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Frontrunner Friday: Huge Shakeup as ‘Wonderstruck’ Plummets and Spielberg’s ‘Pentagon Papers’ Tops

In the biggest shakeup since starting Frontrunner Friday for the 2018 Oscar season, the previous #1 (and the official #1 for May) Wonderstruck, has fallen to #4 after it debuted at Cannes this week. It’s a curious drop as the reviews were mostly very good with a few mixed reviews from some major outlets. Most of the complaints were that the film was a great looking and sounding film (the cinematography from Ed Lachman and score from Carter Burwell were standouts) but ultimately not deep enough. These Frontrunner Fridays, especially smack in the middle of a film festival or critics’ award period, are going to be volatile as this week shows. Ahead of the Cannes Film Festival, Wonderstruck was the major Oscar contender in competition so all eyes were going to be on its performance and even the slightest ding was enough to send it packing from the top spot. That leaves the door open for other Cannes players Happy End, The Beguiled and The Killing of a Sacred Deer to make some moves.

Cannes Unveils ‘Wonderstruck,’ the First Oscar Player of the Festival

That means we have a new #1: Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers Project. You can call it that, or The Post or Nor’easter (its working title) but however you slice it, it makes a huge jump up to the top spot this week. The movie hasn’t shot a single frame of film yet but here it is, the new frontrunner. Spielberg will be shooting this and putting it into post-production while having Ready Player One in post at the same time (although a much longer post-production for that VFX-heavy film) but the three-time Academy Award winner is no stranger to a doubled up schedule like this or a fast turnaround.

Former #1 Detroit rebounds a bit in the face of Wonderstruck‘s point loss (it’s at #2) and Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour hits its highest peak yet, #3. Lean on Pete eeks up a bit and enters the top 5 (despite no date for the A24 film yet), tying it with Dunkirk.

Here is the current ranking for Best Picture for Friday, May 19, 2017. Follow updated predictions from The Gold Rush Gang here.

BEST PICTURE
ERIK
ANDERSON
BRYAN BONAFEDE
GREG HOWARD
EVAN
KOST
JASON OSIASON
KENNETH
POLISHCHUK
DENIZCAN SÜRÜCÜ
RICHARD
ANTHONY
ŞÜKRÜ SÖĞÜT
MATT DINN
TOTAL
POINTS
1 Untitled Steven Spielberg Pentagon Papers Project (20th Century Fox – 12/22) 3 1 5 1 5 3 2 1 1 2 86
2 Detroit (Annapurna – 8/4) 2 2 1 2 10 2 1 9 2 1 78
3 Darkest Hour (Focus Features – 11/24) 6 7 3 4 2 4 3 2 3 3 73
4 Wonderstruck (Amazon – 10/20) 1 8 2 3 7 1 7 4 6 8 63
5 Dunkirk (Warner Bros – 7/21) 7 3 4 5 8 7 10 8 5 5 48
5 Lean on Pete (A24) 4 6 9 6 6 6 9 6 4 6 48
7 Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros – 10/6) 5       1 5 6 7 7 7 39
8 Inner City (Sony) (possibly 2018)   5     4   4 5 8 4 36
9 Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics – 11/24)   4     3   9 3 10 10 27
10 Mudbound (Netflix) 8   7 8     8       13
                         
11 Downsizing (Paramount – 12/22)     8 9   9     9   9
11 mother! (Paramount – 10/13)     6 7             9
14 Last Flag Flying (Amazon)         9         9 4
13 Suburbicon (Paramount 11/3)     10 10   8         5
15 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight – 10/13)   9           10     3
16 Get Out (Universal – 2/24)   10                 1
16 Greatest Showman, The (20th Century Fox – 12/25) 10                   1
16 Happy End (Sony Pictures Classics)           10         1
                         
  OTHER CONTENDERS                      
  Aftermath, The (Fox Searchlight)                      
  Beguiled, The (Focus Features – 6/23)                      
  Breathe (Bleecker Street – 10/13)                      
  Current War, The (The Weinstein Company – 12/22)                      
  Disobedience (TBD)                      
  Glass Castle, The (Lionsgate – 8/11)                      
  Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight – 11/10)                      
  Hostiles (TBD)                      
  Killing of a Sacred Deer, The (A24 – 11/3)                      
  Kings (TBD)                      
  Leisure Seeker, The (Sony Pictures Classics)                      
  Lost City of Z (Amazon – 4/14)                      
  Marshall (Open Road Films – 10/13)                      
  Mary Magdalene (The Weinstein Company – 11/24)                      
  Molly’s Game (STX Entertainment)                      
  Mountain Between Us, The (20th Century Fox – 10/20)                      
  Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox – 11/10)                      
  Shape of Water, The (Fox Searchlight – 12/8)                      
  Snowman, The (Universal – 10/13)                      
  Stronger (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions – 9/22)                      
  Thank You For Your Service (Universal – 10/27)                      
  Under the Silver Lake (A24)                      
  Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Project (Focus Features – 12/25)                      
  Untouchable (The Weinstein Company)                      
  Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features – 9/22)                      
  Wind River (The Weinstein Company – 8/4)                      
  Wonder Wheel (Amazon)                      
  Wonder (Lionsgate – 11/17)                      

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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One comment

  1. A24’s Woodshock could very well be an Oscar player, and not just for Kirsten Dunst’s performance (which is seeming increasingly likely).