McConaughey: Everything’s Not Alright Alright

When this blog started in the fall of 2012, Matthew McConaughey was coming off a solid two-year period which saw him headline the surprise legal drama hit The Lincoln Lawyer and attract rave reviews for his supporting role in Magic Mike.

Yet 2013 elevated the actor to a whole new stratosphere. His work in the acclaimed indie pic Mud garnered Oscar chatter. He had a memorable cameo alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. It ironically turned out that McConaughey’s scene partner in that film was his biggest competition for an Oscar. Dallas Buyers Club would see the Texan playing Ron Woodruff, a real life AIDS patient in the 1980s. McConaughey’s work was praised and he took home the gold statue. His luck streak continued into the following year starring in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, which stands as his largest grossing live-action feature.

Since then? Well, let’s just say the McConaissance has been interrupted. Or borrowing his most famous catchphrase from 1993’s Dazed and Confused – it’s not Alright Alright.

This weekend, his stoner comedy The Beach Bum tanked at the box office. Its approximate $1.8 million opening is the worst release of the actor’s career. And it follows a pattern of now seven live-action duds (he did provide voice work in the animated pics Sing and Kubo and the Two Strings). And to give a modicum of credit, he did skip the subpar sequel Magic Mike XXL.

At least Nicolas Cage had a string of action hits after his Oscar before delving into VOD territory. McConaughey hasn’t been so fortunate and he quickly needs a critical or commercial success to redeem things. His list of recent material is an unsuccessful and largely forgettable one. In three years, we’ve had:

  • Free State of Jones, his summer 2016 Civil War drama that took in $20 million domestically against a $50 million budget. Its Rotten Tomatoes score was 46%.
  • The Sea of Trees from later that summer. The drama wasn’t even released wide and didn’t make a million dollars (13% RT score).
  • True life crime drama Gold in January 2017. 42% RT. $14 million gross stateside.
  • The Dark Tower in summer 2017. The critically maligned Stephen King adaptation had a 16% RT rating and immediately ended the possibility of a franchise with earnings of $50 million.
  • Another based on actual events crime drama from last fall – White Boy Rick. 58% RT and $24 million gross.
  • Noir thriller Serenity from earlier this year. Barely promoted, it made an embarrassing $8 million total with a 23% RT score.

And now The Beach Bum, which won’t reach $10 million domestically either. It’s time for McConaughey’s people to find him some better stuff. His most memorable appearances lately have been in car commercials. If they can’t manage to do so, there’s always 2013.

Rock Dog Box Office Prediction

For dogs about to rock… we salute you? That’s the question audiences will answer next weekend when the animated tale (tail?) Rock Dog hits theaters. The 3D generated comedy was co-produced by a Chinese studio and already opened in that country to lackluster results.

The voice cast features Luke Wilson as a canine with musical aspirations. Other well-known faces behind the mic include J.K. Simmons, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, Sam Elliot, Kenan Thompson, Jorge Garcia, and Matt Dillon. Family audiences should still be checking out Lego Batman in its third weekend and the recent musical ‘toon Sing was a box office smash.

As I see it, Rock Dog is highly likely to get lost in the shuffle with its intended crowd. I have doubts this will even reach $5 million for its start.

Rock Dog opening weekend prediction: $4.4 million

For my Get Out prediction, click here:

For my Collide prediction, click here:

Box Office Predictions: February 3-5

The first weekend of February brings new titles to the marketplace to compete with holdovers and a football game on Sunday. They are: long gestating horror sequel Rings and sci-fi teen romance The Space Between Us. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

As I see it, both The Bye Bye Man and Split exceeded their opening weekend expectations (more on the terrific Split earnings below). It’s been a bountiful 2017 thus far for the horror genre and I believe Rings will debut just north of $20M for a first place showing.

The Space Between Us should struggle to reach the top 5 and my mid single digits forecast for it leaves it on the outside. Current #1 and #2 Split and A Dog’s Purpose should slide down a spot with awards hopefuls Hidden Figures and La La Land rounding out the top five.

