It was released across the pond last month and Operation Mincemeat hits US small screens tomorrow courtesy of Netflix. The World War II drama comes from John Madden, whose Shakespeare in Love won Best Picture just over 23 years ago. Lately he’s been best known for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel. The cast is led by Best Actor recipient for The King’s Speech Colin Firth as well as Matthew McFadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn, and Jason Isaacs.
The Rotten Tomatoes score is 92%. Yet many of those positive reviews aren’t quite raves. Perhaps Costume Design or Production Design isn’t completely out of the question and maybe BAFTA voters will take notice of it. However, the likelier scenario is that Netflix will have bigger contenders that they’ll be championing and not this particular operation. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…
The sprawling cast of Brits is back on screen May 20th in Downton Abbey: A New Era. Based on the popular series that ran on PBS domestically from 2010-2015, Era is the sequel to the 2019 cinematic rendering. Simon Curtis takes over directorial duties from Michael Engler. The familiar returnees include Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, and Samantha Bond. Creator Julian Fellowes handles script duties.
Three years back, Abbey easily opened atop the charts with $31 million and an eventual $96 million gross. This won’t manage a #1 start with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in its third frame. It should certainly nab the runner-up position.
The question is whether it comes close to what its predecessor started with. Forecasts have this only making about half of what part 1 achieved out of the gate. Considering the 2019 experience surpassed projections, I’ll give this a slight benefit of the doubt.
Downton Abbey: A New Era opening weekend prediction: $18.4 million
After the original grossed nearly $200 million worldwide in 2019, the sequel to Downton Abbey subtitled A New Era arrives in theaters on May 20. It’s in UK cinemas this Friday with the majority of the cast from the series it’s based on (which ran domestically on PBS) returning.
With Simon Curtis (maker of My Week with Marilyn and Woman in Gold) taking over directorial duties from Michael Engler, early reviews for part II are in line with its predecessor. 2019’s Abbey has an 84% Rotten Tomatoes rating while Era‘s currently sits at 78%.
The TV show scored a heaping on Emmy nods with costar Maggie Smith winning Supporting Actress. However, despite Critics Choice nominations for Costume and Production Design, the cinematic rendering didn’t catch the attention of Academy voters. If it couldn’t do so, I’m doubtful its follow-up will manage to either. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…
Mister Rogers isn’t the only PBS star getting the silver screen treatment this fall as DowntonAbbey hits theaters next weekend. Based on the acclaimed drama about an aristocratic British clan in the 1920s, the film picks up after the series finale from 2016. Julian Fellowes, creator of the program which aired stateside on the public access channel, did the screenplay. Michael Engler directs with numerous cast members returning including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Elizabeth McGovern, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton, and Maggie Smith.
Abbey had lots of dedicated followers to go with its multitude of Emmys and they should be curious to see the saga continue. While some could choose to wait and watch the family on the small screen like they’re accustomed to, I suspect a sizable amount will turn up in the cinema.
I was surprised to see this is set to premiere on over 3000 screens. That puts it in contention to compete with Rambo: LastBlood and AdAstra as the weekend’s highest grossing newcomer. My estimate of just over $20 million puts it just ahead of Mr. Stallone and ahead of Mr. Pitt.
DowntonAbbey opening weekend prediction: $20.8 million
Fans of the British period piece series DowntonAbbey, which aired stateside on PBS, will get their fix nearly four years after its conclusion with a film version. Written by its creator Julian Fellowes, Abbey picks up shortly after the events of the series finale with many cast members (Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, and more) returning to their roles.
The show was no stranger to major awards attention, including Golden Globes, BAFTAs, SAGs, and dozens of Emmy nods. Could that TV love translate to Oscar voters noticing the cinematic rendering?
Probably not in major categories. Abbey has a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 80% and while reviews are solid, I don’t see this getting attention in Picture or the acting derbies. On the other hand, Production Design and especially Costume Design could be doable. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…
Steven Spielberg returns to family friendly entertainment with The BFG, which steps into theaters over the Fourth of July weekend. Based on Roald Dahl’s book, the late Melissa Mathison (who wrote E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) is responsible for the screenplay. Recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance is the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) with Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall, and Bill Hader in the supporting cast.
Disney is banking on the iconic director and the source material bringing kids and their parents to the multiplexes. Reviews have been mostly solid and it stands at 70% currently on Rotten Tomatoes.
While The BFG is likely to finish highest among the three films opening over the holiday weekend, it could be hindered by its competition. Finding Dory is likely to have a nice third weekend and The Legend of Tarzan could divert some of its audience away.
I look for this to open in the high 20s-low 30s over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and probably get to the mid-high 30s when factoring in Monday’s July 4th.
The BFG opening weekend prediction: $26.6 million (Friday to Sunday), $33.2 million (Friday to Monday)
For my The Legend of Tarzan prediction, click here: