2018 Oscar Season Preview: October

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

October 5, 2018

A Star Is Born

Premise: From IMDb: “A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.”
Box Office Prospects: $120 M
Expectations: Excellent. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in a critically acclaimed musical drama? It sounds like a blockbuster waiting to happen. Seriously.
Oscar Prospects: Excellent. The film did amazingly well on the festival circuit and enters the Oscar race as a frontrunner for nominations. Wins might be a tougher sell, but nominations are assured.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Venom

Premise: From IMDb: “When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.”
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Expectations: Excellent. It’s been a long time since an anti-hero showed up on the big screen. This major Spider-Man “villain” getting his own movie could be quite popular.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. This film could compete for Best Visual Effects, but competition is tough and I suspect it won’t do terribly well.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

October 12, 2018

Bad Times at the El Royale

Premise: From IMDb: “Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption – before everything goes to hell.”
Box Office Prospects: $75 M
Expectations: Good. While the film might not casually appeal to mass audiences, this is the second film this year trying to target a surprisingly discerning batch of cinemagoers. This one, I suspect, will do far better at the box office.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

First Man

Premise: From IMDb: “A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.”
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Expectations: Excellent. Space dramas have largely been successful at the box office and this biopic could do quite well.
Oscar Prospects: Excellent. The film will be a top tier contender at the Oscars this year, competing in all the major categories and probably taking home a couple of tech awards.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Premise: From IMDb: “Halloween comes to life in a comedy adventure based on R.L. Stine’s 400-million-selling series of books.”
Box Office Prospects: $70 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The first film made a nice chunk of change, but the sequel might not. Having said, that, I’ll position it as a modest performer like itd predecessor.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Beautiful Boy (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.”
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Expectations: Good. It’s starting out at the specialty box office, but could pass beyond that. However, being that it’s mostly just a father-son drama, it may not have a lot of legs beyond that.
Oscar Prospects: Excellent. Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet will be Oscar contenders while the film tries to make its way into other races, which will be less likely.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

October 19, 2018

Halloween

Premise: From IMDb: “Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.”
Box Office Prospects: $70 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The franchise has been coasting on fumes for years. The prior entries did mediocre business. Bringing back Jamie Lee Curtis could be the proper formula for a decent success.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Hate U Give

Premise: From IMDb: “Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Uncertain. These types of teen dramas have struggled at the box office over the last couple of years. While this one could break the mold, I have a suspicion that it won’t.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Serenity

Premise: From IMDb: “The mysterious past of a fishing boat captain living in the Caribbean comes back to haunt him, ensnaring his life in a new reality that may not be what it all seems.”
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Normally, I would say that Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway would be a hit in the making, but this film seems a bit too bizarre to be anything in the way of a hit.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Premise: From IMDb: “The true story of bestselling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats) Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), who made her living in the 1970s and ’80s profiling the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack.”
Box Office Prospects: $35 M
Expectations: Uncertain. While Melissa McCarthy’s comedies have been inconsistently performing at the box office for the last couple of years, this is a drama, which won’t appeal to her other fans. That said, early word suggests the film could be quite good and that might bolster its chances slightly beyond the specialty box office.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. Early word is solid, but not much beyond Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

October 26, 2018

Hunter Killer

Premise: From IMDb: “An untested American submarine captain teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.”
Box Office Prospects: $30 M
Expectations: Weak. This nautical drama doesn’t have much of a pedigree that would suggest a big hit. That said, there isn’t a lot of competition for this weekend, so it could do better than expected.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Johnny English Strikes Again

Premise: From IMDb: “After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.”
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Expectations: Weak. It’s shocking that after the dismal performance of the first sequel, they would make another. Perhaps enough time has passed for the stink to wear off of the prior entry, but I doubt there’s much chance that this performs that well.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Suspiria (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (Ebersdorf). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.”
Box Office Prospects: $12 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The original horror classic doesn’t seem like the kind of movie that would get a remake, but it has. While Luca Guadagnino had success with Call Me by Your Name, I doubt this one does much in the way of business, especially with a limited release.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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