Category: Monthly Previews

2018 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: December

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.

December 7, 2018

Ben Is Back (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Weak. Roberts is pushing for an Oscar nomination for her role in this and while the dramatics of it certainly play in her favor, the film itself hasn’t built much traction yet, so she could be a background contender.”
Oscar Results: Failure. Brief conversations turned into nothing.
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Julia Roberts used to be a major box office draw and to an extent that’s still partly true. However, her strength at selling dramas is weaker and I suspect this won’t be a huge success for her.”
Box Office Results: $3.7 M
Thoughts: [Flop] The only thing going for this film in terms of potential box office appeal was star Julia Roberts. However, we’ve found that actors who perform outside of their perceived genre tend to be ignored by audiences, or at least find it more difficult to earn box office glory. That was likely a contributing factor to this film’s failure.

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2019 Blockbuster Season Preview: May

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

May 3, 2019

The Intruder

Premise: From IMDb: “A psychological thriller about a young married couple who buys a beautiful Napa Valley house on several acres of land only to find that the man they bought it from refuses to let go of the property.”
Box Office Prospects: $45 M
Expectations: Uncertain. These kind of house-stalking movies have been known to be modestly popular, but not popular enough to be box office sensations.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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2019 Blockbuster Season Preview: Introduction

With Disney now owning Fox and having a pact with Sony, all of the biggest potential box office hits this year will belong to them. From the likely biggest hit The Lion King to its other live-action remake Aladdin to its Pixar release Toy Story 4, that alone would be enough to be envious, but throw in Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home and Fox’s New Mutants and it could be an explosive year.

Looking at the rest of the season, there aren’t a lot of potential box office hits. Anne Hathaway comedy The Hustle, Toho (releasing the film in Japan) sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters produced by Warner Bros., Octavia Spencer horror flick Ma, Sony reboot Men in Black International, horror sequel Annabelle Comes Home, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw are the best bets.

To introduce you to the upcoming films, there will be two preview articles every month and this introduction every four months. The Season Preview article will focus on one of three seasons Spring Season (January through April), Blockbuster Season (May through August) and Oscar Season (September through December). In these introductory articles, I will give you the current release schedule for the specified season, which may change as the release dates get closer.

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2018 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: November

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 2, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. While the Best Actor category is starting to solidify, there might still be room for a performance form Rami Malek if the film is even remotely good.”
Oscar Results: Major Success. Not only did it come from behind to become a major Oscar nominee, it won four of its nominations, including Best Actor.
Box Office Prospects: $65 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. There are a lot of Queen fans, but is this movie really something they’ve been clamoring to see. The first trailer did enthuse some, but will that be enough to make it a hit.”
Box Office Results: $215.9 (STILL IN LIMITED RELEASE) M
Thoughts: [Major Success] With the popularity of Queen’s music and the magnetic performance of Rami Malek, the film managed to strike the right chord with audiences, becoming a far bigger success than anyone anticipated.

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2019 Spring Season Preview: April

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

April 5, 2019

The Best of Enemies

Premise: From IMDb: “Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.”
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Expectations: Weak. This is just not the kind of movie that sells many tickets. I’d be surprised if it even makes it to the tally I predicted.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. It was briefly in the hunt for Oscar consideration last year, but got pushed into 2019. That fact, combined with the April release, suggests that the film isn’t much of a contender.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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2018 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 5, 2018

A Star Is Born

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Excellent. The film did amazingly well on the festival circuit and enters the Oscar race as a frontrunner for nominations. Wins might be a tougher sell, but nominations are assured.”
Oscar Results: Unexceptional. The film entered Oscar season as the one to beat and ended the season out of its depths. No one knows for sure what happened. The film still managed to pull in 8 Oscar nominations, though it only came out with one win (for Original Song “Shallow”).
Box Office Prospects: $120 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Excellent. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in a critically acclaimed musical drama? It sounds like a blockbuster waiting to happen. Seriously.”
Box Office Results: $212.9 M (STILL IN LIMITED RELEASE)
Thoughts: [Major Success] The surprisingly robust box office performance was one of the major success stories of the year.

