December 27-29 Box Office Predictions

It is Christmastime at the box office and multiplexes are offering three new debuts: Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, animated action comedy Spies in Disguise with Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the nationwide expansion of Adam Sandler’s critically heralded crime thriller Uncut Gems. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all three here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/little-women-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/spies-in-disguise-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/22/uncut-gems-box-office-prediction/

The holiday falling on a Wednesday makes things quite interesting. For the newbies, you can generally assume the Wednesday and Thursday combined numbers (they all open on Christmas) will roughly equal the Friday to Sunday earnings. I have Women and Spies each in the low teens for the traditional weekend and that means high 20s for the five-day rollouts. I wouldn’t be shocked to see either of them take in a bit more. As for Gems, I believe it could struggle a bit in its wide berth even though it’s posted impressive grosses in limited fashion. My $5.7 million Friday to Sunday projection and $11 million Wednesday to Sunday estimate puts it outside the top five. The other premieres are slated for the four and five spots.

That’s because the current top three may just stay the same. The question isn’t whether Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stays #1 (it will), but how much it falls in the sophomore frame. Predecessor The Last Jedi plummeted a steep 67% two years ago, but the days of the week for this holiday makes a difference. I’ll project it loses less than half its audience and manages to be in the low 90s range.

Other holdovers around this time of year see increases and I expect that to be the case with family flicks Jumanji: The Next Level and Frozen II. And with that, my Yuletide take on what I expect:

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $92 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $37.5 million

3. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $18 million

4. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $14.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $28.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. Spies in Disguise 

Predicted Gross: $13.6 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.4 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (December 20-22)

Rare is the picture that can take in more than $175 million out of the gate and be considered somewhat of a letdown. Such is the case with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Suffering a very mixed reaction from critics and even audiences, the ninth official episode in the massive franchise made $177.3 million. That’s under my forecast of $191.4 million and 19% less than what The Last Jedi achieved in 2017. It’s $80 million lower than the haul of The Force Awakens four years ago. As mentioned above, I do anticipate its hold to be sturdier than Jedi. For the weekends that follow, it may not be so lucky.

Jumanji: The Next Level dropped to second with $26.5 million, right on target with my $26.8 million prediction. The sequel crossed the century mark after ten days with $102 million. Expect an uptick as family crowds continue to turn out.

Frozen II was third with $12.9 million (I said $11 million) as the Disney sequel has amassed a hot $387 million.

Use whatever bad pun you wish as Cats had an embarrassing opening in fourth. Reviled by critics and with a rank Cinemascore C+ grade, the musical earned just $6.6 million. That’s well under my $14.5 million projection. This is truly an example where word-of-mouth made a difference.

Knives Out was fifth and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It earned $6.5 million and is up to $89 million.

Finally, the Fox News expose opened wide and came in below estimates with $5.1 million (I was higher at $6.9 million). Despite some Oscar chatter, this didn’t break out. It will hope for meager declines as the awards season continues.

And that does it for now, folks! Wishing you a Happy Holidays and until next time…

2019: The Year of Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler

One of the welcome cinematic storylines of 2019 involves two beloved Saturday Night Live vets who accomplished some of their finest film work, have garnered Oscar attention, and both returned to the show that made them after many years away.

I’m referring to Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler and they both get spots in my Year of 2019 posts. Murphy had been absent from the silver screen since 2016’s drama Mr. Church. Over the past several years, he was known more for his family comedies then the raunchy comedian that sold out stadiums in the 1980s. 2019 saw a return to form with Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, his critically hailed recounting of Rudy Ray Moore’s contributions to movies. The pic has given Murphy his best reviews since 2006’s Dreamgirls and gotten him back into the Oscar conversation. We also witnessed the legendary performer host SNL for the first time in 35 years. 2020 will showcase Murphy returning to stand-up (something he hasn’t done since the late 1980s) and reprising his Prince Akeem character and others in Coming 2 America, which again teams him with Netflix and Dolemite director Craig Brewer.

Mr. Sandler also hit the 30 Rock building to headline SNL. He hadn’t been back in that role since being fired from the show in the mid 90s and embarking on his own wildly successful film career. The SNL gig saw him perform a humorous and touching tribute to cast mate Chris Farley. His partnership with Netflix includes this year’s Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston. There’s already a sequel planned for it. And the critical kudos came with crime thriller Uncut Gems, which opens wide on Christmas. That pic, from directors Ben and Josh Safdie, has Sandler picking up awards precursors and, like Murphy, in the mix for Academy attention. He’ll return to his preferred streaming service next year with Hubie Halloween.

