FINAL 2019 Oscar Winner Predictions

And here we are! After one year plus of speculating about the Academy Awards ceremony that will air this Sunday evening, we arrive at my final prediction posts on the winners!

For all 21 races encompassing feature-length films, I am giving you my analysis with my pick and the runner-up in case I’m wrong (which is bound to occur). A broad overview includes these thoughts:

  • There are undeniable strong front-runners in all four acting categories – so much so that even picking a runner-up is a challenge. If anyone other than my quartet wins, it’ll constitute an upset.
  • This is not the case in the other major races and that includes Picture and Director and both screenplay categories.
  • Other matchups are practical coin tosses and that includes Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, Production Design, and Visual Effects.

I’m going to begin with the tech races and build up from there. So let’s get to it!

Best Cinematography

The Nominees: The Irishman, Joker, The Lighthouse, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Analysis: We start with a relatively easy one as the work of Roger Deakins in 1917 appears to have this in the bag. Anything else would be a surprise, but Hollywood could potentially challenge.

PREDICTED WINNER: 1917

Runner-Up: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Costume Design

The Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Analysis: Here’s another one where Hollywood could get it, but I will predict voters go back a bit further to the stylings of Little Women (for what could definitely be its sole victory).

PREDICTED WINNER: LITTLE WOMEN

Runner-Up: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Film Editing

The Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Parasite

Analysis: Both The Irishman and Parasite are possibilities here, but I believe Ferrari has the upper hand (for what could be its sole victory).

PREDICTED WINNER: FORD V FERRARI

Runner-Up: Parasite

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Nominees: Bombshell, Joker, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, 1917

Analysis: Bombshell appears to be the sturdy favorite here. And like a broken record, this likely stands as its only win. Joker or Judy would be the upset contenders.

PREDICTED WINNER: BOMBSHELL

Runner-Up: Joker

Best Original Score

The Nominees: Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Analysis: Thomas Newman (1917) has been nominated numerous times without a victory and the consensus for a while is that he would finally get his due. However, Joker has pretty much swept the precursors.

PREDICTED WINNER: JOKER

Runner-Up: 1917

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4, “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from Rocketman, “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough, “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II, “Stand Up” from Harriet

Analysis: It was a bit of a shocker that this stands as the only nod for Rocketman, which was expected to garner attention in Makeup and Hairstyling and the sound races. Yet the Academy is probably poised to get Sir Elton John up to the stage.

PREDICTED WINNER: “I’M GONNA LOVE ME AGAIN” FROM ROCKETMAN

Runner-Up: “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

Best Production Design

The Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Analysis: Along with Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay, this race marks the best shot for Hollywood to nab an Oscar. Frankly, this is a fairly wide open category where there is a narrative for any of the nominees to take it. I’m going to pick Hollywood by a hair.

PREDICTED WINNER: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Runner-Up: Parasite

Best Sound Editing

The Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Analysis: In both Sound races, I feel it comes down to Ford 1917. In each case, I’ll give it to 1917.

PREDICTED WINNER: 1917

Runner-Up: Ford v Ferrari

Best Sound Mixing

The Nominees: Ad Astra, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Analysis: See Sound Editing

PREDICTED WINNER: 1917

Runner-Up: Ford v Ferrari

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees: Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The Lion King, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Analysis: This is a tough one. Other than Skywalker, I feel any of the competitors could squeeze out a win. With 1917 picking up other tech races, I’ll give it the slight advantage. This wasn’t the case a month or two ago, but this might actually be the likeliest category for an Irishman Oscar.

PREDICTED WINNER: 1917

Runner-Up: The Irishman 

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link, Toy Story 4

Analysis: This one has been all over the map. Klaus picked up some key precursors. Missing Link surprised everyone by taking the Golden Globe. The Academy could choose to honor the Dragon franchise as a whole. I Lost My Body has its ardent admirers. Ultimately I’m playing it safe and betting Pixar manages to top all of them, though I’m less confident than usual about that.

PREDICTED WINNER: TOY STORY 4

Runner-Up: Klaus

Best Documentary Feature

The Nominees: American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland

Analysis: For Sama is a legit contender and Honeyland being nominated here and in International Feature Film (which it will not win) could mean something. American Factory, however, has held slight front runner status for some time. This is a coin flop, but we’ve seen surprises here before and I’ll lean towards that.

PREDICTED WINNER: FOR SAMA

Runner-Up: American Factory

Best International Feature Film

The Nominees: Corpus Christi, Honeyland, Les Miserables, Pain and Glory, Parasite

Analysis: Let’s not complicate this. It’s going to be Parasite. 

