Oscar History

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"LOVED this move. If the Academy could be convinced to see this, I could absolutely see it sneaking into BP." -Eurocheese

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Entries in box office (282)


Box Office: Post Nomination Bump and Faulty Marketing Hooks

Ride Along 2, the umpteenth consecutive hit for the inarguably bankable Kevin Hart (and to a lesser extent Michael Bay's latest explosion filled thriller) serves as our monthly reminder --as if we needed one -- that the bulk of moviegoers would rather watch shoot-em-ups than Oscar nominated films. But congrats to Kevin Hart. He's on his fifth year of consistently big opening weekends now. If he's not one of the highest paid stars out there he needs to find new representation.

Meanwhile in alternate universe Oscar land: The Revenant showed amazing legs in its second wide release weekend, suggesting that Leonardo DiCaprio has yet another gargantuan hit on his hands. Leading the Oscar nominations surely didn't hurt. [More after the jump...

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The Two Leonardo DiCaprios (and Weekend Box Office)

Leonardo DiCaprio is, as an actor, inarguably most attracted to roles where he is mentally or physically suffering often while mourning a dead wife (His infamous "Dead Wives' Club," already quite extensive, got another member this weekend with the spectral presence of his Native American love, never named, in The Revenant). But Leo DiCaprio, the celebrity and movie star, is more tied in the real world to the wildly wealthy playboys that occasionally dot the dramatic resume (Celebrity, The Great Gatsby, Wolf of Wall Street). This is not just because he commands an astronomical fee for acting and has been known to enjoy the fruits of his labor, but because his films in turn attract even deeper pools of money. In other words: he's worth what they pay him. Enter The Revenant, a brutal, arduous, and arguably very quiet drama with brief but intense flashes of excitement, making a mint in its first weekend. It's something virtually no other star could pull off. DiCaprio is just about the only movie star that can convince moviegoers en masse to show up for straight dramas these days -- superheroic powers, franchise branding, or stylized action not required.


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What did you see this weekend? 

It was bound to happen given that earth's population and movie ticket prices constantly grow but The Force Awakens will be overtaking Avatar (2009) for #1 hit of all time in the US (NOT adjusted for inflation) sometimes this week. The new-old adventure from that galaxy far far away is just $20 million shy of that particular record now.

Beyond Star Wars there's quite a lot going on though -- including solid ticket selling moves by various Oscar players -- which we'll discuss after the jump... 

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Box Office: Jennifer Lawrence Generates Her Own Light in the Shadow of Star Wars.

Jennifer Lawrence's Joy starpower couldn't match the double-teaming bankability from Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg for the comedy Daddy's Home but she's still got nothing to worry about as Hollywood's current most popular actress pulling in 17.5 million in Joy's opening weekend despite middling reviews, a glut of new wide releases, and two hot button limited bows, all hoping for those same Christmas dollars.

Meanwhile every movie in theaters is trying to stay visible under the galactic-sized shadows of The Force Awakens which has already topped half a billion in the US box office in record time and should leapfrog Jurassic World's once unthinkable $652 domestic gross pretty soon at this rate.  We'll also know fairly soon if the Star Wars saga's sheer cultural size affects the Oscar race. The question is not fully restricted to whether it will be nominated for this or that or a wholla lotta that like the '77 starter-kit, but whether it will drown out conversations about the newer or the more struggling Oscar campaigns and we end up with less movement in the Oscar race from where we were in say, October, because people are thinking of little else than Star Wars right now.

(Christmas Weekend)
01 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $153.5 (cum. $544.5) Review, parody fun Emo Kyle Ren
02 Daddy's Home $38.8 *new* 
03 Joy $17.5 *new*
04 Sisters $13.8 (cum $37.1) Review 
05 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip  $12.7 (cum. $39.3)
06 Concussion  $11 *new* Review
07 The Big Short $10.5 (cum. $16) Review & SAG Ensemble 
08 Point Break $10.2 *new* 
09 The Hunger Games Finale $5.3 (cum. $264.6)  Hunger Games & Oscar 
10 Creed $4.6 (cum. $96.3) Review

Christmas proved to be a death wish for many awards hopefuls since behemoths like STAR WARS and talking points like HATEFUL EIGHT & THE REVENANT sucked all the oxygen out of the room for other films

