FINAL Oscar Predictions: 95th Academy Awards

After nearly a year of speculation on the blog and the new podcast (look up Movies at the Speed of Speculation on your favorite pod platform, folks!), the time has come to make my final picks for the winners at the 95th Academy Awards. The ceremony comes our way Sunday night with Jimmy Kimmel hosting and here’s hoping the presenters are given the correct envelopes and that no one gets slapped.

For some context, here’s how I did in the previous four Oscars (note that there were 21 races through 2019 because the sound competitions were divided into Editing and Mixing until their combination).

2018: 14/21

2019: 18/21

2020: 13/20

2021: 17/20

Note that I seem to do better in the odd numbered years. That could repeat for 2022 as three of the four acting derbies are highly tricky to pick and there are other down-the-line competitions that could go in different directions. As for Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Animated Feature, and International Feature Film… not so much.

Let’s go through them one by one and I’ll give you my winner and runner-up projection!

Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking

The tricky part isn’t picking the victor. It’s picking the runner-up. That’s because Everything has taken, well, nearly everything. PGA. DGA. WGA. SAG Ensemble. Critics Choice.

OK, so All Quiet received the BAFTA and The Fabelmans and The Banshees of Inisherin were your respective Drama and Musical/Comedy recipients at the Golden Globes. Yet the momentum has been with Everything for some time and it is the easy pick for the biggest prize of the night.

Given that a screenplay and acting statue are legitimately in play, Banshees has the strongest argument for a package of trophies that could include BP. It’s a distant runner-up.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Director

Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Todd Field (Tár), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ruben Östlund (Triangle of Sadness), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

I suppose the voters could go the Globe route and bestow their honor on the legendary Spielberg. Doubtful. Look for the Academy to match the DGA and Critics Choice selections of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

Predicted Winner: Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Runner-Up: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett (Tár), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Now it gets tough. Blanchett’s towering work could be undeniable as it was to BAFTA and Critics Choice (similar to how Anthony Hopkins from The Father managed a win over Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom two years ago). The BP momentum and SAG could push Yeoh over the line. This is a coin flip and I’m siding with the momentum.

Predicted Winner: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Best Actor

Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

A three-person race dwindled when Farrell lost the BAFTA. It went instead to Butler and he also won the Globe (over Fraser). SAG and Critics Choice went to Fraser. I have gone back and forth on this endlessly. If Fraser won, he would break a precedent of the victorious Actor’s movie being up for Best Picture. You have to go back to 2009 and Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) to find the last one whose film wasn’t in the BP lineup. I cannot stress enough that this is 50.5/49.5.

Predicted Winner: Austin Butler, Elvis

Runner-Up: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Unlike Actress and Actor, this is between three nominees. Curtis surprisingly nabbed SAG while Bassett took Critics Choice and the Globe. Both are actresses whose wins could double as career achievement honors. I have a suspicion that the Academy may instead look at BAFTA winner Condon as their best opportunity to throw Banshees a bone.

Predicted Winner: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Keoghan is the #2 since he unexpectedly won BAFTA. That said, this is the simplest acting race to project as Quan has won everything everywhere else.

Predicted Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Living, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking

If All Quiet over performs (and it might), it could emerge here. The smart money is on Sarah Polley and WGA honored script for Talking.

Predicted Winner: Women Talking

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

Here’s another category where voters could single out Banshees. Still – I’m not going against the strong BP frontrunner.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Sea Beast, Turning Red

del Toro’s version of the classic tale has taken all precursors that matter. This is one of the uncomplicated calls.

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Best International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Close, EO, The Quiet Girl

This might even be more automatic than Animated Feature. As your lone BP contestant, All Quiet will make noise here.

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Argentina, 1985

Best Documentary Feature

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Fire of Love, A House Made of Splinters, Navalny

Tough pick. Breathes and Beauty are viable. I’ve picked Fire of Love over Navalny twice in Critics Choice and PGA and missed both times. Not again.

Predicted Winner: Navalny

Runner-Up: Fire of Love

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front, Bardo, Elvis, Empire of Light, Tár

When perceived favorite Top Gun: Maverick shockingly failed to make this quintet, the race opened up. Elvis could make history and have the first female winner in Mandy Walker. It’s tempting to pick her, but I’ll go with Quiet.

