Oscar Watch: Emma

Emma is the latest adaptation of the 1815 Jane Austen novel and it’s out this weekend in limited release and posting solid numbers. This version stars Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role. She’s best known for her work in the horror genre with The Witch, Split, and Glass. Reviews are praising with a current 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film marks the debut of director Autumn de Wilde and arrives at an awfully early frame for awards voters to remember it. One of the last renderings of the book was in 1996 with Gwyneth Paltrow starring. It opened in the summer of that year and nabbed Oscar nods for Costume Design and Score. The former category is certainly a possibility. However, like what came before nearly a quarter century ago, I am skeptical this Emma contends for top of the line races.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be a surprise for this to be placed in the Musical/Comedy lane at the Golden Globes. We have seen years where the Actress derby there is rather weak (including in 2019 when none of the five nominees managed Academy recognition). That could allow Taylor-Joy to be noticed at the Globes. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: The Lighthouse

Four years ago, Robert Eggers made his directorial debut with The Witch and it was a darling on the indie circuit and with critics. His eagerly awaited follow-up is The Lighthouse and it’s premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Early buzz is solid on the black and white horror flick.

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson (who’s been in the news a lot this week due to his apparent casting as Batman) are two lighthouse keepers in the late 19th century who slowly delve into madness. Reviews suggest it’s quite effective if audiences choose to go along with it. That part remains to be seen.

The likelihood is that The Lighthouse won’t be much of a factor come awards time. However, there could be an exception. Jarin Blaschke’s cinematography has drawn raves and there could be calls from critics for him to be recognized. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Hereditary Box Office Prediction

The horror thriller Hereditary generated a lot of buzz when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival way back in January and A24 unleashes it to audiences next weekend. Marking the directorial debut of Ari Aster, early reviews suggest a highly effective and scary experience. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 100% (never a bad selling point for TV spots). Toni Collette stars alongside Alex Wolff, Gabriel Byrne, Milly Shapiro, and Ann Dowd.

This particular genre is often the hardest to predict as horror movies can vastly over or under perform. It’s also perhaps the genre where reviews truly don’t mean a lot. For instance, 2016’s The Witch and last year’s It Comes at Night both had critics on their side in a major way. Their respective debuts were only $8.8 million and $5.9 million (with It Comes at Night being released on the same June weekend as this is). On the other hand, something like A Quiet Place took in $50 million for its start just a few weeks ago.

So what’s a prognosticator like me to do? I’ll admit that this is a tough one and I foresee a wide range for the opening of Hereditary. It won’t come anywhere near the earnings of A Quiet Place, but debuting around $20 million wouldn’t shock me. The problem is that if it fell to high single digits or low double digits, that wouldn’t really shock me either.

Fair warning: this is an estimate that may fluctuate during the next nine days. For the time being, I’ll say Hereditary posts an opening in the low double digits to possibly low teens as it will hope to leg out decently based on buzz in subsequent frames.

Hereditary opening weekend prediction: $10.2 million

For my Ocean’s 8 prediction, click here:


For my Hotel Artemis prediction, click here:


Box Office Predictions: February 26-28

Like last weekend, a trio of newcomers will attempt to unseat the reign of Deadpool at the box office. They are big budget action fantasy Gods of Egypt, Olympic sports tale Eddie the Eagle, and heist thriller Triple 9. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:




And like last weekend, I don’t see any of them topping the raunchy Ryan Reynolds superhero megahit. Deadpool should lose about half its audience in weekend #3, allowing it to easily come in first. As for newbies, Gods of Egypt and Eddie the Eagle should manage 2nd and 3rd with Triple 9 competing for a top five showing. Holdovers Kung Fu Panda 3 and Risen may lose between 35-40% of its crowds.

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

  1. Deadpool

Predicted Gross: $28 million (representing a drop of 50%)

2. Gods of Egypt

Predicted Gross: $13.9 million

3. Eddie the Eagle

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

4. Kung Fu Panda 3

Predicted Gross: $8.2 million (representing a drop of 35%)

5. Risen

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million (representing a drop of 38%)

6. Triple 9

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

Box Office Results (February 19-21)

As expected, Deadpool continued to rule the charts in its sophomore frame with $56.4 million – in range with my $58.6M estimate. Its two week total stands at an astonishing $236M and, as mentioned above, it should continue its dominance next weekend.

Kung Fu Panda 3 was second with $12.5 million, a bit above my $10.8M projection for a four week haul of $114M.

