January 21-23 Box Office Predictions

The trio of S sequels – Scream, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sing 2 – should continue to dominate the box office charts despite the arrival of two newcomers this weekend. We have the historical romance Redeeming Love and long in the can fantasy adventure The King’s Daughter debuting. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Redeeming Love Box Office Prediction

The King’s Daughter Box Office Prediction

The real drama could be for the #1 spot and that depends on how far Scream drops in its sophomore weekend and how well Spidey holds in its sixth. For some context, Scream 3 back in 2000 fell 53% in its second frame while 2011’s Scream 4 dip was steeper at 62%. With little competition, the fifth installment could see a drop more in part 3’s range, but it could also come close to 60%. No Way Home, if it descends in the mid 30s range, might give it a run for its money at the top. In fact, I’m giving the web slinger an ever so slight edge.

My projection of $2.4 million for Redeeming Love should mean a fourth place showing behind the fifth weekend for Sing 2. The five spot could go to The King’s Man, not the The King’s Daughter.

As mentioned, The King’s Daughter has been collecting dust on the shelf since the fifth year of the Obama administration (read my full post for all the details). I’m forecasting a measly $1 million and that should keep it outside the high five.

Here’s how I’m seeing the top five breaking down:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $13 million

2. Scream

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

3. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million

4. Redeeming Love

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

5. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $1.6 million

Box Office Results (January 14-17)

The four-day MLK weekend knocked Spider-Man off his perch at #1 and delivered pleasing results for Scream. The well-reviewed fifth entry in the quarter century old series took in $33.8 million over the long frame, coming in a bit under my $36.4 million prediction. That’s good for the third best 3-day traditional start in the franchise after Scream 3 ($34 million) and Scream 2 ($32 million) as it made $30 million from Friday to Sunday.

After four weeks at #1, Spider-Man: No Way Home was second with $24.6 million, slightly ahead of my $22.7 million projection. The MCU juggernaut stands at $702 million and passed Black Panther to become the 4th highest domestic earner in history.

Sing 2 was third with $10.3 million (in range with my $9.4 million take) for $121 million overall.

The 355 was fourth in its sophomore outing with $2.7 million (I went with $3.1 million) for $8 million total.

The five spot belonged to The King’s Man at $2.6 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It’s made $29 million.

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

2021 Oscar Predictions: January 14th Edition

My first Oscar predictions following the Golden Globes bestowing their winners and the SAG Award nods comes with not a whole lot of changes in who and what I’m actually predicting in the major categories.

However, there is a significant alteration in placement for Best Actress as Kristen Stewart’s shocking omission in Spencer from the SAG five drops her from 1st (where she’s been perched for months) to 4th. Rising to #1 is Globes victor Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos. This competition is beginning to resemble the unpredictable Actress lineup from 2020 and it should be fun to witness.

In Best Picture, I’m (perhaps stubbornly) sticking to the same ten. Yet there’s no doubt that Ricardos and House of Gucci could be on the rise and either or both could crack the lineup soon.

The only significant change is in Supporting Actor where I’m finally putting Jared Leto for Gucci in the mix. He’s in over Jamie Dornan (Belfast).

I’m also adding a new feature which shows how many eventual nominees from 2020 were correctly picked at this same juncture. I’ll keep that up until I make my final picks shortly before the February 8th announcement. This will be listed as 2020 Count. 

You can read all the movement below.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Being the Ricardos (PR: 14) (+3)

12. House of Gucci (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Drive My Car (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Spider-Man: No Way Home

2020 Count: 7 of 8 eventual nominees

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (E)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (E)

9. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 2 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (+2)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (-3)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Judi Dench, Belfast

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 2) (E)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-2)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (-2)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (+1)

10. A Hero (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. My Sunny Maad (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Vivo (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (-1)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (+1)

7. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Procession (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Summer of Soul (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Ascension (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 6) (E)

7. The First Wave (PR: 7) (E)

8. President (PR: 8) (E)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 9) (E)

10. Julia (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

In the Same Breath

2020 Count: 1 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spencer (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

No Time to Die

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-2)

8. King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Cruella (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Suicide Squad (PR: 9) (+3)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-2)

