Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 31-Jun. 2, 2019

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Rocketman

Last year, a film called Bohemian Rhapsody about the rise and fall of Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, became a surprise Oscar hit after opening to a stellar $51 million and finishing with $216 million. The film picked up five Oscar nominations including citations for Best Picture, Actor (Rami Malek), Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing. It won four those (all except Best Picture).

Drawing a number of comparisons to that film, Rocketman managed to earn far better reviews than the Bryan Singer-directed Bohemian. After Singer left that project, Dexter Fletcher came in to finish that film. Fletcher is the director of Rocketman suggesting that Bohemian‘s success may be more thanks to Fletcher’s contributions than anything. Further, the film is being better celebrated for its flamboyant style and not toning down Elton John’s homosexuality, unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, which sanitized Freddie Mercury’s.

The main hindrance to Rocketman following Bohemian‘s trajectory to the Oscars is that Rocketman opened at the end of May while Bohemian debuted in November, much closer to the Oscars. Additionally, while the critics were far more enamored with Rocketman, Bohemian‘s box office success doesn’t seem to be playing out the same in favor of Rocketman, which opened to around $25 million, half of Bohemian‘s tally.

We have several months to wait and see if Rocketman manages to do as well as Bohemian Rhapsody did with the Oscars, scoring nominations for Best Picture, Actor (Taron Egerton), Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing; does better by also picking up nods in Supporting Actor (Jamie Bell), Production Design, and Costume Design; or does worse, losing out on any or all of the nominations Bohemian scored. Either way, it will be interesting to see if better reviewed and more flamboyant can win out over weakly reviewed and sanitized.

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