2019 Spring Season Preview Wrap-Up: March

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.

March 1, 2019

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Only one film with Madea as the central character failed to pass $50 million at the box office. That film was the only genuine sequel on offering from Tyler Perry: Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. Most of the films have topped $60 million, but a few haven’t. Considering the law of diminishing returns, I suspect this one will barely eke out a $60 million run.”
Box Office Results: $73.3 M
Thoughts: [Success] An improvement over recent Tyler Perry efforts.

March 8, 2019

Captain Marvel

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. There are plenty of opportunities for Marvel Cinematic Universe films to earn Oscar nominations, but they don’t tend to do so. While Black Panther is now the most successful such film, there’s little likelihood that a trend develops and this film could make a run for Visual Effects, but that’s likely to be a push for Avengers: End Game instead.”
Oscar Results: Still Uncertain. The film has a lot of competition, even from its own comics universe. It is doubtful the film can pick up much, though a Makeup & Hairstyling nomination isn’t out of the question.
Box Office Prospects: $450 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. While origin stories in the Marvel universe have generally resulted in robust box office figures, none will quite compare to something like Black Panther, though this film hopes to at least do as well as Wonder Woman, after all, that’s one of the reasons Marvel finally gave a woman the lead in one of their films after ten years.”
Box Office Results: $426.8 M
Thoughts: [Success] Performing almost exactly on target, this introduction to the first solo female super hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe performed incredibly well.

Gloria Bell (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Unlikely. The film hasn’t generated much buzz so far, so I doubt it will generate much buzz after release.”
Oscar Results: Now Uncertain. There are a lot of women showing up in lists throughout the year. This early release is starting to get lost in the shuffle.
Box Office Prospects: $2.5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. Few of Julianne Moore’s films have been an outright success at the box office, typically requiring Oscar attention to become modest successes. This film’s early release isn’t likely to generate buzz, so may be quickly forgotten.”
Box Office Results: $5.6 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] Better than expected for an indie film without sufficient hype.

March 15, 2019

Five Feet Apart

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $30 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “The Fault in Our Stars started a box office trend of adapting dying-teen romances. Yet, the two most recent young adult dramas in a similar vein, The Space Between Us and Midnight Sun were colossal failures. This film might not suffer the same fate as Cole Sprouse is something of a teen heartthrob, but I don’t expect the film to be a huge success.”
Box Office Results: $45.7 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] This dying-teen subgenre doesn’t seem to be succeeding very well.

Wonder Park

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Weak. Unless it’s a huge box office and critical hit, this film isn’t likely to make its way to the Oscar competition.”
Oscar Results: Now None. The film was a critical and box office flop, giving it no chance at the Oscars.
Box Office Prospects: $80 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. With so few films targeting families in this time of year, Wonder Park could find a lot of success. That said, we’ve said that a lot in the last year, with so few animated films releasing, and few of those films became megawatt hits. This film looks silly enough to be a disappointment.”
Box Office Results: $45.2 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Animated films haven’t been performing as well as expected in the last couple of years and this latest animated flop suggests the ultimate slow down in film releases might be a result.

March 22, 2019

Hotel Mumbai

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The dramatic tension in the trailer suggets a film that could go a long way with Oscar voters; however, the March release doesn’t give one much hope of that.”
Oscar Results: Now None. Critics weren’t over-the-moon about it and the early releases and lack of attention, especially at the box office, have doomed its chances.
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Nothing like this has become a hit in the last quarter century, so it’s unlikely to be a major success.”
Box Office Results: $9.7 M
Thoughts: [Flop] There really isn’t a sufficient market for a film like this and while Oscar contention might have been the original aim, I suspect they dumped this in March because they didn’t think it had any hope.

Us

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. Peele overcame history to land several Oscar nominations for Get Out, including Best Picture and Best Directing. While second films are notoriously hard to get appreciation for, a groundswell of support from critics and audiences could turn this into a contender for nomination, though wins are doubtful.”
Oscar Results: Still Uncertain. While it is still one of the best reviewed films of the year, the chatter about its Oscar chances has diminished significantly in recent months, which ultimately suggests it may not have a lot of hope.
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. There isn’t a lot of precedent for a film like this, but the man behind Get Out, Jordan Peele, could be starting a trend of his own that could result in a number of films making good bank with such premises.”
Box Office Results: $175 M
Thoughts: [Success] Performing slightly above expectations, we have clear evidence that Jordan Peele is a force to be reckoned with in the horror genre.

March 29, 2019

Dumbo

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. While the Disney live-action/animated adaptations have been doing decently well with the Academy, this film has Burton’s backing, which could make it a major player in the creative categories. Production Design and Costume Design seem givens, but the film could also pull up in the sound categories and Visual Effects.”
Oscar Results: Now Uncertain. Disney has far too many films this year to efficiently push them all for Oscars and the weak performance with critics will give them the desire to ignore Tim Burton, one of the foremost directors delivering Production Design nominees in the last two decades.
Box Office Prospects: $300 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Excellent. Tim Burton’s last reimagining of a Disney animated feature made over $330 million at the box office in 2010 (Alice in Wonderland). A lot has changed in nine years, but I suspect this film will do incredibly well at the box office thanks to terrific marketing.”
Box Office Results: $114.8 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] While a tally above $110 million isn’t bad, expectations were much higher, especially for a part of the live-action reimagining subgenre Disney has devoted far too many resources to.

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