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Costume Design

Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

On the other hand, here’s one where Elvis could take the gold. I wouldn’t count out Panther or even Everything if its sweep branches into upsets.

Predicted Winner: Elvis

Runner-Up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

Maverick is in the mix, but Everything should extend its haul.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, The Whale

The Whale and Western are possible. I’m giving this one to The King, however.

Predicted Winner: Elvis

Runner-Up: The Whale

Best Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans

This is one of the most open categories. I don’t see Banshees landing this. All 4 others are possible. Babylon or Western might be the smart pick, but this is the one true upset I’m selecting and projecting a Fabelmans/John Williams appreciation victory.

Predicted Winner: The Fabelmans

Runner-Up: Babylon

Best Original Song

“Tell It Like a Woman” from Applause, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

I don’t believe this is cut and dry. The star power of Gaga and Rihanna or an Everything expansion everywhere could make it interesting. “Naatu Naatu” has dominated the precursors and I’m not going with two upsets in the musical competitions.

Predicted Winner: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Runner-Up: “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick

Best Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Elvis, The Fabelmans

This is where Babylon should be Oscar winner Babylon though Elvis lurks.

Predicted Winner: Babylon

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

And this is where Top Gun: Maverick should get its Oscar. Yet I’m going with a minor upset pick with Western. That means I’m projecting Maverick ends up 0 for 6.

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick

No real Maverick shot in VE because Avatar is one of the automatic category picks.

Predicted Winner: Avatar: The Way of Water

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

That equates to these movies achieving these numbers of wins:

6 Wins

Everything Everywhere All at Once

3 Wins

All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis

1 Win

Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Navalny, RRR, Women Talking

I’ll have a recap up Sunday evening or Monday on the blog and the podcast!

March 3-5 Box Office Predictions

Creed III looks to KO all competitors as the Japanese animated episodic effort Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village and Guy Ritchie’s action comedy Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre also debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the trio here:

Michael B. Jordan makes his directorial debut in the third feature in the Creed franchise and ninth in the Rocky cinematic universe. It is the first not to feature Rocky himself Sylvester Stallone. However, reviews are strong and I see no reason why this wouldn’t continue the muscular grosses. The first two Creed flicks opened over long Thanksgiving frames. Part III could manage the highest three-day start at just under $40 million.

Swordsmith is a head scratcher. In 2021, Demon Slayer – Kimetsu No Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train astonished forecasters with $21 million in its first weekend. Swordsmith is not a sequel. Instead it combines episodes from a TV show related to the franchise. I’ve yet to see a theater count so that could alter my take. If it manages close to half of what Train accomplished, it would place in the top five.

Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, the latest collaboration between Ritchie and Jason Statham, seems like it is being dumped into multiplexes and my meager $4 million projection leaves it in sixth.

As for holdovers, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania experienced a massive second weekend dip (more on that below). The third frame drop-off shouldn’t be as disastrous (perhaps a bit over 50%). Cocaine Bear and Jesus Revolution both over performed in their premieres. The Revolution sophomore decline may only be in the high 20s with Cocaine being cut in the low to mid 40s.

Here’s how I envision the top six looking:

1. Creed III

Predicted Gross: $39.2 million

2. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Predicted Gross: $14.6 million

3. Cocaine Bear

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

4. Jesus Revolution

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million

5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To the Swordsmith Village

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

6. Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre

Predicted Gross: $4 million

Box Office Results (February 24-26)

The #1 spot came without bragging rights as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania suffered the largest second frame fall of all the 31 MCU entries. At 70%, the Paul Rudd threequel made $31.9 million. I was slightly more generous at $34.2 million. The ten-day tally is $167 million and it will be the best earner of the Ant-Man trilogy. It still scored a record that Disney/MCU can’t be thrilled about.

Universal, on the other hand, can celebrate their marketing campaign for Cocaine Bear as it paid off with $23.2 million for second place. That’s well above the rosiest predictions and considerably beyond my call of $14.3 million.

