

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Attica (PR: 4) (+1)

4. President (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 10) (+4)

7. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Velvet Underground (PR: 9) (E)

10. Ailey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Julia

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Dune (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Belfast (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. Cyrano (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (-1)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Best Costume Design 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer (PR: 2) (+1)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Cruella (PR: 1) (-2)

4. West Side Story (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. King Richard (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (E)

9. House of Gucci (PR: 9) (E)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Spencer (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Cruella (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 5) (-2)

8. The Green Knight (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cyrano (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

West Side Story 

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Belfast (PR: 7) (E)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. King Richard (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 7) (E)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 6) (-2)

9. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

“Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cyrano (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Belfast (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Licorice Pizza (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Last Duel

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. No Time to Die (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: Not Ranked)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

King Richard

Cyrano

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Eternals (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (E)

7. Free Guy (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Finch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jungle Cruise

And that equates to the following number of nominations for these films:

9 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

8 Nominations

Nightmare Alley

7 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, Spencer

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Flee, Mass

2 Nominations

Cruella, Cyrano, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, Don’t Look Up, Driver My Car, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, President, The Rescue, Respect, Summer of Soul, Tick, Tick… Boom!, Titane, The Worst Person in the World

Halloween Kills Review

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) spends the 12th Halloween experience laid up in a hospital bed after her near mortal injuries incurred from the 11th one. In that sense, Halloween Kills is quite similar to the first official sequel from 1981. The samesies comparisons don’t stop there as this is an inferior follow-up to what came before it. The difference is that the 1978 original was a slasher classic to which all followers have been judged. 2018’s Halloween was not and therefore the letdown isn’t as steep.

Kills takes place (like Halloween II) during the immediate events after its predecessor. Laurie, daughter Karen (Judy Greer), and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) had left Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) to burn at her tricked out house. Unsurprisingly, it turns out to be mission unaccomplished as the masked one escapes that space and leaves plenty of dead firefighters in his wake.

While Laurie is recovering from her own stabbing, Michael has his knives out for plenty of other townsfolk in Haddonfield. As you may recall, we are on our third iteration of the killer’s most famous prey reuniting with her predator. The 1981 sequel continued John Carpenter’s storyline and revealed that Laurie is Michael’s little sister. 1998’s Halloween: H20 set their sibling rivalry 20 years later.

By the time David Gordon Green and company came around and another two decades passed, 2018’s Halloween ignored all of that. The familial connection was slashed in favor of Laurie becoming a survivalist and waiting for escaped booby hatch patient Myers to find her. Kills allow for other figures in the ’78 pic to return – Tommy Doyle (who Laurie babysat) is now Anthony Michael Hall. Kyle Richards reprises her role as Lindsey, one of the other kids tormented that night. And we catch up with Sheriff Bracket (Charles Cyphers) and Nurse Chambers (Nancy Stephens). We also spend some unnecessary time with flashbacks to 40 years before that don’t add much (though if you want CG Donald Pleasance, you’re in luck).

The phrase “Evil Dies Tonight” is repeated ad nauseam as the denizens of our Illinois murder spot (led by Tommy) seek to end Michael’s return engagement. Of course, we know that ain’t happening. Halloween Kills is the second of a trilogy that will end (?) with next year’s ambitiously titled Halloween Ends. This has the feel of stopgap viewing with no real payoffs and our star player relegated to the sideline. There are a few garish highlights. I was entertained by the couple Big John (Scott MacArthur) and Little John (Michael McDonald… not that one) who live in Michael’s childhood house of horrors and probably should’ve upped their homeowners insurance. A hospital set scene where the residents chase down another of the escaped mental patients is shot effectively.

Ultimately Halloween Kills, for most of its running time, feels painfully average. It’s more violent than part one… which was actually part II if you ignore that other part II. So I suppose this is part III when ignoring nine other movies. The gimmick of Laurie coming back (again) had its pleasures in 2018. Tommy and Lindsey coming back in the mix doesn’t really cut the mustard. Michael cuts the tracheas and tendons with dutiful impassioned restraint. It seldom rises above the mediocrity where most of this series has dwelled since part one (the real one).

** (out of four)