Scotty G’s Box Office Wrap-Up and Oscar Predictions

Madea Annihilates Box Office:

WOW – I did not see this coming at all – $41.2 million. Tyler Perry’s last few films have had decent openings, but he’s never had an opening this big. Ever. In fact Madea Goes to Jail made more money this weekend then Perry’s last film “The Family That Preys” did in its entire run. [“The Family That Preys” made around $37 million in total” “Madea Goes to Jail” continues the impressive run at the box office for 2009.

Let’s see how I did in my Predictions:

1) Madea Goes to Jail – $18 million
2) Taken – $16 million
3) Friday the 13th – $14 million
4) He’s Just Not That Into You – $10 million
5) Coraline – $8 million

Actual Numbers:

1) Madea Goes to Jail – $41.2 million
2) Taken – $11.4 million
3) Coraline – $11 million
4) He’s Just Not That Into You – $8.5 million
5) Slumdog Millionaire – $8 million

So the other stories are:

Taken suffers its biggest drop at the box office from weekend to weekend at about 40%. It’s a couple of days away from crossing $100 million [I’ve said it before – there is no way I would have ever thought that this film would gross $100 million]. I thought that it would continue it’s streak of low drops from weekend to weekend, but I was wrong.

Word of mouth propels Coraline to the number 3 spot, as it only suffers a 25% drop. I wasn’t too far off on my prediction of $8 million.

He’s Just Not That Into You was correct picked at 4th, and I was only 1.5 million off on the total. Slumdog Millionaire gets an Oscar boost and returns to the Top 5 with a 10.5% increase from weekend to weekend.

I said “WOW” to Madea, but I need to say “WOW” for another film too. Friday the 13th dropped over 80% from weekend to weekend. It went from $40.5 million to just $7.8 million this weekend. I could be wrong, and I’ll have to research this some more, but if the number holds up, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that was in wide release drop over 80% in a weekend.

So not a great week in predictions, and I’ll have to eat my words. I’ll never compare Madea to Ernest again. As mentioned, Madea grossed over $40 million this weekend, and the highest grossing Ernest film – “Ernest Saves Christmas” – grossed $28 million in 1988. I won’t use the inflation argument, but clearly Madea is no Ernest.

If I’ve learned anything, it is that I need to be a little more “earnest” in my box office predictions.

And now onto my Oscar Predictions:

BEST PICTURE“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“Frost/Nixon”
“Milk”
“The Reader”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
PREDICTION – Slumdog Millionaire. It’s won almost every major award leading up to tonight, so if it doesn’t win, it would be quite a surprise [although not as shocking as when Shakespeare in Love defeated Saving Private Ryan.

BEST ACTOR
Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)
PREDICTION – Mickey Rourke. This is going against conventional wisdom, because it seems that Sean Penn is getting all the buzz leading up to the ceremony, but I’m hoping Rourke gets it.

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)
PREDICTION – Kate Winslet. It’s going to be between Winslet and Streep, but Winslet has never won before, so it’s about time they recognize her.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks, Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount Vantage)
PREDICTION – Heath Ledger. I don’t need to say anything else.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)
PREDICTION – Penelope Cruz. Believe it or not, I think this is the strongest and toughest category this year. All performances were outstanding, and although I’d love Marisa Tomei to win an Oscar again, and although I though Viola Davis was incredible in Doubt, Penelope Cruz has been getting the buzz going into tonight, so she wins.

BEST ANIMATED FILM“Bolt”
“Kung Fu Panda”
“WALL-E”
PREDICTION – WALL-E. This film should have been nominated as Best Picture, and I don’t think the other two are in the same league [Admittedly – I like Kung Fu Panda, but nowhere near as much as WALL-E]. This should be a lock for WALL-E, and if it loses, I’m turning off the TV.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY“Changeling”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“The Reader”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
PREDICTION – Slumdog Millionaire. I was torn between this and Benjamin Button, but I think it will be Slumdog’s night, and I thought the scenes of poverty that the characters of Slumdog lived in, were so well shot. You realized how poor the people were, but it never brought attention to it in the dialogue. It let the images do the talking.

BEST DIRECTOR“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – David Fincher
“Frost/Nixon” – Ron Howard
“Milk” – Gus Van Sant
“The Reader” – Stephen Daldry
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Danny Boyle
PREDICTION – Danny Boyle. Slumdog was my favourite film of 2008, and how can I say a film wins Best Picture, without its director winning too. Boyle won the Director’s Guild Award as well, and that’s usually [and I say usually – not always], a good sign that he’ll win tonight as well.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“Defiance”
“Milk”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
“WALL-E”
PREDICTION – Slumdog Millionaire. The only two scores that stood out to me this year were Slumdog’s and WALL-E’s. Both are excellent work, but let’s be honest – tonight is Slumdog’s night, so it’s going to win this.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E”
“Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire”
PREDICTION – “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire. This is the closing credits song of Slumdog, and it’s the most catchy of the 3 songs. You left the theatre in an even better mood when you saw this end sequence, so for that – it wins.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Iron Man”
PREDICTION – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I hate to vote against the comic book movies, but seeing Brad Pitt age backwards in the film, and some of the backgrounds, I pick Benjamin Button. Funny to see a drama win this award, and not an action film.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Screenplay by Eric Roth, Screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
“Doubt” – Written by John Patrick Shanley
“Frost/Nixon” – Screenplay by Peter Morgan
“The Reader” – Screenplay by David Hare
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy
PREDICTION – Slumdog Millionaire. I’d love to see Doubt or Frost/Nixon win this, but I go back to what I said before. How good I vote for Best Picture, and not vote for the same director, and now vote for the same screenplay. Slumdog was the best film of the year, and its screenplay was excellent. Having a film that has so many flashbacks, can make it confusing for the viewer, but this film did the opposite – the flashbacks enhanced the story, and this was the only film where I was at the edge of my seat in the finale this year.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY“Frozen River” – Written by Courtney Hunt
“Happy-Go-Lucky” – Written by Mike Leigh
“In Bruges” – Written by Martin McDonagh
“Milk” – Written by Dustin Lance Black
“WALL-E” – Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
PREDICTION – Milk. This is a hard category to pick, because I doubt that everyone has seen all 5 nomated films. Milk and Wall-E are the only mainstream films. I really liked In Bruges, and the writing was strong, Mike Leigh is always respected by the Academy, and Frozen River has lots of fans, but not enough for it too win. Milk wins.

There you have it. Those are my predictions. We’ll see how I do. Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of picks! I always love feedback!

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