Faith-based drama Jesus Revolution continued over performances for the genre at $15.8 million in third. I was more skeptical with only $8.7 million. With an A+ Cinemascore, this could be blessed with smallish declines in the coming weeks.

Avatar: The Way of Water was fourth with $4.8 million (I said $5.4 million) to bring the eleven week gross to $665 million.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish rounded out the top five with $4.1 million. I went with $4.6 million and the animated sequel has amassed $173 million.

That does it for now, folks! Until next time…

34th PGA Awards Winner Predictions

Ahead of Sunday evening’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, it’s the producers turn on Saturday night. The 34th PGA Awards winner for their best in show has matched the Oscar Picture victor 70% of the time in the previous decade. The times they diverged were 2015 with PGA naming The Big Short instead of Spotlight, 2016 with La La Land over Moonlight, and 2019 when 1917 took the producer prize as opposed to Parasite. PGA also has animated and documentary competitions. I’m walking through them one by one with a winner and runner-up projection.

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

Nominees:

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Banshees of Inisherin

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Tár

Top Gun: Maverick

The Whale

There’s a 7 for 10 correlation with the PGA contenders and the BP hopefuls from the Academy. The former has Black Panther, Glass Onion, and The Whale up while the Oscars went with All Quiet on the Western Front, Triangle of Sadness, and Women Talking. The PGA is known for favoring blockbusters over some smaller pics from time to time. Previous examples that didn’t make the Academy’s cut include Bridesmaids, Skyfall, Gone Girl, Straight Outta Compton, Deadpool, Wonder Woman, and Crazy Rich Asians.

This helps explain why some prognosticators are favoring Maverick to take PGA’s highest award. Another explanation is that pundits are attempting to make the race more exciting than it actually is. I do believe Everything Everywhere All at Once is still most likely to emerge. Maverick does warrant runner-up status.

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures

Nominees:

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Turning Red

Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix rendering of the classic tale has cleaned up with precursors and there’s no reason to believe it won’t with PGA.

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures

Nominees:

All That Breathes

Descendant

Fire of Love

Navalny

Nothing Compares

Retrograde

The Territory

I wrongly picked Fire of Love to win the BAFTA instead of Navalny. Have I learned my lesson? Nope! I’m doubling down and saying a Fire PGA victory will make the Oscar quintet more competitive.

Predicted Winner: Fire of Love

Runner-Up: Navalny

I’ll have a recap up Saturday evening or Sunday ahead of the SAG show. If you missed my SAG predictions, they can be accessed here:

February 24-26 Box Office Predictions

While Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania should easily stay in the number one spot, Cocaine Bear looks for a strong #2 showing and Jesus Revolution hopes to rise above expectations. They are the newcomers this weekend and my detailed prediction posts on them can be found here:

Cocaine Bear has generated buzz since its trailer (and honestly the title reveal). It could blow past my low teens estimate, but I do believe the appeal might be somewhat limited.

Jesus Revolution, as other faith-based dramas have, could exceed my sub double digits projection. A third place showing seems likely. If it does surpass my prognosis and Cocaine comes in under mine, a battle for the runner-up position is feasible.

Quantumania opened in its expected range and crawled ahead of my estimate (more on that below). It also received a troubling Cinemascore grade of B (tying the lowest for the MCU with Eternals). That should mean a sophomore drop in the mid to high 60s (similar to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder from last year) is coming.

Holiday holdovers Avatar: The Way of Water and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish should round out the top five. Here’s how I envision it:

1. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Predicted Gross: $34.2 million

2. Cocaine Bear

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

3. Jesus Revolution

Predicted Gross: $8.7 million

4. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $5.4 million

5. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

Box Office Results (February 17-20)

As anticipated, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania commanded the long President’s Day frame with $120.3 million from Friday to Monday. That’s ahead of my $109.1 million estimate. That easily makes for the best start to the three Ant pics (as was expected). Per above, the second weekend dip should be substanial.

Avatar: The Way of Water held in second with $8 million compared to my $6.1 million prediction. The mega-sequel has amassed $659 million domestically.

