December 13-15 Box Office Predictions

The holiday titles begin to roll in this weekend as family adventure sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, horror remake Black Christmas, and Clint Eastwood’s true life drama Richard Jewell debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on that trio here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/04/jumanji-the-next-level-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/05/black-christmas-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/06/richard-jewell-box-office-prediction/

There’s no doubt that Jumanji will end the three-week reign of Frozen II atop the charts. The 2017 predecessor became a phenomenon for Sony and eventually legged out to become the studio’s highest domestic earner of all time. Estimates have the inevitable sequel making between $40-$50 million out of the gate and I have it on the higher end of that range. Level hopes to earn a nice chunk of cash right away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on deck next weekend.

As for the other newbies, Christmas and Jewell could be in a close race for #3. Horror titles always have the opportunity to exceed expectations, but I’ll give Christmas low teens and Eastwood’s latest just under that.

With a mid 40s dip, Frozen II should fall to second with Knives Out rounding out the top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $48.7 million

2. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $18.9 million

3. Black Christmas

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

4. Richard Jewell

Predicted Gross: $11 million

5. Knives Out

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million

Box Office Results (December 6-8)

Per usual, it was a rather quiet post Thanksgiving frame as Frozen II easily held the top spot for the third time. The Disney sequel took in $35.1 million, falling a bit more than my $41.3 million projection. Its tally is up to $338 million.

Knives Out stayed put in second with $14.2 million, not matching my $16.4 million estimate for a two-week take of $63 million.

Ford v Ferrari was third with $6.6 million (I said $7.5 million) as it nears the century mark with $91 million.

Queen & Slim also made $6.6 million (I said $6.7 million) in its sophomore frame for a $27 million total.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was fifth and it’s not experiencing the minor declines that many (myself included) anticipated. It made $5.2 million compared to my $7.2 million forecast for an unimpressive $43 million.

The Mark Ruffalo drama Dark Waters expanded wide and was sixth with $3.9 million, on pace with my $3.7 million prediction. Total is $5 million.

Last and most certainly least, critically drubbed animated effort Playmobil: The Movie was an absolute disaster. Opening in 14th place, it made $656,000. I was far more generous at $2.8 million. For those keeping score, that’s a $281 per theater average.

And that’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

December 6-8 Box Office Predictions

Hollywood had reason to be thankful over the holiday weekend as the box office saw a much needed rebound. More importantly, two original films (that’s right – not based on comics or bestsellers) aimed at adults exceeded expectations.

For this first full weekend of December, the studios are holding back as they wait closer to Christmas to unleash their blockbusters like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level. The only new wide release is the animated Playmobil: The Movie and you can peruse my prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/27/playmobil-the-movie-box-office-prediction/

I don’t expect much from Playmobil, which has generated scant buzz and has Frozen II in its third frame as direct competition. My $2.8 million estimate leaves it outside of the top five.

There is also the expansion of the Mark Ruffalo drama Dark Waters, which had a so-so limited release this past weekend. My $3.7 million projection also leaves it beyond the high five.

That top five should remain the same pictures with perhaps some movement in the numbers placement. Frozen II may lose a bit more than half its Thanksgiving audience and it should have zero trouble getting a three-peat.

I expect all other titles to drop in the high 30s to mid 40s with the smallest drops going to Knives Out after its terrific debut and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Here’s how I have it all playing out:

1. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $41.3 million

2. Knives Out

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

3. Ford v Ferrari

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million

5. Queen & Slim

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

Box Office Results (November 29-December 1)

As mentioned, it was a bountiful Turkey Day weekend for Tinsel Town as Frozen II dominated the charts in its sophomore frame with $85.9 million, just over my $84.4 million take. The Disney sequel has amassed a cool $288 million thus far.

Rian Johnson’s acclaimed murder mystery Knives Out got off to a sharp start with $26.7 million from Friday to Sunday and $41.4 million since its Wednesday beginning. Those figures easily eclipse my respective predictions of $18.5 million and $27.7 million.

Ford v Ferrari was third with $13.1 million, in line with my $12.8 million estimate for $81 million total.

Queen & Slim was the other impressive debut as the romantic crime drama grossed $11.8 million for the traditional weekend and $16 million since Wednesday. That’s well over my projections of $6.9 million and $10.1 million.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood rounded out the top five with $11.7 million (I said $11 million) for a two-week tally of $34 million.

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

2019 Oscar Predictions: November 25th Edition

Two key screenings took place over the week with significant Oscar implications and there’s some movement in major categories to discuss:

  • 1917, the World War I epic from Sam Mendes, finally availed itself to critics and the feedback is extremely positive. While I’d had it projected for Picture and Director for some time, its numbers (3 and 2 respectively) are the highest yet.
  • Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell screened at AFI Fest. Some reviews indicate it’s a contender in Picture, but I’m not quite there. It does vault back in the 15 possibilities at 13 and both Paul Walter Hauser in Actor and Kathy Bates in Supporting Actress are now in the mix, but not projected in the top five.
  • Bombshell is back in my ten projected Picture nominees over Ford v Ferrari. 
  • Zhao Shuzhen finally makes the cut in Supporting Actress, displacing Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit.
  • Tom Hanks slides to fifth in Supporting Actor after the so-so box office performance of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I suspect he could fall out with Joe Pesci (The Irishman) and Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy) hot on his heels.
  • While my five Best Actor contenders remain the same, this is the most packed field in ages. I could legitimately see any of my ten listed thespians getting in, as well as Christian Bale (who falls to 11th).

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. 1917 (PR: 6)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 3)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

7. Little Women (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

10. Bombshell (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

11. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

14. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 13)

15. Rocketman (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Waves

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 5)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 9)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

10. Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

7. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

8. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 7)

9. Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

8. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

9. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 9)

10. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jodie Turner-Smith, Queen and Slim 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 3)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 2)

4. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

8. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

4. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 6)

8. Sterling K. Brown, Waves (PR: 9)

9. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 8)

10. John Lithgow, Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Knives Out (PR: 7)

9. Honey Boy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Booksmart

Waves

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 9)

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Just Mercy (PR: 7)

10. Dark Waters (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Downton Abbey 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Monos (PR: 8)

5. And Then We Danced (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Invisible Life (PR: 6)

7. Atlantics (PR: 7)

8. Beanpole (PR: 5)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

10. A White, White Day (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 8)

7. Abominable (PR: 6)

8. Missing Link (PR: 7)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

3. Maiden (PR: 6)

4. Apollo 11 (PR: 5)

5. For Sama (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 3)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

8. Honeyland (PR: 4)

9. Sea of Shadows (PR: 8)

10. The Kingmaker (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Edge of Democracy

Knock Down the House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 9)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 10)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Little Women (PR: 2)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 6)

7. Judy (PR: 10)

8. The Aeronauts (PR: 7)

9. Cats (PR: 9)

10. Aladdin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jojo Rabbit

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. 1917 (PR: 4)

4. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 9)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Bombshell (PR: 8)

10. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 5)

5. Us (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

7. Joker (PR: 6)

8. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. 1917 (PR: 5)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

9. Cats (PR: 8)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

5. Joker (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Waves (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 4)

4. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 3)

5. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

7. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 10)

8. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

9. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“Show Yourself” from Frozen II

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 2)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 1)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. The Irishman (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 6)

5. Rocketman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

8. Cats (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Joker (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Judy

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

4. The Lion King (PR: 4)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: 10)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

9. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

10. Aladdin (PR: 9)

And this all equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers of nods:

10 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

1917

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

5 Nominations

Joker, Parasite

4 Nominations

Bombshell, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lighthouse, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, The Aeronauts, Aladdin, American Factory, And Then We Danced, Apollo 11, Cats, Downton Abbey, For Sama, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Maiden, Monos, One Child Nation, Toy Story 4, Us, Weathering with You

November 29-December 1 Box Office Predictions

Turkey Day weekend is upon us at the box office with two new pictures attempting to harvest some cash while Frozen II should gobble up the bulk of the bucks. We have Rian Johnson’s comedic murder mystery Knives Out and the romantic crime thriller Queen & Slim both rolling out on Wednesday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/20/knives-out-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/21/queen-slim-box-office-prediction/

Knives is aiming for a second place showing behind the Disney juggernaut and it should get there. With solid reviews in its corner, I could foresee this topping my high teens Friday to Sunday and mid to high 20s five-day estimate. However, I believe it’s just as likely that this legs out well in subsequent weekends.