Excluding previously wides
01 The Hateful Eight $4.5 100 screens *new* Twitter Review, Worst of Year
02 The Danish Girl $1.5 440 screens (cum. $3.2) Eddie Redmayne
03 Carol $1.0 180 screens (cum $2.8) Reviewish, Podcast, Its Genius
04 The Revenant  $.4 4 screens  *new* parody fun Revenant Bear
05 Youth  $.3 149 screens (cum. $1) Review, Podcast, Jane Fonda
06 Mr Six  $.2 30 screens *new*
07 Trumbo  $.2 30 screens *new* Podcast, SAG Ensemble 
08 Room $.08 100 screens (cum. $4.7) Premiere, FYC Production Design
09 45 Years $.06 3 screens *new* Charlotte Rampling
10 Macbeth $.04 30 screens (cum. $.8) Review, Podcast





Year in Review: The 15 Biggest Box Office Hits of '15

There's not much of a story this weekend beyond Star Wars: The Force Awakens which broke all available records without even breaking a sweat this weekend with a $238 million opening. And that's even before the lucrative Christmas week. Jurassic World currently tops the 2015 box office globally with $1.6 billion in revenues with Furious 7 tailing it with $1.5. Surely The Force Awakens has its eyes on even greater prizes though. Like James Cameron's top two records Titanic's 2.1 billion and Avatar's (2009) 2.7 billion worldwide gross.

The Force Awakens is a good movie so the audience wins. Or do we? Let's talk about the Dark Side of the box office as we look at the biggest hits of the year in five separate categories after the jump... 

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In the Heart of the Box Office

Ron Howard's new adventure on the high seas (based on the story that inspired Moby Dick) In the Heart of the Sea didn't manage to beat The Hunger Games, due mostly to the latter's much higher screen count. But regardless it's the final week of Katniss's reign. Next weekend the jedis, generals, droids, and wookies arrive surely stealing all the screens in our multiplex world.

If Chris & Tom survive this whaling adventure they get to play Marvel superheroes next

In Oscar-seeking land, Spotlight was off only 10% after a final expansion to 1089 screens so word of mouth is strong and the run will surely be leggy as it nabs more prizes at award ceremonies. The Big Short, inexplicably on only 8 screens despite multiplex-appeal (this is not a highbrow movie!) and tons of stars, packed its houses. Carol and The Danish Girl with tiny expansions are also doing solid if unspectacular business. If you've been dragging your feet on Bridge of Spies, Suffragette, Sicario, The Asssassin (and maybe even Room, Brooklyn, and Trumbo) get there this week -- they're likely to lose screens soon and unless Oscar curiousity catches on with the general public most of them won't be around much longer.

(Dec 11th-13th)
01 Hunger Games 4 $11.3 (cum. $244.4)  Hunger Games & Oscar
02 In the Heart of the Sea $11 *new* 
03 The Good Dinosaur $10.4 (cum. $89.6) Review
04 Creed $10.1 (cum $79.3) Review & Oscar Chances
05 Krampus  $8 (cum. $28.1)
06 Spectre $4 (cum. $190.7) Review
07 The Night Before $3.9 (cum. $38.2)
08 The Peanuts Movie $2.6 (cum. $124.9) Peanuts Films
09 Spotlight $2.5 (cum. $20.3)  Podcast, From TIFF, SAG Ensemble
10 Brooklyn $1.9 (cum. $14.3)  Review, Ensemble, Podcast, Saoirse & Oscar

Excluding previously wides (Dec 11th-13th)
01 Trumbo $.8 554 screens (cum. $5.4) SAG Ensemble
02 The Big Short $.7 8 screens *NEW*  Review & SAG Ensemble
03 Chi-Raq $.5 285 screens (cum. $2.1) Podcast
04 Carol $.3 16 screens (cum $1.2) Reviewish, Podcast, Its Genius, Sketches
05 Legend  $.3 107 screens (cum. $1.3)
06 The Danish Girl   $.2 24 screens (cum. $.6) Interview
07 Macbeth  $.2 108 screens (cum. $.3) Review, Podcast
08 Room $.2 198 screens (cum. $4.1) Premiere, Podcast, FYC Jacob Tremblay
09 Youth $.1 17 screens (cum. $.2) Review, Podcast
10 Suffragette $.09 166 screens (cum. $4.5) Review, Carey Campaign

Dean O'Gorman (The Hobbit) plays Kirk Douglas in "Trumbo"

What did you see this weekend?
I finally caught up with Trumbo. I have no idea why it took me so long to see it since I do love my Hollywood history movies and celebrity impersonations (New Zealander Dean O'Gorman does a terrific Kirk Douglas for what it's worth! He was stupidly left out of the SAG Ensemble nomination). More on Trumbo soon since it's popping with SAG & Globe nominations.


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