Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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The Next La La Land?

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Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane)
Gael García Bernal (Neruda)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival



Entries in box office (296)


What did you see this weekend?

In a relatively uneventful weekend save for a great second weekend for Zootopia, falling only 33% the highest per screen averages went to two films starring 60something women -- Helen Mirren in Eye in the Sky and Sally Field in Hello My Name is Doris. How about that? I mean, they're only at a handful of screens in NY and LA but perhaps they'll have decent futures.

What did you see this weekend?  

01 Zootopia $50 (cum. $142.6)
02 10 Cloverfield Lane $25.2  NEW 
03 Deadpool $10.8 (cum. $328) Reviewish
04 London Has Fallen $10.6  (cum. $38.8)
05 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot $4.6 (cum. $14.5) Review
06 The Perfect Match $4.1  NEW
07 The Young Messiah $3.4  NEW
08 The Brothers Grimsby $3.1 NEW
09 Gods of Egypt $2.5 (cum. $27.3) Review
10 Risen $2.2 (cum. $32.3)

less than 800 screens excluding previously wide
01 The Lady in the Van $.5 (cum. $8) 363 screens Review
02 The Other Side of the Door $.5 (cum. $2.1) 585 screens
03 Embrace of the Serpent $.1 (cum. $.5) 75 screens InterviewReview
04 Where to Invade Next $.1 (cum. $3.2) 151 screens Review & 2nd Opinion 
05 The Mermaid $.1 (cum. $2.9) 82 screens
06 Eye in the Sky $.1 5 screens  NEW 
07 Knight of Cups $.09 (cum. $.1) 36 screens Reviewish
08 Hello, My Name is Doris $.08 4 screens  NEW Review
09 Son of Saul $.07 (cum. $1.6) 105 screens InterviewReview
10 45 Years $.06 (cum. $4.0) 70 screens 


Zootopia Reigns

Animated films for the family remain the safest of original story bets, no pre-branding required. Disney's Zootopia was very strong out of the gate. The best Disney animated opening weekend strong, in fact. Meanwhile Deadpool crossed the $300 million mark. The Oscar Best Picture win helped Spotlight re-expand again adding 500 screens and nearly another $2 million (total gross $41.6) despite already being out on DVD.

I went to The Witch again and while leaving the theater this young guy with his date was like "that is the worst movie I've ever seen!" He doesn't get out much apparently!

What did you see this weekend?

01 Zootopia $73.7 new
02 London Has Fallen $21.7
03 Deadpool $16.4 (cum. $311.1) Reviewish
04 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot $7.6
new Review
05 Gods of Egypt $5 (cum. $22.8) Review 
06 Risen $3.8 (cum. $28.6)

07 Kung Fu Panda 3 $3.5 (cum. $133.8) Dreamworks
08 The Revenant $3.3 (cum. $175.9) Cinematography
09 Eddie the Eagle $3.1 (cum. $10.8) Review
10 The Witch $2.5 (cum. $20.9) Michael's, Nathaniel's, and Eric's Reviews

excluding previously wide
01 Other Side of the Door $1.2 new 546 screens
02 Lady in The Van  $.7 (cum. $7.1) 429 screens Review
03 The Mermaid $.3 (cum. $2.6) 106 screens
04 Where to Invade Next $.2 (cum. $2.9) 150 screens  Review & 2nd Opinion 
05 Neerja $.1 (cum. $1.5) 100 screens 
06 Son of Saul  $.1 (cum. $1.5) 180 screens Podcast, Interview, Review
07 45 Years  $.1 (cum. $3.9) 100 screens Podcast
08 Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer $.07 (cum. $1.6) 79 screens
09 Embrace of the Serpent $.06 (cum. $.3) 23 screens Interview, Review
10 Knight of Cups $.05
new 4 screens Reviewish


In Praise of Ex Machina's Win

Manuel here. One of our favorite wins from last night’s Academy Awards was Ex Machina’s triumph in the Best Visual Effects category.

We marveled at its nod when the nominations came out mostly because it seemed like the low-key supportive use of visual effects that rarely get cited in the category (why else would you pass over the effects of say, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?). Add to that a stellar category across the board—Judy! BB-8! Furiosa! Mars!—and the A24 film win feels all the more laudable. Sometimes, it seems, “best” need not mean “most” to Oscar members. 

But two things are particularly striking to the inner number cruncher:

1. Ex Machina became the second non-Best Picture nominee to win in this category since the Academy expanded the Best Pic roster. Interstellar, as Amir reminded me in the comments, was the first. As you’ll remember, the expanded field was designed (in part) to accommodate critically acclaimed blockbusters (like The Dark Knight) and true to form, whether in direct response to this or not, Avatar, Inception, Hugo, Life of Pi, and Gravity were surely helped by their Best Pic cred. We all assumed this again would be the case this year and would help either The Revenant, The Martian or Mad Max: Fury Road (the latter an increasingly possible outcome given the film’s tech dominance). The same, of course, would have been the case had Star Wars The Force Awakens won but that win would have been more easily parsed. It is the most successful film of the past year having been printing money ever since it premiered which brings me to talk of box office.

