July 1-4 Box Office Predictions

Coming off a weekend where four pictures posted grosses north of $20 million (a first since 2018!), Minions: The Rise of Gru looks to set box office fireworks and rule the holiday weekend. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Minions: The Rise of Gru Box Office Prediction

The five-year wait between entries for the Despicable Me/Minions franchise could limit its potential a bit. However, my projected four-day haul approaching $80 million will easily give it the gold.

As for holdovers, Elvis and Top Gun: Maverick should duke it out for second position. While the former edged Maverick for a #1 debut (more on that below), look for Tom Cruise and company to have a better hold and likely maintain runner-up status. It’s also important to remember that overall declines for most pics should be smaller than normal considering that July 4th falls on Monday.

Jurassic World: Dominion and The Black Phone should slide spots to 4th and 5th. There’s a slight chance Phone could experience a hefty slide (due to its being in the horror genre) and Lightyear stays fifth. However, given the Pixar pic’s underperformance and hefty sophomore dip, I don’t anticipate that being the case. Plus Phone nabbed a B+ Cinemascore grade which is just fine for that genre.

With that – let’s make it a top 6 forecast and remember these are projections for Friday to Monday given the Independence Day frame:

1. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Predicted Gross: $78.4 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $26.8 million

3. Elvis

Predicted Gross: $23.2 million

4. Jurassic World: Dominion

Predicted Gross: $17.3 million

5. The Black Phone

Predicted Gross: $14 million

6. Lightyear

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

Box Office Results (June 24-26)

In one of the closest finishes in recent box office times, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis was crowned king with $31.2 million. While not quite matching my $35.6 million prediction, it’s a solid number for an adult skewering musical biopic.

Top Gun: Maverick continued its epic run in second with $29.6 million. Like with Elvis, I was a little high at $34.8 million. In five weeks of release, the spectacularly performing sequel has amassed $520 million. That’s the third all-time #5 frame behind Avatar and Titanic. 

Jurassic World: Dominion fell to third after two weeks on top with $26.7 million, just under my $28.3 million take. The dino saga stands at a sturdy $303 million.

Critically appreciated fright fest The Black Phone opened in fourth with $23.6 million – ringing up a more impressive number than my $18.6 million projection. Considering its budget is only a reported $18 million, this will be yet another profitable venture for Blumhouse.

Finally, Lightyear slid from second to fifth. Crashing harder than anticipated in its second orbit after an unimpressive start, the Pixar spinoff made $18.1 million (I said $23.2 million). The two-week tally is a muted $89 million after ten days. For comparison sake, I had it making $85 million in its first three days.

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

2022 Oscar Predictions: June 23rd Edition

My final Oscar predictions for the month of June comes with some news out today that Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things is likely delayed until 2023. While I didn’t have it being nominated in any of the major races, it was listed in other possibilities in Picture, Director, Actress (Emma Stone), Supporting Actor (for Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo), and Adapted Screenplay.

As for other shifts, I’m putting Empire of Light back in the 10 BP nominees and that’s to the detriment of She Said. In Supporting Actress, I’m dropping Zoe Kazan in She Said from the high five in favor of Rustin‘s Audra McDonald.

I’ll additionally note that Top Gun: Maverick continues to rise as it flies to the #12 slot. Its continued box office domination increases the chances for BP inclusion. Time will tell if it breaks the top 10 or eventually falls out of favor. However, I have no doubt now that Paramount will mount a robust campaign considering its phenomenon status.

In Best Actor, the #1 position is back to Hugh Jackman (The Son) over Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Speaking of the former pic, I’ve moved Laura Dern’s work to supporting instead of lead.

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 6) (+1)

6. The Son (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 11) (+3)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Rustin (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 18) (+6)

13. White Noise (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Broker (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Amsterdam (PR: 14) (-1)

16. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 17) (+1)

17. Tar (PR: 19) (+2)

18. Elvis (PR: 20) (+2)

19. Decision to Leave (PR: 16) (-3)

20. Next Goal Wins (PR: 21) (+1)

21. Thirteen Lives (PR: 22) (+1)

22. Triangle of Sadness (PR: Not Ranked)

23. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 24) (+1)

24. Till (PR: 25) (+1)

25. The Killer (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Poor Things

Armageddon Time

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 11) (+4)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Hirokazu Kore-ada, Broker (PR: 10) (E)

11. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (+3)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 12) (E)

13. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (-4)

14. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Todd Field, Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: 14) (E)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Emma Stone, Poor Things 

Laura Dern, The Son (moved to Supporting Actress)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: 15) (E)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Actress)

7. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 11) (-2)

14. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 14) (E)

15. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (E)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: Not Ranked)

13. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Don Cheadle, White Noise (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 11) (+6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Rustin (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Broker (PR: 5) (-3)

9. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Adapted)

10. Tar (PR: 10) (E)

11. Amsterdam (PR: 7) (-4)

12. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (-4)

13. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Bros (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Aftersun

Armageddon Time

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story 

Nope 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Whale (PR: 3) (-1)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. She Said (PR: 6) (E)

7. Next Goal Wins (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Till (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Bones & All (PR: 12) (+3)

10. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (+5)

11. The Killer (PR: Not Ranked)

12. The Good Nurse (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 13) (E)

14. Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Poor Things 

The Banshees of Inisherin (moved to Original Screenplay)

June 24-26 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (06/23): On the eve of its premiere, I am revising my Elvis prediction from $42.6M to $35.6M. That still gives it the #1 slot over Top Gun: Maverick… barely.

In what should be an intriguing and potentially unpredictable weekend to close out the June box office, Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic Elvis and critically lauded horror pic The Black Phone debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

Elvis Box Office Prediction

The Black Phone Box Office Prediction

There’s plenty of possibilities for how the top 5 will look. While there’s no doubt about which quintet will populate the list, the order is up for grabs. I believe Elvis will open closer to the $51 million of Bohemian Rhapsody than the $25 million of Rocketman. That should be enough to earn it the title of Box Office King.

However, if it does premiere in the mid to late 20s range, the chances of a #1 start are considerably lower. We could legitimately see Top Gun: Maverick rise from 3rd to 1st. With a projected dip in the low to mid 20s, it should at least rise to 2nd place. That’s assuming current two-week champ Jurassic World: Dominion loses more than half its audience in its third go-round and Lightyear also sees a sophomore fall of around 55%. I’m assuming both.

And there’s the wild card that is The Black Phone. Horror titles often outdo expectations and with its aforementioned solid reviews, that could apply here. I’m sticking with a debut of just under $20 million and that would likely mean a fifth place reception.

Here’s how I envision perhaps the most fascinating box office weekend so far in the pandemic era looking:

1. Elvis

Predicted Gross: $35.6 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $34.8 million

3. Jurassic World: Dominion

Predicted Gross: $28.3 million

4. Lightyear

Predicted Gross: $23.2 million

5. The Black Phone

Predicted Gross: $18.6 million

Box Office Results (June 17-19)

In a major upset, Jurassic World: Dominion remained #1 for the second frame with $59.1 million. That’s stronger than my $54.8 million estimate as the threequel is up to $250 million in its first ten days. That’s $15 million under where predecessor was at four summers ago.

Jurassic‘s reign was unexpected because Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story spinoff Lightyear was widely anticipated to rule the charts. Instead it grossed $50.5 million for second place. That’s, ahem, $35 million under my projection of $85.5 million and less than half of what Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4 made out of the gate. There’s plenty of think pieces out there for why Lightyear was a disappointment. It includes theories about politics, Disney Plus being the same day distributor for recent Pixar material, and the absence of Tim Allen as the voice of the title character. Any way you slice it, it’s a shocker.

Top Gun: Maverick continued its amazing run in third with $44.6 million – dropping a scant 14%. I was lower at $36 million. The biggest hit of the year (and of Tom Cruise’s career by far) is flying at $466 million as its domestic haul will reach $500 million shortly. As mentioned, if Elvis doesn’t reach my projection, it could see a return to the top spot. I wrote more about Maverick‘s unreal performance yesterday on the blog and it’s here:

Top Gun: Maverick – Lightyears Ahead of Expectations

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was fourth with $4.4 million compared to my $3.4 million take. The tally is $405 million.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie rounded out the top five with $1.1 million. I incorrectly had it outside the high five. It’s made $29 million.

I figured The Bad Guys would be fifth, but it was sixth with $1 million (I said $1.5 million)/ The overall take is $94 million.

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

Top Gun: Maverick – Lightyears Ahead of Expectations

I’ve been at this box office predicting game for quite some time. If it gets stale for even a moment, something will come along to shock you. That happened this weekend. Twice.

First there’s the massive underperformance of Disney/Pixar’s Lightyear, which is barely topping $50 million for second place behind Jurassic World: Dominion. I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow,  but it’s not often a tentpole release comes in over $30 million behind your (and many other prognosticators) estimates. It made less than half of the fourth Toy Story tale three years ago.

Today, however, it’s all about Top Gun: Maverick. If you’d told me a month ago that the long gestating Tom Cruise sequel would score the second (you read that correctly) best fourth weekend of all time, I wouldn’t have believed it. That’s second only to the fourth frame of Avatar. Better than any Star Wars episode. Better than any MCU adventure. Better than Titanic. 

