On Golden Globes weekend, several of the leading contenders were winners at the box office while those that were snubbed lost out on bragging rights that might have boosted takings.
“The Iron Lady” (The Weinstein Co.) – week 3
$5,386,000 in 802 theaters (+ 797); Per screen average (PSA): $6,716; Cumulative: $5,973,621
While it ranked only eighth among the top 10, it had the third highest PSA after newcomer “Contraband” and the 3D release of 1991 Best Picture contender “Beauty and the Beast.” Audiences were not put off by the middling reviews (54 at Metacritic), proving once again the box office appeal of awards magnet Meryl Streep. The subject matter appealed to an older demographic that had no other new films to see this weekend.
Bottom line: The buzz surrounding Streep’s performance was heard across the country.
“We Need to Talk About Kevin” (Oscilloscope) – week 2
$44,000 in 2 theaters; PSA: $22,000; Cumulative: $83,297
After its qualifying run in December, this Oscar contender returns with an impressive opening that had the highest PSA of the week.
Bottom line: If Tilda Swinton lands an Oscar nom, Oscilloscope should do well as this well-received drama widens.
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (Focus) – week 6
$3,160,945 in 886 theaters (+ 77); PSA: $3,568; Cumulative: $15,103,486
After a strong expansion last week, this spy drama dropped 40% this weekend. This week’s PSA matches that of “The Descendants” for its second week in as many theaters. However, that domestic drama had expanded to this many screens in stages rather than in the one big jump for “TTSS.” Four years ago, Focus had followed a somewhat similar pattern with “Atonement,” which saw a smaller drop-off in its second week of expansion, helped in part by the Golden Globe recognition that did not come the way of “TTSS.”
Bottom line: With weakening word of mouth, “TTSS” will need Oscar nods to boost its box office. Even with a surprise Best Picture bid, “Atonement” only reached $50 million domestic.
“War Horse” (Buena Vista) – week 4
$5,607,000 in 2,845 theaters (+ 73); PSA: $1,963; Cumulative: $65,788,963
This Steven Spielberg epic was down another 35% despite a small boost in theaters. Among the top 10, its PSA was second worst, behind only “We Bought A Zoo,” and was almost identical to that of Spielberg’s other Xmas release, “The Adventures of Tintin,” which came in at #11.
Bottom line: Next weekend will be telling as come a week Monday, this film may be facing a loss of screens just 24 hours before the Oscar nominations are unveiled.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Sony) – week 4
$6,800,000 in 2,674 (- 276); PSA: $2,543; Cumulative: $87,980,849
After falling by only 23% last weekend, this film faced stiff competition from the crime drama “Contraband,” which opened at #1 with $24.1 million.
Bottom line: With an unexpected DGA bid for David Fincher, as well as PGA and WGA nods, the Oscar hopes for this dark thriller have brightened and it should easily top $100 million domestic.
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Co.) – week 7
$1,167,000 in 216 (+ 44); PSA: $5,403; Cumulative: $8,763,7999
After playing for several weeks on about 175 screens, this weekend saw a 25% expansion with an increase of 4% in total takings. The PSA remains among the best among the limited releases, third behind “The Iron Lady” and a resurgent “Dangerous Method.”
Bottom line: Golden Globe wins and Oscar nominations should help this niche film find a wider audience.
“The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight) – week 9
$2,035,000 in 660 (- 77); PSA $3,083; Cumulative: $47,039,196
This George Clooney starrer continues to stay strong, falling off just 21% despite losing one-tenth of its screens.
Bottom line: With a PSA average still topping $3,000, expect Fox Searchlight to be able to expand once more following Golden Globe wins and Oscar nominations.
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” (Warner Brothers) – week 4
$88,000 in 6 theaters ( 0); PSA: $14,667; Cumulative: $632,516
After falling by 50% last weekend, there was only a 14% reduction in receipts at the same six theaters.
Bottom line: Without any significant awards recognition, this remains a tough sell for WB when it widens this release later this month.
“Shame” (Fox Searchlight) – week 4
$142,800 in 41 theaters (- 4); PSA: $3,483; Cumulative: $2,625,223
Among platform releases, this Michael Fassbender fllm fell off by 32% with only a 10% reduction in screens.
Bottom line: An Oscar nod for Fassbender could bring in new audience to this NC-17 tough sell.
“Young Adult” (Paramount) – week 6
$425,000 in 387 (- 443); PSA: $1,098; Cumulative: $15,700,827
This Jason Reitman dramedy dropped more than half its screens this week and may well be the lowest-grossing of his four features.
Bottom line: Without a Best Actress bid by Charlize Theron, this is likely to be gone from most theaters by the end of the month.
“Hugo” (Paramount) – week 8
$950,000 in 545 theaters (- 298); PSA: $1,743; Cumulative: $54,066,055
Dropping below $1 million for the first time, this critically acclaimed movie is likely to get a boost from next week’s Oscar nominations.
Bottom line: This Valentine to early cinema is likely to be loved by the Academy, giving the studio to tout all its Oscar nods.
“My Week with Marilyn” (The Weinstein Co.) – week 8
$453,000 in 400 theaters (- 184); PSA: $1,133; Cumulative: $11,326,710
This biopic has seen a slow slide but could bounce back with star Michelle Williams expected Golden Globe win and Oscar nod.
Bottom line: With Oscars bid for Williams and Branagh, expect this Simon Curtis film to feature in theaters for the coming weeks,
“A Separation” (Sony Classics) – week 2
$80,026 in 6 theaters (+ 3); PSA $13,338; Cumulative: $322,049
Doubling the number of art houses it is playing in halved the PSA while total takings were down by 14% from last weekend.
Bottom line: With a likely bid in the foreign-language film race as well as perhaps an adapted screenplay nod, this Iranian film should do well in the weeks ahead.
“Pina” (IFC-Sundance Selects) – week 3
$108,000 in 4 theaters (+ 1); PSA: $18,000; Cumulative: $540,193
This Wim Wenders documentary added one theater this weekend. While its PSA dropped by one-third, its gross was up by an impressive 30%.
Bottom line: As Germany’s entry in the foreign-language film race and one of 15 documentaries on the shortlist, this could make Oscar history with bids in both categories.