The sequel love continued with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish at $7 million in third, slashing past my $5.8 million take. Total is $167 million.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance dropped from 1st to 4th though it doubled its theater count from approximately 1500 to over 3000. It made $6.2 million (I said $5.5 million) for overall earnings of $18 million.

Knock at the Cabin was fifth and I incorrectly had it on the outside looking in. With $4.6 million, the three-week gross is $31 million.

Finally, 80 for Brady was sixth with $4.5 million compared to my $4.2 million guesstimate. The octogenarian comedy is up to $33 million.

And that does it for now, folks! In case you didn’t know, I’ve started a podcast where you can hear my box office and Oscar predictions and the link for it is below. Until next time…

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/movies-at-the-speed-of-speculation/id1668006585?i=1000601007142

76th BAFTA Film Awards Winner Predictions

The BAFTAs, Britain’s version of the Academy Awards, airs this Sunday (February 19) and it can often serve as a preview for where the Oscars will go. That holds true in same races more than others like the acting derbies.

In the past decade, 32 of the 40 winners in Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress, and Supporting Actor became Oscar recipients. That’s 8 out of the past 10 Actresses, 9 for 10 in Actor, 7 for 10 in Supporting Actress, and 8 for 10 in Supporting Actor.

It’s a different story for the grand prize. A mere 3 of 10 Best Film winners at BAFTA are BP victors at the Oscars – Argo, 12 Years a Slave, and Nomadland. The percentage goes up considerably for Director at 7/10.

I’m going to keep it simple here. I’ll give you the nominees and my predicted winner and a runner-up. Let’s get to it!

Best Film

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár

Predicted Winner: The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Director

Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front), Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave), Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Todd Field (Tár), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin)

Predicted Winner: Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Todd Field, Tár

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Predicted Winner: Cate Blanchett, Tár

Runner-Up: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Daryl McCormack (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

Predicted Winner: Austin Butler, Elvis

Runner-Up: Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everywhere All at Once), Dolly de Leon (Triangle of Sadness), Carey Mulligan (She Said)

Predicted Winner: Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse), Albrecht Schuch (All Quiet on the Western Front), Micheal Ward (Empire of Light)

Predicted Winner: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

Predicted Winner: The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best Adapted Screenplay

All Quiet on the Western Front, Living, The Quiet Girl, She Said, The Whale

Predicted Winner: Living

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Animated Film

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Turning Red

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Runner-Up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Best Film Not in the English Language

All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Corsage, Decision to Leave, The Quiet Girl

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: The Quiet Girl

Best Documentary

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Fire of Love, Moonage Daydream, Navalny

Predicted Winner: Fire of Love

Runner-Up: Navalny

Best Casting

Aftersun, All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Triangle of Sadness

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Cinematography

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Elvis, Empire of Light, Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Costume Design

All Quiet on the Western Front, Amsterdam, Babylon, Elvis, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Predicted Winner: Elvis

Runner-Up: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Best Editing

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Winner: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Make-Up & Hair

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Elvis, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, The Whale

Predicted Winner: The Whale

Runner-Up: Elvis

Best Original Score

All Quiet on the Western Front, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Predicted Winner: Babylon

Runner-Up: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front, Babylon, The Batman, Elvis, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Babylon

Best Sound

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Best Special Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Winner: Avatar: The Way of Water

Runner-Up: Top Gun: Maverick

Outstanding British Film

Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Brian and Charles, Empire of Light, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Living, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, See How They Run, The Swimmers, The Wonder

Predicted Winner: The Banshees of Inisherin

Runner-Up: Aftersun

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

Aftersun, Blue Jean, Electric Malady, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, Rebellion

Predicted Winner: Aftersun

Runner-Up: Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

That equates to these movies generating these numbers in terms of wins:

4 Wins

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once

2 Wins

Elvis

1 Win

Aftersun, Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Fire of Love, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, Tár, The Whale

I’ll have a recap up on Sunday!

