Oscar History

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Box Office: No Turkeys at the Box Office, Unless You Count Gonzo.

...but he's less a bird than bird-like. It was a genuinely happy Thanksgiving chez moi (so much fun and good food) and I hope it was for you, too. Did you hit the movie theater? Most of the newbies and the holdovers did solid business despite abundant competition.

Kings and Queens of the Thanksgiving box office

Box Office (U.S.) Baker's Dozen -Estimates

02 THE MUPPETS new $29.5 (cum $42)
03 HAPPY FEET TWO $13.4 (cum. $43.7)
05 HUGO new $11.3 [Scorsese & Team] (cum $15.3)
06 JACK AND JILL $10.3 (cum. $57.4) 
07 THE IMMORTALS $8.8 (cum. $68.6) 
08 PUSS IN BOOTS $7.4 (cum. $135.3)
09 TOWER HEIST $7.3 (cum. $65.3)
10 THE DESCENDANTS $7.2 [Michael's review] (cum. $10.7)
11 J EDGAR  $4.9 [Nathaniel's review] (cum $28.8)
12 MY WEEK WITH MARILYN new $1.7 [Nathaniel's review] (cum. $2.0)

Talking Points
The Artist (review) and A Dangerous Method (review) both opened in very limited release on the coasts to strong per theater response, each earning almost a quarter of a million in their first weekend. Both are undoubtedly hoping for year end kudos to boost interest as they expand. The Artist in particular will be an interesting case because  

Martha Marcy May Marlene (review) and The Skin I Live In, two of the year's most provocative films, acquitted themselves well but are sadly already fading after $2 ½ million.. so they didn't quite cross over in a larger way.

•  Arthur Christmas suffered the most from the glut of family film programming but it didn't have the name brand of Scorsese or The Muppets to push it through. Next weekend should tell us more about how it will fare word-of-mouth wise.

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Reader Comments (17)

I saw Melancholia, Take Shelter, Hugo and The Descendants this weekend. I liked them all. Of those four, it is surprising to me that Take Shelter is the one that is lingering in my mind and resonating the most, but it is. The acting is amazing and the effects are refreshingly low budget and dramatic. I'm still contemplating the ending. I would like to see Michael Shannon get attention as an Oscar candidate. I wonder if that's possible...

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertimothy

I saw A Dangerous Method and How to Die in Oregon. I need a comedy!

About Method, first of all I have to say that I was totally impressed with Keira's performance. I love actresses who take risks and she totally does it here. I think the Academy is going to ignore the movie completely -too complex, no climax- which is sad because Keira, Viggo, Cronenberg, Hampton and the production designers all should be contenders.

How to Die in Oregon is heartbreaking but a must-see. It should have been in the Academy's shortlist. I won't easily forget this one. Bravo HBO!

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I saw The Muppets on Wednesday. Fun but uneven, I just wanted more and more though and I did laugh.

Saw My Week With Marilyn on Friday night. Michelle Williams was so good but the movie kept her hemmed in. It didn't really give her the proper focus till the last half or so and I thought Michelle was so effortless that her performance deserved a better movie. Still enjoyable though.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSeeking Amy

Did Nate ever review or give us his impression of "Melancholia"? It's the movie that is staying with me the most this season.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommentersethGassfan

I'm seeing The Muppets tomorrow and My Week with Marilyn on Tuesday. The only thing I got to see this weekend was a dry as dust exorcism film called Exorcismus on Netflix. It wasn't worth it.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I saw The Descendants (HATED it), Hugo (loved it), and J. Edgar (why did I bother?). Also, Gods & Monsters on Netflix (Fraser's performance seems a bit underrated, no?) and the beginning of All About Eve (it didn't grab me but I'm intrigued and getting the idea that Black Swan was inspired by it?).

I am devastated by Hugo's box office. It wasn't on that many screens, it's going to expand, right? Other movies are going to give up 3D screens for it, right?! More movies like that need to be made.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Jake D -- i'm pretty sure it will because it wasn't on so many screens. it's off to a promising start.

happy to hear that so many people had such big movie weekends. I saw The Help and Win Win and Drive again (screeners) and finally caught Albert Nobbs. yay. more on that soon

November 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@Jake D - With the competition and the lack of theaters, Hugo's take was actual quite solid.