Maverick, with its soaring reviews and word-of-mouth, has undeniably become a phenomenon. Its $44 million estimated haul this weekend brings its domestic tally to an astonishing $466 million. That’s already $200 million over Cruise’s previous largest stateside hit – 2005’s War of the Worlds. A gross of over $600 million in the US and Canada seems assured in addition to a worldwide total topping $1 billion.

To say this is lightyears ahead of expectations is one heckuva understatement. This is the rare breed of picture that is appealing to all ages and genders and is clearly warranting repeat viewings. I suspect Oscar voters will take notice. Categories like Editing, Sound, and Visual Effects are obviously on the table. So too is Lady Gaga’s theme song “Hold My Hand” which might be an early frontrunner to win. And with these mind boggling earnings – Oscar voters could vault this into Best Picture contention and Tom Cruise could be in the mix for Best Actor. That’s far from guaranteed… yet it was unthinkable before its release.

The word phenomenon doesn’t come around much with box office forecasting. When 2002’s Spider-Man made $114 in its first weekend, that word applied because no pic had done so before. The domination of Titanic when many thought it would be a flop definitely fits the bill. So does James Cameron’s follow-up Avatar (ironically its sequel seems destined to compete with Maverick for some tech Oscars). The MCU juggernaut has a handful of examples.

Top Gun: Maverick is a phenomenon and in its fourth outing, the buzz is towering over everything else in 2022.

June 17-19 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (06/16): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my Lightyear estimate down again – from $95.5M to $85.5M

Blogger’s Note (06/15): Revising my Lightyear estimate down from $101.8M to $95.5M

Disney/Pixar looks to take its usual spot atop the charts with their first theatrical only release since Onward when Lightyear opens this weekend. It’s the only new product debuting as the Toy Story origin tale hopes to be the latest summer offering to top $100 million out of the gate. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Lightyear Box Office Prediction

I’m projecting it will gross just under nine figures and that’s slightly less than the third and fourth editions of the franchise it’s spawned from.

That should easily put it in first position with Jurassic World: Dominion falling to second. After a pretty solid start, I imagine it should suffer an approximate 60% decline like its 2018 predecessor Fallen Kingdom. 

Top Gun: Maverick should cruise to another meager decline for a third place showing in the $30 million range with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and The Bad Guys filling the rest of the top five.

Here’s how I see it:

1. Lightyear

Predicted Gross: $85.5 million

2. Jurassic World: Dominion

Predicted Gross: $54.8 million

3. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $36 million

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

5. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $1.5 million

Box Office Results (June 10-12)

Jurassic World: Dominion couldn’t quite match what Fallen Kingdom accomplished four summers ago. The sixth entry in the nearly three decade old franchise earned $145 million, falling short of my $155.3 million expectation. Middling reviews (it has the worst Tomatoes score of the flock) probably pushed it a little lower than initially forecasted, but it’s still a respectable start.

Top Gun: Maverick dropped to second after two soaring frames at #1 with $51.8 million. I went a touch higher at $58.8 million and the three week take is an amazing $395 million. The total is good for the 10th largest third weekend in domestic history.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was third with $5.2 million. My projection? $5.2 million! The MCU juggernaut has amassed $398 million.

The Bad Guys was fourth with $2.5 million (I said $2.4 million) to bring its earnings close to nine figures with $91 million.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie rounded out the top five at $2.4 million compared to my $2.2 million prediction. It’s made $27 million.

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

2022 Oscar Predictions: June 13th Edition

My updated weekly Oscar predictions goes from 6 categories to 8 with the inclusion of both screenplay derbies! It’s the first time we’ve seen some titles in my possibilities such as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Nope, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, and Bones & All. 

As for changes in the other races, I’m putting Rustin back in BP and that means Empire of Light drops from the top ten. Danielle Deadwyler (Till) returns to my top five in Actress over Cate Blanchett in Tar. 

