Oscar Predictions: Operation Mincemeat

It was released across the pond last month and Operation Mincemeat hits US small screens tomorrow courtesy of Netflix. The World War II drama comes from John Madden, whose Shakespeare in Love won Best Picture just over 23 years ago. Lately he’s been best known for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel. The cast is led by Best Actor recipient for The King’s Speech Colin Firth as well as Matthew McFadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn, and Jason Isaacs.

The Rotten Tomatoes score is 92%. Yet many of those positive reviews aren’t quite raves. Perhaps Costume Design or Production Design isn’t completely out of the question and maybe BAFTA voters will take notice of it. However, the likelier scenario is that Netflix will have bigger contenders that they’ll be championing and not this particular operation. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Miss Sloane Box Office Prediction

Audiences get a chance to get acquainted with Miss Sloane when it opens wide next weekend. The political drama stars Jessica Chastain as an influential DC lobbyist who takes on the powerful gun lobby. John Madden (director of Shakespeare in Love and the two Marigold Hotel pics) is behind the camera with a supporting cast that includes Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy, John Lithgow and Sam Waterston.

Sloane is getting a bit of attention due to Chastain’s performance. Reviews have singled out her work and she may be in line for an Oscar nomination (though that is a highly competitive race this year and she could be on the outside looking in). That said, critical reaction has been mixed and it stands at 62% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Political movies always face an uphill struggle with moviegoers and this may especially hold true in a year where the subject is everywhere around us.

Debuting on approximately 1600 screens, Sloane may just get to mid single digits.

Miss Sloane opening weekend prediction: $4.6 million

For my Office Christmas Party prediction, click here:


Box Office Predictions: March 20-22

For the second weekend in a row, a big budget blockbuster geared towards the female audience will likely dominate a B action movie with Liam Neeson connections. YA sequel Insurgent comes out a year following its predecessor Divergent and I have it debuting to even bigger numbers. The Gunman comes from the director of Neeson’s Taken and stars Sean Penn. The wild card newbie is faith based drama Do You Believe?, which could carry on the recent tradition of these types of pics premiering with larger than anticipated results. You can find detailed prediction posts on all three newcomers here:




As you can see, I expect Insurgent to easily top the charts. Disney’s live action Cinderella retelling should be #2 after its very strong rollout this past weekend (more on that below). I anticipate it’ll drop in the mid 40s range.

I have Do You Believe? posting healthier numbers than The Gunman, which has been the victim of some pretty brutal reviews so far. The underperforming Liam Neeson thriller Run All Night should round out the top five after its muted opening this last weekend.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

1. Insurgent

Predicted Gross: $62.1 million

2. Cinderella

Predicted Gross: $36.9 million (representing a drop of 45%)

3. Do You Believe?

Predicted Gross: $12.3 millon

4. The Gunman

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million

5. Run All Night

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)

Box Office Results (March 13-15)

Well, call me the belle of the ball this weekend! Disney’s Cinderella got off to a terrific start with $67.8 million. My prediction? $67.8 million! Holla!! Female audiences turned out in droves for the acclaimed feature. Having a short film from the Frozen team airing before it probably didn’t hurt either.

The news was not near as good for Liam Neeson as Run All Night stumbled with just $11 million, a little short of my $12.1 million. Reviews were OK but having this arrive so soon after Taken 3 was probably a misstep.

Kingsman: The Secret Service was third and it’s posted solid holds from week to week. I incorrectly had its outside the top five but it earned $6.2 million to boost its current cume to $107 million.

Focus and Chappie each made $5.7 million for fourth and fifth, right around my respective projections of $5.6 million and $6.1 million. The Will Smith caper has made a middling $43 million while Chappie stands at a weak $23 million. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was sixth with $5.6 million, in line with my $6 million estimate. It’s made $18 million through two weeks.

And that will wrap it up for now…. Until next time!



Box Office Predictions: March 13-15

It may be Friday the 13th coming up, but Disney’s live-action Cinderella seems poised to reverse some recent bad luck at the box office. The Kenneth Branagh directed tale, which has been receiving highly positive reviews, should easily dominate the charts this weekend.

Results may not be as positive for the Liam Neeson action thriller Run All Night, which is likely to gross nowhere near what the star’s Taken franchise has accomplished.