2. Ex Machina became the lowest grossing winner in 18 years. When nominations were announced, it was worth being reminded that this sci-fi film was one of the lowest grossing nominees in quite some time. You had to go back to Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter’s $32 million haul to find a comparable box office example. With its win, the Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander film became the lowest grossing winner since What Dreams May Come ($55m). It’s quite a feat when, even as the category has been known to award the statuette to the lowest grossing nominee of the bunch (7 of the past 15 times), the winners have averaged a gross of $269 million. This is, after all, a category that welcomes crowd-pleasing blockbusters and effects-driven spectacles. A24 and Garland’s crew should be very proud of their win which really overcame many obstacles on its way to this surprise win.

And what a welcome surprise it was!

[Note: The film also recently won the Film Bitch Award Gold Medal in its category though we thought a correlative Oscar impossible - Editor]


Box Office As Told By Animal Emojis

01. $55 million (cumulative $235.3)

02. $12.5 million (cumulative $117.1)


03. $11.8 million (new!)

04. $8.6 million (new)

05. $8.2 million (cumulative $31.7)

06. $7.2 million (new)

07. $5.5 million (cum. $23.7)

08. $3.8 million (cumulative $921.6)

09. $3.8 million (cumulative $165.1)

10. $2.6 million (cumulative $26.1)

What did you see this weekend?
I went to The Witch again and it was just as good as I remembered from TIFF.

But let's go from the great to the terrible. When was the last time you chanced upon something truly awful? I ask this because last night, bone tired, and flipping channels I came across The Crow: City of Angels (1996) in its opening scene. I had never seen it and for a minute I mistook it for The Crow: Salvation (2000) which I have also never seen and thought to myself  'Self, hey, watch a few minutes since Kiki Dunst is in this' About 20 minutes later, I turned it off, jaw long since acclimated to floor. Every single scene was worst than the last. It was truly incompetent and absurd and mine eyes had witnessed some of the most atrocious acting ever committed to celluloid.



Deadpool lands on huge pile of money. Makes crude jokes about paper cuts, probably. 

Breaking News: Superhero fatigue has NOT set in after all, goddamnit. The extreme negativity that greeted the arrival of Fantastic Four 3ish and Avengers 2 last summer suggested that we were on the brink but along comes Deadpool proving everyone still wants the spandex supers... even B list supers from Fox (!). Warner Bros and Marvel are probably breathing sighs of relief given that Clark vs Bruce and Steve vs Tony are opening soon and have budgets so gargantuan they'll need the continued fervor to sustain them. But more on those later. The crowd I saw Deadpool with seemed really into it but more on that later. More. Later. More. Later. God, it's like a movie trailer in here tonight --- "COMING SOON!"

01 Deadpool $135 new
02 Kung Fu Panda 3 $19.6 (cum. $93.9) 
03 How To Be Single $18.7 new
04 Zoolander 2 $15.6 new 
05 The Revenant $6.9 (cum. $159.1) Costumes, Cinematography, Production Design 

excluding previously wide
01 Where to Invade Next  $1 new 308 screens Review & 2nd Opinion
02 The Lady in The Van  $.5 (cum. $1.9) 130 screens Review
03 45 Years $.4 (cum $2.7) 237 screens Podcast
04 Carol $.1 (cum. $12.1) 141 screens Top Ten List 
05 The Danish Girl $.08 (cum. $10.7) 88 screens Interview Alicia

I took in both How to be Single and Deadpool and also emptied my DVR (hey, it was freezing in NYC) so I'm caught up w/ Younger, Teachers, The Fosters, The Flash, and I also sampled SyFy's The Magicians and liked it... and not just because Arjun Gupta is the prettiest.



Box Office: Caesar wasn't quite hailed

A somewhat quiet week for moviegoing as all eyes turn towards the Superbowl. Well, not all eyes. I don't know who's playing other than Beyoncé. Kung Fu Panda had no trouble fending off newcomers. Star Wars recently crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide (though it's still behind Titanic and Avatar globally) but the new movies didn't make enough of an impression for ticket buyers. Unfortunately Hail, Caesar! opened significantly below the gross of the last widescreen comedy from the Coen brothers Burn After Reading.

01 Kung Fu Panda 2 $21 (cum. $69)
02 Hail, Caesar! $11.4 new Coen Brothers - 17 Films, Interview: Score
03 The Revenant $7.1 (cum. $149.7) Interview: CostumesInterview: Production Design 
04 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $6.9 (cum. $905.9) ReviewPodcast
05 The Choice $6 new
06 Pride & Prejudice & Zombies $5.2 new Review
07 The Finest Hours  $4.7 (cum. $18.3)
08 Ride Along 2  $4.5 (cum. $77.2) 
09 The Boy $4 (cum $26.8)
10 Dirty Grandpa  $4 (cum $29.3)

What did you see this weekend? 
I rewatched Silence of the Lambs (for our 25th anniversary celebration which starts tomorrow!) and also hit Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Some friends asked me to wait for them for Hail, Caesar! and I agreed. This is always a bad decision because they are never in the hurry that I am to devour new movies


Box Office: Panda Kicks, Jane Misfires

What did you see this weekend? Kung Fu Panda 3 had a strong debut on the typically slow final session of January. Without a vocal fanbase for the series, the sequel still performed well thanks to family audiences hungry for something for the whole family - like me and you they've exhausted their Star Wars repeats and have no idea what the hell Norm of the North is.

Jane Got a Gun, a well-documented troubled production, has arrived with about the quietest thud you could imagine. Weinstein Co. has quietly snuck it into release after endless delays at its former distributor Relativity continually shuffled its debut. Over the weekend, there were plenty of "It opened??" responses with nary an actual reaction to the film - a sure sign of the bare bones publicity the film was was granted.

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