Oscar Watch: Toy Story 4

The fourth edition of Toy Story is unveiled in theaters next weekend and reviews are out today. It is the 21st film for Pixar that began in 1995 with… Toy Story. And when it comes to Oscar voters honoring the studio’s works, there’s a rich history.

Critics so far have given a 100% stamp of approval to the sequel. The Academy established the Best Animated Feature in 2001. There’s been 18 winners and half of them are Pixar pics. The studio has also nabbed two nods in Best Picture with 2009’s Up and 2010’s… Toy Story 3.

First things first: there is approximately zero doubt that part four will get Animated Feature recognition. And unless something special comes along in the second half of the year (perhaps Frozen 2?), it has an excellent shot at winning. It’s also feasible that it could land Pixar’s third Picture nod, but that is far less certain at this juncture.

Another category where Toy Story 4 could contend is Best Original Song. There’s two possibilities: Randy Newman’s “I Can’t Let Yourself Throw Away” and “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy”, which was written by Newman and is performed by country superstar Chris Stapleton.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Toy Story 4 Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (06/19)… and it’s a significant one. Revising my estimate down from to $191.5 million to $167.5 million.

With the release of Toy Story 4 next weekend, Pixar should have no problem having the top three animated openings of all time. The big question is whether or not it manages to have the largest so far. The sequel arrives nearly a quarter century after Toy Story kicked off the Disney owned Pixar phenomenon and nearly a decade since Toy Story 3. The iconic characters of Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz (Tim Allen) return along with the vocal works of Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, and the late Don Rickles. New actors joining the party include Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tony Hale, Christina Hendricks, and Keanu Reeves. Josh Cooley makes his directorial debut.

Each chapter in this cinematic universe has seen its overall domestic gross increase with each entry. Part 3 took in $110 million in its first frame and legged out to $415 million. That predecessor currently has the fifth highest animated start ever. Toy Story 4 is in line to easily top that and more.

Last summer’s Incredibles 2 nabbed the record for the genre by a wide margin when it took in $182 million. Pixar also holds the #2 spot with 2016’s Finding Dory with $135 million. I don’t see Woody and Buzz’s fourth go round having any issue topping that and it could definitely hit the #1 designation.

I’ll say it falls just a manages a few million over the Incredibles sequel for a historic start.

Toy Story 4 opening weekend prediction: $167.5 million

For my Child’s Play prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/13/childs-play-box-office-prediction/

For my Anna prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/13/anna-box-office-prediction/

2018 Golden Globe Nominations Reaction

The most known precursor to the Oscars unveiled their nominations today. Per usual, there were surprises as some films hopes potentially dim for the big prize with others rising.

As far as my predictions, I went 51/70 overall while going 5/5 in four of the fourteen races. Today I will also make my first predictions for winners with final picks coming a couple of days before the ceremony in January.

Let’s break them all down with a little analysis, shall we?

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star Is Born

A bit surprisingly, Bohemian Rhapsody managed to score a nod over my prediction of First Man. I would say that at this juncture, Man is truly a question mark as to whether it garners an Oscar slot for Picture, while its inclusion in tech races still seems assured. Additionally, I think Black Panther helped its cause today to be the first comic book flick to get a Best Picture nomination from the Academy.

Predicted Winner: A Star Is Born

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

The Nominees: Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns, Vice

No surprises here! Picking a winner is far more tough as I believe The Favourite, Green Book, and Vice all have legitimate shots. Both Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Adam McKay (Vice) received Directing nods while Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) did not. That could give those two pictures a slight edge and I’ll put it as a coin toss at the moment.

Predicted Winner: Green Book

Best Director

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Adam McKay (Vice), Peter Farrelly (Green Book)

The aforementioned McKay and Farrelly were the ones I didn’t predict. I instead had Lanthimos and Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk). This would seem to be between Cuaron and Cooper and I’ll give the former a tiny edge.

Predicted Winner: Cuaron

Best Actor (Drama)

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Hedges and Washington (a rather genuine surprise) got in over Ryan Gosling (First Man) and Ethan Hawke (First Reformed). Mr. Hawke had been on a roll with critics precursors and this is the first interruption of that. Gosling’s snub continues the troubling trend for First Man. With Christian Bale and Viggo Mortensen in the Musical/Comedy race, this appears to be a clear victory for Cooper.

Predicted Winner: Cooper

Best Actress (Drama)

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: Glenn Close (The Wife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Rosamund Pike (A Private War)

Both Kidman and Pike helped their cases for Oscar attention here while my predicted nominees of Viola Davis (Widows) and Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) did not. This category appears to be Close vs. Gaga (as it may also be for the Academy). This prediction could and likely will fluctuate.

Predicted Winner: Close

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Christian Bale (Vice), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), Robert Redford (The Old Man & The Gun), John C. Reilly (Stan & Ollie)

No big surprise with Reilly getting in over Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), which was a bit of a wild card pick. Bale and Mortensen are the two winner possibilities and I’m going with the former right now.