For SNL, 2019 will be remembered as a time when two of their most famous alumni returned. For Murphy and Sandler, it’s a time when they gave us some of the most memorable onscreen work.

Uncut Gems Box Office Prediction

Veering far away from the Netflix comedies like Murder Mystery that he’s become known for over the past few years, Adam Sandler headlines the critically heralded crime thriller Uncut Gems and it expands nationwide on Christmas, The pic comes from directors Ben and Josh Safdie and the supporting cast includes future NBA hall of famer Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, pop star The Weeknd, and Eric Bogosian.

Since its initial screenings at the Telluride Film Festival in late August, Gems has shone brightly with reviewers. It stands at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and Sandler has picked up early awards precursors and could be in the running for an Oscar nomination. How will this translate to box office dollars? For the past two weeks, the film has been in limited release in five venues and performed well with $1 million in its coffers.

Whether or not Gems translates widely to mainstream viewers across the country is a trickier question. Even with Sandler’s involvement, this may cater more towards the art house circuit as opposed to audiences looking for holiday options. I’ll project that this hits mid single digits from Friday to Sunday and low double digits for the extended five-day rollout.

Uncut Gems opening weekend prediction: $5.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $11 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Little Women prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/little-women-box-office-prediction/

For my Spies in Disguise prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/spies-in-disguise-box-office-prediction/

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 16th Edition

It’s been another action packed week on the Oscar predicting front! Since last Monday, the SAG Award nominations came out and today – we saw numerous categories reveal their shortlists. This is when races are whittled down to 10 or 15 possible nominees and it applies to International Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Original Score and Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects. As always, there were surprises. These include “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats unlisted from Song, The Irishman absent from Makeup and Hairstyling, and Ad Astra and The Aeronauts left out for Visual Effects. You’ll notice that in these categories – there’s more dropouts than normal and that’s why.

As for the top line races, we have changes:

  • I am finally estimating that nine movies will be nominated for Best Picture instead of ten and that puts The Two Popes on the outside looking in.
  • The bad news for Popes continues as it’s Leonardo Dicaprio in and Jonathan Pryce out. I still have Robert De Niro clinging to the five spot, despite missing the Globes and SAG. We shall see if he remains in the fold as time goes on.
  • In Actress, it’s Cynthia Erivo in and Awkwafina out. I’ve got Lupita Nyong’o in the sixth position after a strong week of precursor love. She’s knocking right on the door.
  • Scarlett Johansson is back in for Supporting Actress to the detriment of Annette Bening. Like the SAG Awards, that means I’m projecting a double nomination for ScarJo. That would mark her first and second nominations.
  • In Original Screenplay, I’ve got Pain and Glory back in over Knives Out.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

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

3. Parasite (PR: 4)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 8)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

9. Little Women (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

11. Bombshell (PR: 15)

12. The Farewell (PR: 11)

13. Knives Out (PR: 12)

14. Uncut Gems (PR: 13)

15. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Richard Jewell

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

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

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 8)

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

8. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

10. Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

4. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 3)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

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

8. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 7)

9. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 10)

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: 6)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

7. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 5)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 9)

10. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 10)

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: 8)

7. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

9. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 7)

10. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell

Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name

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. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 5)

8. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 7)

9. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 9)

10. Jo Yeo-Jeong, Parasite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Taylor Russell, Waves

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 5)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 7)

7. Hustlers (PR: 6)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 9)

9. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

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

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Knives Out (PR: 5)

7. Bombshell (PR: 9)

8. 1917 (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

10. Uncut Gems (PR: 7)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Atlantics (PR: 6)

5. Beanpole (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Those Who Remained (PR: 10)

7. Corpus Christi (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Honeyland (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Painted Bird (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Monos

Invisible Life

A White, White Day

And Then We Danced

Best Animated Feature

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. Abominable (PR: 7)

7. Weathering with You (PR: 8)

8. Klaus (PR: 6)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

3. One Child Nation (PR: 3)

4. For Sama (PR: 4)

5. Honeyland (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 9)

8. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 8)

