Fading out on the 2012 Oscars

25 February 2012

So it’s usually about this time of year that I wrap up a series of blog entries predicting (well, attempting to) the winners of the Academy Awards.  Last year, it ended up as three or four entries, probably about 10,000 words, complete with historical markers and rules of thumb for how each category tends to go.  I’ve had fun doing it, had some success as well (last year I picked 18 of the 24 winners correctly), and I hope people have had fun reading it.

This year … it’ll just be this one article.  A month or so ago, I was all revved up for doing a big showstopper franchise of columns, but it ended up as just this little indie production.

Now, I’ll grant that part of the reason was the depression I’ve been pushing through the last couple of months (see my previous post).  But another part of the reason was that it’s been a pretty blah movie awards season.  And much of the reason for that was that 2011 was a pretty blah year for movies — especially the type of movies that tend to win Oscars.

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Oscar post-mortem: better late than James Franco

2 March 2011

(Blogger’s note: this post should’ve been up Monday.  Unfortunately, I came down with a 36-hour something-or-other and was barely functioning.  But, to quote the not-dead-yet guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “I’m getting better.”  My apologies for the tardiness regardless.  And look on the bright side: at least I’m not going to be writing about Charlie Sheen …)

Well, I made my goal.

Going into the Academy Awards this year, I had my predictions ready (see here, here and here if you missed them earlier) and had a goal in mind.  I correctly picked 16 out of 24 two years ago, 17 out of 24 last year, so this year I was hoping for 18.  And I got it — 18 out of 24, right on the money.  Which is pretty good, I think.  Steve Pond of the show-business website The Wrap, who’s historically very good at this sort of thing, apparently only got 17 this year.  If that’s the case, wow — beating Steve Pond in Oscar predictions is like edging out Kobe Bryant for the NBA scoring title.

I’ll get to the picks themselves in a little bit — but for starters, let’s go into the highlights of the ceremony.  Or maybe the lack thereof.

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Oscar pre-predictions: is a little knowledge a dangerous thing?

25 February 2011

Well, Sunday night is Oscar night, and WE’RE INVITED! So that’s pretty cool.

I definitely will be watching the Academy Awards broadcast and expect it to be a load of fun, especially with two honest-to-goodness funny people like James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting.  (Anything’s better than Ricky Gervais at this point.)  But it’s more to me than just being the first time I’ll spend three straight hours watching TV since the World Series ended.  ‘Cause if you don’t know it, I like predicting the Oscar races.

In the past, I’ve done okay at it — I got 17 out of 24 right last year, 16 out of 24 the year before that, 14 the year before that.  This time I’m hoping to build on previous successes, aiming for 20 but with 18 probably being more realistic.  However, there’s been a change in my prediction preparation this year that might adversely affect my picks, and I’m a little worried about it.

You see … I’ve watched a lot more films this year.

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So much for my predictive ability

16 August 2010

Sometimes the best blog entries are the ones you don’t write.

Last Friday, I’d planned to do a column on the upcoming weekend’s three-way showdown at movie theaters between The Expendables, Eat Pray Love and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  I was going to give it a WWE-style introduction (“Good God … th-that’s Scott Pilgrim’s music!”) and recap the casting by some of Expendables as the Great Masculine Hope against the feminization of Hollywood represented by EPL (as documented here).  And I was going to end with a prediction — that due to its appeal to youth of both genders, I thought Scott Pilgrim might win the weekend box office title in a squeaker over Expendables.

Well, Friday I was dragging a little, and then proceeded to burn my arm taking a pizza out of the oven (in the process also flipping the pizza over, causing it to splatter on the kitchen floor and thus ruining the planned family dinner).  So, pretty much shot for the rest of the night,  I decided I’d take a run at it the next morning before taking in a noon showing of Expendables.  (Alone, alas — my planned wingman went on the 15-day DL with a bad toothache.)

Well, Saturday morning they released the box office estimates for U.S. ticket sales Friday:

  1. The Expendables: $12 million
  2. Eat Pray Love: $8 million
  3. The Other Guys: $6 million
  4. Inception: $4.7 million (after being in theaters for a month)
  5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: $4.5 million

And the numbers remained consistent for the rest of the weekend, except for Scott Pilgrim … which earned less each subsequent day.  For Friday-Sunday, Expendables finished with $35 million in domestic sales, Eat Pray Love with $23.7 million, and Scott Pilgrim still in fifth with $10.5 million.  So wouldn’t I have looked like a prize nimrod if I’d posted that blog entry?  (More than usual, I mean.)

But it got me thinking … why do we have such an attraction to predictions?

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