Predicted Winner: Bale

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

The Nominees: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Charlize Theron (Tully), Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians)

I’m giving Colman the win, but this could easily be changed to Blunt at some point.

Predicted Winner: Colman

Best Supporting Actor

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Sam Rockwell (Vice)

No Sam Elliot for A Star Is Born was unexpected, with Rockwell continuing the Vice love. Ali should be considered a soft front-runner, but a win for Driver or Grant seems feasible. I’m going for an upset pick, but could revert back to Ali.

Predicted Winner: Grant

Best Supporting Actress

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

The Nominees: Amy Adams (Vice), Claire Foy (First Man), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Adams is probably going to win… for Sharp Objects in the television race for which she’s also nominated. Stone and Weisz could cancel one another out and Foy represents the lone high-profile nod for First Man. That leaves Ms. King and she seems to be a front-runner.

Predicted Winner: King

Best Screenplay

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: The Favourite, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma, Vice

The exclusion of A Star Is Born surprised me with Green Book honored instead. This is a tough one, but I’ll say this ends up being the sole win for The Favourite. Roma and Vice are certainly possible.

Predicted Winner: The Favourite

Best Foreign Language Film

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Capernaum, Girl, Never Look Away, Roma, Shoplifters

Capernaum in, Cold War out. Roma will win. Enough said.

Predicted Winner: Roma

Best Animated Feature Film

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

The Nominees: Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Interent, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This could certainly be the Academy five. The Hollywood Foreign Press loves their Pixar. Dogs and Spider-Man could threaten, but the safe pick is Incredibles 2.

Predicted Winner: Incredibles 2

Best Original Score

Todd’s Performance: 2/5

The Nominees: A Quiet Place, Isle of Dogs, Black Panther, First Man, Mary Poppins Returns

Ouch. Didn’t fare well here as I only predicted First Man and Poppins. A shocking omission was Beale Street, which some see as the Academy favorite in this race. Considering its lackluster reception for Man, it could dangerous to pick it over Poppins, but here goes.

Predicted Winner: First Man

Best Original Song

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: “All the Stars” (Black Panther), “Girl in the Movies” (Dumplin’), “Requiem for a Private War” (A Private War), “Revelation” (Boy Erased), “The Shallow” (A Star Is Born)

I had two Poppins tracks in and not “Revelation” or “Requiem”. This is going Gaga.

Predicted Winner: “The Shallow” (A Star Is Born).

And there you have it folks! I’ll have updated Oscar predictions up later today…

Oscar Watch: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks the Internet is expected to easily hit the #1 spot at the box office over the Thanksgiving holiday. The film is Disney’s highly anticipated sequel to 2012’s Wreck-It-Ralph and reviews are out today.

The verdict? Much like its predecessor, critical notice is strong as it currently stands at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Some early notices say it doesn’t quite match the original, but it’s all pretty much a positive vibe.

As to where that puts Internet in the Oscar race for Best Animated Feature, I’d say it’s almost certainly in. Wreck-It-Ralph also nabbed a nomination in that category, but lost to Disney/Pixar’s Brave. That would appear to be what will happen again as Ralph should get a nod and lose to the heroes of Pixar’s Incredibles 2.

Bottom line: Ralph officially broke into awards chatter today, but studio competition should keep it from achieving gold. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

For my Creed II prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/14/creed-ii-box-office-prediction/

For my Robin Hood prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/14/robin-hood-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.

Summer 2008: The Top 10 Hits and More

We have arrived at part 3 of summer nostalgia looking over the cinematic seasons from 30, 20, and 10 years ago. If you missed my posts on 1988 and 1998, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/11/summer-1988-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/12/summer-1998-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

This brings us to 2008. It was a vaunted superhero summer to be sure and there’s some humdingers for our flops. Here are the top ten moneymakers in addition to other notables and bombs.

10. The Incredible Hulk

Domestic Gross: $134 million

The second feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe found Edward Norton taking on the angry green giant from Eric Bana. While better received than Ang Lee’s Hulk, it was mostly met with a shrug and Mark Ruffalo would take over the part four years later in The Avengers. It stands at lowest earner of the MCU.

9. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Domestic Gross: $141 million

The follow-up to 2005’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe made less than half of what that picture achieved. Like Hulk, it may have placed in the top ten, but it was considered a bit of a disappointment.

8. Mamma Mia!

Domestic Gross: $144 million

The ABBA infused comedic musical was a major sleeper hit and its sequel hits theaters this Friday.

7. Sex and the City

Domestic Gross: $152 million

Fans of the HBO series turned out in droves for the big screen treatment. A sequel two years later yielded less impressive returns.

6. Kung Fu Panda

Domestic Gross: $215 million

Dreamworks Animation found itself a franchise with this animal fest led by Jack Black. Two sequels have followed.