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Son (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Women Talking (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. She Said (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Rustin (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Empire of Light (PR: 10) (-1)

12. White Noise (PR: 20) (+8)

13. Broker (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 14) (E)

15. Poor Things (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Decision to Leave (PR: 15) (-1)

17. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 18) (+1)

18. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 17) (-1)

19. Tar (PR: 16) (-3)

20. Elvis (PR: 21) (+1)

21. Next Goal Wins (PR: 22) (+1)

22. Thirteen Lives (PR: 19) (-3)

23. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

24. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 25) (+1)

25. Till (PR: 24) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Aftersun 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (E)

10. Hirokazu Kore-eda, Broker (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 13) (E)

14. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (E)

15. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

George C. Wolfe, Rustin 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (E)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: 14) (E)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 15) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (E)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Song Kang-Ho, Broker (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 11) (E)

12. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (E)

13. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Michael Ward, Empire of Light

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 4) (E)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 9) (E)

10. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 13) (E)

14. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 11) (-4)

Dropped Out:

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 6) (E)

7. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 8) (-2)

11. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (-1)

12. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 14) (E)

15. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 12) (-3)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

2. Babylon

3. The Fabelmans

4. Bardo

5. Broker

Other Possibilities:

6. Rustin

7. Amsterdam

8. Decision to Leave

9. Empire of Light

10. Tar

11. Triangle of Sadness

12. Aftersun

13. Armageddon Time

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery 

15. Nope 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Killers of the Flower Moon

2. The Son

3. The Whale

4. Women Talking

5. White Noise

Other Possibilities:

6. She Said

7. Poor Things

8. The Banshees of Inisherin

9. Next Goal Wins

10. Till

11. Thirteen Lives

12. Bones and All

13. Top Gun: Maverick

14. Avatar: The Way of Water

15. The Greatest Beer Run Ever 

2022 Oscar Predictions: June 6th Edition

My first Oscar predictions in the six major categories for the month of June sees Top Gun: Maverick rising 3 spots to #17 in the BP derby. My ten predicted nominees remain the same as do the five estimated individuals in Director, Actor, and Supporting Actor. There are changes in Actress with Cate Blanchett (Tar) in my five over Danielle Deadwyler (Till) and in Supporting Actress with Hong Chau (The Whale) being elevated over Vanessa Kirby in The Son. You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 6) (+1)

6. The Son (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. She Said (PR: 9)

9. The Whale (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Rustin (PR: 11) (E)

12. Broker (PR: 12) (E)

13. Poor Things (PR: 18) (+5)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 14) (E)

15. Decision to Leave (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Tar (PR: 24) (+8)

17. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 20) (+3)

18. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 19) (+1)

19. Thirteen Lives (PR: 16) (-3)

20. White Noise (PR: 15) (-5)

21. Elvis (PR: 17) (-4)

22. Next Goal Wins (PR: 23) (+1)

23. Aftersun (PR: 25( +2)

24. Till (PR: 22) (-2)

25. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Armageddon Time 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 11) (+4)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Hirokazu Kore-eda, Broker (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 12) (E)

13. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 15) (+2)

14. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (E)

15. George C. Wolfe, Rustin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

David O. Russell, Amsterdam 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 9) (E)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (E)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 15) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (E)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song King-Ho, Broker (PR: 6) (E)

7. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 9) (E)

10. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 8) (-2)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 11) (E)

12. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives

Paul Mescal, Aftersun 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 14) (E)

15. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Whoopi Goldberg, Till

Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 6) (E)

7. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 9) (E)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 13) (+3)

11. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 14) (+2)

13. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 8) (-5)

14. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Andre Holland, Shirley

June 10-12 Box Office Predictions

Universal is looking for the dinosaurs to rule the box office landscape for the sixth time with Jurassic World: Dominion. It’s the only new wide release and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Jurassic World: Dominion Box Office Prediction

Dominion is the third feature in the second Jurassic trilogy and the numbers could be assisted by melding cast members from the original trilogy with the current one. I’m projecting it’ll improve on the opening weekend of predecessor Fallen Kingdom, but not approach the $200M+ debut of Jurassic World. That said – I have a strange feeling it might underperform so check back to see if my projection shifts later this week.

Top Gun: Maverick will be the runner-up after two incredible weeks on top including an astonishing sophomore hold (more on that below). It had no competition this past weekend and the dinos should eat into its grosses. Even with Dominion around, it still may only drop in the 40-45% range… maybe even less.

The rest of the top five should be populated by holdovers Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, The Bad Guys, and The Bob’s Burgers Movie. 

Here’s how I see it:

1. Jurassic World: Dominion

Predicted Gross: $155.3 million

2. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $58.8 million

3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

4. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

5. The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Predicted Gross: $2.2 million

Box Office Results (June 3-5)

In a turn of events that was even more impressive than its Memorial Day weekend rollout, Top Gun: Maverick is officially a phenomenon as it dropped only 29%. That means a #1 frame of $90 million – towering over my $67.5 million projection. The number is the 8th largest sophomore output of all time. For perspective – it’s $6 million higher than Spider-Man: No Way Home and just $13 million below what  The Avengers made during the same weekend. It’s the best hold we’ve ever witnessed for a picture that debuted above $100 million. The ten-day tally is $295 million and the sky looks to be the limit.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remained in second with $9.1 million. My guess? $9.1 million! The MCU behemoth is up to $388 million.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie fell a steep 63% in its second serving with $4.6 million, a bit under my $5.3 million prediction. Total is $22 million.

The Bad Guys took fourth with $3.3 million (I said $3.1 million) as it inches close to the century mark with $87 million.

Downton Abbey: A New Era rounded out the top five at $3.1 million, in line with my $3.2 million estimate for $35 million overall.

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

Top Gun: Maverick Review

Sun drenched SoCal nostalgia permeates every land, air, and beach surface of Top Gun: Maverick and it’s a pleasure to bask in the glow. Many a franchise lately has attempted to tap into our sentimentality and many have failed. 36 years after the original, Maverick elevates what preceded it while making us misty about those very events from the mid 80s. Perhaps most thrilling is watching a movie star firmly in control of what’s made him a headliner for five decades.

Captain Pete Mitchell aka Maverick (Tom Cruise) has refused upward promotion in the Navy while spending the bulk of his working hours skyward as a test pilot. The romance that took his breath away with Kelly McGillis is seemingly long dormant. His friendship with Iceman (Val Kilmer), now a decorated Admiral, saves his tail after a work mishap. Instead of washing out, he’s sent back to San Diego as a TOPGUN teacher. Against the wishes of a Vice Admiral who goes by Cyclone (Jon Hamm), Maverick is tasked with instructing a new generation of pilots.

Their mission (and they’re forced to accept it) is to destroy an unnamed enemy nation’s uranium enrichment plant. It is (ahem) a potentially impossible mission and Maverick’s tutelage is complicated by one of the students. Rooster (Miles Teller) is the son of the late Goose (Anthony Edwards) from the original. You may recall that he perished in the arms of the leading man and therefore eliminated his ability to talk to anyone except for metaphorically.

While the dynamic between the teacher and his pupil is the pic’s emotional through line, there’s subplots aplenty. This includes Maverick’s courtship of Penny (Jennifer Connelly), who checks the boxes of being an ex-flame, single mother, and bar owner where standards from the 1960s can be drunkenly belted out. We also get a truly emotional sequence with Cruise and Kilmer made more touching by the latter’s real world health challenges. And, of course, there’s a whole new crop of pilots. Most memorable, by far, is the cocky Hangman (Glen Powell). You’ll leave the theater convinced Powell is going to become a major headliner himself.

Then there’s the fact that technology has soared by leaps and bounds since the first one. To put it simply – the aerial battles in the third act are awesome and I would suggest an IMAX venue to take it in. As mentioned, many fan service attempts in recent times have been serviceable at best or less. Top Gun: Maverick, with its megawatt star, is more than that. It earns its stripes.

***1/2 (out of four)

June 3-5 Box Office Predictions

With no wide release newcomers coming our way as June kicks off, Tom will easily cruise to another weekend atop the charts after the history making debut of Top Gun: Maverick. 

The long in development sequel set holiday records (more on that below). Many Memorial Day weekend openers see hefty declines in their sophomore frames, but that fate may not apply here. Maverick received a rare A+ Cinemascore meaning audiences (like critics) are loving what they’re seeing. That may draw out viewers who didn’t wish to deal with the crowds in addition to repeat viewers. I’ll say it dips less than 50%.

Slots 2-5 should remain stagnant with Jurassic World: Dominion on deck for the following weekend. Here’s how I see it:

1. Top Gun: Maverick

Predicted Gross: $67.5 million

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million

3. The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million

4. Downton Abbey: A New Era

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

5. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (May 27-30)

As mentioned, Tom Cruise soared to the largest debut of his career with room to spare. Top Gun: Maverick amassed $126.7 million over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and $160.5 million for the four-day. That eclipses my respective takes of $113.4 million and $138 million. Cruise’s previous all-time starter was 2005’s War of the Worlds with $65 million. Maverick also moved past the 15-year-old Memorial frame record that belonged to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End with its $139 million Friday to Monday haul.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse dropped to second after three weeks on top with $20.3 million, on pace with my $22.1 million forecast. The total is $374 million.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie certainly didn’t earn Simpsons type of coin ($74 million). However, it did manage to surpass my expectations. The animated pic made $12.4 million for the three-day and $14.8 million over the long portion. The third place showing ran ahead of my projections of $9.2 million and $11.6 million.

Downton Abbey: A New Era proved rather front loaded with a fourth place sophomore gross of $7.4 million compared to my $9.5 million estimate. The two-week gross is $29 million.

The Bad Guys rounded out the top five with $5.6 million (I said $6.2 million) for $82 million overall.

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