They are the two new releases this weekend and you can peruse my detailed predictions posts on each here:



Cinderella and Run All Night should populate spots #1 and #2. The rest of the top five could be a close race between leftovers Chappie, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Focus.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

1. Cinderella

Predicted Gross: $67.8 million

2. Run All Night

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

3. Chappie

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million (representing a drop of 54%)

4. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 30%)

5. Focus

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 44%)

Box Office Results (March 6-8)

Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi robot pic Chappie might be able to claim it opened #1, though that’s about the only item the studio can brag about. In what is so far the worst box office weekend of 2015, Chappie debuted to a weak $13.3 million, more than $10 million below my $23.8M estimate. The director has seen diminishing returns from his Oscar nominated District 9 to Elysium to this.

Will Smith’s Focus fell to second in its sophomore frame with $10 million, in line with my $10.2M estimate. Its total stands at an unimpressive $34 million, far under what most movies featuring the Fresh Prince usually earn.

Sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a lone bright spot with a solid $8.5 million (especially considering its low number of screens). This put it right with my $8.6M projection.

Kingsman: The Secret Service added $8.3 million to its $98 million haul, just over my $7.7M prediction.

I incorrectly had the SpongeBob movie outside of the top five and it placed there with $6.6 million (total: $148M).

That’s because I incorrectly placed the critically drubbed Vince Vaughn comedy Unfinished Business in the top five. It landed with a resounding thud in 10th place with just $4.7 million (I said $8.4M). This is easily Vaughn’s worst opening for a comedy and continues his recent streak of bad luck in theaters.

Lastly, American Sniper achieved a milestone as it has earned $337 million. That officially makes it the highest grossing film of 2014 after edging out the $336 million that the third Hunger Games entry accomplished.

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

Box Office Predictions: March 6-8

The box office sees three new entries in the marketplace this Friday: Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi action pic Chappie, the Vince Vaughn comedy Unfinished Business, and comedy/drama sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each here:




It’s hard to imagine Chappie not easily topping the charts, though I’m predicting its opening falls under director Blomkamp’s first two efforts, District 9 and Elysium.

I’m predicting Marigold Hotel will actually slightly outdo Business, which is bad news for the Vince Vaughn flick considering it opens on about twice as many screens.

As for holdovers, while Will Smith’s Focus was #1 for the weekend, its debut was lackluster and I expect it to fall in the mid 40s during sophomore weekend. Current #2 Kingsman: The Secret Service should round out the top five.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

1. Chappie

Predicted Gross: $23.8 million

2. Focus

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million (representing a drop of 45%)

3. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million

4. Unfinished Business

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

5. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million (representing a drop of 35%)

Box Office Results (February 27-March 1)

As mentioned, Will Smith’s caper pic Focus managed a first place opening, but not many bragging rights. It opened at $18.6 million, a bit below my $21.3M forecast. This represents the star’s second worst opening in 13 years, behind only the $14.8 million premiere of Seven Pounds in 2008. Smith is simply not the box office draw he once was and Focus, with its mixed reviews, proved that.

Kingsman remained in second place with $11.8 million, ahead of my $9.8M projection. The comic book based hit stands at $85.8M so far.

The SpongeBob movie took third with $10.8 million, above my $9.3M prediction. Its total is at a strong $139.9M.

Fifty Shades of Grey dropped to fourth after two weeks on top of the charts with $10.5 million, right on target with my $10.4M estimate. The three week total is at $147.3M.

Finally, new horror offering The Lazarus Effect failed to generate much audience interest with a ho-hum $10.2 million opening, a bit under my $11.6M prediction.

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

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Box Office Prediction

Three years ago, we saw a sleeper hit with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the British comedy/drama which earned an unanticipated $46 million domestically. That was enough to warrant a sequel which opens wide Friday. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel features returning cast members Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, and Dev Patel (who’s pulling double duty this weekend with Chappie). Richard Gere and David Strathairn also join the mix.

Reviews have been mostly positive so far as it stands at 74% on Rotten Tomatoes, just under the 78% earned by its predecessor. John Madden (the director not the sports dude) is back behind the camera. It would seem likely that this second helping may not quite match the numbers of the 2012 original stateside, but I still envision a fairly decent opening. I have this debuting a little higher than Unfinished Business, the Vince Vaughn comedy that opens against it. That’s bad news for Business, considering it premieres on roughly twice as many screens.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opening weekend prediction: $8.6 million

For my Chappie prediction, click here:


For my Unfinished Business prediction, click here: