Oscar Predictions: Bodies Bodies Bodies

A24’s Bodies Bodies Bodies premiered at South by Southwest in March and the theatrical release comes in limited fashion tomorrow. Marking the English directorial debut of Danish filmmaker Halina Reijn, the slasher comedy is drawing some kudos from critics. The Rotten Tomatoes score stands at an impressive 94%.

Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova (recent Supporting Actress nominee for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm). Myha’la Herrold, Chase Sui Wonders, Rachel Sennott, Lee Pace, and Pete Davidson lead the cast in this tale of a hurricane themed party goes awry. Numerous reviews have praised the screenplay’s twist on a well-worn genre.

Even with the solid notices, I would guess that A24 will be far more focused on campaigning for Everything Everywhere All at Once (which could win Original Screenplay) and not this. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down

Documentarians Julie Cohen and Betsy West specialize in focusing on female historical figures and their efforts have already captured the attention of the Academy. 2018’s RBG about Justice Ginsburg was a Best Documentary Feature nominee. Last year’s Julia, recounting the life of famed chef Julia Child, was in the mix but failed to receive a nod.

The duo’s latest is Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down, which premiered at South by Southwest in the spring and has hit theaters in limited fashion this week. It will air on CNN later this year. The title subject is, of course, the former Arizona Congresswoman turned advocate following her 2011 assassination attempt.

As far as its awards prospects, history could repeat itself as Gabby sports a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. With Second Amendment issues on the forefront of the news cycle, that could contribute to its timeliness and desire for the Academy to recognize it.

Yet when it comes to docs, there’s always the caveat that this branch is notoriously unpredictable and sometimes nominees that seem obvious don’t make the cut. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Box Office Prediction

Nicolas Cage may not always be picky with his projects and that gets him into hot water in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, out April 22nd. The acclaimed comedy casts the eccentric national treasure as an exaggerated (?) version of himself who accepts $1 million from Pedro Pascal’s superfan to attend a birthday party. It goes downhill from there. Tom Gormican directs and the supporting cast includes Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tiffany Haddish.

When Weight premiered in March at South by Southwest, it did so to sizzling reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes meter stands at a clean 100%. That should get a decent amount of cinephiles in multiplexes to see what all the buzz is about.

That said, I wonder if the concept is a little too inside baseball for general audiences. Additionally, plenty of viewers have grown accustomed to dialing up Cage’s new pics on streaming services and not in theaters.

Some forecasts have this reaching double digits in its debut, but I’m going a bit under that.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent opening weekend prediction: $7.9 million

For my The Bad Guys prediction, click here:

The Bad Guys Box Office Prediction

For my The Northman prediction, click here:

The Northman Box Office Prediction

Everything Everywhere All at Once Box Office Prediction

Coming off terrific reviews and a sizzling limited rollout, Everything Everywhere All at Once debuts in wide release on April 8th. The sci-fi action comedy comes from Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known as Daniels) with an acclaimed leading performance from Michelle Yeoh. The supporting cast includes Ke Huy Quan (Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data from The Goonies!), Stephanie Hsu, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Sporting a 97% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Everything grossed just over half a million bucks on only 10 screens last weekend (that’s a $50k average). It’s fair to assume that the A24 tale will play stronger on the coasts than in between.

That said, the buzz that began at South by Southwest should result in this earning its reported $25 million budget back domestically. I’ll project $7-10 million for the expansion.

Everything Everywhere All at Once opening weekend prediction: $8.4 million

For my Sonic the Hedgehog 2 prediction, click here:

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Box Office Prediction

For my Ambulance prediction, click here:

Ambulance Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions – Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood

Utilizing similar rotoscoping technology as his earlier animated efforts Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood hits Netflix on Friday after its South by Southwest premiere a couple of weeks back. A coming-of-age tale set during the 1969 Moon landing, early reviews have mostly soared with a 91% Rotten Tomatoes launch.

Linklater is no stranger to the Oscars. He nabbed screenplay nods for Before Sunset and Before Midnight. 2014’s Boyhood was nominated for six categories. Since that effort seven years ago, his follow-ups (Everybody Wants Some!!, Last Flag Flying, Where’d You Go, Bernadette) have all failed to reach the Academy’s radar.

Apollo could change that trajectory with an Animated Feature mention. The critical reaction is strong enough, but let’s see what else lands in the remaining nine months. It’s entirely possible that two of the five eventual contenders (Turning Red and this) are already available for streaming pleasure as of this weekend. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The Lost City Box Office Prediction

Sandra Bullock is fresh off widely seen Netflix titles like Bird Box and The Unforgivable. Channing Tatum’s Dog is currently performing well in multiplexes. The two team up on March 25th for The Lost City, a romantic comedy adventure drawing comparisons to 1984’s Romancing the Stone. Adam and Aaron Nee co-direct. The two leads aren’t the only big names in the cast as Brad Pitt (said to be a standout) and Daniel Radcliffe join the party alongside Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Bowen Yang.

It’s a rare title in this era where the release date was pushed up (from April). City screened at South by Southwest last weekend to pleasing results. Based on 12 reviews thus far, it’s at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is exactly the type of escapist fare that should appeal widely to action fans and with a female demographic to boot. It could end The Batman‘s reign atop the charts. I do believe a gross north of $30 million is totally possible, but I’ll put it a bit below that mark. That should set up a showdown between this and the Caped Crusader for box office supremacy.

The Lost City opening weekend prediction: $28.4 million

X Box Office Prediction

Set in 1979 and melding the genres of horror with adult filmmaking, Ti West’s is slated for spots in over 2000 theaters this weekend. The slasher pic (which premiered at South by Southwest days ago) stars Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega (just coming off Scream), Martin Henderson, Brittany Snow, Owen Campbell, and Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi).

Reviews are sharp with a current 100% Rotten Tomatoes score. That said, I do believe its box office potential is limited. Unlike most recent horror titles, it’s not a sequel/remake/prequel/requel. While A24 materials often receives acclaim, they can struggle at multiplexes.

Despite the hefty screen count, I’ll project this struggles to reach $3 million.

opening weekend prediction: $2.9 million

For my Jujutsu Kaisen 0 prediction, click here:

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Box Office Prediction

For my The Outfit prediction, click here:

The Outfit Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Nicolas Cage was probably close to a third Oscar nomination for last year’s Pig and now he’s earning kudos for playing himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The meta comedy finds Cage in a sticky situation when he accepts a hefty payday to attend the birthday party of a billionaire drug lord. Pedro Pascal is that financier and the supporting cast also includes Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tiffany Haddish. Tom Gormican directs.

Prior to its April 22nd release, Weight dropped at South by Southwest and reviews currently stand at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Cage has become known for alternating acclaimed indie projects with dreadful direct to streaming material. This certainly appears to fall into the former designation.

Could awards voters take note? It might be a bit too out there, but Original Screenplay is not out of the question. A Best Comedy nod from Critics Choice next year is also a decent possibility. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscar Predictions: Everything Everywhere All at Once

Prior to its theatrical release on March 25th, Everything Everywhere All at Once has premiered at South by Southwest over the weekend. The sci-fi comedy comes from directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who are collectively known as Daniels. This is the follow-up to their acclaimed 2016 surrealist debut Swiss Army Man with Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Everything features Michelle Yeoh experiencing numerous multiverses of action with a supporting cast including Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jenny Slate, James Hong, and Jamie Lee Curtis. Quan, by the way, you may know as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data from The Goonies. 

When the Internet chatter broke last night, lots of bloggers were raving about this unconventional pic with particular praise toward Yeoh. The veteran actress has had acclaimed performances in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Crazy Rich Asians, but she’s yet to surface for awards attention. The original screenplay (from the filmmakers) is also being touted for its boldness.

That said, this could be a prime example of a movie that has its fervent champions and doesn’t materialize in Oscar discussions (despite inevitable Twitter talk). The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 67% with both Variety and Hollywood Reporter logging so-so reviews. If A24 does mount a campaign, they’ll have supporters but that may not be enough. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

The Coronavirus and The Movies

Let me start by stating the obvious – with COVID-19 or the Coronavirus dominating the worldwide news cycle, its impact on the moviegoing public is very far from the most important story. However, this is a blog focused on the world of film and especially the box office.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has touched the cinematic universe this week and beyond. The major news in this space began a couple of days back when the latest James Bond pic No Time to Die was delayed from April 10th until November. Producers made no secret that Coronavirus was the reason. For a tentpole release of this stature to get delayed opens up the real possibility of others that could follow. On a smaller scale, the Dave Bautista comedy My Spy was pushed from next Friday to mid April.

News continued yesterday as the South by Southwest Festival in Austin was canceled. Scheduled to begin on March 16, SXSW serves as a launching pad for dozens of features and documentaries. In 2020, this included such high profile titles as David Lowery’s The Green Knight, Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island with Pete Davidson, and Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick follow-up The Lovebirds starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae.

We will see what the future brings as outside factors are certainly influencing how studios and festival organizers make decisions.