I saw Hugo, The Muppets, and My Week with Marilyn over the weekend. Really liked them all to an extent. A very good weekend for movie-watching definitely. I'm thinking next week I'll do a Michael Fassbender weekend with Shame and A Dangerous Method.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I saw both Hugo and My Week with Marilyn this past weekend and liked them both, albeit to varying extents. I thought Hugo was excellent starting off but the middle was very uneven and a bit slow, to be honest (although I am probably in the minority). The ending, however, completely blew me away and I particularly loved Ben Kingsley in those final scenes. As far as Marilyn, I agree with pretty much 99% of what people have said thus far--adequate film encompassing a phenomenal performance by Williams. The movie is pleasant and entertaining and oftentimes refreshingly low-key but it never fully focuses in on what it truly wishes to explore/digest about Marilyn Monroe. In spite of all these dangerous tonal shifts throughout the film, I thought Williams was remarkable and was able to weather the faults of the script and give a captivating and hugely memorable performance. I'd have to say it's one of my favorite performances this year.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Saw The Descendants. A master class on how astute direction and great casting can class up a trite, paint-by-numbers script. Not a great movie, but a good one - and infinitely better than it would've been in less capable hands.

Also saw The Muppets. It's a deeply charming film. It's also super disjointed and kind of a mess, but once the telethon started I was in a state of bliss for the rest of the movie. Well, except for the part where Segal & Co. thought it was a good idea to turn the finale over to Walter and his fucking WHISTLING. Worst. Decision. Ever.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

re: Hugo's box office...good. Whew. I feel better. :)

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Hugo's take is solid given the number of screens, but given its reported budget it's going to be a long walk to profitability.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

I saw the Descendants on Friday and didn't see anything since then - because I didn't want to stop thinking about it. I haven't been able to let it go. I'll catch Hugo sometime this week, though.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I saw The Muppets, A Dangerous Method and Hugo. I liked The Muppets a lot but I didn't go for the Gary-Mary subplot. And it ran a bit long.

A Dangerous Method was better than I expected. I thought it would be bad based on some reviews I read. Still it was curiously chaste for a movie about sexual obsessions. I couldn't stand Knightley at the beginning but she grew on me. Fassbender was the emotional hook in this film.

I loved every minute of Hugo. Really a wonder for Scorsese at his age, really one of his best films.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

The plan for Hugo was to partially open this weekend to start building word of mouth for the full roll out in the next two weeks or so. It did very well for being in so few theaters compared to the rest of the top 5.

Just got back from The Muppets. I feel like I made a damn fool out of myself laughing so much at that film in an almost empty theater. It's fantastic. It could have been a bit shorter and I have some issues with the screenplay at the very end, but there's a place for a film that can bring so much joy.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I saw Cocteau's Orpheus at MOMA on Friday afternoon and then The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp at Film Forum on Friday night with an introduction by Thelma Schoonmaker! That's quite a heady day of film even during a long weekend.

I took Saturday off and then saw Rampart yesterday which I was really disappointed in. The performances were very good but there were so many scenes that were there for the sake of drama and not for the sake of the story, if that makes sense.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAR

A friend and I saw My Week With Marilyn, and we both loved it. It was funnier and more upbeat than I expected. I liked the way the film was so knowledgeable about that particular milieu and so generous and affectionate towards its characters.

Afterward, it reminded me a bit of "Almost Famous" as a movie you could see over and over, with all the parts, even the small ones, so well cast and fun to watch, and the innocent at the heart of it so perfectly cast and played. My friend, who's a choreographer, admired Eddie Redmayne's stillness.

For me, My Week With Marilyn is a film about the process of artistic collaboration. I liked the point the film made that both Monroe and Olivier then went on to do some of their best work. So even if that particular collaboration seemed blocked and baffling, something was happening underneath. Although neither got what they immediately wanted, which was a crossover into each others territory, they got what they needed to revitalize their work in their own field.

November 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradri
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