And with that, a top 6 predictions for the weekend:

1. Rings

Predicted Gross: $20.3 million

2. Split

Predicted Gross: $14.4 million (representing a drop of 43%)

3. A Dog’s Purpose

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million (representing a drop of 31%)

4. Hidden Figures

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million (representing a drop of 24%)

5. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $8.3 million (representing a drop of 32%)

6. The Space Between Us

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

Box Office Results (January 27-29)

If the $40 million opening didn’t convince you, the second weekend of Split solidified director M. Night Shyamalan’s major comeback. The horror thriller took in $25.6 million in its sophomore frame (higher than my $18.5M forecast) to bring its total to $77 million. The century mark is in its sights and it experienced the smallest week 2 decline of any Shyamalan effort since The Sixth Sense.

Despite controversy, A Dog’s Purpose brought in a pleasing $18.2 million for a solid second place showing. This was much more than my $10.3M projection, which I revised down from an original estimate of $17.9M. Should have stuck with my first thought…

Hidden Figures (which won the main SAG prize yesterday) was third with $14 million compared to my $12.8M prediction. The Oscar nominee now stands at $104M.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter posted a franchise low debut in fourth with just $13.6 million, just below my $14.6M estimate. Look for it to fade fast.

La La Land rounded out the top five with $12.2 million, above my $9.9M guesstimate. Like Figures, it also joined the $100M+ club as it’s made $106M.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage was sixth in weekend #2 with $8.6 million, in line with my $8.9M estimate for a weak tally of $33M.

Sing was seventh with $6.4 million (I said $5.6M) to pad its now $257M take.

Finally, Matthew McConaughey posted a career low wide opening with Gold. It only managed a 10th place debut with $3.4 million (I went higher with $5.4M).

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

Box Office Predictions: January 27-29

Three new titles debut this weekend, but none in the trio may dislodge Split from a second weekend atop the charts. The newbies are: sixth and presumably last franchise pic Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, family friendly pet tale A Dog’s Purpose, and Matthew McConaughey vehicle Gold. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

We’ll begin with Resident Evil. While all other entries in the series have managed over $20 million (except for the first in 2002), the near five-year gap between sequels should hurt this, similar to how it just hurt Underworld: Blood Wars. Still, a second place showing looks probable.

That brings us to A Dog’s Purpose. Based on a hugely successful bestseller, I had this pegged at nearly $18 million until last week when a TMZ story alleged very questionable animal handling practices on set. My feeling is that the story has gotten big enough to hurt this significantly and I now have it barely topping double digits.

As for Gold, middling reviews could hinder this one and I’ve got it outside the top five with mid single digits.

Returning champ Split had a much larger than expected debut (more on that below). Even if it dips more than 50% (typical for horror titles), I still see it remaining #1.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage had an unimpressive opening and I expect it to fall from #2 to #6. That’s because both Hidden Figures and La La Land should reap the benefits of Oscar nominations. La La, in particular, looks poised to receive the most Academy nods of any picture in history tomorrow morning and that could contribute to a bump.

And with that, my top 8 predictions for this weekend:

1. Split 

Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (representing a drop of 53%)

2. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Predicted Gross: $14.6 million

3. Hidden Figures

Predicted Gross: $12.8 million (representing a drop of 19%)

4. A Dog’s Purpose

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

5. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $9.9 million (representing an increase of 18&)

6. xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Predicted Gross: $8.9 million (representing a drop of 55%)

7. Sing

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 38%)

8. Gold

Predicted Gross: $5.4 million

Box Office Results (January 20-22)

On the weekend that we just had, maybe it’s somewhat appropriate and ironic that the #1 movie in America is titled Split. And the M. Night Shymalan pic rocketed out of the gate with a fantastic and unforeseen $40.1 million, more than doubling my teeny $19.6M estimate. This is the director’s fourth highest domestic debut, trailing Signs, The Village, and The Last Airbender. It puts the director, who’d been on a downturn until 2015’s low-budget The Visit performed well, on even more of an upswing.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage managed a middling $20.1 million in second, under my $25.4M prediction. The Diesel power is clearly stronger with his Fast and Furious franchise.

Two-week champ Hidden Figures was third with $15.7 million (a bit above my $13.7M forecast) for $83M thus far.

Sing was fourth with $9 million (I said $8.4M) to bring its tally to $249M.

Fifth place belonged to La La Land with $8.4 million (not matching my $11.4M estimate) for an $89M total. Still, as mentioned, its Oscar bump could be forthcoming.

Rogue One was sixth with $7.2 million (I said $7.8M) for a $512M haul.

#7 – Monster Trucks in weekend #2 with $7 million (I said $6.2M). Total gross: $22M.

#8 – Patriots Day, also in weekend #2 of wide release with $5.7 million (I said $7.2M). Total gross: $23M.

#9 – Sleepless in its sophomore frame with $3.4M and #10 was The Bye Bye Man, also with $3.4M in weekend 2. My respective guesstimates were $4.3M and $5.9M.

The Founder with Michael Keaton opened to stale results with $3.4 million in 11th, a bit shy of my $4.1M estimate.

Finally, two other newcomers posted low numbers as 20th Century Women expanded wide and made $1.4 million (I was higher with $2.8M) and faith-based dramedy The Resurrection of Gavin Stone earned $1.3 million (I said $1.6M).

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

Todd’s 2016 FINAL Oscar Predictions!

Well, here we are folks! After four months of (almost) weekly columns predicting the nominees and dozens of individualized Oscar Watch posts, the Academy Award nominations will be officially announced on Tuesday, January 24th around 8:30AM Eastern time. These are my final predictions. I’ve pontificated all year on who and what these nominees might be, so we’ll keep this simple. I’m listing my predicted nominees in each race as well as a first and second alternative. On Tuesday evening, I’ll have a post up recounting how I did.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture



Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land


Manchester by the Sea


First Alternate: Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Garth Davis, Lion

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

First Alternate: Martin Scorsese, Silence

Second Alternate: Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchster by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

First Alternate: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Arrival

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

First Alternate: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Second Alternate: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

Best Adapted Screenplay





Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Original Screenplay

Captain Fantastic

Hell or High Water

I, Daniel Blake

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: The Lobster

Second Alternate: Toni Erdmann

Best Animated Feature

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings


My Life as a Zucchini


First Alternate: The Red Turtle

Second Alternate: The Little Prince

Best Documentary Feature


I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America


First Alternate: Gleason

Second Alternate: The Ivory Game

Best Foreign Language Film

The King’s Choice

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Toni Erdmann

First Alternate: My Life as a Zucchini

Second Alternate: It’s Only the End of the World

Best Cinematography


La La Land


Nocturnal Animals


First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Costume Design


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins


La La Land

First Alternate: Silence

Second Alternate: Love & Friendship

Best Editing


Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea


First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hell or High Water

Best Makeup and Hairstyling


Florence Foster Jenkins

Star Trek Beyond

First Alternate: A Man Called Ove

Second Alternate: Suicide Squad

Best Original Score

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land



Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Jackie

Second Alternate: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Song

“Audition” from La La Land

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls

“City of Stars” from La La Land

“Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

First Alternate: “Runnin” from Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: “Faith” from Sing

Best Production Design



La La Land

Nocturnal Animals


First Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Second Alternate: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Sound Editing


Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Sully

Second Alternate: The Jungle Book

Best Sound Mixing


Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: Deadpool

Best Visual Effects


Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: The BFG

That gives yours truly the following nomination breakdown:

14 Nominations

La La Land

10 Nominations


8 Nominations


7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations


5 Nominations

Hacksaw Ridge, Nocturnal Animals

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins

3 Nominations

Hell or High Water, Jackie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Captain Fantastic, Moana, Silence, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

1 Nomination

Elle, I, Daniel Blake, Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, Zootopia, Cameraperson, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, The King’s Choice, Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann, Allied, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Trolls, Sing Street, Deepwater Horizon, Sully, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book

And there you have it – my FINAL (yikes) Oscar predictions! Check back on Tuesday for the postmortem.