February 17-20 Box Office Predictions

Blogge’s Update (02/16): It has been announced that Magic Mike’s Last Dance is significantly increasing its screen count from 1500 venues to over 3000 in weekend #2. Therefore I’m upping my estimate from $4 million to $5.5 million along with giving slight bumps to Avatar and Puss in Boots. Ant-Man remains unchanged.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe begins Phase Five as their 31st picture Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania looks to easily have the biggest debut since Avatar: The Way of Water. We also have low-budget British slasher Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey straying far from its Disney version out on Wednesday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the duo here:

Keep in mind that this is a holiday weekend so my projections are for Friday to Monday. Ant-Man and the Wasp from 2018 built upon the premiere of the 2015 original – $75 million vs. $57 million. Quantumania should continue that trend with a four-day haul of over $100 million.

The rest of the top five should be holdovers and I have Magic Mike’s Last Dance sliding the furthest from 1st to 5th after a shaky start (more on that below). That said, Winnie is a potential spoiler. Reportedly shot for under $100k, it could capture the attention of horror fans and exceed my estimate of $3.5 million from Friday to Monday and $4.7 million when factoring in Wednesday and Thursday. I currently have it just outside the high five. Keep an eye on this post. That could change by lock time on Thursday.

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

1. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Predicted Gross: $109.1 million

2. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

3. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

4. Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

5. 80 for Brady

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

Box Office Results (February 10-12)

Moviegoers mostly stayed home this weekend and not just on Sunday for the Super Bowl and/or Rihanna concert. Everything came in a tad shy (or more than a tad in a couple of cases) of my predictions.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance was a muted #1 with $8.3 million. Warner Bros didn’t seem to have much faith in it as its release was on a scant 1500 screens. So while the per theater average surpassed predecessor Magic Mike XXL (2015), it fell far short in terms of actual gross. I said it would $10.7 million.

Avatar: The Way of Water rose a spot to second with $7.2 million, in line with my $7.5 million take as it hit $647 million. Per above, it should stay put in second this weekend.

The 25th anniversary re-release of Titanic couldn’t match my expectations. James Cameron’s first picture to become the highest grosser of all time added $6.7 million to its coffers. I thought it would be #1 and guesstimated $11.6 million. Don’t feel sorry for Leo and Kate. After a quarter century, it is now at a devilish $666 million stateside.

80 for Brady, with sturdy competition for the female demo with Magic Mike and Titanic, suffered in its sophomore outing with $5.8 million. I projected $8.1 million. The 54% plummet is a little troubling and it is now at $24 million after ten days.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish rounded out the top five with $5.5 million (I said $5.6 million) for $158 million overall.

Finally, M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin was burned in weekend #2, falling from 1st to 6th. It plummeted 62% with $5.4 million (under my $5.9 million forecast) for a mere $23 million thus far.

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

February 10-12 Box Office Predictions

Channing Tatum sashays back into multiplexes in his star making role with threequel Magic Mike’s Last Dance while Titanic re-releases on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

In what could be considered an upset, I have Titanic edging Mike for the top spot. Here’s why. There are reports that the latter is only releasing on approximately 1500 screens. If that holds true, it would significantly impact its earning power. When I assumed Mr. Tatum would arrive in the typical 3000 venues, I had it making just under $18 million. I now have it notably under that projection.

That may clear the way for the Titanic re-release to be #1 (giving James Cameron the first place picture in eight out of the past nine weekends). Valentine’s Day audiences and the nostalgia factor could get it there.

As for holdovers, M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin definitely came in at the lower end of its anticipated range (more on that below). I believe it could plummet from first to fifth with 80 for Brady and Avatar: The Way of Water each slipping only one spot. Cabin might even fall outside of the high five depending on the eighth frame dip for Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

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

1. Titanic 25th Anniversary

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

2. Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million

3. 80 for Brady

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

4. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

5. Knock at the Cabin

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million

6. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

Box Office Results (February 3-5)

As mentioned, Knock at the Cabin had a fairly soft entry on the charts with $14.1 million. While it managed to knock Avatar from its seven-week reign on the throne, it fell far under my $23.6 million forecast. The glass half full? It cost a meager $20 million to make. The glass half empty? With a C Cinemascore grade, I foresee a sophomore plummet close to 60%. In the summer of 2021, Shyamalan’s predecessor Old managed to top Cabin with just under $17 million. Simply put, this should’ve done more considering it had less competition and better reviews.