9. Maiden (PR: 10)

10. Aquarela (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sea of Shadows

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

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

3. Joker (PR: 3)

4. The Irishman (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lighthouse (PR: 5)

7. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 6)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

9. A Hidden Life (PR: 9)

10. Ad Astra (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Two Popes

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Little Women (PR: 1)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Judy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Cats (PR: 10)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Aladdin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 4)

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

4. 1917 (PR: 2)

5. Parasite (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 10)

9. Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Two Popes 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Judy (PR: 3)

3. Joker (PR: 6)

4. Downton Abbey (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Rocketman (PR: 8)

9. 1917 (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: Not Ranked)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 4)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

7. Us (PR: 8)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Avengers: Endgame (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Waves

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. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 4)

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

5. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 10)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

8. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 6)

9. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. 1917 (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 4)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

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. Joker (PR: 8)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

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

8. The Irishman (PR: 9)

9. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

10. John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

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

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

8. The Irishman (PR: 10)

9. Cats (PR: 7)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

4. The Lion King (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 9)

8. Captain Marvel (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Cats (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Ad Astra

Aladdin

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

10 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

Joker

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

6 Nominations

Parasite

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Pain and Glory, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

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

2019 SAG Awards Nomination Reaction

The Screen Actors Guild voters definitely had some surprises in store this morning as they unveiled their nominations for the ceremony airing on January 19th. And the biggest bombshell was… the performance of Bombshell itself, which led the major nods with four. This was followed by The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at three.

Some quick takes before I break it down race by race. It was a bad morning for Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Little Women, and The Two Popes as they received zero nominations. For Dolemite, I thought this might be the branch that would give it some attention. It wasn’t to be.

The nominations today have made Best Actor more confusing and opened up even more the possibility of two actors that I didn’t have listed as alternates factoring into the Oscar mix. All in all, on a morning that had genuine surprises, I went 16 for 25 on my picks. Here’s how it happened:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture

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

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: The absence of Marriage Story here is unexpected. Less so is the omission of the aforementioned Dolemite. I didn’t have Bombshell or Parasite named here. The Parasite nod could be construed as a strong sign that it’s a real contender for Best Picture for that other awards ceremony. This race probably comes down to Irishman or Hollywood and the latter likely has the edge.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: It was Bale and Egerton that I didn’t have listed as my first or second alternate. Those spots were instead designated for Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory and Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. This opens up Bale and Egerton to greater Academy attention. It’s also worth noting that Robert De Niro’s work in The Irishman has now been snubbed by the Golden Globe and SAG voters. This makes his road to Oscar considerably bumpier. As I suspect it will be with the Oscars, I suspect it’s Driver vs. Phoenix with this category.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: No 5 for 5 projections for this blogger today and this is the only one where I named four correctly. It’s Nyong’o in over Awkwafina in The Farewell and that could assist with her Oscar cred after already picking up some critics awards. While Zellweger might be called the soft front runner, the Bombshell love certainly increases the possibility of a Theron win.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: I mentioned yesterday in my predictions post that it might be foolish to leave out Hanks and I was proven right. The genuine surprise here is Foxx, who has been falling under the radar screen as of late (I didn’t even have him in my top 10 of possibilities in my Oscar estimates on Monday). Expect that to change. Hanks and Foxx are in over Willem Dafoe for The Lighthouse (he missed the Globes too) and Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes. As I said with the Globes, a Pacino/Pesci split could clear the way for Pitt’s trip to the podium.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Nicole Kidman (Bombshell), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: One item I did call was the double nomination for Johansson. I did not anticipate Kidman getting in along with her Bombshell costar Robbie. In fact, I didn’t predict either of them as I went with Florence Pugh in Little Women and Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell. Both of those actresses also missed Globe nods. Dern and Lopez could find themselves in a battle for this one. I also wouldn’t totally rule out the chance for a ScarJo upset as voters may want to honor her double nod (as they did here with Emily Blunt in 2018 for A Quiet Place).

I imagine these SAG Award announcements will impact my thinking when I update my Oscar projections on Monday. Stay tuned…

2019 SAG Award Predictions

In a week filled with Oscar precursor activity, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominees will be announced tomorrow morning. This comes just two days following the reveal of the Golden Globe nods.

