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April 22, 2024 116 mins

On episode 228 of the AwardsWatch podcast, it's a full house as Editor-In-Chief Erik Anderson and Associate Editor Sophia Ciminello are joined by AwardsWatch contributors Jay Ledbetter, Josh Parham, Dan Bayer, Kevin Lee and new to the AW team, Karen Peterson, on her first pod with us. Executive Editor Ryan McQuade was unable to join today.

This episode we're tackling the 2024 Summer Box Office Draft and we noticed something right away. Not only is there nothing close to resembling a 'Barbenheimer' like last year, it feels like a soft summer for most of us. After COVID decimated theaters and theater attendance in 2020 and 2021, it started to bounce back in 2022, if slightly. Then double industry strikes - first writers then actors - over the summer of 2023 sent scrambling studios moving some of their high profile films around (like Amazon MGM's Challengers and Warner Bros' Dune) to spring and beyond.

But even without clear box office behemoths like Barbie and Oppenheimer, there still look to be a few juggernauts that could spell a win for either Team Ryan (with Sophia, Josh and Karen) or last summer's winner, Team Erik (with Kevin, Jay and Dan). Shuffling through sequels, prequels, franchises and a handful of original films, the teams built their drafts with Team Ryan going first, followed by Team Erik, picking five films we think will get us across the finish line and one bomb we think will ding the other team's chances. Animated films like Despicable Me 4, Inside Out 2 and The Garfield Movie making the list, as did the long-awaited teaming up of Deadpool & Wolverine. But smaller films found their way in to, with Trap and MaXXXine showing up. We close talking about some major titles that just the missed the cut, how this year's horror films have shaken out and more.

You can listen to The AwardsWatch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music and more.

This podcast runs 1h56m. On our next episode, we will reviewing Luca Guadagnino's hot, love triangle tennis drama Challengers, starring Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O'Connor.

Music: “Modern Fashion” from AShamaleuvmusic (intro), “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro).

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