80 for Brady had a respectable start in second with $12.7 million. Released a day after Tom Brady announced his retirement (again), the legend packed octogenarian comedy couldn’t match my $15.5 million take. It will hope for smallish declines in the weekends ahead.

Avatar: The Way of Water was third with $11.3 million, in line with my $11.8 million prediction. After its eighth outing, the gargantuan tally grew to $636 million.

Fourth place belonged to Puss in Boots: The Last Wish with $7.8 million (I said $8.9 million) for an impressive $151 million after seven weeks.

I incorrectly had the concert pic BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas outside of the top five with no projection. It was fifth with $5.1 million.

A Man Called Otto was sixth with $4.3 million compared to my $4.8 million. The gross is a solid $53 million.

Finally, while I’m in predictin’ mode – Eagles 38, Chiefs 24. That’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

February 3-5 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Update (02/01): I am adding a title to the top 5 that I previously didn’t have on Monday when I did my initial projections. The Chosen: Season 3 Finale is playing on over 2000 screens. As you may recall, the season premiere grossed nearly $9 million in December out of the gate. I’ll say the finale generates a little more than that and could challenge Avatar for the 3 spot. Changes are reflected below.

The seven-week reign of Avatar: The Way of Water at #1 should end in its 8th outing as February dawns at the box office. M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller Knock at the Cabin and the octogenarian comedy 80 for Brady debut and look to place 1-2. My detailed prediction posts on them can be found here:

Beginning with 2017’s Split, Shyamalan experienced a career resurgence that could carry Cabin (generating solid word-of-mouth) to a low to mid 20s start. Getting close to $30 million is not out of the question. That number should be enough to top the charts.

80 for Brady looks to appeal to a female audience and older viewers. A Man Called Otto recently showed the demographic is ready for a return at multiplexes. With a robust marketing campaign and the involvement of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno, I could absolutely see it over performing. My current mid teens forecast is worth keeping an eye on before Thursday (meaning it could rise).

As mentioned, Avatar: The Way of Water (while remaining above $10M) should finally relinquish its stranglehold in first. Fellow holdovers Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and A Man Called Otto should round out the top five and here’s how I see it looking:

1. Knock at the Cabin

Predicted Gross: $23.6 million

2. 80 for Brady

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million

3. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

4. The Chosen: Season 3 Finale

Predicted Gross: $11 million

5. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $8.9 million

6. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

Box Office Results (January 27-29)

Avatar: The Way of Water cruised to a seventh frame atop the charts with $15.9 million (ahead of my $14.3 million take). The domestic haul is $620 million, but the story of the weekend is that it surpassed Star Wars: The Force Awakens to become the fourth largest worldwide grosser in history. That means James Cameron now has three of the top four (with Avatar and Titanic also in the mix).

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish was runner-up with $10.4 million, surpassing my $9.2 million prediction. In six weeks, the animated sequel has amassed $140 million.

The surprise of the weekend was Pathaan, a Hindu language action spectacle that I incorrectly had outside the top five. It was third with $6.8 million and $9.4 million since its Wednesday bow. The PTA of nearly $10k was easily the highest on the charts.

A Man Called Otto was fourth with $6.6 million (in line with my $6 million projection) for $45 million overall.

M3GAN rounded out the top five with $6.2 million (I said $5.8 million) as the campy horror tale is approaching nine figures at $82 million.

Finally, Missing was sixth in its sophomore weekend with $5.6 million, a tad above my $5.1 million call. The ten-day total is $17 million (doubling its reported $7 million budget).

Check out my new podcast at the following link:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/movies-at-the-speed-of-speculation/id1668006585

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

95th Academy Awards Nominations Reaction

It was a glorious performance for Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Banshees of Inisherin with this morning’s Oscar nominations. Both pics were up everywhere they needed to be for everything to potentially win the big prize on March 12th.

There were also strong showings for All Quiet on the Western Front, Elvis, The Fabelmans, and Top Gun: Maverick. However, it’s fair to say that each missed a key race or two that would’ve helped for their Best Picture viability.