Box Office Predictions: January 20-22

As if the six films crowding the MLK four-day weekend wasn’t enough this past frame, there are now five more hitting theaters in wide release on Friday. They are: Vin Diesel action sequel xXx: Return of Xander Cage, M. Night Shyamalan horror thriller Split, Michael Keaton led Ray Kroc biopic The Founder, comedic drama 20th Century Women with Annette Bening, and faith-based pic The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

As I see it, Mr. Diesel is likely to rule the weekend, though a higher than expected gross for Split would not surprise me (reviews are good and so are the TV spots). The three and four spots should be filled with two awards hopefuls already doing brisk business: two-week champ Hidden Figures and Best Picture front runner La La Land. 

As for The Founder, it’s only debuting on 1100 screens which should hinder its potential. My $4.1 million estimate puts it just outside the top 10. I anticipate both 20th Century Women ($2.8M forecast) and Gavin Stone ($1.6M prediction) to be pretty far outside my projected 10.

And here is that top 10 from where I see it:

1. xXx: Return of Xander Cage

Predicted Gross: $25.4 million

2. Split

Predicted Gross: $19.6 million

3. Hidden Figures

Predicted Gross: $13.7 million (representing a drop of 34%)

4. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million (representing a drop of 22%)

5. Sing

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million (representing a drop of 41%)

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million (representing a drop of 42%)

7. Patriots Day

Predicted Gross: $7.2 million (representing a drop of 39%)

8. Monster Trucks

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million (representing a drop of 43%)

9. The Bye Bye Man

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million (representing a drop of 57%)

10. Sleepless 

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

Box Office Results (January 13-16)

Those ladies from NASA held onto the top spot for the second weekend in a row as Hidden Figures topped the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend with earnings of $27.5 million. This is a bit above my predicted figure of $24.1M and brings its tally to $61 million.

The animated Sing was second with $19 million (past my $16.4M estimate) as it stands at a pleasing $238 million total.

La La Land sang and danced its way to third place one weekend after cleaning up at the Golden Globes. It earned $17.7 million (I was lower with $13.7M) and its total is at $77 million, barreling towards $100M as Oscar nominations are due next week.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was fourth with $16.8 million (I was close with $16.4M). The highest grosser of 2015 padded its gross to $501 million.

The top four did not include a single one of the six newbies that entered the marketplace. The biggest grosser of that group was surprisingly low-budget horror pic The Bye Bye Man. It earned an impressive $15.2 million, well beyond my $8.8M projection.

Kiddie flick Monster Trucks opened in sixth with $14.1 million. The good news? That was better than my $10.1M guesstimate. The bad news? It still had an inexplicable $115M budget and is a sizable flop.

Patriots Day with Mark Wahlberg posted an unimpressive debut in seventh with $13.7 million, nearly $10M under my $23.6M prediction. It did garner an A+ Cinemascore so its best hope is for low drop-offs in the coming weekends.

The Jamie Foxx action thriller Sleepless premiered in eighth with a rather sleepy $9.7 million, on pace with my $10.3M take.

Underworld: Blood Wars dropped to ninth in its sophomore frame with $7.2 million, just above my $6.6M projection. It’s made $25 million thus far.

Passengers rounded out the top ten with $6.4 million and I incorrectly didn’t have it there. The total is $90 million as it looks to top the century club.

Perhaps the biggest stunner of the weekend was the dismal performance of Ben Affleck’s Live by Night. The gangster drama which received middling reviews bombed in 12th place with just $6 million, less than half of my $13.2M prediction.

Finally, Martin Scorsese’s Silence also flopped as it widened its release. The faith centered passion project for the celebrated director made just $2.3 million in 16th place, not quite reaching my $3M forecast.

That does it for now! Until next time…

Todd’s 2016 Oscar Predictions: January 12th Edition

Well, hello everyone! It’s Thursday and my first Oscar predictions of the new year have rolled in…

In the past two weeks we’ve seen the Golden Globes occur, which showered its love upon La La Land. We’ve had BAFTA and Producers Guild nominations (that one produced a surprise nod for Deadpool and puts the comic book pic in the top 20 for the firs time). And the Director Guild announced their five nominees this morning, which exactly matches my picks here. We’ve seen pictures (in my estimation) increase their chances (Arrival, Hidden Figures) and others fall a bit (Silence).

