2019 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: October

Below is a wrap-up of the predictions I made several months ago, an exploration of what succeeded and what failed, and how I observe things to have gone.

October 4, 2019

Joker

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. There’s talk of Joaquin Phoenix being an Oscar contender for this role. He would be the second person to be nominated should that occur and the second to win for this same role as well if he should.”
Oscar Results: Winner. The film performed way above expections earning the most nominations of the year, but only going home with two, Original Score and Actor.
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. Although the film doesn’t fit into the current DC Extended Universe, it’s still a DC film, which should allow it to make a fairly large sum of money.”
Box Office Results: $335.4 (STILL IN LIMITED RELEASE) M
Thoughts: [Major Success] Proving that anything DC touches can turn to gold when it targets the very toxic demographic it attempts to coddle.

The Current War (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. The film has been hold for a number of years due to the fall-out over the collapse of The Weinstein Company. It doesn’t have a lot of prospects.”
Box Office Results: $5.9 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] This film suffered as one of the last Weinstein Company films made before Harvey’s huge fall from grace, so it got bumped around a lot and then released in a director’s cut, likely in a bid to undo whatever Harvey Scissorhands did to it.

Pain and Glory (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The film had solid word of mouth out of the festival circuit, so it’s at least a contender for Best International Film (if submitted) and star Antonio Banderas is also a possibility.”
Oscar Results: Nominated. The two categories I referenced were the categories in which the film was nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $3.5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Pedro Almovodar isn’t the biggest box office draw, but at the specialty box office, his films do all right.”
Box Office Results: $4.6 (STILL IN LIMITED RELEASE) M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] For a foreign film, this performance is quite good, though one might have expected just a bit more from a double Oscar nominee from celebrated director Pedro Almodovar.

October 11, 2019

The Addams Family

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. It’s one of the few animated features this year that could be popular enough to make a run for a Best Animated Feature nomination, but its chances aren’t great.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated. The film was always a long shot for Best Animated Feature, but the film never materialized into a contender.
Box Office Prospects: $120 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. There’s no certainty that this film will be a box office hit, but fewer animated films this year could give it a nice boost at the box office.”
Box Office Results: $97.2 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] While it didn’t quite make it to $100 million, this number is a rather strong showing for an original without much advertising.

Gemini Man

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. Ang Lee hasn’t been an Oscar contender for a long while. This just doesn’t seem like the kind of movie the Academy supports, though.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated. The film had a chance on the short list for Best Visual Effects, but in the end, it didn’t make it.
Box Office Prospects: $175 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. A Will Smith sci-fi film where he plays an older and younger version of himself. That could rescue his flagging box office career.”
Box Office Results: $48.5 M
Thoughts: [Major Flop] Poor Ang Lee. He’s been struggling for the last few years to get anything that either audiences or fans want to see and this was his latest major blunder. Maybe he’ll now abandon his high frame rate experiments and blockbuster attempts and return to the indie cinema he became famous for.

Jexi

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $50 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. This type of comedy has struggled at the box office in recent years, so there’s no certainty that it will be a box office hit.”
Box Office Results: $6.5 M
Thoughts: [Major Flop] No one really wanted this film and it performed exactly like it wasn’t.

Parasite (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. South Korea will submit the film for consideration and although the director’s prior films have been too offbeat for the Academy to consider, this might be closer to their wheelhouse.”
Oscar Results: Winner. Not only was it in the Academy’s wheelhouse, it went all the way to the top to become the first foreign language film to win Best Picture against historical norms.
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. With its Oscar potential, the film could play well at the specialty box office.”
Box Office Results: $48.8 (STILL IN LIMITED RELEASE) M
Thoughts: [Major Success] Still going and likely to top the $50 million barrier and go even higher, this film rode its Best Picture win into a huge post-win bump.

October 18, 2019

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “
Oscar Results: Nominated. I would have said it stood a chance of a Production Design or Costume Design nomination, it was the Makeup & Hairstyling award for which the film was nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Excellent. Disney hasn’t struggled too much with its live-action adaptations of animated films, though this sequel will be an interesting test for the continuance of the trend.”
Box Office Results: $113.9 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] For a sequel to a Disney hit, this box office tally is rather disappointing.

Zombieland 2: Double Tap

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $70 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. It’s been ten years since the first film came out and became a cult hit, now we’re seeing an attempt to establish a sequel and see if the box office will respond. It could, but it probably won’t.”
Box Office Results: $73.1 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] While no one expected the sequel to perform well after so many years away from people’s minds (that and the unfortunate failure to get a TV series off the ground), this result isn’t half bad.

The Lighthouse (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Weak. Apart from its performances, the film isn’t likely to play well to Oscar voters and even the performances are likely to be ignored.”
Oscar Results: Nominated. While the performers were indeed not nominated, the cinematography managed to hold off an omission by the ASC to pick up the Oscar nod.
Box Office Prospects: $1 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. This type of film never does well at the box office, but critical acclaim and Oscar consideration might change that.”
Box Office Results: $10.9 M
Thoughts: [Success] For an indie film with no obvious theme performed incredibly well on the art house circuit.

October 25, 2019

Black and Blue

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. This genre has produced numerous films, few from this particular perspective, but that won’t bolster its fortunes much.”
Box Office Results: $22 M
Thoughts: [Flop] This looked like a poorly executed film with an actual poorly executed marketing campaign.

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