Box office gold and coal for Oscar contenders
It’s unclear if the “great settling” is truly in effect, but the holiday box office may have actually had a significant impact on this year’s best picture race. Here’s a rundown of the major contenders still in release and how ticket sales have helped our hurt their cause.
Latest: $5.8 million, $9,600 per screen
Total: $19.7 million
Lowdown: Biggest indie of the year is well on its way to becoming the serious favorite for Oscar gold. The question is: who is its competition? After this weekend that’s looking more and more like…
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Latest: $39 million, $13,052 per screen
Total: $39 million
Lowdown: Brad Grey you can open your eyes now. It’s a hit! Paramount’s Fincher gamble paid off nicely (though let’s keep those media and marketing budgets as far away from investors eyes as possible). With this sort of enthusiasm it’s hard to imagine “Button” getting shut out of the final five. More likely, it’s cementing itself as the true challenger to little “Slumdog’s” throne.
Latest: $1.5 million, $7,179 per screen
Total: $3.7 million
Lowdown: Don’t panic! Don’t stress! Just tell yourself it’s this year’s “Letters from Iwo Jima” and your audience found you on screeners and at guild screenings. Yep, Oscar nominee morning can’t come quick enough for the peeps at Universal.
Latest: $7 million, $5,524 per screen
Total: $8.9 million
Lowdown: Damn you Rudin and Cynthia Schwartz! You fool us again! Middling reviews, but SAG and Golden Globe love, plus a movie that audiences are actually entertained by has lead to an excellent expansion and a growing possibility of being included in the big dance.
Latest: $192,000, $64,000 per screen
Lowdown: So, here’s the plan: let big studio brother “Button” take most of the attention (and theaters) over the holidays, but give yourself an impressive per screen average to grow on and tout until ballots are due. Risky and calculated, but it could work. Maybe.
Latest: $2.4 million, $29,048 per screen
Total: $4.3 million
Lowdown: Well, besides the fact that Variety continues to be overly enthusiastic about its box office (geez guys, I thought the Clint Cult meeting wasn’t until Wednesday?), Eastwood’s “win me a best actor Oscar” campaign continues. How far it goes? Nobody knows.
Latest: $1.8 million (weekend only), $5,833
Total: $13.6 million
Lowdown: Ouch, was that a wall I ran into? Lots of ten best list love, but word is the love isn’t outside the big cities. Does that really affect the Academy? Probably not, but a bigger theatrical take would help. Personally, this prognosticator isn’t convinced it’s in, but it’s still a safe bet for most.
Latest: $617, 319, $5,787 per screen
Total: $1.3 million
Lowdown: Deader than Winslet’s character in the movie (whoops, spoiler!) and with it, her chances of winning best supporting actress, for the best performance of her career mind you, seem to be slipping away. Plus, it’s actually playing at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on the Hollywood side of town instead of the “take me seriously” Arcwhite, I mean Arclight Cinemas. At this point, only a SAG or Golden Globes miracle can save her now.
The two wildcards remaining are, of course, “The Dark Knight” and “WALL-E.” I’m on record saying “Knight” is in and Pixar’s latest “classic” isn’t. Both have been fixtures on year-end top ten lists so while they are no longer playing in theaters, they are hardly out of mind.
Oh, and yes, "The Wrestler" did a fantastic $381,068 with a per screen of $21,700 for a new total of $900,601, but besides nods for Rourke, Tomei and Aronosfsky (probably just screenplay), it's not a real best picture player. And that's sad to say as a true fan.
Sigh, when does that PGA nods come out again?
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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