5. WALL-E

Domestic Gross: $223 million

Yet another critically lauded effort from the money minting machine that is Disney/Pixar, this would take home Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

4. Hancock

Domestic Gross: $227 million

Despite mostly negative reviews, this superhero effort proved Will Smith’s potency at the box office. Director Peter Berg has mostly moved to true life dramas with Mark Wahlberg.

3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Domestic Gross: $317 million

Nearly 20 years after The Last Crusade, Harrison Ford’s iconic hero returned and teamed up with Shia LaBeouf. Critics and audiences had their issues with it, but Indy is slated to come back again in 2021 (when Mr. Ford will almost be 80).

2. Iron Man

Domestic Gross: $318 million

It’s crazy to think now, but the idea of casting Robert Downey Jr. as a superhero less known than Batman or Superman was considered risky business at the time. We know what followed… the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This started it all.

1. The Dark Knight

Domestic Gross: $533 million

The sequel to Batman Begins turned into a genuine phenomenon with Heath Ledger’s incredible work as The Joker and an experience that has influenced numerous franchises since.

And now for some other notables of summer 2008:

Get Smart

Domestic Gross: $130 million

Steve Carell experienced a box office bomb the summer prior with Evan Almighty. He got back into the good graces of audiences with this big screen rendering of the 1960s TV series alongside Anne Hathaway.

Tropic Thunder

Domestic Gross: $110 million

Ben Stiller’s comedy was a hit with crowds and critics. Robert Downey Jr. earned an Oscar nod for his work here and we see Tom Cruise as never before.

Step Brothers

Domestic Gross: $100 million

It didn’t make as much as Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s previous collaboration two summers earlier, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. However, this has achieved serious cult status in following years.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Domestic Gross: $75 million

Guillermo del Toro’s sequel managed to out gross its predecessor and it was another critically hailed comic book adaptation in a summer filled with them. A reboot of the franchise with David Harbour comes next year.

The Strangers

Domestic Gross: $52 million

This low-budget horror flick turned into a sleeper. A sequel was released this March.

This brings us to the flops…

The Happening

Domestic Gross: $64 million

M. Night Shyamalan had his first flop two summers earlier with Lady in the Water. This one focused on killer trees with a lackluster performance from Mark Wahlberg. Audiences were laughing at it more than frightened by it. The director has since rebounded with Split. 

Speed Racer

Domestic Gross: $43 million

This was the Wachowskis first picture since the Matrix trilogy and it fell far under expectations at the box office and with critics.

The Love Guru

Domestic Gross: $32 million

Mike Myers couldn’t make this creation anywhere near as iconic as Wayne Campbell or Austin Powers. Moviegoers simply ignored Pitka.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe

Domestic Gross: $20 million

Ten summers after the first adaptation of the FOX show did well at theaters, audiences didn’t want to believe in its long gestating sequel.

Meet Dave

Domestic Gross: $11 million

This sci-fi comedy was a massive bomb for Eddie Murphy, making a small percentage of its reported $60 million budget.

And that does it for my recaps of the summer! You can be sure I’ll be back next season covering 1989, 1999, and 2009.

Oscar Watch: Incredibles 2

This should come as no surprise, but reviews out today for Incredibles 2 (out Friday) are pretty encouraging. The sequel from Pixar/Disney arrives 14 years after the original, which stands as one of the vaunted studio’s high marks. The current Rotten Tomatoes score for part 2 stands at 97%.

As I would with any Pixar offering, we turn to its Oscar viability and that takes us on a trip down memory lane. The Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards has been around since 2001. That means the first three Pixar tales (Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2) existed in a time when the category did not. I would say all three would have been nominated had the race been around (and the Toy stories likely both would have been victorious).

Since 2001, Pixar pics have won 9 times and they are as follows:

2003: Finding Nemo

2004: The Incredibles

2007: Ratatouille

2008: Wall-E

2009: Up

2010: Toy Story 3

2012: Brave

2015: Inside Out

2017: Coco

There have been two occasions where a Pixar movie was nominated and lost. In 2001, Monsters Inc. couldn’t get over Shrek. In 2006, Happy Feet took the prize over Cars. 

Five Pixar features have failed to garner a nomination. Four were sequels. The only outlier is 2015’s The Good Dinosaur. The others:

2011: Cars 2

2013: Monsters University

2016: Finding Dory

2017: Cars 3

Which brings us back to Incredibles 2. So where does this stand? Note that this sequel is the only one to a predecessor that won before. And seeing that early reviews are overwhelmingly glowing (even though some say it doesn’t match #1), I’ll predict this Pixar sequels makes the final five come next year. The director, Brad Bird, is also responsible for two of the Pixar statues (The Incredibles and Ratatouille). There will certainly be competition (Isle of Dogs was already released and seems assured a spot) and its possibility to win is still a giant question mark. Yet these superheroes seem primed for a return engagement down the red carpet.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…