8. West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Cyrano (PR: 8) (-1)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 4 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (+2)

7. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (-2)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cruella (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (+2)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Free Guy (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

2020 Count: 3 of 5 eventual nominees

And that equates to these movies hitting these numbers for their nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

9 Nominations

Belfast, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

4 Nominations

House of Gucci, Licorice Pizza, Tick, Tick… Boom!, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, Spencer

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Coming 2 America, Drive My Car, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, The Worst Person in the World

2021 SAG Awards Nominations Reaction

Hand it to the SAG Awards voting branch for providing more surprises than the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did with the Golden Globes! For their ceremony airing in February, nominations were announced this morning and there were shocking omissions and unexpected inclusions. I went 20 for 30 overall with my picks.

This is not the headline I was expecting to write, but I’d say House of Gucci was the big winner of the day. It showed up in every feasible category where it could while other heavyweight pics (Belfast, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story) saw snubs.

Let’s break it down race by race with how I did and what it means for the Oscar landscape (and there are implications, folks).

A * indicates that I correctly forecasted the nominee.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees:

Belfast *

CODA *

Don’t Look Up *

House of Gucci

King Richard

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary – Of the three films most likely to take Best Picture from the Academy, only Belfast showed up here. That means my predictions of The Power of the Dog and West Side Story didn’t make the cut. My second alternate pick King Richard is not unexpected, but SAG clearly has a thing for Gucci and that proved itself today. There was some chatter that West Side sending out late screeners for voters could be a hindrance and its sole nod this morning could lend some credence to that. As for Power, that’s more of a head scratcher as it landed three individual acting mentions (I don’t think this hurts its BP chances at Oscar). I’m nowhere near finalizing winner forecasts, but you’d have to think Belfast is a possibility (though its omissions which I’ll discuss in a minute make me question that)…

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye *

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter *

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci *

Jennifer Hudson, Respect

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos *

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary – OK 4 for 5 is fine and all, but there is a major surprise with this lineup and that’s Kristen Stewart not making the list for Spencer. No one saw this coming. I’ve had Stewart listed in my #1 slot at the Oscars for months. So how many times has the Academy victor for lead actress not been nominated for SAG in the 27 years of its existence? Once and that’s with a huge caveat. In 2008, Kate Winslet took Oscar gold for The Reader. That year, SAG mentioned her for Revolutionary Road instead and the studio for The Reader submitted her in supporting at SAG.

Obviously this calls into question whether Stewart has any chance now of winning the Academy Award and it’s a safe bet that she’ll drop from her #1 perch in my rankings when I update them tomorrow. Hudson’s inclusion here is a little surprising, but this is more about who didn’t make it. Kidman took the Golden Globe. If she takes SAG, look out.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees:

Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog *

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! *

Will Smith, King Richard *

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth *

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary – Being the Ricardos got its two leads in (though not Ensemble or Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons). That’s my miss in this derby as I had Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) in. As far as Oscar is concerned – Cumberbatch, Garfield, Smith, and Washington are looking safe (with Smith as the frontrunner). The fifth slot is up for grabs.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast *

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story *

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog *

Ruth Negga, Passing

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary – Negga factoring in ups her Oscar viability (she got a Globes nod too). Blanchett is a surprise. I had Rita Moreno (West Side Story) in, but her omission is not unexpected. She hasn’t managed a Globe or SAG and I’d say her Academy chances are fading fast. Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) missing here is pretty significant. DeBose probably stands the best chance, but the fact that this is the only nod for West Side makes me believe an upset is totally possible.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees:

Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar

Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Troy Kotsur, CODA *

Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog *

How I Did: 2/5

Commentary – The Supporting Actor race has been unpredictable and did that ever show this morning! Yep, I went 2 for 5. Neither Belfast hopeful (Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds) factored in nor did Mike Faist for West Side Story. I’ll note that Affleck, Kotsur, and Smit-McPhee are the three that managed Globe and SAG attention. While I didn’t have Cooper for SAG, his inclusion here makes me more confident picking him for an Oscar nod (where I’ve had him for weeks). Leto’s chances get a boost after missing the Globes. And at the end of the day – Smit-McPhee could be headed towards a sweep after taking the Globe.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble

Nominees:

Black Widow *

Dune *

The Matrix Resurrections

No Time to Die *

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings *

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary – Pretty simple as Matrix gets in over Spider-Man: No Way Home. This is likely a Dune win or maybe No Time to Die.

And there you have it! I won’t spend too much time expressing my amazement over the Stewart snub (I’m sure you’ll find plenty of that on Twitter). I’ll have my winner picks up on the blog shortly before the SAG Awards air on February 27th and I’ll have updated Oscar estimates up tomorrow!

January 14-17 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Note (01/13): On the eve of its premiere, I am upping the 4-day tally for Scream from $29.4 million to $36.4M

**Blogger’s Update (01/11) – GKIDS has announced that Belle will open Friday on approximately 1300 screens. I believe that’s enough that it could post a $3-4 million showing and place fourth. Update is reflected below.

Familiar faces from the quarter century old Scream team are back with some fresh ones as Scream, the fourth sequel to the 1996 original hits multiplexes over the long MLK weekend. The scare fest follow-up looks to dethrone Spider-Man from his four week reign atop the charts. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Scream Box Office Prediction

My high 20s estimate for Scream should get it to #1. While Omicron concerns could hinder it, Spidey has certainly proved that familiar products can thrive. Horror pics have also proven to be sturdy at the box office in recent times. If anything, I could envision Scream managing to top $30 million but I’ll hedge a bit.

The four-day weekend could mean smallish dips for holdovers as Spider-Man should place second in the low to possibly 20s with Sing 2, The 355, and The King’s Man filling out the high five.

Keep in mind that these projections are for Friday-Monday and this is how I see it:

1. Scream

Predicted Gross: $36.4 million

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $22.7 million

3. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million

4. Belle

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

5. The 355

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (January 7-9)

The web slinger had no trouble staying in first as Spider-Man: No Way Home added $32.6 million to its coffers, a bit ahead of my $29.5 million prediction. The MCU phenomenon is up to $668 million and that places it 6th on the all-time domestic chart.

Sing 2 was once again the runner-up with $11.5 million, in line with my take of $11.9 million. The animated sequel crossed the century mark and stands at $108 million.

Spy thriller The 355 was 2022’s first wide release and, as expected, opened in third with $4.6 million. While nothing to brag about, it debuted in line with expectations and a smidge more than my $3.8 million forecast.

The King’s Man was fourth with $3.2 million compared to my $2.6 million projection. Total is $25 million.

American Underdog rounded out the top five with $2.3 million (I said $2.1 million) for $18 million overall.

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

 

2021 SAG Awards Nominee Predictions

The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards airs February 27th and the nominations will be unveiled this Wednesday (01/12). It’s often a more reliable precursor to the acting nominations for the Oscars. Therefore it’s time to make my picks on who and what will grab the nods later this week.

As a reminder, the big prize here is Best Ensemble and not Best Picture. That often favors films with a larger cast though a potent mix with four or more actors can make the cut. Similar to Golden Globe estimates and my forthcoming final Oscar picks, I’ll give you my five contenders along with a runner-up and second alternate with a bit of commentary.

Here we go!

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Runner-Up: Licorice Pizza

Second Alternate: King Richard

Commentary – The three Best Picture frontrunners for the Academy (Belfast, Power, West Side) all seem like pretty safe bets here. If anything is vulnerable, it might be the quartet from Power considering it has a smaller troupe of performers. There’s also some chatter that West Side could be vulnerable because it sent out late screeners for voters, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. For the other two spots, I’m favoring Don’t Look Up‘s large and sprawling cast should make it in. I’ll go with the CODA clan as well though I could easily see Licorice Pizza, King Richard or The Harder They Fall making the cut.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Predicted Nominees:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Runner-Up: Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Second Alternate: Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza

Commentary – The last four years has seen a 4/5 match with SAG and Oscar when it comes to leading ladies. My current Academy lineup is the same as here (though that’s certainly subject to change). Quite honestly, I tried to make room for Cruz but couldn’t land on who to take out. The most vulnerable could be Chastain, Gaga, or Kidman. I also wouldn’t completely discount Jennifer Hudson for Respect and would have her ranked above Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) for SAG.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in Leading Role

