Some predictions for 2016

2016

So my predictions for 2015 proved to be rather mediocre. But on the theory that making mistakes is the only way to get better, here are my predictions for 2016.

Like last year, each time I make a prediction I also give it a probability as a %.

This time round I have also chosen some long shots that I don’t think are as unlikely as generally assumed.

The predictions in bold are the ones I will tally up at the end of the year.

UK POLITICS

All of the main party leaders will still be in place come the end of 2016. Individually I rate their chances of survival thus:

  • David Cameron (60%)
  • Jeremy Corbyn (70%)
  • Nicola Sturgeon (80%)
  • Tim Farron (95%)
  • Nigel Farage (80%)

N.B. I am counting this as 5 separate predictions rather 1 big prediction. Indeed the probabilities I have chosen imply a leader going.

If there is a vote on leaving the EU this year then I predict the UK will vote to remain (55%).

Sadiq Khan will become Mayor of London (50%). The fractious mood of the electorate and the strange personality driven nature of this election mean I am not discounting the possibility of a win by an independent or minor party candidate (10%).

The SNP will remain the largest party at Holyrood (90%) and will keep their majority (80%). Labour remain the main opposition (75%).

Labour stays the largest party in the Welsh Assembly (80%) but falls short of a majority (60%).

US POLITICS

 The Democrats will nominate Hilary Clinton (90%).

The Republicans will nominate Marco Rubio (35%).

If Hilary takes on either Trump or Cruz, she will win (80%). If she takes on Rubio, he will win (70%).

The Republicans retain the House (80%) and the Senate (70%).

ECONOMY

I interest rates in both the US (70%) and UK (60%) to be higher at the end of the year than the start. Nonetheless, I still expect unemployment to be lower in both countries (60% – 2 separate predictions for the different countries).

By contrast, I anticipate that the Eurozone will remain weak enough that the ECB will not feel able to raise rates (70%).

Chinese growth will be soft by Chinese standards but it will comfortably avoid a recession.

India will grow faster than China (65%).

Box Office

I anticipate that the highest grossing film released in 2016 will be Star Wars: Rogue One but as it is released in December it will, like the Force Awakens, end up with its earnings split between two years and therefore be unlikely to top either of them.

The battle for the top slot in both the US and globally will come down to a battle between superhero films. Which considering those films are Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman is rather apt. I’m somewhat hesitant to opt for Civil War. That’s partly because I was burned by choosing a Marvel film last year and also because I sense that audiences have ever so slightly cooled on the franchise. And with two films with such similar premises coming along Batman v Superman probably benefits from going first. Nonetheless, I’m choosing Captain America: Civil War as my top grossing film both in the US (30%) and worldwide (40%). The main reason is that to come out on top Warners and DC would have to dramatically change precedents. Age of Ultron, the last big Marvel team up movie, grossed $1.4 billion worldwide. By contrast, Batman v Superman’s predecessor Man of Steel grossed only $0.6 billion. Now we can assume that Batman’s presence will expand the new film’s haul but I doubt it will be by enough. His last big screen outing Dark Knight Rises drew in about a billion dollars. And there are good reasons to doubt this pattern will be broken. Marvel produces more child friendly fare. And its quality is more consistent: every single film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a higher score on Rotten Tomatoes than Man of Steel.

I’m less confident that Civil War will coming out on top in the US than globally because I see Independence Day: Resurgence as a contender in the market whose national holiday it’s named after but not more broadly. Though given the precedent of Jurassic World I’m not going to totally discount it.

I wonder if X-Men: Apocalypse might be a dark horse.  In the past, the X-men films have been much smaller than Marvel but I sense there’s some momentum coming out Days of Future Past and if they treat Jennifer Lawrence as the lead – at least for marketing purposes – then they might be able to do very well. But I put the chances of that happening at just (5%). Counting against that probability is that it’s released only a few weeks after Civil War, so they may cannibalise each other’s audience. A fact that counts against both of them.

The UK box office is probably even more open than the US. UK audiences seem less enamoured of superheroes than their American and Asian counterparts. For example, the last Captain America film wasn’t even among the year’s ten biggest films at the UK box office.  Therefore I’m choosing Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (25%) to top the UK box office. I also wouldn’t discount the prospect of an Inbetweeners or Fully Monty style local hit pipping the Hollywood behemoths in the UK while, of course, remaining an also ran elsewhere (10%).

Oscars

Hard to make many predictions for these given how many potential contenders haven’t yet been released yet but going by chatter alone DiCaprio winning best actor for his part in the Revenant (50%) seems like a good bet.

I’d also be prepared to venture that Cate Blanchet will win best actress for the title role in Carol (35%). She delivers a great performance in the kind of lush drama the academy likes. Also deciding to make a bold progressive statement by doing something that’s no longer bold nor especially progressive would be classic academy behaviour.

TV [Spoilers]

Peter Capaldi will announce he’ll leave Dr Who (80%).

Game of Thrones series 5 [and remember there is going to be a spoiler] will not begin with the mutinous Nightswatchmen burying Jon Snow and then moving on (100%).

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