2020 Box Office 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.

November 6, 2020

Let Him Go

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. It’s got a familiar lead and will play well in the midwest, so it could perform well where theaters are most likely to be open.”
Box Office Results: $9.4 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] For a pandemic release, these numbers aren’t bad even though it would be well below what would normally be expected.

November 13, 2020

Freaky

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. If The New Mutants can make $22 million in a pandemic, this film can come close as well.”
Box Office Results: $9 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Strangely, some film types aren’t as popular during a pandemic and this one, in spite of stellar reviews, just couldn’t make much.

Ammonite (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. Early word is that Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan will be major Oscar players this year with the latter possibly finally winning something?”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $1 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Indie cinema is just as injured by the pandemic and although this is already critically acclaimed, it won’t have a lot of opportunities to excel at the box office.”
Box Office Results: $0.16 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] With no Oscar possibilities and uninspiring reviews, this result is rather mediocre.

November 20, 2020

Mank (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. Another major Oscar contender, this one taking us all the way back to the 1940s when the furor over Citizen Kane was front page news, unless the newspaper was owned by William Randolph Hearst…”
Oscar Results: Nominated for 10. While this isn’t where we all expected it to land, it only missed out in a couple of less obvious places and pulled off some nominations that not everyone was expecting.
Box Office Prospects: $0 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “None. This film is released by Netflix, which means it will have no box office run at all.”
Box Office Results: $0 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] As comes as no surprise to anyone, Netflix greedily sat on top of this one, so we have no idea what kind of business it really did.

Sound of Metal (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. It could be a Best Sound contender, but that’s about it.”
Oscar Results: Nominated for 6. The film did quite well, building on critics awards to score a sizable number of nominations.
Box Office Prospects: $0.5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Without strong reviews, the best this film can hope for is a sub-1-mil tally.”
Box Office Results: $0 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Rather than releasing to theaters, this one was pushed to a streaming release, thus no box office.

November 25, 2020

The Croods: A New Age

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The Academy doesn’t really love sequels, but there may not be a lot of options this year.”
Oscar Results: Not Nominated.
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. The pandemic may not give this film room to grow at the box office, but it could do Tenet business if families decide to go to the theater.”
Box Office Results: $56.4 M (STILL IN RELEASE)
Thoughts: [Major Success] What turned out to be a huge success for a pandemic release, family films did surprisingly well at the box office. While this number isn’t nearly as impressive as the recent debut of Godzilla vs. Kong, it’s still entirely impresive considering the market conditions at the time of its initial release.

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