Biblical drama Risen was the top newcomer in third with $11.8 million, not quite reaching my $14.2M prediction. This is a fair debut and it hopes to experience smallish declines as Easter approaches.

Critically lauded low budget horror pic The Witch debuted in fourth with $8.8 million, ahead of my $6.7M estimate. Considering its reported $1 million budget, this is quite a tidy sum.

Rom com How to Be Single was fifth in its second weekend with $8.2 million, just below my prediction of $9.2M for a two week total of $31M.

Jesse Owens biopic Race had a muted sixth place premiere with $7.3 million, below my $10.6M forecast.

Finally, Ben Stiller’s box office dud of a sequel slipped to seventh with $5.4 million (I said $6.1M) for a total of just $23M.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…


Box Office Predictions: February 19-21

Three new entries hit theaters this weekend to compete with the box office bonanza that is Deadpool. They are: Biblical drama Risen, Jesse Owens biopic Race, and critically lauded horror flick The Witch. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each here:




Not one of them has any realistic shot of overtaking Ryan Reynolds and his very R rated superhero as that pic left a pool of box office records in its wake over the long weekend (much more on that below).

Risen, which could bring in a faith based contigent, could well end up in the runner up position with Race battling both How to Be Single and Kung Fu Panda 3 for the three spot. I don’t look for The Witch to accomplish much, despite its solid reviews, and have it pegged for 6th place (in what could be a photo finish with Zoolander No. 2‘s sophomore weekend after its disappointing debut).

The second weekend of Deadpool could see it falling in the mid-high 50s percentage wise, which would be on par with other major comic book grossers. Still, I couldn’t have been more wrong with how big it was going to be (along with pretty much all other prognosticators), so who knows?

Nevertheless – we’ll do a top seven predictions for this weekend:

  1. Deadpool

Predicted Gross: $58.6 million (representing a drop of 55%)

2. Risen

Predicted Gross: $14.2 million

3. Kung Fu Panda 3

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million (representing a drop of 45%)

4. Race

Predicted Gross: $10.6 million

5. How to Be Single

Predicted Gross: $9.2 million (representing a drop of 48%)

6. The Witch

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

7. Zoolander No. 2

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million (representing a drop of 56%)

Box Office Results (February 12-14)

It’s only February, but there’s no question that the opening weekend of Deadpool will be one of the box office stories of the year. The well-reviewed R rated superhero pic grossed an absolutely astonishing $132.4 million over the traditional weekend – embarassing my meager $58.2M projection. The film’s four day President’s Day haul: $152.1M. Sometimes movies turn into phenomenons and that’s the case here. Expect to see plenty of Ryan Reynolds in this role into the future as this had the largest February and largest R rated debut of all time. Additionally, it had the 17th highest domestic premiere of all time.

Kung Fu Panda 3 dropped to second with $19.7 million in week #3, holding up considerably better my than $14 million estimate. The toon’s total stands at $100M.

Rom com How to Be Single had a respectable debut in third place with $17.8 million (on target with my $18.7M prediction) and its four day is $19.9M. Not a bad start and this certainly can claim a small victory for opening higher than the Zoolander sequel.

Speaking of, the news was not so good for Ben Stiller and company as Zoolander No. 2 stumbled out of the runway with just $13.8 million, well below my $20.9M prediction. This was expected to open in second place and certainly not fourth. Poor reviews didn’t help and neither did a good portion of its intended audience watching that filthy superhero instead. Its holiday four day total: $15.8M.

Oscar hopeful The Revenant was fifth with $6.5 million and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. Its total is at $159M.

Sixth place belonged to Hail, Caesar! in its second weekend with $6.3 million, in line with my $5.6M projection. Its total gross is at an OK $22M.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

The Witch Box Office Prediction

When it premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival, horror pic The Witch received mostly raves (it sits at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes… frighteningly good for that genre). We’ll see how that translates to box office dollars when it opens wide next weekend.

The 17th Century set tale of witchcraft features a cast of relative unknowns and comes from first time director Robert Eggers, who also wrote this critically acclaimed effort. The film has received a rather modest marketing push and anything above double digits would be quite an accomplishment.

Considering its tiny reported $1 million budget, however, A24 Films is poised to see a tidy return on their investment. The Witch should earn anywhere from $4-8 million and I’ll go in the middle range of that spectrum.

The Witch opening weekend prediction: $6.7 million

For my Risen prediction, click here:


For my Race prediction, click here: