MCN Commentary & Analysis

If This Is A 30-Film Oscar Season, Your BP Nominees…

1. Mank – Your likely winner.
Nomadland
Tenet
Dune
News of the World

C’mon C’mon (no date yet)
Connected
Hillbilly Elegy
The Trial of The Chicago Seven
The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Possible Slot Replacements
Soul
No Time To Die
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Outpost

46 Responses to “If This Is A 30-Film Oscar Season, Your BP Nominees…”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    Here’s hoping Hillbilly Elegy is better than the dumpster fire book. The Invisible Man is excellent and deserves serious consideration but of course it won’t get it.

  2. Bob Burns says:

    I have the same feeling about Dune that I had before seeing Fellowship of the Ring; fear of it being an embarrassiong assault on the text. AS it happened, I fell in love with FotR. Fellowship got a lot of Oscar noms, but before the noms, it got excellent reviews, half of them Metacritic 100’s. Dune will be powerful if it receives reviews that good, but reviews that good are rare.

  3. YancySkancy says:

    I asked this in the previous thread but got no answer — Is Boys in the Band eligible?

  4. Amblinman says:

    This sucks.

    There will be movie theaters on the other side of this. Of course there will be. But man they were super short sighted about it all.

  5. Bradley Laing says:

    “Bradley Laing says:
    May 15, 2020 at 8:15 am
    thought: “Box Office Mojo” often lists 700 theatrical releases a year, most of them “limited.” I thought it takes 18 months from finished script to movie theaters. If true, that means the number of movies heading for theaters can be guessed 18 months in advance, based on movie start dates. But after two months of close theaters, and closed movie sets, you can guess in advance that the year 2022 will have much less than 700 movies in theaters?

    —Notice the question mark. That is intentional.”

  6. movieman says:

    Regal is closing all of their U.S. theaters (again) due to lack of product (and, obviously, atrocious business).
    And you have to think that a domino effect will soon occur, especially with smaller, independently owned chains.
    Will there be even any theaters left to show all the delayed product in 2021 and beyond?
    It seems unlikely that the majority of theaters shutting down (again) will ever re-open at this point.

    “Never in my life…”
    I think you can complete that sentence on your own, gang.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    Thanks Trump! Hope your happy Pete.

  8. Rams says:

    The Regal closings are evidently going to be partial in the US (judging from my research on their website). Since Cineworld has been “radio silent” on this, where the hell are “they” getting their information? Just ammo for all the “sticky floors” trolls out there. I don’t think Regal Irvine Spectrum in California is going anywhere soon. Of course, it would be nice if LA County and NYC would open up.

  9. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes they should open up the pandemic is over.

  10. Pete B. says:

    Stella, if it was up to me we’d have gone full Sweden and never shut down period.

  11. movieman says:

    Funny you should mention that Rams.
    The first story I saw about Regal early this morning said that ALL of their U.S. theaters were closing this week.
    Then I read another story from late morning/early afternoon that said SOME of their theaters were closing.
    (Both stories are still available to read on Deadline.)
    I knew that the only Regal in my town was closing tomorrow after talking w/ the manager Friday afternoon to ask why their Fandango listings stopped with Sunday.
    She told me that they’re either closing permanently–or “maybe” re-opening (again) in mid-November when 007 was slated to bow. (Apparently Regal’s corporate office was as vague/confusing w/ her as the multiple stories about the company posted within the past 24 hours have been.)
    Of course, that was shortly before Sony announced they were pushing Bond back again, this time to 2021.

  12. Stella's Boy says:

    Pete you are something else. We are not Sweden. So you wanted millions dead instead of hundreds of thousands? Pro-death. Cool. So glad Trump death cult has a member posting here.

  13. Rams says:

    movieman, Thanks for your conversation with the manager at Regal. (Her name isn’t Barbara? Is it?) Although I’m not a big fan of our Commander and Chief (or is it “in”), I’ve come to believe he has some credence in his “fake news” musings. Regal knows exactly what they have planned. It’s not that they haven’t made their decisions yet; except for some tweakings, they have. We have no one to blame in this mess. A VIRUS has “ruined everything” according to Woody Allen. Just sayin’.

  14. movieman says:

    My major concern now is that Regal either freezes–like they did between March 16th and August 26th when my local Regal was shuttered–or cancels my “Unlimited” pass altogether.
    Since their closest theater is a 30-minute drive minimum (i.e., under ideal traffic/weather conditions) from me (and with a $1.50 surcharge per ticket because it’s in a higher-priced “Unlimited” zone), I have no intention of continuing to pay the Regal charge on my monthly credit card statement.
    Wish me luck when I call their customer service # tomorrow.
    I can only imagine how long I’ll be on hold. Sigh.

  15. Stella's Boy says:

    Um yes we do have someone to blame for this mess jesus fucking christ.

  16. Bob Burns says:

    Theatrical will have a discounted value in the eyes of investors and producers for years to come, as a hedge against future pandemics. Which is to say that forecasting potential outcomes for an investment will include a percentage of outcomes that preclude theatrical release. Global warming increases the odds of future pandemics, so investment in films must include hedges against these possibilities that could cripple theatrical in the future.

    It’s possible to envision an all-Netflix BP line-up this year that would be as good as most we have seen.

  17. movieman says:

    And now THIS: I guess Regal is closing all of their U.S. ‘plexes after all.

    “Cineworld has confirmed that it is closing 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from Thursday as coronavirus continues to ravage the exhibition market.
    In an update on Monday, Cineworld Group said 45,000 employees will be affected by the closure, which it said follows the reluctance on the part of the studios to “release their pipeline of new films” at a time when many theatres are unable to welcome customers.”

  18. Pete B. says:

    So how long til AMC follows suit? This really really sucks.

  19. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Yes, the situation makes me very, very sad. The only solace that I can find at the moment is the amusing notion that the press junkets, when these movies eventually appear and we can mingle in person again, are going to be a laugh riot…..

    ‘Ummmm, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, that thing that I worked on for a few weeks three years ago? Yeah, I vaguely remember that.’

  20. Bradley Laing says:

    —I checked the “Box Office Mojo” website. If you set your minimum at $10 million, there are listed 37 movies in the year 2020 that made 10 million dollars or more at the North American box office. It lists a total of 351 releases so far in 2020. We are not far enough along in 2020 to compare that to the 700-a-year average I mention, above in this comments thread?

  21. Serg says:

    I know this kind of thinking is a tough sell when it’s close to home, and “OUR” workplace.. BUT..

    If there is ONE THING that IS happening and has been for the past 40+ years, it is the consolidation of all industry into “too-big-to-fail” oligopolies that are a net NEGATIVE to the consumer and the industry as a whole since they get big not by outcompeting and making better products/services but by market manipulation through financial engineering and acquisitions.

    You can’t be out there protesting fundamental problems with how our society works and then turn around and ask for bailouts without a hint of irony. Bailouts for whom?? For companies saddled with debt and a business model from the Middle Ages, who have ZERO humility and self-critical abilities? For studios that leverage child-labor merchandising to build empires of IP they can purchase with billions of cheap debt while flooding the market with soulless remakes that grab more and more box office share each year??

    The fall hurts because it reminds us we’ve lost our equilibrium.

  22. movieman says:

    Pre-Covid, my town had 17 first-run screens (divided between 2 chain ‘plexes) and 8 second run/discount screens.
    We’re now down to a total of 7–count ’em–screens.
    The discount house’s lease expired during the shutdown from earlier this year, and they (wisely) opted not to renew it.
    After all, with precious few first-run movies in release, there’s nothing for second run houses to play.
    And the Regal 10-plex that re-opened for 6 weeks before shutting down on Monday is likely to remain closed for good.
    (Regal already permanently shuttered another 10-plex across town late last year. At least I can’t blame the Trump Virus for that loss.)

  23. Rams says:

    New York City and Los Angeles County have exactly ZERO screens open after seven months. 17 screens is pretty good (check “across town”.)

  24. Pete B. says:

    I visited Regal last night (hopefully not for the final time). On the way out the door, I grabbed the “YES! We’re back OPEN!” sign. Figured it made a good memento. Fortunately, our 2 AMCs are still operational.

  25. movieman says:

    There are 7 opened screens (in one smallish Cinemark ‘plex), not 17, Rams.
    We had 25 prior to Covid.

  26. Rams says:

    The Cinemark is not “smallish”. It has a 50 foot XD screen, and the rest have nice-sized auditoriums. The reaction by audiences to this venue has been extraordinary since the renovation. Also “across town”, you evidently haven’t been to the completely remodeled tenplex with your “unwanted” recliners. They have senior Wednesdays. You should check it out.

  27. Rams says:

    Seven Regal Theatres in California including the Irvine Spectrum are staying open according to Deadline. Also more situations are opening in Ventura County. I’ll take any good news. Just sayin’.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    Was it even two weeks ago that DP scoffed at the idea that Soul would debut on Disney Plus?

  29. Rams says:

    Well good for Disney. Their theatrical, digital and physical media just dried up for Soul. I hope they get five new subscribers. And it pretty much “confirmed” that Mulan was a bust. Their short term solutions are not good for the long term.

  30. Stella's Boy says:

    Confirmed by Rams who checked with their source, Rams. Your blind devotion to all things theatrical is well-established here.

  31. amblinman says:

    “Was it even two weeks ago that DP scoffed at the idea that Soul would debut on Disney Plus?“

    DP doesn’t have the vocabulary for what’s happening anymore. Not because he can’t adjust, just doesn’t want to.

    Like RAMS!

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    You are definitely right about that. And it’s a shame.

  33. movieman says:

    Yes, Rams. I’ve been to the former Regal across town that’s been nicely retrofitted. Four times actually.
    Had private screenings each time which was nice for me but not for the owners who clearly spent a good chunk of change on the spiffy remodel.
    The 7-screen Cinemark is indeed smallish (in terms of the # of screens), at least but modern standards.
    It’s only impressive if you’ve never been outside of Youngstown, and don’t know what state of the art multiplexes look like.
    Or looked like, since they’re clearly going the way of VHS tapes and pagers.