Predicted Nominees:

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage, Cyrano

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Will Smith, King Richard

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Runner-Up: Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Second Alternate: Nicolas Cage, Pig

Commentary – Just as I am with the Oscars – feeling confident about Cumberbatch, Garfield, Smith, and Washington. It’s that fifth slot that’s tricky. I’ll give Dinklage the ever so slight nod over Leo (who’s currently my fifth with the Academy). I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Cage sneak in.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Rita Moreno, West Side Story

Runner-Up: Marlee Matlin, CODA

Second Alternate: Ann Dowd, Mass

Commentary – I’m banking on the Guild not passing up a chance to put the legendary Moreno in with her costar DeBose. Speaking of Passing, you’ll notice Ruth Negga (my fifth Oscar player at the moment) isn’t here but she could certainly surface.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Predicted Nominees:

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Mike Faist, West Side Story

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Runner-Up: Jared Leto, House of Gucci

Second Alternate: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Commentary – Bit of a guessing game as Supporting Actor is a head scratcher for 2021 pics. Going with both Belfast boys and the love continuing for West Side Story with Faist. As for the winner, that could be between Kotsur and Smit-McPhee (I also wouldn’t discount his costar Jesse Plemons getting in). If Leto misses here (and with the Globes omission), his Oscar chances probably disappear.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble

Predicted Nominees:

Black Widow

Dune

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Runner-Up: The Matrix Resurrections

Second Alternate: The Harder They Fall

This means I’m projecting 4 nominations apiece for Belfast, The Power of the Dog, and West Side Story. I’ll have a recap up Wednesday with my reaction and how well (or not) I did!

P.S. – Golden Globe reactions coming up this evening…

2021 Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

My first 2022 predictions for the 2021 Oscar season comes on the eve of the Golden Globes and four days before SAG announces their nominees. By my next update, we will have those useful bits of information to consider.

If you missed my predictions for the Globe winners, you can find them here:

2021 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

I’ll have my forecast for the SAG nominees up on the blog tomorrow so stay tuned! In the meantime, there are numerous changes to point out:

    • I keep going back and forth on whether momentum for Japan’s Drive My Car is still revving up or perhaps stalling. I’ve taken it out of my ten predicted BP contenders and put The Tragedy of Macbeth back in.
    • While I continue to struggle with all 5 Best Actress hopefuls representing non BP nominees, I’m back to that lineup. That means Lady Gaga (House of Gucci) returns with Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza) falling out.
    • For many weeks, I’ve held to same Best Actor five. That changes today with Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up) joining the quintet and Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) dropping.
    • In Supporting Actor, both Belfast boys are in so Jamie Dornan is back in the mix. That takes out Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog).
    • Drive My Car is also out for Adapted Screenplay with Dune in.
    • The Beyonce vs. Billie battle in Original Song switches places. Beyonce’s track “Be Alive” from King Richard has been my #1 for months, but I’ve now vaulted Billie’s “No Time to Die” to top position.

You can read all the movement below and keep an eye out for a Globes recap and SAG prognostications.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dune (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (+2)

8. CODA (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Drive My Car (PR: 10) (-1)

12. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 13) (E)

14. Being the Ricardos (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 15) (E)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 6) (E)

7. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sian Heder, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 9) (E)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 7) (E)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. King Richard (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 6) (E)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. A Hero (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Dune (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Passing (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Last Duel (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Luca (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. My Sunny Maad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sing 2

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Your Man (PR: 6) (E)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 7) (E)

8. Great Freedom (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Good Boss (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lamb

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Rescue (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ascension (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Attica (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The First Wave (PR: 6) (-1)

8. President (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (-1)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: 10) (E)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Spencer (PR: 5) (+2)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cyrano (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-1)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Nightmare Alley (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Last Night in Soho

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 5) (-1)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Cyrano (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Suicide Squad (PR: 7) (-2)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (E)

4. Spencer (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-1)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Green Knight

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (+1)

2. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (-1)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Right Where I Belong” from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. West Side Story (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. Spencer (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 2) (E)

3. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Free Guy (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (-1)

7. No Time to Die (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And that boils down to these pictures garnering these numbers for nominations:

11 Nominations

Dune

10 Nominations

Belfast

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

4 Nominations

The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

CODA, Flee, House of Gucci, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Lost Daughter, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Ascension, Drive My Car, Free Guy, The French Dispatch, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Parallel Mothers, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

January 7-9 Box Office Predictions

2022 should look a lot like the final two weekends of 2021 at the box office with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Sing 2 easily in the top two positions.

There is only one newbie entering the marketplace – the female led spy thriller The 355 with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, and Penelope Cruz. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

The 355 Box Office Prediction

My $3.8 million estimate doesn’t inspire much confidence in its potency and I’ve got it pegged for a third place showing.

Holdovers Spidey and Sing 2 should maintain their chart rankings with the former in mid 20s to possibly $30 million and the latter still above double digits and perhaps reaching low teens. The King’s Man and American Underdog, meanwhile, should round out the top five with both in the $2-3 million range.

Overall it’s a rather quiet frame as we await Scream hitting next weekend and this is how I see it:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $29.5 million

2. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $11.9 million

3. The 355

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

4. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $2.6 million

5. American Underdog

Predicted Gross: $2.1 million

Box Office Results (December 31-January 2)

Spider-Man: No Way Home easily closed out 2021 and began 2022 in first place with $56 million, a bit ahead of my $52.5 million forecast. In three weeks, the MCU mega blockbuster is up to $613 million and that’s already good for 10th domestically all-time.

Sing 2 held the runner-up spot again with $20.1 million – in range with my $19.6 million estimate. The animated sequel has taken in $90 million during its two weeks and should join the century club in short order.

The King’s Man jumped from #4 to #3 with $4.5 million (an estimate since 20th Century Studios hasn’t released a final gross). I said $4.5 million (!) and it’s made $19 million in two weeks of action.

Fourth place belonged to American Underdog in its sophomore outing with $3.9 million, not matching my take of $5.7 million. Total is $14 million.

Finally, The Matrix Resurrections plunged a steep 64% in its second weekend with $3.8 million compared to my $4.8 million projection. The fourth entry in the sci-fi saga has downloaded a weak $30 million thus far.

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

Benedict Cumberbatch vs. Will Smith: A Best Actor Showdown

When King Richard came out in November, the preceding reviews and buzz pointed to a likelihood in the Best Actor race for this year’s Oscars – Will Smith would be on his way to his first gold statue. Playing Richard Williams, patriarch of the family that gave us tennis royalty Venus and Serena Williams, the film provides us multiple Academy bait scenes for the actor.

Mr. Smith has gone to the Oscars before as a nominee. 20 years ago, he was up for Ali (where to lost to Denzel Washington in Training Day). 15 years back, he scored his second nod for The Pursuit of Happyness (coming up short to Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland).

This time around felt different. Obviously Smith is a beloved figure across the entertainment spectrum from movies to music to TV and he’s had blockbuster upon blockbuster in the last quarter century. Richard seemed like the right role for him to get that Oscar. Third time’s the charm.

That could still absolutely happen. In fact, I still have him ranked #1 in the Actor derby where he’s been perched for months. Yet I must admit, doubts are creeping in.

Why? A couple of reasons. First off, King Richard underwhelmed at the box office and that’s being kind. The sports drama has taken in less than $15 million. Part of the reason has to be due to its simultaneous release on HBO Max, but there’s no sugarcoating that it’s a subpar performance.

Secondly, there’s the rise of Benedict Cumberbatch in Netflix’s The Power of the Dog. The actor (who’s about to land his second nod after 2014’s The Imitation Game) is becoming the critical favorite and he’s picking up hardware from their associations. It also helps that Cumberbatch has been highly visible in 2021 with four pics (including financial behemoth Spider-Man: No Way Home).

In that sense, the 2021 Best Actor race is starting to look like what we witnessed in 2020. As an aside, I do see this a two-person competition at the moment (though Andrew Garfield from Tick Tick, Boom! may have a remote shot). There’s a head vs. heart vibe emerging. Last year, the sentimental favorite was the late Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The performance that was equally if not more hailed by critics came from Anthony Hopkins in The Father. And it was Hopkins who ultimately and somewhat surprisingly prevailed.

Could we see a repeat in 2021 and a slight upset by Cumberbatch over the favored Smith? Stay tuned…

December 31-January 2 Box Office Predictions

As 2021 transitions into 2022, the top five on the box office charts should look similar to as it did over Christmas with Spider-Man: No Way Home easily on top and Sing 2 firmly in the runner-up spot. There are no new wide releases this weekend as New Year’s Eve falls on Friday and holdovers should all experience fairly small drops.

One in particular – the football drama American Underdog with its A+ Cinemascore grade – could even gain viewers and rise to the third spot. That’s assuming The Matrix Resurrections, after its subpar debut and mixed audience reaction, has the steepest fall of the leftovers. The King’s Man should round out the top five in its sophomore frame.

And with that – here’s I foresee the year closing out and the new one beginning at multiplexes:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $52.8 million

2. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $19.6 million

3. American Underdog

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

4. The Matrix Resurrections

Predicted Gross: $4.8 million

5. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

Box Office Results (December 24-26)

Let’s start with this caveat – some studios (namely Sony and Warner Bros) are apparently taking a holiday break and haven’t reported final box numbers from the Christmas weekend. So some of these tallies are estimates…

As anticipated, Spider-Man: No Way Home dominated the holiday with a reported take of $84.5 million in weekend 2. That brings its total to approximately $470 million through December 26th. The 68% drop is considerably larger than I anticipated and I had it making $125.2 million over the three days. Regardless – this movie is setting pandemic records right and left.

Sing 2 was second with $22.3 million from Friday to Sunday and $37.9 million when counting its Wednesday and Thursday opening grosses. I went a bit higher at $31.3 million and $46.8 million, respectively, but you can expect the Illumination Entertainment animated sequel to play well into the next few weeks.

The Matrix Resurrections, as mentioned, disappointed. Perhaps the HBO Max simultaneous release didn’t help, but there’s no way to spin the fourth franchise entry (arriving 18 years after the last) simply failed to meet expectations. It took in an estimated $12 million from Friday to Sunday and $22.5 million since Wednesday for third place. I was far more generous at $26.7 million and $40.3 million.

Sequelitis also struck down The King’s Man. The Kingsman prequel was fourth with $5.9 million (Friday to Sunday) and $9.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday) compared to my projections of $8.8 million and $13.1 million.

American Underdog debuted on Christmas Day for a two-day haul of $5.8 million. I said $7.2 million. As discussed above, I look for this to stick around and rise from fifth to third.

West Side Story was sixth with $2.8 million, outpacing my $2 million prediction for $23 million total.

A Journal for Jordan also started on Saturday and made $2.2 million over two days. I was a tad higher at $2.9 million.

Eighth place belonged to the expansion of Licorice Pizza with $1.9 million, right on target with my $1.8 million estimate. It’s made just over $3 million overall.

Sing 2 took a big bite out of Encanto‘s audience (plus it became available on Disney Plus). It was ninth with $1.8 million and I overshot with $4.3 million. Total is $88 million.

Finally, Ghostbusters: Afterlife rounded out the top ten with $1.2 million (I went with $2 million) for $120 million total.

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

2021 Oscar Predictions: December 29th Edition

My final Oscar predictions of the calendar year brings changes in three major categories:

Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, in addition to spending its second week at #1 in International Feature Film, pulls into the top ten for Best Picture. That’s at the expense of The Tragedy of Macbeth. I toyed with the idea of removing Don’t Look Up (which has drawn wildly mixed reactions from audiences and critics). I’m keeping it in as its most vocal supporters could keep Adam McKay’s satire in the mix.

In Best Actress, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that the quintet of Kristen Stewart, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Colman, and Lady Gaga may not be the final five. Why? Mainly because I don’t have any of their movies getting BP nods. Since the Academy expanded to 5-10 nominees in that big race, there hasn’t been a year where the acting nominees didn’t represent at least one Best Picture nominee. That was in 2009. If you still went with the previously mentioned five, it might be wise to consider Spencer or Being the Ricardos or The Lost Daughter making the 10 BP contenders. I’m not prepared to put any of that trio in at the moment. Therefore – I’m dropping Gaga and elevating Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza). It could also be Rachel Zegler (West Side Story).

