With the last 2016 weekend of the season coming up, there’s only going to be a few points left available until the Oscars, and folks, this is a barnburner going down the final stretch.
Currently, with monthly points already being awarded – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, of course, taking the top spot; waiver pickup Sing performing strongly takes second; and stupid Office Christmas Party eking past Passengers for third – the standings look as follows:
Mike – 90 points – $1,925,324,100
Jon – 89 points – $1,995,736,614
Brandon – 89 points – $1,799,106,451
Kyle – 63 points – $1,544,900,816
Safe to say Rogue One will take first this final weekend, Sing to take second, with Passengers looking to see if it can weather its awful reviews to take third again. If so, Jon and Brandon will be tied with 92 points, with Mike lurking nearby and Kyle lurking far away. So what points remain on the table?
Rogue One should continue to rack up first-place finishes, possibly up until XXX: Return of Xander Cage, or a little earlier with Patriots Day if that film overperforms. Safe to say Rogue One is good for another 8-10 points weekly, at least. Sing looks good for another 1-3 points. That’s about it, unless La La Land surprises when it FINALLY goes wide. Advantage: Brandon. The rest of the game will be seeing if Jon/Mike can make up Brandon’s lead via total box office or Oscars (sorry Kyle).
Total Box Office
This really comes down to where Rogue One will finally finish. Mike has no major box office coming in and, though he’s still getting some pocket change from Doctor Strange and others, it looks like this is a race between Brandon and Jon again. Rogue One has 200M to currently make up against still-grossing titles Sing, Passengers, Fences, and La La Land. Rogue One is currently sitting at 318M…if it hits its ceiling of a cool billion, as some have predicted, total box office is a likely win for Brandon and his overall lead would balloon to 12-15ish points over second place. If it settles in at 600-700M, perhaps not. The difference will mean +/- 3 points between each other and 6-point bump over Mike. Slight advantage: Jon.
The top of the standings are so close that it will likely come down to the Oscars, and maybe if Manchester by the Sea wins a bajillion Oscars Kyle can make up his 30+ point deficit. Otherwise, this is a three-man race. Remember that Primary Categories are 1 point for a nomination and a whopping 4 points for a win. For Secondary Categories, you get 1/2 point for a nom and a full point for a win. Let’s look at the remaining Oscar contenders and the likely categories they’ll compete in:
La La Land (Jon): Lock for Picture, Actress, Director noms; likely for Actor. Possible noms for Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Original Score, Original Song, and Production Design (fuck yeah). IF La La Land hits its Oscars ceiling, Jon locks up the championship. Total: 7-32.5 (ceiling has La La Land winning its major categories, all the sound/music categories, and a couple others).
Manchester by the Sea (Kyle): A lock for Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress noms, and a strong contender to win all 4. Also the likely favorite for Original Screenplay, with a possible nom for Editing. Total: 5-25 points.
Fences (Jon): Frontrunner for Supporting Actress. Possible for Picture, Director, Actor, Adapted Screenplay. (1-14.5, I don’t see it winning any major categories outside of Supp. Actress or Best Actor).
Jackie (Mike): Frontrunner for Best Actress. Possible noms for Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Production Design, Original Score. (1-11) (ceiling has it winning Best Actress and 1 secondary).
Silence (Jon): Maybe the biggest wildcard as it seems to be a difficult, polarizing film. But noms for Picture, Director, Actor, and Supporting Actor are in play, as well as Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Costume Design, Production Design, Sound Editing. (0-15) (ceiling has it hitting on 1 major category and 1-2 other categories).
Zootopia (Mike): Frontrunner for best Animated Feature. Possible Best Picture nom? (1-6)
Moana (Jon): Noms for Animated, Song. (1.5-3.5 unless it scores a big upset in Best Animated)
Sully (Kyle): In play for Picture, Actor, and Director noms. Possible for some secondary categories. (0-5 unless Hanks/Eastwood steal a major category).
Rogue One (Brandon): Nom for Visual Effects, Best Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing. (0.5-6)
Jungle Book (Brandon): Nom for Visual Effects. (0.5-2.5)
These are the biggest possible scorers I see, although some other films (Hail, Caesar!, Fantastic Beasts, Deadpool, etc.) could score 1-2 secondary noms.
Looking at this list I see a few possible outcomes.
1. La La Land dominates, Jon wins.
2. Manchester by the Sea and the un-owned Moonlight dominate, but Jon picks up enough secondary wins from La La Land/Fences etc. to eke out a win. Kyle makes his score respectable.
3. Manchester by the Sea/Moonlight dominate, Fences/Silence get no respect, and Mike hits his ceiling on Jackie and Zootopia for 17 points from them. Mike ekes out a win.
4. MbtS/Moonlight dominate, Portman/Zootopia don’t win, and Rogue One/Jungle Book/Suicide Squad/Brandon’s several shitty films pick up enough secondary wins for him to hold off the pack.
At this stage these all look about equally plausible to me, and we’ll know a lot more after the nominations come out, obviously. And certain films, namely Jackie and Silence, could raise in esteem in the next couple of months so as to challenge La La Land/MbtS/Moonlight as the heavy hitters this year. Stay tuned.