2021 Oscar Season Box Office 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 2, 2020

A Call to Spy

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. Some elements of the film feel like they might be Oscar caliber, but with very little forward press, it might be a mirage.”
Oscar Results: Now None. The film never elicited excitement and was quickly forgotten.
Box Office Prospects: $1 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. The film doesn’t sound like something audiences will rush out to see.”
Box Office Results: $0.159 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] Even for an indie film released in the midst of a pandemic, these numbers aren’t great.

October 9, 2020

Honest Thief

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. Even if the pandemic weren’t still an issue, Liam Neeson’s revenge dramas have been doing decreasingly less business as the years move on. I suspect that this one, a slight deviation from prior efforts, won’t do incredibly well.”
Box Office Results: $14.2 M
Thoughts: [Flop] It did well enough for a wide release in a pandemic, but still rather disappointing.

The War with Grandpa

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. Even before the pandemic put this film off, it had already been postponed before and the end result looks like a hapless attempt to pull families to the theater. That attempt will fail.”
Box Office Results: $20.5 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] Performing about at expectations, it seemed that family-targeted films did much better at the pandemic box office than others.

October 23, 2020

Connected

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Rescheduled to 2021.
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. This film is still a bit of a mystery and the trailer isn’t terribly memorable, so I suspect it won’t do terribly well at the box office.”
Box Office Results: N/A
Thoughts: Rescheduled to 2021 (and re-titled).

Death on the Nile

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. The first film adaptation managed to win an Oscar for Costume Design. However, like the 1975 version of Murder on the Orient Express previously adapted by Kenneth Branagh went from several nominations to none in spite of some very pretty design elements. I suspect the same thing will happen here, though depending on the ostentatiousness of Salome Otterbourne’s outfits (which likely propelled the prior film to victory), it could still be nominated, at least by the Costume Designers Guild if not by the Academy.”
Oscar Results: Rescheduled to 2021.
Box Office Prospects: $30 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Certainty about anything in the pandemic is low, but this should perform modestly well considering the performance of its predecessor tempered against the current cinematic climate.”
Box Office Results: N/A
Thoughts: Rescheduled to 2021.

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