On Thursday the 19th, I will make my final round of Thursday predictions and on Sunday the 22nd – my “final” final predictions prior to the announcement on January 24th.

Here’s how I see it all right now…

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Moonlight (PR: 3)

3. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

4. Arrival (PR: 7)

5. Lion (PR: 5)

6. Fences (PR: 4)

7. Hidden Figures (PR: 8)

8. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

9. Hell or High Water (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Silence (PR: 6)

11. Loving (PR: 11)

12. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 12)

13. Sully (PR: 13)

14. Jackie (PR: 14)

15. Deadpool (PR: Not Ranked)

16. 20th Century Women (PR: 15)

17. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 16)

18. Patriots Day (PR: 17)

19. Captain Fantastic (PR: 19)

20. Zootopia (PR: 20)

Dropped Out:

The Jungle Book

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

5. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

7. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 4)

8. David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water (PR: 9)

9. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 8)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 4)

5. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

7. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 7)

8. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 8)

9. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Adam Driver, Paterson

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 5)

5. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

7. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 9)

8. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 7)

9. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 2)

3. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 4)

4. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 3)

5. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

7. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

9. Issey Ogata, Silence (PR: 8)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

7. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 7)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 10)

9. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 8)

10. Lupita Nyong’o, Queen of Katwe (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Arrival (PR: 4)

3. Lion (PR: 2)

4. Fences (PR: 3)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 9)

7. Loving (PR: 8)

8. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

9. Silence (PR: 5)

10. Elle (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:


Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Hell or High Water (PR: 3)

4. Captain Fantastic (PR: 4)

5. Toni Erdmann (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities

6. The Lobster (PR: 6)

7. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

8. Jackie (PR: 7)

9. Zootopia (PR: 9)

10. Eye in the Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I, Daniel Blake

Best Animated Feautre

Predicted Nominees

1. Zootopia (PR: 1)

2. Kubo and the Two Strings (PR: 2)

3. Moana (PR: 3)

4. The Red Turtle (PR: 4)

5. The Little Prince (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities

6. My Life as a Zucchini (PR: 5)

7. Finding Dory (PR: 6)

8. Your Name (PR: 9)

9. Sausage Party (PR: 10)

10. Sing (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

April and the Extraordinary World

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees

1. I Am Not Your Negro (PR: 1)

2. Gleason (PR: 4)

3. O.J.: Made in America (PR: 2)

4. 13th (PR: 3)

5. Cameraperson (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. The Ivory Game (PR: 9)

7. Life, Animated (PR: 5)

8. The Eagle Huntress (PR: 8)

9. Weiner (PR: 10)

10. Fire at Sea (PR: 7)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees

1. Toni Erdmann (PR: 1)

2. The Salesman (PR: 2)

3. Land of Mine (PR: 3)

4. My Life as a Zucchini (PR: 6)

5. A Man Called Ove (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. The King’s Choice (PR: 5)

7. Tanna (PR: 8)

8. It’s the Only the End of the World (PR: 9)

9. Paradise (PR: 7)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Arrival (PR: 4)

3. Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

5. Silence (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities

6. Lion (PR: 6)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

9. Jackie (PR: 8)

10. Hell or High Water (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Jungle Book

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees

1. Jackie (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 7)

4. Allied (PR: 3)

5. Love & Friendship (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 5)

7. Silence (PR: 6)

8. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Live by Night (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Best Editing

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 4)

4. Arrival (PR: 3)

5. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Silence (PR: 5)

8. Lion (PR: 7)

9. Hell or High Water (PR: 8)

10. Sully (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees

1. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 1)

2. Deadpool (PR: 3)

3. Star Trek Beyond (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities

4. A Man Called Ove (PR: 5)

5. Suicide Squad (PR: 4)

6. The Dressmaker (PR: 6)

7. Hail, Caesar! (PR: 7)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Lion (PR: 2)

3. Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 6)

5. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Jackie (PR: 5)

8. The BFG (PR: 9)

9. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

10. The Jungle Book (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hidden Figures 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees

1. “City of Stars” from La La Land (PR: 1)

2. “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana (PR: 2)

3. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land (PR: 3)

4. “Runnin” from Hidden Figures (PR: 5)

5. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” from Trolls (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities

6. “Letters to the Free” from 13th (PR: 6)

7. “Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street (PR: 4)

8. “The Rules Don’t Apply” from Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

9. “Faith” from Sing (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “The Great Beyond” from Sausage Party (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“I’m Still Here” from Miss Sharon Jones

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

5. Silence (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 8)

8. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 5)

9. Allied (PR: 6)

10. The Jungle Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Live by Night

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees

1. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 3)

4. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 5)

5. Sully (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Arrival (PR: 6)

7. The Jungle Book (PR: 9)

8. Patriots Day (PR: 7)

9. Deadpool (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Allied (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Captain America: Civil War

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 2)

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 4)

5. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 5)

Other Possibilties

6. Patriots Day (PR: 8)

7. Sully (PR: 6)

8. The Jungle Book (PR: 9)

9. Deadpool (PR: 10)

10. Passengers (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:


Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees

1. The Jungle Book (PR: 1)

2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 2)

3. Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Doctor Strange (PR: 4)

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. The BFG (PR: 5)

7. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 10)

8. Kubo and the Two Strings (PR: 8)

9. Captain America: Civil War (PR: 7)

10. Passengers (PR: 9)

That equates to the following number of nominations for each film:

14 Nominations

La La Land

9 Nominations


8 Nominations


7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations

Lion, Hacksaw Ridge

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water, Jackie

2 Nominations

Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, Toni Erdmann, Moana, Silence, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deepwater Horizon

1 Nomination

Elle, Zootopia, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Red Turtle, The Little Prince, I Am Not Your Negro, Gleason, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, Cameraperson, The Salesman, Land of Mine, My Life as a Zucchini, A Man Called Ove, Allied, Love & Friendship, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Trolls, Sully, The Jungle Book, Doctor Strange.

And that does it for now! Until next week…

Box Office Predictions: January 13-16

Well, folks, it’s the third four-day holiday box office frame in four weekends as MLK Day is Monday and there’s a total of six (yes six) pictures debuting or rolling out in wide release. They are: the Peter Berg directed Boston Marathon dramatic thriller Patriots Day, Ben Affleck’s gangster pic Live by Night, Jamie Foxx action flick Sleepless, inexplicably huge budget and long delayed family pic Monster Trucks, horror entry The Bye Bye Man, and Martin Scorsese’s historical epic Silence. You can experience my detailed prediction posts on each one of them here:

With this infusion of new product invading the marketplace, it could create a lot of intrigue as to what comes out on top. The four-day frame should mean rather small drops for returnees (Underworld could be the exception) and in some cases, we could see increases.

Hidden Figures got off to a terrific start in wide release. With an A+ Cinemascore grade and rapturous word of mouth, I see a slight increase for it that might be enough to keep it #1, ever so slightly ahead of Patriots Day. I believe that it will have the highest debut of the newbies.

My estimates put Live by Night in sixth with a disappointing debut with Sing and Rogue One in third and fourthOther newcomers (Sleepless, Trucks, Bye Bye) will be in the 7-8-9 spots as I believe La La Land will post a fifth place showing. This is due to its huge success at the Golden Globes and an expected significant increase in screens next weekend.

Finally, Silence is only debuting on 750 screens and I expect it to fall outside of the top ten.

And with that, my top ten predictions for the long and bustling weekend:

1. Hidden Figures

Predicted Gross: $24.1 million (representing an increase of 6%)

2. Patriots Day

Predicted Gross: $23.6 million

3. Sing

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million (representing a drop of 21%)

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million (representing a drop of 27%)

5. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $13.7 million (representing an increase of 36%)

6. Live by Night

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

7. Sleepless

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

8. Monster Trucks

Predicted Gross: $10.1 million

9. The Bye Bye Man

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million

10. Underworld: Blood Wars

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million (representing a drop of 51%)

Box Office Results (January 6-8)

In a rather surprising result, Hidden Figures dislodged Rogue One from the top spot with a better than expected $22.8 million. This tops my $19.3M projection. As mentioned, its encouraging audience reaction bodes well for this weekend and beyond.

Rogue One slipped to second after three weeks on top with $22 million, under my $28.2M estimate for a total of $477M.

Sing was third with $20.7 million (under my $25.3M prediction) for a $214 overall tally.

Underworld: Blood Wars, the first new 2017 wide release, posted lackluster results in fourth with just $13.6 million (I was higher at $17.6M). All four previous franchise entries had debuted to over $20M.

La La Land rounded out the top five with $10.1 million (I said $12.8M) to bring its gross to $51M.

The rest of the top ten were all holdovers and were as follows:

6. Passengers: $8.8 million ($80M total). My prediction: $9 million

7. Why Him?: $6.9 million ($48M total). My prediction: $6 million

8. Moana: $6.3 million ($225M total). My prediction: $6.6 million.

9. Fences: $4.8 million ($40M total). My prediction: $6.7 million.

10. Assassin’s Creed: $4.1 million ($49M total). My prediction: $4.2M.

Finally, the critically acclaimed A Monster Calls was ignored by audiences and made just $2 million out of the gate, lower than my $3.4M forecast.

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


2016 Golden Globes: Who Will Win?

This Sunday evening, the Golden Globes (perhaps the most significant Oscar precursor) airs with Jimmy Fallon hosting. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes divide both Picture and the Lead Acting races in two categories: Drama and Musical/Comedy.

Here’s how I have each race playing out with the winners predicted. As a side note, I decided to not do my weekly Oscar predictions yesterday and will have an updated post on Thursday next week!

With that, let’s get to the races…

Best Drama

The Nominees: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Todd’s Prediction: Moonlight

Analysis: Not an easy prediction as this will probably boil down to Moonlight and Manchester, with both Hacksaw and Lion being potential spoilers (Water is only pic I see as having no shot). The winner of this category will likely vault into a two-way race with La La Land as to what comes out on top at Oscar time.

Best Musical/Comedy

The Nominees: 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street

Todd’s Prediction: La La Land

Analysis: It would be pretty shocking if Damien Chazelle’s ode to Hollywood musicals didn’t win here. I suppose perhaps Jenkins has a dark horse shot, but this is the easiest pick of the bunch to make.

Best Director

The Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Longergan (Manchester by the Sea)

Todd’s Prediction: Damien Chazelle

Analysis: Jenkins has racked up a slew of precursors and a win for Gibson would be seen as completing a remarkable comeback after multiple personal issues. However, at the end of the day, I believe the La La love will extend to its director.

Best Actor (Drama)

The Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences).

Todd’s Prediction: Casey Affleck

Analysis: Like the Oscar race, this looks to be between Affleck and Washington. I’ll give the former the slight edge as he’s won more precursors and Manchester itself was nominated for Picture, whereas Fences was not.

Best Actress (Drama)

The Nominees: Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals), Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Todd’s Prediction: Natalie Portman

Analysis: While I wouldn’t totally rule out an Adams or Huppert win, Portman has the edge in her acclaimed role of Mrs. Kennedy.

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

The Nominees: Colin Farrell (The Lobster), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Jonah Hill (War Dogs), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)

Todd’s Prediction: Hugh Grant

Analysis: Conventional wisdom would point to a Gosling win, but I believe the Hollywood Foreign Press will provide a bit of an upset here and honor Grant. Also – don’t be too shocked if Reynolds manages to surprise.

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

The Nominees: Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Todd’s Prediction: Emma Stone

Analysis: Bening and Streep are long shots, but it would be a rather large upset if Stone didn’t emerge victorious here.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), Dev Patel (Lion), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

Todd’s Prediction: Mahershala Ali

Analysis: Bridges or Patel are feasible, but Ali has received the bulk of precursor awards and I believe that will continue here.