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2018 Spring Season Preview: March

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

March 2, 2018

Death Wish

Premise: From IMDb: “A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.”
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The Original film made roughly $108 million adjusted for inflation back in 1974. There are three factors that may ultimately work against it. Bruce Willis hasn’t had a sizable hit in some time with $67 being the average of his last two solo efforts, the last being 5 years ago. The second is director Eli Roth has only once had a box office hit and that was a minor one with Hostel making just over $47 million. The third is that it’s opening against spy thriller Red Sparrow starring the more formidable box office draw Jennifer Lawrence.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.
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2019 Spring Season Preview: March

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

March 1, 2019

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Premise: From IMDb: “A joyous family reunion becomes a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets.”
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Expectations: 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.
Oscar Prospects: None
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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2018 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: September

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.

September 7, 2018

The Nun

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: None.
Box Office Prospects: $80 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Decent. While the Conjuring series has been fairly successful in making money, the prequels tend to perform more weakly, thus a fairly low expected tally for this film.”
Box Office Results: $117.5 M
Thoughts: [Success] This series cannot apparently do wrong. There’s not much special about it, but it continues to pay dividends.

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2019 Spring Season Preview: February

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

February 1, 2019

Miss Bala

Premise: From IMDb: “Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.”
Box Office Prospects: $50 M
Expectations: Uncertain. I’m tempted to compare the film to Proud Mary, which released a couple of weeks earlier last year with the same general feel. However, this film feels more in the vein of Liam Neeson revenge flicks and the Hispanic community tends to rally behind films that have good word of mouth.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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2018 Summer Season Preview Wrap-Up: August

August 3, 2018

Christopher Robin

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The film has all the earmarks of a potential Disney Oscar nominee; however, it also reminds heavily of Saving Mr. Banks, which isn’t a great comparison.”
Oscar Results: One of only ten films to make the shortlist for the Academy Award category of Best Visual Effects, that remains the film’s only real chance at an Oscar nomination and the likelihood that it tops any of the other nine films seems remote.
Box Office Prospects: $100 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. Disney’s Winnie the Pooh is a beloved figure and them turning A.A. Milne’s story into something deeper and richer may appeal to fans young and old.”
Box Office Results: $99.2 M
Thoughts: [Success] While pulling out a near-$100 million tally at the box office was once impressive, for a Disney film featuring one of their more enduring characters is modestly lackluster, though certainly more impressive than other films of this particular type.

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2019 Spring Season Preview: January

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

January 4, 2019

Escape Room

Premise: From IMDb: “Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control, and must use their wits to survive.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Decent. This inventive horror film should do quite well with little competition.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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2019 Spring Preview: Introduction

2019 will kick into high gear early with several prominent releases in the first four months of the year, including two major Marvel properties that promise to do at least one-quarter of the year’s entire box office between them.

To introduce you to the upcoming films, there will be two preview articles every month and this introduction every four months. The Season Preview article will focus on one of three seasons Spring Season (January through April), Blockbuster Season (May through August) and Oscar Season (September through December). In these introductory articles, I will give you the current release schedule for the specified season, which may change as the release dates get closer.

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2018 Summer Season Preview Wrap-Up: July

July 6, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The effects look more diverse this time around, which could put it into competition for Visual Effects. It will probably make the shortlist, but not the Oscars.”
Oscar Results: The film has faded a bit, but I suspect it will be on the semifinalist list when it’s announced in the coming weeks. That said, it has a lot of competition and, at this point, I’m not sure it could pull anything off.
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. The prior film made $180 million at the box office. This sequel is a one of only two films between now and the Infinity War sequel, so it has the potential to draw attention to look for clues as to what will happen next. However, I suspect it will remain one of the lower-grossing franchise films.”
Box Office Results: $216.6 M
Thoughts: [Success] Performing about as well as expected, this mid-tier MCU movie did what it had to do to justify future sequels for Paul Rudd’s shrinking and enlarging hero.

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2018 Oscar Season Preview: December

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

December 7, 2018

Ben Is Back (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “Follows the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Hedges), who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve. Ben’s wary mother Holly Burns (Roberts) welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns he is still very much in harm’s way. During the 24 hours that may change their lives forever, Holly must do everything in her power to avoid the family’s downfall.”
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Julia Roberts used to be a major box office draw and to an extent that’s still partly true. However, her strength at selling dramas is weaker and I suspect this won’t be a huge success for her.
Oscar Prospects: Weak. Roberts is pushing for an Oscar nomination for her role in this and while the dramatics of it certainly play in her favor, the film itself hasn’t built much traction yet, so she could be a background contender.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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