Pop Culture Predictions #4

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| April 8, 2022

Hi, I’m Drew, a big nerd who happens to run a hybrid marketing and production company. I lead content and brand strategy and use data to build insights that inform our clients’ business decisions. In this weekly series, I’m going to pick a couple of pop-culture IPs and make a bold prediction based on past experience, real-time data, and a boatload of moxie. Here we go…

Prediction 1 – Baz Lurhman’s Elvis will be the top Grossing Non-franchise or sequel film in 2022

Runner’s up: NOPE & Bullet Train

In the age of blockbuster superhero films, cinematic universes, sequels, prequels, spin-offs, reboots, and re-imaginings it’s rare when a film comes out that doesn’t fall into one of those categories. But yet there are a few original films that try to squeeze some money out of moviegoers that want a film they don’t have to read 10 wiki pages to figure out what’s going on before the movie starts. You can probably count the number of original story films that will come out this year on your hand, but the only one that matters is Baz Lurhman’s Elvis, and I predict it will be the top-grossing non-franchise or sequel film this year. The formula is simple rockstar + biopic + hyper-creative director + amazing library of music + hardcore Elvis fans = $$$$$$. The previous top 4 musical biopics are Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) which made $216.3 million, Walk the Line (2005) $119.5 million, Rocketman (2019) $96.3 million, and Ray (2004) $75.3 million. I for one think Elvis will outperform Freddie Mercury and Elton John in 2022 and bring home upwards of $250 million.

Other films that have a shot are Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror NOPE and Brad Pitt’s action comedy Bullet Train. But neither have the legacy or real life story of “The King of Music.”

Pick your non-franchise non-sequal blockbuster

Prediction 2 – A Super Hero Film Will Win Best Picture In The Next 3 Years

This years Oscars was for lack of better words “a shit show”. Sure there was an incident where a mega star celebrity slapped the shit out of a comedian presenter but that aside, the viewship was the second worst ever with only 16.6 million people tuning in. For comparison just two years ago viewership was 23.6 million and at that’s down still substatianlly from just 4 years pior to 34.4 million in 2016.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter and Nielsen

So what’s the deal yo? Is it the presenters? Nope. They’ve always been meh after Billy Crystal. Is it those technical awards where no celebrities win so they’re handed out off air and just shown as snippets throughout the live broadcast? Hell no. Please Academy stop being so daft. What could it possibly be? (please hear the sarcasim)

If we look back before the viewship dip at 2016’s best picture nominees they include The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road. Two huge blockbuster films that a shit load of people saw. Did they win? No. But a lot of poeple thought they had a shot against the sub par eventual winner Spotlight which no one talks about. Yet everyone still talks about and refrences Mad Max. You could even say the action pieces in Dune are inspired by what Mad Max: Fury Road accomplished. I digress. My prediction is that the Academy may finally pull their heads out of their asses and not only nomiate a super hero film for best picture but garner enough votes to actually win.

If the Academy alone got 1/3 of the Synder Fans to watch the Awards show it would probaby beat 30 million views but Twitter would be an awful place for 4 hours. God help us. As more and more aurteur directors find their way into Marvel and DC’s pocket book I think we may find that one will break through the formula and deliver something that changes the way that genre is percieved. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight almost broke through with Heath Ledger winning an Best Actor Oscar for his performance as the Joker. Speaking of, The Joker, was another almost for the genre. At the 92nd Academy Awards, it earned a leading 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning Best Actor for Phoenix and Best Original Score for Hildur Guðnadóttir. Maybe Martin Scorsese will direct a super hero film and finally get that 2nd Oscar (there’s that sarcasm again).

I’ll be back every few weeks with some more predictions. The value of a prediction is not accuracy (though it is better to be right than wrong), but the reasoning and conversation that the prediction catalyzes. Let me know if you think I’m right or wrong in the comments below!

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2 comments on “Pop Culture Predictions #4”

  1. I’ve had the same thought about a super hero flick winning Best Picture sometime soon. I do think that “within the next 3 years” is a bold prediction – I believe the Academy is too set in their ways for that change to happen so quickly, but I’m FAR from an expert. Still, they need to pull in that general audience. And what does a general audience love nowadays? Super hero movies! And there’s some EXTREMELY groundbreaking ones (as you mentioned, The Dark Knight and The Joker come to mind). It’s definitely going to have to happen at some point, the question is definitely a “when” instead of an “if.”

    1. I set the 3 year mark because I think Super Hero films in the after the next 3 years will start to become more and more stale. There’s only so many ways to tell a Super Hero story. I think we are close to that saturation point of “OK, I’ve seen this before” if not there already for some people.

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