2021 Oscar Season 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.

October 1, 2021

The Addams Family 2

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Poor. The first film failed to score an Oscar nomination and sequels struggle a great deal, so don’t expect it.”
Oscar Results: Now None. The film couldn’t overcome the Academy’s aversion to sequels, especially sequels to films that weren’t nominated in the first place.
Box Office Prospects: $90 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. The first animated film scored nearly $100 million in its outing two years ago. The pandemic has changed the box office a bit, so it might struggle to reach that threshold, but kids’ films have been faring better than addult entertainment lately, so it’s possible to equal out.”
Box Office Results: $56.5 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Trying to make this into a longrunning animated series of films doesn’t seem to be in the cards thanks to the mediocre numbers the sequel has pulled in.

The Many Saints of Newark

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $30 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Will this big screen adaptation of The Sopranos be more in line with the performance of Entourage or Sex and the City? The dichotomy between these two HBO-to-big screen adaptations is night and day. While Sopranos was a hit, both in terms of viewership and in terms of critical acclaim, this attempt to recapture that magic is more likely to fail.”
Box Office Results: $8.2 M
Thoughts: [Major Flop] Either there aren’t enough The Sopranos fans to make this a hit or it was too far after the film’s release or it simply wasn’t good enough take your pick.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The first film didn’t score any nominations, so it’s doubtful this one can as well, but Best Visual Effects is always a potential.”
Oscar Results: Now none. Although the film’s visual effects were contending, it came up short come Oscar nomination time.
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. The pandemic will decrease its potential, but the first Venom scored over $200 million at the box office, suggesting there’s plenty of interest in the character. The solid reviews also helped. Depending on reviews and the need for audiences to see what happens next, this one could be a pandemic it or an underwhelming outing.”
Box Office Results: $213.6 M
Thoughts: [Major Success] One of the myriad comic book adaptations that managed to perform incredibly well during a pandemic. It assures that the Venom sequels should be popular enough.

October 8, 2021

No Time to Die

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The songs from the film used to be ignored by the Academy, now they can’t get enough of them, giving the Oscar twice in a row now to Bond title tracks, with the terrible song from Spectre being one of the weaker winners the category has seen in decades. It could still be nomintaed, giving Billie Eilish a nomination, but I doubt it will win.”
Oscar Results: Success. The film pulled out three Oscar nominations in Original Song, Sound, and Visual Effects. Its only expected win will be in Original Song most likely.
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. Despite the wildly uneven quality of the James Bond films over the decades, they have remained a consistent box office draw. The pandemic pushed this one out of its 2020 berth, but things haven’t improved that much, so we’ll see if it sticks the landing this time. It will have a weaker performance simply because of a lack of audience attention, but it still should do quite well.”
Box Office Results: $160.9 M
Thoughts: [Success] James Bond continues to impress with its solid box office numbers. While this isn’t a modern high, it’s enough to keep the series going indefinitely.

Mass (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. Early reviews have been excellent with all four actors scoring acclaim and the film itself picking up its own momentum. The film could be a solid Oscar performer and could be the first in years to score nominations in all four acting categories. Nominations in a few other categories are also possible.”
Oscar Results: Now None. Although it played prominently in a handful of precursor races, the Academy ignored the film altogether, not even giving it a nominations for Original Screenplay, which seemed certain, or Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd), which seemed less certain.
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. While this might seem like a stage-to-screen adaptation, the story is new and it’s not the kind of subject that does great box office, so a mediocre outing should be expected.”
Box Office Results: $0.145 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] While the box office has mostly rebounded, indie cinema has not. This seemed to be a good contender for the Oscars, even if it didn’t get any nominations, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from these numbers.

October 15, 2021

Halloween Kills

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $95 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. The 2018 revival of the Halloween franchise was a huge success, so the sequel should do solid busines.”
Box Office Results: $92 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] A franchise that’s seen its fair share of success and failure continues to draw audiences to the theater, thanks to the presence of the original film’s lead. This result should at least give it some hope for continued success.

The Last Duel

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The film has a lot of potential for Oscar consideration, though early word is that it’s not nearly as good as it wanted to be. That might be a hindrance in top categories, but the below the line categories are still possible.”
Oscar Results: Now None. The film was originally thought to be one of Ridley Scott’s two major Oscar contenders, but its reviewed and meager box office kept it confined to craft categories, which ultimately led it to being excluded entirely.
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. This is the kind of film that either energizes viewers or turns them off. It’s hard to tell from trailers, but the cast suggests it might do well.”
Box Office Results: $10.9 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] You can’t make something popular by willing it to be. Even the likes of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck can’t guarantee a box office success.

October 22, 2021

Dune

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. While the film didn’t capture the full imaginations of those who saw it on the festival circuit, it still has plenty of elements that Oscar voters can swoon over.”
Oscar Results: Success. It scored double-digit nominations, but failed to pull in the expected Directing citation and ultimately came in below The Power of the Dog, which is a success, but close to being a minor one.
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. The prospects of one of the most popular sci-fi novels of all-time doing good box office is high.”
Box Office Results: $108.1 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] Had the film not been released simultaneously on HBO Max, it might have doubled this number easily. It’s still a success, but an unfortunately weak one.

Ron’s Gone Wrong

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. There isn’t a lot of competition so far this year, so a Best Animated Feature nomination seems plausible.”
Oscar Results: Now None. The film’s failure at the box office comfounded its chances at an Animated Feature nomination, which it didn’t get it.
Box Office Prospects: $100 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. Animated films do well at the pandemic box office and this one has an overload of cuteness, which should help.”
Box Office Results: $23 M
Thoughts: [Major Flop] Animated features have continued to struggle at the box office, but some success has been had, which makes this result disappointing.

The French Dispatch (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. Now that Wes Anderson has broken through the Oscar ceiling, his latest film should score a handful of nominations, mostly in tech categories, but depending on the quality, some top tier ones are also possible.”
Oscar Results: Now None. It was thought to be contending in at least Original Score, Produciton Design, and Supporting Actor, but picked up nothing.
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Wes Anderson has an upper limit to the popularity his films have at the box office. Even his most popular weren’t mega-successes at the box office. The pandemic box office might just depress enthusiasm further.”
Box Office Results: $16.1 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Wes Anderson still isn’t a huge box office draw, but these numbers are pretty good for an indie film, but not really for a name like Anderson’s.

October 29, 2021

Antlers

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $12 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. This film has been put off for quite some time and horror, while popular, doesn’t always pull in huge numbers at the box office.”
Box Office Results: $10.6 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] It didn’t cross over into a wide release box office hit, but this number is solid.

Last Night in Soho

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Doubtful. Before critics had their say, the film seemed like the kind of hyper-stylish film that could pull in craft nominations, but even that seems less likely at this point.”
Oscar Results: Now None. It was in competition for a handful of nominations, but failed to pick up any.
Box Office Prospects: $50 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Director Edgar Wright used to pull in niche audiences to his films, but after Ant-Man, his follow up was a major success. That said, Wright’s films aren’t everyone’s cups of tea and this one has some mediocre and hostile reviews to weigh down its expectations.”
Box Office Results: $10.1 M
Thoughts: [Flop] This film should have been a bigger hit than it was, but apparently the marketing wasn’t sufficient to get people interested.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.