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« Little Miss Cat Lady, Avatar Land, and Other Links | Main | Golden Globe Predix? This Post Will Disintegrate In Five Hours »
Sunday
Jan122014

Does Box Office Affect The Golden Globe Wins? 

Amir here, with something vaguely resembling the weekend’s box office report. You're surely more interested in the Golden Globes this weekend than how many tickets Lone Survivor sold (it's winning the weekend - did you see it?) or whether Frozen is now on course for two gajillion dollars (why, yes, it is), so let’s have a look at how the Globe nominees have fared at the box office and whether or not that matters to HFPA voters historically. All that plus my Globe predictions after the jump...

Drama
Gravity $255.8m
Captain Phillips $104.8m
12 Years a Slave $38.9m
Rush $26.9m
Philomena $20.9m

The drama category is almost wrapped up, with most of the films already out of the theatres, so the box office power ranking will remain the same. There are no surprises here. Gravity was always going to be the best selling contender in this category, unless the HFPA, collectively high on some sort of European mystery drug, nominated Iron Man 3. Philomena is still playing in theatres but I’m not sure British acting royalty can outpace F1 royalty at this point.

Comedy/Musical
* all still in release *
American Hustle $101.5m
The Wolf of Wall Street $78.5m
Inside Llewyn Davis $9.3m
Her $8.8m
Nebraska $8.1m

The comedy category is more volatile although I don’t see a big rise in Nebraska’s numbers unless Oscar nominations completely turn its fortune. Bruce Dern’s just got no luck when it comes to winning million dollar prizes. Her, which expanded this weekend to more than 1,700 screens, has already surpassed it and become fourth in the power ranking. How it fares in the long run against Inside Llewyn Davis is the more interesting question.

What do these rankings mean for their winning chances? 

Looking back at the past 12 years since the turn of the century, we find that the Drama category is much more interested in box office hits than  omedy/Musical, which is surprising. In fact, half of the winners in Drama were the box office champ in their category: Gladiator, The Return of the King, The Aviator, Brokeback Mountain, Slumdog Millionaire and Avatar. Furthermore, they’ve never rewarded the film that ended up fifth and only once the film that was fourth (The Hours), so Rush and Philomena’s chances are slim. 

Realistically, we all know that the winner will either be 12 Years a Slave or Gravity, and recent stats tell us that the latter should come out of this with a statue in hand, but I’m going to predict otherwise. I have a feeling tonight will most closely resemble 2010’s lineup, when Inception was in Gravity’s shoes and The Social Network, the critical cause célèbre and coincidentally also third in the box office power ranking, came out triumphant. Although Gravity is a much bigger hit, critically speaking, than Inception ever was, I’ll give this one to 12 Years a Slave.

In the Comedy/Musical category, one can make a case for any of the films as the winner. The category has also been more receptive to films with small box office numbers, going so far as to award the least grosser when they handed their prize to The Kids Are All Right.  While that shouldn't exactly fill Nebraska with hope, a better indicator of its chances might be the fact that the HFPA has rewarded Alexander Payne with two best picture trophies in this 12 year period. 

Meanwhile, American Hustle, the only film with a realistic shot of breaking the Gravity/Slave stranglehold on a best picture Oscar seems like the film to beat in this category. As the top grosser, it will follow in the footsteps of Walk the Line, The Hangover and last year’s Les Miserables if it wins. In the Comedy/Musical category, the films that finish third or fourth in the box office power ranking have better precedent in winning the top prize, but my guess is that neither Llewyn nor Theodore have what it takes to topple American Hustle over. 

Amir's Final Golden Globes Predictions

Best Film – Drama: 12 Years a Slave
Best Film – Comedy/Musical: American Hustle
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Best Screenplay: American Hustle
Best Actor – Drama: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress – Drama: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Best Original Score: 12 Years a Slave
Best Original Song: Please Mr. Kennedy (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Best Foreign Film: Blue Is the Warmest Colour
Best Animated Film: Frozen

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Reader Comments (3)

fascinating that the box office does not affect chances for Best Comedy. I would've thought, without thinking through the past winners that it would be the opposite. BUT, that said, I seriously miss the days when animated films could compete here. If we had FROZEN vs AMERICAN HUSTLE that could be so interesting.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

"Nebraska" is a comedy ?! ( well I hope Bruce Dern gets one) I almost walked out of " The Wolf of Wall Street" which should have been called "National Lampoon's Wall Street"

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Thank you for reminding us that The Hangover won a Best Picture prize at GG. I love that you don't have a punchline when doing so, just casually drop the bomb like it's a normal thing to happen LOL.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

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