2020 Oscar Season Box Office 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 4, 2020

All My Life

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: None.
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. The premise doesn’t sound like something holiday audiences will want to catch at the box office, but a weepy might find some small audience. It’s just not certain.”
Box Office Results: $0.914 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Even during a pandemic box office, this result makes it a clear dud.

I’m Your Woman (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results:
Box Office Prospects: $0.5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. This limited release film looks better than expected in the trailer, but I’m not so sure it can strike out in a depressed box office season.”
Box Office Results: N/A
Thoughts: No domestic release.

December 25, 2020

News of the World

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. Paul Greengrass and Hanks are a compelling combination when pushing towards the Oscars with a high quality western, which is a genre that Hollywood has been infrequent to recognize. Still, this looks to be one of the few major contenders this year.”
Oscar Results: Minor Success. Although it went home empty-handed, the film managed to pull out several below-the-line nominations.
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Tom Hanks has had a lot of box office hits in his career and this film looks like it could be a big seller in small towns across the U.S.”
Box Office Results: $12.7 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] With access to theaters still limited in December, this result isn’t bad, though it certainly good have performed better.

Promising Young Woman

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. Carey Mulligan looks amazing in the film and if nothing else, she’ll be in the hunt for a nomination for the film.”
Oscar Results: Success. The film pulled out several key nominations, including a rare Directing citation, making her and Nomadland‘s Chloé Zhao the first women directors nominated in the same year. The film only took one award, Best Original Screenplay for director Emerald Fennell, even though it deserved more.
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. The premise might not be the kind that draws broad audiences to the theater, but good reviews could bolster its potential.”
Box Office Results: $6.4 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] For an indie film at a pandemic box office, this movie performed incredibly well, ranking 37th for 2020, which is impressive. With the top post-pandemic box office performer being Tenet at almost $58 million, these numbers are quite good.

Wonder Woman 1984

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. There aren’t a lot of big budget blockbusters this year, which could give the film a chance to stand out at the Oscars. However, the problem is that depends on whether Warners pushes it to 2021 or streams it at this point since an actual holiday release is seeming rather remote right now.”
Oscar Results: Failure. With not so good reviews, the film managed to collapse in every category in which it could have contended.
Box Office Prospects: $50 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. If the film release, and right now that’s a HUGE if, it will do box office akin to Tenet‘s unimpressive $56 million (and rising). That said, the prospects of a weak showing may ultimately be what dooms the film to a streaming release as Warner Bros. is currently threatening.”
Box Office Results: $46.4 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] The film didn’t quite meet expectations, but its numbers aren’t bad in a pandemic framework.

December 30, 2020

Monster Hunter

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: None.
Box Office Prospects: $10 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. When was the last time Milla Jovovich had a genuine box office hit? The Resident Evil franchise has been a middling performer and even her breakthrough hit The Fifth Element only made a scant $65 million. At a pandemic box office, even her best is a pipe dream.”
Box Office Results: $15.1 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Rescheduled to 12.18.21. The film overperformed expectations, but it couldn’t even come close to pandemic successes like Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Croods:A New Age.

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