I’m going with a somewhat surprise nominee (perhaps two) in Supporting Actor. I still have Bradley Cooper (Pizza) making the cut and now I’m putting in Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog). This knocks out Jamie Dornan for Belfast. Last year, we saw a shocker when Lakeith Stanfield (Judas and the Black Messiah) made the supporting five. Power‘s potency (I have it as the favorite to take BP) could sweep Plemons in along with his costar Kodi Smit-McPhee (my #1). That could be a repeat of 2020 when Daniel Kaluuya won for Judas and Stanfield was in the race.

You can read all the movement below and my predictions will continue into the new year!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Dune (PR: 3) (-2)

6. King Richard (PR: 6) (E)

7. CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Drive My Car (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Being the Ricardos (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Nightmare Alley (PR: 11) (-2)

14. The Lost Daughter (PR: 14) (E)

15. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

A Hero

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (E)

8. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Asghar Farhadi, A Hero (PR: 9) (E)

10. Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (E)

3. Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 7) (E)

8. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Emilia Jones, CODA (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (E)

5. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 1) (E)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 4) (E)

5. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Rita Moreno, West Side Story (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ciaran Hinds, Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Mike Faist, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ben Affleck, The Tender Bar (PR: 7) (-2)

10. J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Isaacs, Mass

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Belfast (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (E)

5. Being the Ricardos (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mass (PR: 8) (+2)

7. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Parallel Mothers (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. CODA (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Lost Daughter (PR: 4) (E)

5. Drive My Car (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dune (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Passing (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Last Duel (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Encanto (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Luca (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Belle (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Summit of the Gods (PR: 7) (E)

8. Vivo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (E)

10. Sing 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Where Is Anne Frank

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Drive My Car (PR: 1) (E)

2. A Hero (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 3) (E)

4. Flee (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Hand of God (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Your Man (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Prayers for the Stolen (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Great Freedom (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Lamb (PR: 10) (E)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Rescue (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 3) (E)

4. Procession (PR: 4) (E)

5. Attica (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The First Wave (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ascension (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Faya Dayi (PR: 8) (E)

9. President (PR: 7) (-2)

10. In the Same Breath (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Velvet Underground

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belfast (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (E)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (E)

8. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (+1)

9. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cruella (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. West Side Story (PR: 3) (E)

4. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (E)

5. Spencer (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Last Night in Soho (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (-2)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (-1)

7. King Richard (PR: 7) (E)

8. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 8) (E)

9. Being the Ricardos (PR: 9) (E)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nightmare Alley

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (E)

4. Cruella (PR: 4) (E)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Cyrano (PR: 7) (-1)

9. West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. No Time to Die (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Don’t Look Up (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Spencer (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Parallel Mothers (PR: 7) (E)

8. King Richard (PR: 8) (E)

9. Encanto (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Harder They Fall

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Dos Oruguitas” from Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Just Look Up” from Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Beyond the Shore” from CODA (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Guns Go Bang” from The Harder They Fall (PR: 7) (E)

8. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 9) (+1)

9. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days (PR: 10) (E)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belfast (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (E)

9. Spencer (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Cruella (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Being the Ricardos

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. No Time to Die (PR: 4) (E)

5. Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (E)

7. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Power of the Dog (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Last Night in Soho (PR: 10) (E)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Free Guy (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Eternals (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Black Widow (PR: 10) (E)

And this all equates to these numbers of nominations for said movies:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

9 Nominations

The Power of the Dog, West Side Story

6 Nominations

Licorice Pizza

5 Nominations

Don’t Look Up, King Richard

3 Nominations

CODA, Drive My Car, Flee, Spencer, Tick, Tick… Boom!

2 Nominations

Being the Ricardos, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, House of Gucci, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die, The Tragedy of Macbeth

1 Nomination

Attica, Coming 2 America, Cyrano, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Procession, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World