2019 Oscar Season Preview: September

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

September 6, 2019

It Chapter Two

Premise: From IMDb: “Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.”
Box Office Prospects: $350 M
Expectations: Excellent. The first film made more than $327 million at the box office, it’s certain the final chapter will also make a good amount of money.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

September 13, 2019

The Goldfinch

Premise: From IMDb: “A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
Box Office Prospects: $35 M
Expectations: Uncertain. It’s a well known novel, but will audiences want to watch it in the theater? I’m doubtful.
Oscar Prospects: Good. This popular and acclaimed novel has all the prospects to become a major Oscar contender with one exception. It’s releasing in September, which is one of the worst month of the last four to release an Oscar contender.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Hustlers

Premise: From IMDb: “Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.”
Box Office Prospects: $65 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The cast might be worth predicting a decent return, but the premise doesn’t sound as exciting as it might on paper, so I’m dubious about its Oscar prospects.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

September 20, 2019

Ad Astra

Premise: From IMDb: “An astronaut travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. He uncovers secrets which challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.”
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Expectations: Uncertain. This could be another title Disney sabotages so that it looks like Fox’s slate was doomed and only it can resuscitate it. Then again, science-fiction that’s good may generate solid word of mouth.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. James Gray has been bubbling under for Oscar consideration, but considering how Disney is treating the film’s release, I suspect it won’t get much in the way of Oscar attention.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Rambo: Last Blood

Premise: From IMDb: “Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. A deadly journey of vengeance, RAMBO: LAST BLOOD marks the last chapter of the legendary series.”
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Expectations: Weak. Although it seems like there have been more, there have only been four prior Rambo films. The first, titled First Blood made $47 million in 1982, equivalent to $144 million today. The second film made considerably more, pulling in $150 million in 1985, adjusted for inflation to $381 million. The third film made only $53million in 1988, which translates to a much lower $117 million. When Sylvester Stallone tried rebooting the character in 2008, the box office was anemic scoring $42 million at the box office, inflating to $53million. 11 years later, can the “Last Blood” improve on those numbers? I’m doubtful, but there isn’t much else in terms of competition, so it might be a hit.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Downton Abbey (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century.”
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The television series was hugely popular, but it was free to watch. This is a big screen feature that will cost money to see. I don’t have much expectation that it will justify its own existence.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. It’s possible the film’s costume design and production design might have Oscar potential, but the familiar costumes of the TV series might not be too impressive, even with new designs in the offing.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

September 27, 2019

Abominable

Premise: From IMDb: “A magical Yeti must return to his family.”
Box Office Prospects: $125 M
Expectations: Good. There haven’t been a lot of animated films out there for consumers to eat up and this adorable-looking film should nicely fill the gap ahead of Disney’s late-year release of Frozen II.
Oscar Prospects: Good. Not many animated films this year have suitably impressed critics, suggesting that a strong showing of reviews might give this film a chance to break into the race.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Judy (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts.”
Box Office Prospects: $10 M
Expectations: Uncertain. It’s being released on a limited number of screens, which won’t give it much room to grow and the subject matter might not be the kind of thing audiences in smaller markets will be interested in.
Oscar Prospects: Good. Renee Zellweger is certainly a player in this year’s Oscar race and if the film’s any good, it could also be a competitor.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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