As far as my own showing, I went 79 for 105 in my projections. I’ll take it though it’s slightly under my 82/105 performance from the previous year. One bright spot: no 2 for 5’s as I’d experienced a couple of times in preceding years.

Let’s walk through each race one by one with initial thoughts, shall we?

Best Picture

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking

How I Did: 8/10

No real shockers. The movies that I had listed 11th and 12th (Avatar and Women Talking) made it over my selections of Babylon and The Whale. I went a little bold omitting Water in the first place.

As hinted at, I’m seeing this as between Everything and Banshees with Fabelmans as a potential spoiler (and maybe Maverick if I’m feeling bold).

Best Director

The Nominees: Daniels (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Todd Field (Tár), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ruben Ostlund (Triangle of Sadness), Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)

How I Did: 4/5

The Daniels v. Spielberg is where this may come down to. All Quiet had a solid morning, but Edward Berger missing (I predicted him) likely eliminates it as a BP winner. Ostlund gets in instead.

Best Actress

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 3/5

In just the last few days, there was an organic (?) campaign launched for Riseborough by plenty of famous faces. She was nowhere near the radar for the bulk of the season. Her inclusion might alter how campaigns look in the future. Williams (who was looking shaky) and Riseborough make it over my predictions of Viola Davis (The Woman King) and Danielle Deadwyler (Till). Both of their pics were shutout completely. As for who makes the podium trip, it’s either Blanchett or Yeoh.

Best Actor

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Paul Mescal (Aftersun), Bill Nighy (Living)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

For most prognosticators, this came down to Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick vs. Mescal for the fifth slot. It wasn’t to be for a fourth Cruise nod. For Mescal and Nighy, it’s an honor to be in the quintet. The race is between Butler and Farrell and Fraser (who have all nabbed key precursors). FYI – this entire lineup is first-time nominees and 16 of the acting nominees are newbies (which is very high).

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 4/5

Hsu, who was my alternate, is in over Triangle‘s Dolly De Leon. If you’d told me De Leon’s movie would get Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay – I would’ve been even more confident she’d make it. With victories already at the Globes and Critics Choice, Bassett is the frontrunner.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 4/5

Henry gets the unanticipated nod over my pick of Paul Dano in The Fabelmans (many had Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse projected here). This is, frankly, the simplest acting derby to call and it is Quan.

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Tár, Triangle of Sadness

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

The expected five as the Banshees v Everything showdown could be a clue during the night as to what wins BP at the end of it.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Living, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking

How I Did: 3/5

Maverick and All Quiet over She Said (which was shut out) and The Whale. Considering Women Talking made it in the BP ten, it could get the gold in this race and this one only since it received the least amount of nods (2) for the BP hopefuls. As an aside, there’s always a screenplay contender that gets no other noms anywhere else. This year it was Glass Onion.

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Sea Beast, Turning Red

How I Did: 4/5

Pinocchio should take this, but this marks its only nod (it was expected to contend for Song and some techs). I had gone with Netflix’s Wendell and Wild for the fifth spot over Netflix’s The Sea Beast.

Best International Feature Film

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Argentina, 1985, Close, EO, The Quiet Girl

How I Did: 3/5

Here’s where there was a total surprise with Decision to Leave getting snubbed. I would’ve had it as the runner-up possibility to win over All Quiet (easily the favorite). I didn’t have Close or EO (though neither is unexpected). In addition to Decision, I also had Joyland.

Best Documentary Feature

The Nominees: All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Fire of Love, A House Made of Splinters, Navalny

How I Did: 4/5

Had Descendant instead of Splinters. There’s a path to victory for everything but Splinters in my view.

Best Cinematography

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Bardo, Elvis, Empire of Light, Tár

How I Did: 3/5

Top Gun: Maverick missing is baffling considering it was a major threat to win. It misses along with The Batman in favor of Bardo and Tár. I wouldn’t discount Empire for the victory though Quiet could make noise in this one.

Best Costume Design

The Nominees: Babylon, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

How I Did: 4/5

Everything‘s over performance is evident. I had The Woman King instead. The first three alphabetically are your possible winners.