PREDICTED WINNER: PARASITE

Runner-Up: I guess… Pain and Glory?

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes

Analysis: There is definitely a chance that Greta Gerwig for Little Women could take this, especially after her Oscar snub for directing. The precursor attention, on the other hand, has mainly gone to Jojo for what might be its solo award.

PREDICTED WINNER: JOJO RABBIT

Runner-Up: Little Women

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees: Knives Out, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Analysis: Quentin could pick up his third statue here after Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, but the Parasite love seems stronger.

PREDICTED WINNER: PARASITE

Runner-Up: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Analysis: With the Irishmen splitting votes and Pitt taking every significant precursor, this is an easy one.

PREDICTED WINNER: BRAD PITT, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Runner-Up: Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell). Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

Analysis: Johansson being a double nominee is tough to ignore and I believe she’s got a slightly better shot here than in Actress. Her costar Dern, though, has swept the season.

PREDICTED WINNER: LAURA DERN, MARRIAGE STORY

Runner-Up: Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Best Actor

The Nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

Analysis: Here’s a race where there were about a dozen performances vying for five spots. At the end of the day, the competition was fun to witness but Phoenix has picked up all the hardware thus far and I don’t see that stopping on Sunday.

PREDICTED WINNER: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, JOKER

Runner-Up: Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Best Actress

The Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Analysis: Zellweger could the most vulnerable of the favored quartet with Theron or Johansson in the wings. It would be foolish to bet against her based on what’s already happened.

PREDICTED WINNER: RENEE ZELLWEGER, JUDY

Runner-Up: Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Best Director

The Nominees: Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Analysis: Even with heavyweights like Scorsese and Tarantino in the mix, this has come down to Joon-Ho vs. Mendes. And the latter has won the Golden Globe and the DGA (which has a steady track record of naming the winner here).

PREDICTED WINNER: SAM MENDES, 1917

Runner-Up: Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

Best Picture

The Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Analysis: Ugh… OK. Let’s begin with this: the smart money is on 1917. It won the Golden Globe for Best Drama and the Critics Choice Award. Mendes took the DGA and I have him picked to win Director.

On the contrary – in the 2010s, we have seen a Picture/Director split 5 out of 9 times. No foreign language film has ever won the biggest prize of all. Last year, I (along with many others) predicted Roma would be the first to do so and it lost to Green Book. 

That said, the affection for Parasite feels deeper than for Roma. I’ll make this pronouncement now… if Parasite loses Original Screenplay on Sunday night, you’ll pretty much know my prediction is wrong. Yet I’m rolling the dice here for a minor surprise and that’s why…

PREDICTED WINNER: PARASITE

Runner-Up: 1917

My predictions pan out to the following films winning these many Oscars:

5 Wins

1917

3 Wins

Parasite

2 Wins

Joker, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

1 Win

American Factory, Bombshell, Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Judy, Little Women, Marriage Story, Rocketman, Toy Story 4

These calls also mean every nominated Best Picture player will win an Oscar with the exception of The Irishman, which I’m estimating will go 0 for 10.

And that does it, folks! The speculation has ended and the ceremony is two days away. I’ll have a recap post on how I did Sunday night…

Oscars 2019: The Case of Adam Driver

My Case of posts for the acting contenders at this year’s Oscar brings us to the third performer in Best Actor… Adam Driver in Marriage Story. Here’s his story:

The Case for Adam Driver

2019 capped off an amazing decade for Driver. In addition to his high-profile role in the HBO series Girls, his filmography over the past few years has been remarkable. To give you an idea, here’s some of the directors he worked with in the 2010s: Clint Eastwood, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Jim Jarmusch, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, Terry Gilliam, and Spike Lee. The latter filmmaker helped Driver get his first Oscar nod last year in Supporting Actor for BlacKkKlansman. 2019 saw his best year yet with his final portrayal as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and critical praise for the political drama The Report. Yet it’s his role as the divorcing husband to Scarlett Johansson in frequent collaborator Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story that garnered his greatest reviews thus far.

The Case Against Adam Driver

He’s still young enough that there’s little overdue for a win sentiment happening. Marriage Story has fallen behind in numerous categories with the exception of Laura Dern in Supporting Actress. Joaquin Phoenix has swept the key precursors.

The Verdict

Driver will likely place second in the voting behind the rising of Phoenix over the past few weeks.

My Case of posts will continue with the third competitor in Best Actress… Saoirse Ronan in Little Women!