As you’re likely aware, this particular ceremony is made up of voters from the card carrying acting community. The top race is not honoring the Best Picture of the year. Instead, it’s bestowing the trophy for the favorite ensemble cast. This explains why, in this decade, the Oscar winner for BP and the winner here have matched only 4 of 9 times.

Let’s break it down in each category as I reveal my anticipated nominees with a first and second alternate. I’ll have a post up tomorrow recounting how I did and how the nominations could impact the Academy’s thought process.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The SAG voters are a tricky bunch to predict and the Ensemble race presents at least a dozen pictures that I feel could make the cut. When predicting the nominees, I’ll divide into three tiers that relate to the impending Oscar nods:

Our first tier consists of movies that are widely expected to be Best Picture nominees and contenders that might potentially win. That list would be The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite. I believe the first three here are close to guarantees for attention here. If any of them miss out, it’ll be widely reported as a surprising snub.

Our second tier consists of movies that are legitimate players for Best Picture nominations, but are unlikely to win. This list includes Bombshell, The Farewell, Jojo Rabbit, and Little Women. An argument could be made that Women would be most obvious to get in. Yet I think this could give Jojo the boost it needs for greater Academy attention.

Our third tier consists of movies that are long shot contenders for Oscar attention. We usually see one of these get a SAG nod. This list includes Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, Hustlers, Knives Out, and Waves. The trendy pick here is Knives as it should be quite fresh on the minds of voters. Waves would be the largest beneficiary since it’s received scant awards chatter lately. I have a hunch that Dolemite could register with the actors branch here.

Predicted Nominees

Dolemite Is My Name

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

First Alternate – Little Women

Second Alternate – Knives Out

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

The last five years of nominees have shown one 5 for 5 match with Oscar in 2016. The other four years gave us 4 out of the 5 eventual Academy nominees. In other words, this race is a massive indication of where voters may go.

2019 presents a challenge as there are nearly dozen legit contenders in the mix. Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix feel safe. The rest is a free for all.

Keeping with my Dolemite theme, the SAG branch may feel tempted to name the legendary Eddie Murphy here. I feel more confident about his inclusion than Adam Sandler, despite his early precursor attention.

Then I’m picking two spots between Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, and Jonathan Pryce. Not an easy task. The Globes notably snubbed De Niro. If that occurs here, expect lots of talk about his dwindling Oscar chances. I’ll say he makes it in along with Leo.

Predicted Nominees

Robert De Niro, The Irishman

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

First Alternate – Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Second Alternate – Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

Renee Zellweger and Scarlett Johansson feel like shoo-ins. The rest is uncertain. While Charlize Theron in Bombshell looks good for Oscar, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk she’s named here. My feeling that Little Women gets snubbed in Ensemble could filter down to Saoirse Ronan and her chances. Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, and Lupita Nyong’o are all in the mix.

SAG has given us surprise contenders before, like Sarah Silverman in 2015’s I Smile Back. Could we see something in that order with Mary Kay Place (Diane) or Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell)?

Predicted Nominees

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

First Alternate – Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Second Alternate – Lupita Nyong’o, Us

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Brad Pitt and The Irishman double play of Al Pacino and Joe Pesci should see their names called. Here’s a category where a non Oscar nominee can get in – think Hugh Grant in 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins or Steve Carell in 2017’s Battle of the Sexes. That spot could go to someone like Wesley Snipes if my Dolemite love turns out real. There’s also Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy, Song Kang-Ho in Parasite, or Sterling K. Brown for Waves. 

Yet I suspect the final two slots will be between Willem Dafoe, Tom Hanks, and Anthony Hopkins. I’ll readily admit it feels awfully strange to predict actors will leave Hanks out, but I’ll go there with trepidation.

Predicted Nominees

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

First Alternate – Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Second Alternate – Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

SAG threw everyone for a loop last year when they didn’t nominate Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk. She ended up taking home the Globe and Oscar. Prior to that, the previous nine SAG winners here also were victorious with the Academy.

Truth be told, this is the category I fear I could go 2 for 5 in. Laura Dern and Jennifer Lopez seem relatively safe. And then it’s picking three slots among Kathy Bates, Annette Bening, Scarlett Johansson (I do believe this is her best opportunity for a double nod), Florence Pugh, Margot Robbie, Zhao Shuzhen, and Maggie Smith. Good luck cracking this one!