Best Supporing Actress

The Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Todd’s Prediction: Viola Davis

Analysis: Davis is the clear front runner here and at the Oscars. An upset win (possible for any of these actresses other than Spencer) could dispel that notion, but it probably won’t occur.

Best Screenplay

The Nominees: Hell or High Water, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals

Todd’s Prediction: Moonlight

Analysis: La La and Manchester are in the mix here, but this is probably where Barry Jenkins will get his win and not for direction.

Best Original Score

The Nominees: Arrival, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight

Todd’s Prediction: La La Land

Analysis: Tough one and it’s not out of the question to envision any of them winning. I’ll just go La La and see what happens.

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls, “City of Stars” from La La Land, “Faith” from Sing, “Gold” from Gold, “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Todd’s Prediction: “City of Stars”

Analysis: There’s some real heavy hitters here: Justin Timberlake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Stevie Wonder with nominations. Yet I think the HFPA honors La La once again.

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Sing, Zootopia

Todd’s Prediction: Zootopia

Analysis: Kubo has a shot and you can never dismiss Disney with Moana. However, there’s another acclaimed Mouse Factory title in the mix and I believe Zootopia gets in.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees: Divines, Elle, Neruda, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann

Todd’s Prediction: Toni Erdmann

Analysis: Elle could absolutely win here (and perhaps The Salesman), but I’ll go with Academy favorite Erdmann.

And that does it, folks! I’ll have a post up Sunday night letting you know how well (or poorly) I did. Until then…

Box Office Predictions: January 6-8

The first full weekend of the new year kicks off with three pictures opening wide: Oscar hopeful Hidden Figures, sci-fi franchise entry Underworld: Blood Wars, and sci-fi drama A Monster Calls. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on that trio of newcomers here:

Even with the infusion of fresh product, I do not anticipate the two-week old first and second place combo of Rogue One and Sing to change. That said, I do believe Figures stands the best chance at outperforming my estimate.

As for Blood Wars, I expect it may be the first Underworld pic of the five to open under $20 million and that puts it in fourth.

La La Land is getting a large theater expansion and should hit the top five with Passengers in sixth. The rest of the top ten could be rather tightly clustered with Monster likely outside of the top tenAnd with that, a top ten predictions for the weekend:

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $28.2 million

2. Sing

Predicted Gross: $25.3 million

3. Hidden Figures

Predicted Gross: $19.3 million

4. Underworld: Blood Wars

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million

5. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $12.8 million

6. Passengers

Predicted Gross: $9 million

7. Fences

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

8. Moana

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

9. Why Him?

Predicted Gross: $6 million

10. Assassin’s Creed

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

Box Office Results (December 30-January 2)

The four-day New Years weekend gave Rogue One its third weekend atop the charts, though it didn’t quite match my expectations. The spin-off took in $65.5 million (under my generous $79.9M forecast) for a still eye-popping $440M total.

Sing was second with $57.2 million, in line with my $56.6M projection for a two-week $180M take.

Passengers was third at $21 million, above my $18.3M prediction for a $66M overall gross.

Moana made $15.1 million for fourth place (higher than my $12.7M prognosis). It’s made $214M.

Rounding out the top five was Why Him? with $13.1 million, under my $16.1M estimate for a $37M tally.

In sixth, Fences also made $13.1 million (above my $9.8M prediction) for a $32M total.

Oscar favorite La La Land expanded its theater count and earned a scorching $12.5 million for seventh (I said $10M). It’s danced to $37M thus far.

Eighth place: Assassin’s Creed with $11.3 million, in range with my $12.2M take for a $42M gross.

The pictures in ninth and tenth were ones I incorrectly had outside my predicted top 10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them made $5.6 million (overall earnings: $225M) and Manchester by the Sea took in $5.4 million ($29M total).

Collateral Beauty was 11th with $5.4 million (I said $5.2M) for a weak $27M gross. Office Christmas Party was 12th with $4.5 million (I was a touch higher at $5.8M) for a total of $52M.

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