As for Queen, it too has critics in its corner. However, a lack of awards chatter and a smallish theater count of around 1500 could mean low double digits for its Wednesday through Sunday tally. That should mean a #5 premiere.

Holdovers Ford v Ferrari and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood appear poised for the kind of minor declines we often find over this holiday frame. That is especially welcome news for Neighborhood, which came in at the low end of its anticipated range this past weekend. I’m calling for mid teens drops for each.

Frozen II is a toughie. There simply aren’t many comps for how this should perform in its sophomore weekend. Most November blockbusters from the Mouse Factory open over Thanksgiving and not the weekend before. I’ll project a mid 30s dip for the Friday to Sunday portion. In all honesty, this is a bit of guesswork.

Here’s how I foresee the weekend playing out:

1. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $84.4 million

2. Knives Out

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Ford v Ferrari

Predicted Gross: $12.8 million

4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Predicted Gross: $11 million

5. Queen & Slim

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (November 22-24)

Frozen II provided the scorching earnings that the month of November desperately needed. In doing so, it achieved the best traditionally animated (read: not Pixar) Disney start ever and highest ever November animated haul. The sequel took in $130.2 million, just over my $126.7 million projection.

Ford v Ferrari slid to second with $15.7 million with a larger than expected 50% drop. I predicted $18.2 million. It’s at $57 million through 10 days.

As mentioned, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was third with a so-so beginning at $13.2 million, well under my $18.6 million forecast. Its A Cinemscore rating should keep it humming for the next few weeks, however.

The Chadwick Boseman action thriller 21 Bridges underwhelmed with $9.2 million in fourth, on pace with my take of $9.8 million. It could hold decently over the holiday, but it should fade quickly after that.

Midway rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it on the outside. The World War II pic made $4.6 million for $43 million overall.

Playing with Fire was sixth with $4.5 million (I said $4.9 million) for $31 million at press time.

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

Queen & Slim Box Office Prediction

In what’s being called a current take on Bonnie and Clyde, Universal is hoping that moviegoers take a trip with Queen & Slim over the long Thanksgiving weekend. The romantic thriller stars Daniel Kaluuya (of Get Out and Black Panther fame) and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith as a new couple on the run after a minor traffic stop goes wrong. Melina Matsoukas, who’s won Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards for her work with Beyonce and Rihanna, makes her feature film debut. Costars include Bokeem Woodbine, Chloe Sevigny, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The pic debuted last week at the AFI Fest to very positive reviews. Yet despite the current 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, this has yet to achieve any significant awards chatter. That could hinder its box office potential. Queen is already being called a potential cult hit. However, cult hits often take some time to achieve that status.

Opening on Wednesday, I believe this will have a five-day take in the high single digits to low double digits as it hopes for word of mouth to carry it along.

Queen & Slim opening weekend prediction: $6.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Knives Out prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/20/knives-out-box-office-prediction/

2019 Oscar Predictions: November 18th Edition

Developments from last week to this one:

  • The pleasing box office performance of Ford v Ferrari assists in putting it back in my top ten predicted Best Picture guesses. It does so by displacing Bombshell, which I still certainly consider to be a very viable candidate.
  • While my five Best Actor estimates remains the same, this is the most competitive field in ages and that’s without official advance word on Paul Walter Hauser in Richard Jewell (which screens this week). I truly believe all ten listed thespians could get in.
  • I’m starting to feel that the never nominated Scarlett Johansson is going to a double nominee. I’ve vaulted her into the top 5 for Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit, in addition to her already likely nod in lead for Marriage Story. In Supporting, she gets in over Annette Bening in The Report. 

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Little Women (PR: 6)

8. Joker (PR: 10)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 8)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

11. Bombshell (PR: 9)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 13)

14. Rocketman (PR: 14)

15. Waves (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 2)

4. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Lulu Wang, The Farewell

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 9)

10. Jodie Turner-Smith, Queen and Slim (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, The Aeronauts

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

7. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 8)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 7)

9. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

10. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

3. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

4. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhou Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 5)

8. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, Bombshell

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 3)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 6)

7. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 7)

8. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 8)

9. Sterling K. Brown, Waves (PR: 10)

10. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 9)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 5)

7. Just Mercy (PR: 7)

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Hustlers (PR: 10)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Booksmart (PR: 7)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

10. Waves (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Honey Boy

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. And Then We Danced (PR: 7)

5. Beanpole (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Invisible Life (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Atlantics (PR: 4)

8. Monos (PR: 6)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

10. A White, White Day (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Papicha

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Abominable (PR: 6)

7. Missing Link (PR: 7)

8. Klaus (PR: 9)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 8)

10. Funan (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Spies in Disguise

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

3. The Cave (PR: 3)

4. Honeyland (PR: 7)

5. Apollo 11 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Maiden (PR: 4)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 6)

8. Sea of Shadows (PR: 10)

9. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 9)

10. Knock Down the House (PR: 8)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 2)

4. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

9. Parasite (PR: 9)

10. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Marriage Story

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 5)

3. Downton Abbey (PR: 2)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

5. Rocketman (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 6)

7. The Aeronauts (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Cats (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Judy (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Joker

Dumbo

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. 1917 (PR: 6)

5. Parasite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

8. Bombshell (PR: 7)

9. Joker (PR: 9)

10. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Avengers: Endgame

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

5. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Us (PR: 10)

8. The Aeronauts (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman

The Two Popes 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 2)

4. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

5. 1917 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 9)

8. Cats (PR: 7)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: 9)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 4)

4. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 7)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 6)

8. “Show Yourself” from Frozen II (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 9)

10. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

“I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough 

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

2. 1917 (PR: 1)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. The Irishman (PR: 8)

8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

9. Cats (PR: 9)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Richard Jewell

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

8. Cats (PR: 8)

9. Joker (PR: 10)

10. Judy (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Irishman

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

4. The Lion King (PR: 3)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 9)

9. Aladdin (PR: Not Ranked)

10. 1917 (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Dumbo

And that equates to the following features obtaining these numbers come nomination time:

10 Nominations

The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

8 Nominations

1917

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

5 Nominations

Joker, Parasite

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Bombshell, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Ad Astra, Avengers: Endgame, Dolemite Is My Name, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lighthouse, The Lion King, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Aeronauts, American Factory, And Then We Danced, Apollo 11, Beanpole, Cats, The Cave, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Les Miserables, One Child Nation, Toy Story 4, Weathering with You

Oscar Watch: Queen & Slim

The Los Angeles based AFI Fest is the last major calendar year opportunity for Oscar hopefuls to strut their stuff and there’s always a few premieres to go along with it. In 2019, that includes Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell and The Banker with Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie. The opener is Queen & Slim from director Melina Matsoukas, who’s been known for her visionary music videos for Beyonce and Rihanna.

Slim centers on a couple (Daniel Kaluuya of Get Out fame and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith) whose first date becomes intertwined with a police brutality incident. Early critical reaction is strong and it stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Indications are that this could turn into a cult hit and perhaps even a real one, with an insightful and politically charged screenplay from Lena Waithe. She’s known primarily for acclaimed TV projects Master of None and The Chi.

Despite the praise, Oscar attention could be… well, slim. Anything arriving this late in the game would need to be a game changer for Picture visibility and some reviews are positive but with some reservation. Turner-Smith is garnering a lot of chatter, but it could be a leap to think she’ll factor into an already crowded Best Actress race.

Bottom line: look for Queen to become a conversation piece upon its November 27th release. I’m just not confident that will include talk about Academy nods. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…