Predicted Nominees

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell 

First Alternate – Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Second Alternate – Annette Bening, The Report

That does it for now! Expect a recap coming your way at some juncture tomorrow…

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 9th Edition

It’s been two weeks since I’ve prognosticated Oscar picks on the blog and a lot has happened since then. The precursors are coming out in full force with the Golden Globe nominations out this morning and numerous critics bestowing their awards or nods.

The Globes potentially provided a needed boost to The Two Popes and displayed a better than anticipated showing for Joker. 

So how have my estimates changed in the last 14 days? There’s been one change in all major categories with the exception of Director and Adapted Screenplay. They are:

  • In Best Picture, I’ve put Ford v Ferrari back in and taken out Bombshell. The official review embargo for Bombshell lapsed and the current Rotten Tomatoes score is 60%. It could still sneak in, but with that rating and a lack of precursor love, it’s certainly fallen.
  • My ongoing struggle with picking Best Actor candidates continues. Whittling it down to five is a challenge and that’s an understatement. As has been discussed previously, I truly believe all 10 listed performers could get in. For that matter, so could Paul Walter Hauser for Richard Jewell if that film does better with Academy voters than expected. This is the first time I have Leonardo DiCaprio on the outside looking in with Antonio Banderas (recipient of some precursors) getting in. Look for this saga to continue until nominations morning.
  • In Best Actress, I’ve got Awkwafina in over Cynthia Erivo. This is basically a coin flip for the five spot and there’s also Lupita Nyong’o (another precursor favorite) as a spoiler.
  • Joe Pesci has done quite well in the precursors. He’s in over Willem Dafoe for Supporting Actor.
  • Annette Bening is back in the fold over Zhao Shuzhen in Supporting Actress.
  • I’m putting Knives Out in Original Screenplay and that takes out Pain and Glory.

You can read the rest of the happenings below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

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

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Parasite (PR: 5)

5. 1917 (PR: 3)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Little Women (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 11)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Farewell (PR: 12)

12. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Richard Jewell (PR: 13)

15. Bombshell (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Rocketman

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 2)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

8. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 7)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

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

4. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

7. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 7)

9. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

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

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

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

5. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 8)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 7)

9. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 10)

10. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (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: 6)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 5)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

7. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 7)

8. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 9)

9. Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sterling K. Brown, Waves

John Lithgow, Bombshell

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. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 5)

5. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 4)

7. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

8. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Taylor Russell, Waves (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. The Two Popes (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hustlers (PR: 7)

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

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Just Mercy (PR: 9)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 2)

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

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

7. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

8. 1917 (PR: 7)

9. Bombshell (PR: 6)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Honey Boy

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Monos (PR: 4)

5. Invisible Life (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Atlantics (PR: 7)

7. A White, White Day (PR: 10)

8. Beanpole (PR: 8)

9. And Then We Danced (PR: 5)

10. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

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: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 6)

7. Abominable (PR: 7)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 4)

3. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

4. For Sama (PR: 5)

5. Sea of Shadows (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. Honeyland (PR: 8)

8. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

9. The Edge of Democracy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Maiden (PR: 3)

Dropped Out:

The Kingmaker 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

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

3. Joker (PR: 5)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Parasite (PR: 6)

8. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Little Women (PR: 1)

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

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Irishman (PR: 6)

8. Aladdin (PR: 10)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Judy

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 3)

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

4. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 4)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

10. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Bombshell

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bomshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Us (PR: 5)

8. Rocketman (PR: 8)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. 1917 (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 2)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 10)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 8)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

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

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 2)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

8. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Waves (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

A Hidden Life

Ad Astra 

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. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 4)

4. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 7)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 5)

8. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 9)

10. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 

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: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: 7)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

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

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Joker (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

7. Cats (PR: 8)

8. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

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

10. The Irishman (PR: 9)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. The Lion King (PR: 4)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

9. Gemini Man (PR: 9)

10. Aladdin (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures getting the following number of nominations:

11 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story

7 Nominations

Little Women

6 Nominations

Joker

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Parasite, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Frozen II, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, The Aeronauts, American Factory, Apollo 11, Cats, Downton Abbey, For Sama, Harriet, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Invisible Life, Knives Out, Les Miserables, The Lighthouse, Missing Link, Monos, One Child Nation, The Report, Sea of Shadows, Toy Story 4