Best Film Editing

The Nominees: The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

How I Did: 3/5

In years past, getting an editing nod is often needed if you want to take BP. So it’s bad news for All Quiet and The Fabelmans. Banshees and Tár join the lineup in their place. Elvis, Everything, and Maverick all possibilities.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Elvis, The Whale

How I Did: 4/5

Had Amsterdam and not Quiet. Elvis or The Whale are most likely.

Best Original Score

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans

How I Did: 3/5

Considering it made BP, I didn’t think Women Talking would miss. I also had Pinocchio but it’s All Quiet and Everything. This could be the sole Oscar for Babylon.

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman, “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick, “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, “Naatu Naatu” from RRR, “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

How I Did: 4/5

Had Pinocchio‘s “Ciao Papa” and not the Everything tune. Despite big names like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and producer Diane Warren in the mix, “Naatu Naatu” has taken the precursors.

Best Production Design

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, Elvis, The Fabelmans

How I Did: 4/5

A rare occurrence as I had Everything projected and it didn’t make it. All Quiet materializes instead. This could be Elvis or maybe a second shot for Babylon.

Best Sound

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick

How I Did: 4/5

The sound you hear when the envelope opens might be Maverick‘s only victory (now that Cinematography is impossible). I had EEAAO and not The Batman.

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees: All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick

How I Did: 3/5

Had the wrong MCU pic with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and not Panther. All Quiet is also in and I had Thirteen Lives. This should be the Avatar trophy.

That means these movies ended up garnering these numbers in terms of nominations:

11 Nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once

9 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin

8 Nominations

Elvis

7 Nominations

The Fabelmans

6 Nominations

Tár, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

4 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water

3 Nominations

Babylon, The Batman, Triangle of Sadness, The Whale

2 Nominations

Living, Women Talking

1 Nomination

Aftersun, All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Bardo, Blonde, Causeway, Close, Empire of Light, EO, Fire of Love, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, A House Made of Splinters, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Navalny, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Quiet Girl, RRR, The Sea Beast, Tell It Like a Woman, To Leslie, Turning Red

So what’s next? Followers of the blog may recall that I will soon begin my “Case Of” posts. That’s 35 separate write-ups making the case for and against all contenders in Picture, Director, and the four acting competitions. Stay tuned!

January 27-29 Box Office Predictions

2023 has gotten off to a pleasing start at the box office, but the last weekend of January should be rather quiet. Horror pic Fear is slated to be a wide release. I haven’t done an individual prediction post on it because I’ve yet to see a theater count. It would be surprising to see it in the top five. At the moment, I’m thinking it’ll be lucky to reach $2 million.

That means the chart should look very similar to this past frame with Avatar: The Way of Water spending a seventh weekend in first (very likely for the final time with Knock at the Cabin and 80 for Brady on deck). It might be the only feature to make over $10 million as I have dropping in the low to mid 30s for a low teens gross.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (after a great hold in its 5th life) should stay in second during its sixth. Holdovers A Man Called Otto, M3GAN, and Missing (after a slightly better than anticipated debut) appear poised to populate slots 3-5.

Here’s how I see it playing out:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million

3. A Man Called Otto

Predicted Gross: $6 million

4. M3GAN

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

5. Missing

Predicted Gross: $5.1 million

Box Office Results (January 20-22)

A six-peat greeted Avatar: The Way of Water with a take of $20.1 million, a bit under my $23.9 million forecast. James Cameron’s sequel crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide and neared $600 million domestically at $598 million.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is showing its multiple lives as it impressed in second with a mere 18% drop. Earning $11.8 million in its fifth outing (I was lower with $8.7 million), the animated follow-up has amassed $126 million.

M3GAN was third in weekend 3 with $9.7 million, on pace with my $9.5 million projection. The campy horror effort hit $73 million.

Missing, the stand-alone sequel to thriller Searching, found some fans in fourth with $9.1 million, surpassing my $6.8 million prediction. Considering the reported $7 million price tag, this should turn a tidy profit.

A Man Called Otto rounded out the top five at $8.8 million (I said $9.3 million). In its second weekend of wide release, it dipped a commendable 31%.

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