Seemingly as always, Hollywood has a lot to be thankful for. The box office has been on an upswing the past six weeks and with "The Hobbit," "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" arriving next month ticket sales should remain strong. But for many consultants and movie marketers this holiday weekend won't be a relaxing vacation.
The condensed awards calendar means two different studios will be debuting two major contenders for guild members on Saturday and Sunday. In truth, "Les Miserables" will first screen Friday in New York and then have a slew of screenings Saturday in Los Angeles (and the Broadway crowd getting a first look makes complete sense for this one). Sony Pictures will bring Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" to public view on Sunday. That really only leaves "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "Django Unchained" on the screening calendar.
Buzz on both "Les Miz" and "Zero" is very good. Look for reaction of some sort - where allowed - on In Contention, HitFix and twitter.
Here's a rundown on the current contender rankings pre-Thanksgiving weekend.
Quietly still on top while the other contenders bang their drums proclaiming their candidacy.
Fantastic box office last weekend which should hold up over the Thanksgiving holiday. It's working so far, but 'Argo' would have to have a disastrous phase 2 campaign to lose to it.
3. Les Miserables
We're all ears.
4. Silver Linings Playbook
Great reviews. Going up against 'Breaking Dawn,' 'Skyfall' and 'Lincoln's' in wide release probably not a good idea. That word of mouth better be as good as we all thought it would be.
5. Life of Pi
Almost great reviews, but in general a notch below the films higher on the countdown.
6. The Impossible
The stealth candidate continues its stealth campaign on both sides of the Atlantic. Oh, and did you know it's grossed almost $50 million in Spain alone?
Denzel will be back on the screening Q&A circuit just in time for a final push next month.
8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Could be the biggest benefactor of the Thanksgiving weekend screener pile.
9. The Master
Expected to win either LAFCA or NYFCC. If it doesn't? Oh, my.
Sony is campaigning this one as much as they can. It may be all about the messaging in the trade ads to be honest. And some LA-centric awards messaging TV spots wouldn't hurt either.
Do you think "Silver Linings Playbook" still has a chance to win best picture? Share your thoughts below.