    Very unnerving that you seem to know where I live.
    Are you a stalker, lol?

  34. Rams says:

    As I have mentioned before, I worked for a major chain on the east coast for thirty years. I’ve been in many cinemas in my lifetime.
    The “smallish” Cinemark is still an excellent theatre. Without movie theatres there is no cinema. It’s all television. If that’s what you want, so be it. I guess according to the two cyber bullies on this site, I’ll just have to “adjust”. lol Just sayin’. Signed RAMS.

  35. Stella's Boy says:

    The problem Rams is that this is binary for you. Either you love cinema and want to only see movies in a theater or you love television and want theaters to die. That is such an obtuse way to look at this and literally no one here has said they want no cinema. You’re arguing with no one because no one has said what you claim. And stating that movie theaters are in trouble and predicting that a major movie will debut on a streaming platform also doesn’t mean one hates cinema. If calling out your lies and distortions makes someone a cyberbully you haven’t spent much time on the web.

  36. Bob Burns says:

    It’s pretty clear that people will not be going back to theaters anytime soon. The question for the Academy, I think, is whether they want a streamer Oscars, with maybe a virtual ceremony.

    They will ask themselves whether the general public will have to join streaming platforms if they want to see the Oscar films.

  37. Stella's Boy says:

    Just participated in an online festival, Nightstream, my second of the year (Chattanooga earlier in the year). It was great. Watched five movies over the weekend. Extremely easy to watch them on my TV. No technical problems whatsoever. Affordable price. And I’d probably never otherwise get to attend the festivals that joined forces to create Nightstream for various reasons (geography, time, expense, etc). Very big fan of the virtual film fest.

  38. Hcat says:

    I started watching Terminator 11 or whatever number is was because it showed up on Prime. And it wasn’t much better than the ones created without Cameron’s involvement (what I saw anyways, I nodded off before the midway point). Pairing this with the other monstrosity that was Alita got me thinking. is there a wider gulf out there between when someone wears a directors hat or simply producing? Cameron is a meticulous craftsman but any Lightstorm film that he doesn’t direct seems like a bunch of stuff thrown at the screen. Castle Rock, Imagine, Amblin all manage to make decent movies without their core talent.

    Maybe its just a case of what films are shaped as today but any hopes for a well built film went out the window when the first massive action sequence hit in the first twenty or so minutes.

  39. Stella's Boy says:

    I remember all the hype about how Cameron was back and this one was going to be a far cry from the previous two entries (or however many he wasn’t involved with). Then I watched it and had a similar reaction. It’s actually quite boring and very similar to those Cameron-less entries. This reminds me of an interview I heard with Tim Miller not long after its release. Not surprisingly he squabbled with Cameron throughout the entire production process. Cameron probably should have directed it himself given how much he tried to control Miller. Not sure how this impacts your thesis but I certainly agree that Dark Fate is dull and there’s a gap between what Cameron produces and what he directs.

  40. Pete B. says:

    I’m not much for virtual stuff, but the Telluride Horror Show is this weekend (15-18). It keeps popping up on my wife’s Instagram.

  41. Stella's Boy says:

    Indeed they are showing Possessor Uncut and some other cool titles. Sorry Rams but virtual film fests are awesome! Can’t imagine they disappear after 2020.

  42. Hcat says:

    I would think the virtual fests will certainly continue, especially for Genre films. Hard enough for the smaller ones to pop through, and the horror audience seems pretty insatiable and willing to search out smaller titles so Festivals are a great way to get the movies in front of the right set of eyeballs.

  43. Dr Wally Rises says:

    Hcat, it’s funny that you’ve drawn a line between Cameron’s directorial projects and his producer credits, but you’re spot on. As an addendum to prove your point I would bring up the deathless, wktless horror show known as Sanctum.

    To paraphrase William Goldman, Sanctum might be the worst movie I’ve ever seen that I’m still glad I watched. The screenplay and dialogue make the proceedings in Mexican soap operas look like a teamup between Neil Simon and Tony Kushner.

  44. Bob Burns says:

    David Poland woul know this… I wonder what an approximate number would be for the money spent by distributers on promotion of theatrical films. maybe a third of the total domestic gross – is that close… don’t know.

    Curious because the promotion of films is lavish. When a big film is coming out its as big as almost any product launch. I don’t say this as criticism. These campaigns are judged against result and the publicists will know how much invested results in optimal box office. Wondering if the promotion budgets will be as large post-COVID.

    Also, with promotion being such a large portion of the film industry, shouldn’t it be represented at the awards ceremony? An Oscar for best opening campaigns?

  45. Glamourboy says:

    Rod Lurie should be in the running for Best Director for Outpost…it is a movie that, despite losing its theatrical, succeeded on streaming…its a great film…and the movie is dedicated to his late son who died just before filming.

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