January 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/22): Revising my The Turning estimate down from to $12.2 million to $9 million

Two new titles open wide this weekend, but the Bad Boys ain’t going nowhere from the #1 spot after a scorching debut. We have the supernatural horror pic The Turning and Guy Ritchie comedic crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey premiering. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/16/the-turning-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/16/the-gentlemen-box-office-prediction/

I question whether either newcomer can hit the teens. I have The Turning almost getting there and placing fourth just behind the second weekend of Dolittle. As for The Gentlemen, I’m forecasting that it struggles to reach double digits and that should put it in the five spot.

Bad Boys for Life should lose about half its Friday to Sunday opening weekend haul and that would put it in the low 30s and far ahead of the pack. As for potential Best Picture winner 1917, look for it to jump up a spot to second as its drop shouldn’t be as pronounced as the Dolittle one.

And with that, my top 5 take on the weekend:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $31.1 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

4. The Gentlemen

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

5. The Turning

Predicted Gross: $9 million

Box Office Results (January 17-20)

Sporting the second best MLK long weekend gross of all time, sequelitis certainly was no issue for the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life. The action comedy exploded beyond expectations (with good reviews to boot) for $73 million over the four-day frame. That dwarfs my measly $45.6 million projection. Surprise surprise! A fourth edition has already been announced.

Don’t expect to see Dolittle 2. The Robert Downey Jr. family adventure made $28.3 million and that did top my $22.3 million estimate. However, with poor critical reaction and a bloated $175 million budget, it’s still a subpar result.

1917 dropped to third with $26.9 million, under my $34.4 million forecast. The Oscar hopeful is up to $81 million and it should hit the century club by this weekend.

Jumanji: The Next Level was fourth with $12.6 million (I said $11.8 million) for $273 million overall.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker rounded out the top five with $10.5 million compared to my $9.6 million prediction. Total is $494 million.

I incorrectly had Little Women outside of my top six projections, but it was 6th with $8.2 million. The Best Picture nominee is at $86 million.

Finally, I had Just Mercy holding better in its second weekend of wide release. It earned $7.5 million, below my $10.2 million take for a middling $21 million.

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

January 17-20 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/15): Revision time! Taking Bad Boys for Life up to $45.6 million and 1917 down a bit at $34.4 million.

The four-day MLK weekend is upon us with two high profile titles competing with 2019 holdovers. We have Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in action with Bad Boys for Life and Robert Downey Jr. headlining the family fantasy adventure Dolittle. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/08/bad-boys-for-life-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/09/dolittle-box-office-prediction/

I do not see the box office battle occurring between the two newcomers. That’s because current champ 1917 is fresh off 10 Oscar nominations, great buzz, and a better than expected debut. This holiday weekend often sees holdovers experience very small drops. When you combine the Academy having just released their nominees, that bodes well for the Sam Mendes World War I epic. I’m projecting that it has a slight increase over its opening three day wide rollout.

That puts it in a dogfight with Bad Boys. I’ve got the threequel (coming nearly 25 after the original) in the high 30s and I’m giving it an ever so slight edge over the Academy contender.

Dolittle seems headed for trouble considering its reported $175 million budget. It has already premiered in overseas markets and struggled. Family audiences have had plenty to choose from lately and many may skip this one. My low to mid 20s forecast puts it at a distant third.

I do expect Just Mercy to have a slight increase despite Oscar voters ignoring it. It could feasibly vault over Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker in the five spot with Jumanji dropping from third to fourth.

And with that, my take on the frame ahead:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $45.6 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $34.4 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $22.3 million

4. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

5. Just Mercy

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

Box Office Results (January 10-12)

It was a terrific weekend for 1917 ahead of its double digits Oscar haul Monday morning. The pic took in $37 million, topping my $31.2 million prediction. As described above, its outlook ahead looks rosy.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell to second after three weeks at #1 with $15.1 million compared to my $16.9 million estimate. The ninth official episode of the franchise stands at $478 million.

Jumanji: The Next Level was third with $14 million, under my $17 million take. Total is $257 million as it looks for a small slide this weekend.

Like a Boss with Tiffany Haddish had a muted start in fourth with $10 million. I was a bit higher at $12.4 million.

Just Mercy expanded nationwide in fifth with $9.7 million, right on target with my $9.8 million projection. With an A+ Cinemascore grade, it should play well over the next few weeks.

Little Women was sixth with $7.8 million and was unable to match my forecast of $10.3 million. The newly minted Best Picture nominee has grossed $74 million with the century mark within reach.

Finally, Kristen Stewart had her second big budget flop in a row (after Charlie’s Angels) as Underwater was seventh with $7 million. It did manage to outdo my prediction of $5.4 million.

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

2019 Oscar Nominations Reaction

Well, folks, the Oscar nominations were out bright and early this morning. Per usual, there were some genuine surprises and omissions that will have Twitter buzzing right up until the ceremony February 9th.

Readers of the blog know that I spend months trying to put the puzzle together on who and what will be nominated. My results today? Out of the 109 predictions made, 88 of them came to fruition. In the eight biggest categories, there were four that I got all nominees correct… including Best Picture. Truth be told, I’m pretty pleased with my results!

Before we break it down race by race, some general comments. As for movies that had a disappointing wakeup call, there were numerous entries that had possibilities in the major categories and beyond. Those left on the cutting room floor include Booksmart, Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Uncut Gems, and Us. Another movie barely left standing was Rocketman. I had it pegged for five nominations, but it managed just a single mention in Original Song.

For the films that did make it in, Joker scored the most nominations (somewhat of a surprise) with 11 followed by The Irishman, 1917, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with 10 apiece.

With some of my analysis here, you’ll see strong indications on what my winner forecast might be. Expect that post to be up a couple of days before the ceremony.

And with that, let’s break it down!

Best Picture

The Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

How I Did: 9/9 (!)

Analysis: For Oscar prognosticators, just getting the correct number of films that are nominated is an accomplishment. It can fluctuate anywhere between 5 and 10. Nine felt correct for some time and I’ve had these ones predicted for several weeks. As for a winner, I feel six of them have at least decent to strong shots. I’m nowhere near ready to crown a victor.

Best Director

The Nominees: Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: It was Phillips riding the Joker wave over Greta Gerwig for Little Women. Like Picture, this race feels wide open and it could come down to Joon-Ho vs. Mendes.

Best Actor

The Nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: With so many contenders in the running, going 4 for 5 here feels like more of an accomplishment that naming the Best Pic nominees. It was Pryce getting a slot over Taron Egerton in Rocketman. Banderas and Pryce are first time nominees. It looks like Phoenix could sweep awards season and that gives him his first win.

Best Actress

The Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: 100% here and like Best Actor, there’s a strong front runner with Zellweger. If so, she’d pick up her second statue after being named Supporting Actress for 2003’s Cold Mountain. 

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: What a list of legends we have here! There’s some interesting tidbits to share. Every nominee here has won an Oscar. Yet it’s been some time since most were nominated – Pesci since 1990 for GoodFellas, Pacino since 1992 for his double nod with Scent of a Woman and Glengarry Glen Ross, Hopkins since 1997 (Amistad), and rather shockingly, Hanks… who has his first nomination since 2000 with Cast Away. Pitt, on the other hand, is the most recent nominee for his acting (2011’s Moneyball). However, he’s the only one of the five to never win the Oscar for his performances (he does have an Oscar for producing 2013’s 12 Years a Slave). Got all that? And here’s the last word on that… Pitt seems destined to join their company in February as a winner.

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Now we get to the first genuine shocker and that’s Jennifer Lopez not being nominated for Hustlers. Bates takes her spot. Lopez was generally seen as close to a sure thing for recognition and I’ve had her listed at #2 behind Dern for weeks. This only helps Dern for her first podium walk.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: This has looked like the final five for a while now and this could represent the best chance for a major win for The Irishman. That said, I wouldn’t count Jojo or Joker completely out.

Best Original Screenplay

The Nominees: Knives Out, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: No love for The Farewell here with 1917 getting in. Tarantino is a soft favorite over Marriage Story and Parasite. 

Best Internation Feature Film

The Nominees: Corpus Christi, Honeyland, Les Miserables, Pain and Glory, Parasite

How I Did: 3/5

Les Mis, Pain, and Parasite were automatics. The last two spots were tricky to forecast and I had Atlantics and Those Who Remained instead. Honeyland pulled off a notable achievement by being named here and in Documentary. Bottom line: this is the easiest race of them all to project. It’s going to be Parasite. 

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link, Toy Story 4

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Next big surprise as Disney’s Frozen II was frozen out with Klaus taking the spot. Toy Story 4 is the favorite, but I don’t discount the possibility of an upset here (with Dragon and Body as potential spoilers).

Best Documentary Feature

The Nominees: American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: The documentary branch is always unpredictable and that proved accurate this morning. Apollo 11 and One Child Nation were the two I had in over The Cave and The Edge of Democracy. Netflix’s American Factory (the first doc from Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company) appears to be the leader of the pack.

Best Cinematography

The Nominees: The Irishman, Joker, The Lighthouse, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: I had Ford v Ferrari over Lighthouse. This looks to be a win for 1917. 

Best Costume Design

The Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: Surprises here with Dolemite Is My Name and Rocketman being ignored in favor of The Irishman and Joker. I even thought the two I predicted had real shots at winning. This one could be between Women and Hollywood. 

Best Film Editing

The Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Parasite

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Now this one is interesting! I had Hollywood in and not Jojo. Why is Editing important? Of any category at the Oscars, a nomination here means a lot to the eventual Best Picture winner. The last movie to win the big prize and not be nominated for Editing is 2014’s Birdman. And that’s really an asterisk since it was filmed in one long continuous shot (though the same basically holds true for 1917). Before that, the last Best Picture winner recipient to not score a nod here? You have to go all the way back to 1980’s Ordinary People. In other words, the snub for Hollywood here could mean something. Perhaps it will be an outlier. Yet I feel it’s key for ballot guessers to know that only two BP winners haven’t been recognized here in the past 40 years…

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Nominees: Bombshell, Joker, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, 1917

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: Hollywood and Rocketman out and Maleficent and 1917 in. Expect this to be the sole win for Bombshell.

Best Original Score

The Nominees: Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker 

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: Back to perfection! Joker has gotten the precursor love, but 1917 is a threat.

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough, “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II, “Stand Up” from Harriet

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: This category is a head scratcher. I had “Spirit” from The Lion King and “Glasgow” from Wild Rose in over the Toy Story and Breakthrough tracks. This should be a contest between Elton John’s Rocketman tune and the Frozen song. However, both films were significantly snubbed in other categories as mentioned above. The one thing I do know… this branch clearly loves tracks that begin with the letter I.

Best Production Design

The Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Had Little Women over Parasite. This could definitely be a W for Hollywood.

Best Sound Editing

The Nominees: Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Had Avengers: Endgame over Joker. In both sound races, this should be between Ford and 1917.

Best Sound Mixing 

The Nominees: Ad Astra, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

How I Did: 3/5

Had Rocketman and Skywalker over Astra and Hollywood. See Sound Editing above.

Best Visual Effects

The Nominees: Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The Lion King, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: I’m glad this category is last alphabetically so I can end on a high note! I lean Lion King, but that could change.

And that does it for my nominations recap! As stated, expect winner predictions shortly before February 9th!

 

2019 FINAL Oscar Nomination Predictions

And it comes down to this…

After months and months of speculation, dozens of blog posts, and constant shifting around, these are my final predictions for the 2019 Oscars. There’s been thousands of words written about the races so I’ll keep it simple here.

The nominations are out Monday. I’m picking nine pictures to get recognition (there can be anywhere from 5 to 10 and 8-9 is usually the sweet spot). For each category, I’m also naming an alternate and second alternate.

Lastly, you can be sure come Monday that I’ll have a recap up with reaction and my results. Here we go folks!

Best Picture

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite 

ALTERNATE – The Farewell

ALTERNATE 2 – Knives Out

Best Director

Greta Gerwig, Little Women

Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

ALTERNATE – Todd Phillips, Joker

ALTERNATE 2 – Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story 

Best Actress

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

ALTERNATE – Awkwafina, The Farewell

ALTERNATE 2 – Lupita Nyong’o, Us

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

ALTERNATE – Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari

ALTERNATE 2 – Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

ALTERNATE – Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

ALTERNATE 2 – Nicole Kidman, Bombshell

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

ALTERNATE – Song Kang-Ho, Parasite

ALTERNATE 2 – Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

The Two Popes

ALTERNATE – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

ALTERNATE 2 – Hustlers

Best Original Screenplay

The Farewell

Knives Out

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

ALTERNATE – 1917

ALTERNATE 2 – Uncut Gems

Best International Feature Film

Atlantics

Les Miserables

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Those Who Remained

ALTERNATE – Beanpole

ALTERNATE 2 – Honeyland

Best Animated Feature

Frozen II

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

ALTERNATE – Klaus

ALTERNATE 2 – Abominable

Best Documentary Feature

American Factory 

Apollo 11

For Sama

Honeyland

One Child Nation

ALTERNATE – Midnight Family

ALTERNATE 2 – Maiden

Best Cinematography

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Joker

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

ALTERNATE – The Lighthouse

ALTERNATE 2 – Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Best Costume Design

Dolemite Is My Name

Jojo Rabbit

Little Women

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rocketman

ALTERNATE – Downton Abbey

ALTERNATE 2 – The Irishman

Best Film Editing

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Joker

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

ALTERNATE – 1917

ALTERNATE 2 – Marriage Story 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Bombshell

Joker

Judy

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rocketman

ALTERNATE – Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

ALTERNATE 2 – Dolemite Is My Name

Best Production Design

1917

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Little Women

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

ALTERNATE – Parasite

ALTERNATE 2 – Joker

Best Original Score

1917

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

ALTERNATE – Ford v Ferrari

ALTERNATE 2 – Jojo Rabbit

Best Original Song

“Glasgow” from Wild Rose

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman

“Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

“Spirit” from The Lion King

“Stand Up” from Harriet

ALTERNATE – “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough

ALTERNATE 2 – “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite

Best Sound Editing

1917

Avengers: Endgame

Ford v Ferrari

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

ALTERNATE – Joker

ALTERNATE 2 – Rocketman

Best Sound Mixing

1917

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

Rocketman

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

ALTERNATE – Avengers: Endgame

ALTERNATE 2 – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Visual Effects

1917

Avengers: Endgame

The Irishman

The Lion King

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

ALTERNATE – Alita: Battle Angel

ALTERNATE 2 – Gemini Man 

And that means my final tally for pictures getting the following number of nominations goes like this:

11 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

9 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Joker, Little Women

6 Nominations

Marriage Story

5 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Parasite, Rocketman

4 Nominations

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

3 Nominations

Bombshell

2 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, American Factory  Apollo 11, Atlantics, Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Those Who Remained, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose

Dolittle Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (01/15): Revising prediction down to $22.3 million

Robert Downey Jr. can speak to animals in Dolittle, but will the film speak to family audiences when it opens next weekend? The pic takes the well known character (previously played by Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy) and places him in a pricey $175 million budgeted adventure. Stephen Gaghan, known for directing the 2005 political thriller Syriana, is the rather surprising choice for behind the camera duties. Our marvelous cinematic Iron Man leads the human cast that also includes Harry Collett, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley, and Jim Broadbent. Many familiar faces are responsible for voicing the animal cast. That list includes Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard (four Oscar winners among them!).

Dolittle was slated to be released last spring before it underwent reportedly extensive reshoots. The release of a property like this with its budget and leading man in late January is a bit curious and perhaps concerning.

Opening over the long MLK weekend, Dolittle will be in a battle for first place with Bad Boys for Life. Gauging the box office prowess of Downey is tricky nowadays since he’s pretty much only been Tony Stark over the past several years (those movies sell themselves).

Family audiences have had plenty of titles to choose from in the past month including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Spies in Disguise, and Jumanji: The Next Level. All three should bring in decent amounts of cash over the long frame. However, even with shaky buzz, Dolittle should hit mid to high 20s over the four days and north of $30 million is feasible. That puts it in second position based on my Bad Boys forecast or perhaps even third behind the second frame of 1917.

Dolittle opening weekend prediction: $22.3 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Bad Boys for Life prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/08/bad-boys-for-life-box-office-prediction/

2019 Oscar Predictions: January 6th Edition

There are years when the Golden Globes don’t seem to have much of an impact on my Oscar predictions. That could still hold true at the end of the day, but last night’s ceremony did so and that especially applies to the Best Actor derby and my numeric rankings in general with other top races. Let us count the ways…

  • The surprising wins for 1917 as Best Drama and Sam Mendes as its director is a real story. The timing could not be more perfect as the World War I action drama opens wide this weekend. In Picture, it rises from 5th to 4th. For Mendes, he goes from 4th to 3rd and that’s at the expense of Martin Scorsese.
  • Joaquin Phoenix hits the #1 slot in the ultra competitive Best Actor competition over Adam Driver, who’s been first for many weeks. Perhaps more significantly, Taron Egerton’s victory over Leonardo DiCaprio and Eddie Murphy in the Musical/Comedy race at the Globes places in my predicted five for the first time (he goes from 10th to 5th!). I’ve also put Antonio Banderas back in and that means Robert De Niro and Jonathan Pryce are on the outside looking in.
  • In Original Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino vaults to #1 over Noah Baumbach.

And an important programming note… this is the last time you will see my weekly predictions for 2019 in this manner. With nominations out a week from today, I will have a FINAL predictions post up this weekend (likely Friday or perhaps Saturday). As of this moment, here’s how I have it all shaking out!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Parasite (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 2)

4. 1917 (PR: 5)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Farewell (PR: 12)

11. Bombshell (PR: 11)

12. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

13. Knives Out (PR: 14)

14. Uncut Gems (PR: 15)

15. Pain and Glory (PR: 13)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 1)

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

3. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

4. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 3)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 6)

7. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 9)

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

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

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

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

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

5. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 4)

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

8. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

9. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 9)

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

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

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

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

8. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 10)

9. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

10. Ana de Armas, Knives Out (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

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

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 7)

7. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 8)

9. Alan Alda, Marriage Story (PR: 10)

10. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. Shuzhen Zhao, The Farewell (PR: 7)

8. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 8)

9. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

10. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Hustlers (PR: 7)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 8)

9. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

10. Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

10. Bombshell (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Dolemite Is My Name

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Corpus Christi (PR: 6)

5. Atlantics (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Beanpole (PR: 7)

7. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

8. The Painted Bird (PR: 5)

9. Honeyland (PR: 8)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

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

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Funan (PR: 9)

7. Klaus (PR: 6)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 8)

9. Abominable (PR: 7)

10. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. For Sama (PR: 3)

3. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

4. One Child Nation (PR: 4)

5. Honeyland (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. Midnight Family (PR: 9)

8. Maiden (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

10. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Knock Down the House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

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

3. Joker (PR: 4)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

7. The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

8. Parasite (PR: 5)

9. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Marriage Story (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

A Hidden Life 

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Joker (PR: 8)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

9. Judy (PR: 6)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 10)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

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

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: 7)

8. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bombshell

Apollo 11

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Judy (PR: 3)

3. Joker (PR: 2)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: 7)

7. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 6)

8. 1917 (PR: 10)

9. Little Women (PR: 8)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 2)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 3)

5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 5)

7. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. The King (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Pain and Glory

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 4)

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

5. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: 7)

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

8. “Letter to My Godfather” from The Black Godfather (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 9)

10. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Speechless” from Aladdin 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. 1917 (PR: 5)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 4)

7. Joker (PR: 6)

8. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ford v Ferrari 

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

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

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 5)

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

8. Joker (PR: 7)

9. The Irishman (PR: 9)

10. Us (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Rocketman (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 6)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: 9)

10. Us (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Lion King (PR: 1)

2. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

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

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

7. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 6)

8. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: 8)

9. Captain Marvel (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures garnering the following numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

9 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story

7 Nominations

Little Women

6 Nominations

Joker

5 Nominations

Parasite, Rocketman 

4 Nominations

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

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell

2 Nominations

Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Corpus Christi, Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose

January 10-12 Box Office Predictions

Fresh off its surprising Best Drama win last night at the Golden Globes, World War I epic 1917 appears to have the benefit of great timing as it opens wide Friday. We have three other newcomers in the mix with the Michael B. Jordan/Jamie Foxx legal drama Just Mercy, Tiffany Haddish/Rose Byrne comedy Like a Boss, and Kristen Stewart led sci-fi horror pic Underwater. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the quartet here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/1917-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/just-mercy-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/like-a-boss-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/02/underwater-box-office-prediction/

1917 has performed impressively in two weeks of limited release and the awards cred should only help. My projection last week put in the mid 20s and I’ve revised up to low 30s. That would easily put it in first, ending the three-week reign of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 

Both Mercy and Boss could see grosses in the low double digits to low teens. I do feel both have the potential to over perform. That said, Mercy has lacked the Oscar buzz that 1917 has and Haddish’s previous comedic starring vehicle Nobody’s Fool did so-so with $14 million for its start. As for Underwater, despite a considerable reported budget of $80 million, this looks like a massive flop. My measly $5.4 million estimate leaves it well outside the top five and marks the second costly flop for Stewart in a row after Charlie’s Angels. 

There might be shades of January 2018 happening with two particular holdovers. That’s when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle experienced much smaller declines than Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the two films switched positions. I expect that to occur now with The Next Level staying in second and Skywalker falling to third (though I have it about as close as can be).

And with that, my top 6 outlook:

1. 1917

Predicted Gross: $31.8 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $17 million

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

4. Like a Boss

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

5. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

6. Just Mercy

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

Box Office Results (January 3-5)

2020 started off as 2019 closed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in first. The ninth official episode of the franchise fell over 50% to $34.5 million, right on pace with my $34.4 million prediction. The total stands at $451 million.

Jumanji: The Next Level remained second with a considerably smaller dip at $26.2 million, a bit ahead of my $23.8 million projection. It’s up to $235 million and has another week of non threatening competition until Dolittle arrives.

Little Women had a terrific sophomore hold in third with $13.6 million (I said $12.1 million). The two week tally is $60 million as it seems destined to hit the century mark.

Frozen II was fourth with $11.8 million, in range with my $11.6 million forecast. The Disney behemoth is now at $450 million.

Finally, the year’s first wide release was The Grudge. The horror reboot was a dud with critics and audiences. The latter gave it an unprecedented F Cinemascore grade. Opening in fifth and making $11.4 million, it did manage to top my $10.2 million take. And considering it only cost a reported $10 million to produce, don’t feel too bad for Sony. Based on word of mouth, I expect it to fall off a cliff next weekend.

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

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

We talk about the Star Wars franchise the same way we speak of politics or sports. With passion and fervent opinions and disagreements. Perhaps we are giving it too much credit, but it’s become an American cinematic pastime. No group of films has inspired as much thought and re-thought. So we arrive at the ninth episode, The Rise of Skywalker, with all that baggage and more. After all, this one is tasked with closing out the saga that began at a time far, far away in 1977. Returning to direct with that weight on his shoulders is J.J. Abrams, who kickstarted the series for new owner Disney four years ago with The Force Awakens.

He does so two years following The Last Jedi from Rian Johnson, which sharply divided fans and critics by going in unexpected directions. Even Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, didn’t jive with the choices Johnson made with his character shuddered on an island and not wishing to utilize his Jedi skills. That was one compliant from some diehard fans, among others. You could say they had their knives out for it, so to speak.

I found The Last Jedi to be flawed and disjointed, but also filled with great moments. There aren’t many of them here in Skywalker. As I ponder it, episodes VII-IX do follow a similar arc as the iconic I-III. The Force Awakens was tasked with introducing new and exciting characters from these galaxies. It also had to mix in Luke and Leia and Han Solo and Chewie. I felt, for the most part, that it did so successfully. That especially applies to Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). In fact, their little therapy sessions from The Last Jedi were highlights of the whole trilogy. The common critique of Awakens is that it was a rehash of the first Star Wars. While this is with some merit, it didn’t take away my immense enjoyment of it.

As mentioned, The Last Jedi was more of a mixed bag. Yet with Johnson’s sometimes confounding but often daring choices, it was also the boldest. This is where a comparison with 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back seems fair. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nowhere in its league, but it did take what happened in the predecessor and take it in unexpected directions.

And now The Last Skywalker. Like 1983’s Return of the Jedi, this trilogy finale has to wrap it all up. Allow me to throw in this disclaimer – I don’t hold Return of the Jedi anywhere near the regards of what came before it. While I feel there are terrific moments, there’s a lot that didn’t work me and not just the Ewoks. It often felt a little tired and unsure of what to do with itself for a chunk of the running time. That applies to Skywalker and there’s aren’t as many terrific moments.

The similarities don’t end on just a quality level. Ultimately, the main plot here finds Rey facing a choice of whether to stay a Jedi or follow her lineage to the dark side… just as Luke did in Jedi. By the way, those lineage inquiries are addressed. Another complaint in Rian Johnson’s script was how he handled that aspect. Rey’s supporting cast is around with Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) marshaling support to take on Kylo. And as the trailer suggested, Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is back in the mix, too. So is Billy Dee Williams as cocky fighter pilot Lando. His return isn’t exactly as pined for as what we got with Luke, Leia, and Han. As for Leia, Carrie Fisher does return utilizing unused footage from Awakens and Last Jedi. It’s handled delicately.

There are new players with Richard E. Grant joining Domhnall Gleeson as one of Kylo’s top lieutenants. Abrams throws some small parts to Keri Russell and Dominic Monaghan (who both starred in his TV shows). The short shrift is given to Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), who had more of a presence in Last Jedi, but is basically ignored. That’s not exactly a problem as this is the Rey and Kylo show. Once again, both Ridley and Driver’s performances are first rate. Truth be told, though, Johnson wrote their dynamic better the last time around.

For the major detractors of The Last Jedi, perhaps this episode will feel like a return to Star Wars normalcy. I’m happy to listen to an argument that Johnson’s effort pairs well with the return of Abrams, but it would take lots of convincing. Skywalker often reeks of a course correction. This is becoming more common with franchises. We just saw Terminator: Dark Fate ignore the three pictures ahead of it. The X-Men series had to get creative with their timeline and do away with it under specific circumstances.

Those franchises aren’t Star Wars. The meeting between Han Solo and his son Kylo in The Force Awakens was a memorable, emotional, and surprising one. Whatever Mark Hamill and others might think about his treatment in The Last Jedi, a brief reunion with his sister in it was marvelous. In Skywalker, Abrams goes for a lot of those moments. And it felt, well, forced. The visual splendor and incredible production design (and the rousing John Williams score) is intact. A few scenes with Rey and Kylo work. Ultimately, I suspect my feelings about The Rise of Skywalker will be somewhat similar to Return of the Jedi – as an inferior product to its two predecessors.

**1/2 (out of four)