Oscar box office report: ‘The Big Short’ opens big; ‘Creed,’ ‘Carol,’ ‘The Danish Girl’ stay strong

"The Big Short" capped off a great week by raking in a jaw-dropping $720K at just eight locations in New York and Los Angeles. On Wednesday, it picked up two bids for the Screen Actors Guild Awards (Best Ensemble and a supporting nod for Christian Bale). On Thursday, it reaped four Golden Globe nominations (Best Comedy/Musical, lead bids for Bale and Steve Carell, and screenplay). And on Friday it opened to some of the best reviews of the awards season.

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"The Big Short" had a per screen average of $90K. By comparison, "Steve Jobs" did $130K in weekend one while "Sicario" averaged $67K and "Carol" came in at $62K PSA.  

"Creed," the seventh film in the "Rocky" franchise, landed another knockout at the box office in its third weekend, raking in $10.1 million for a total gross of just over $79.3 million. And Disney has a hit with the Pixar pic "The Good Dinosaur," which took in about the same (much of that at reduced kiddie admissions) and has made $90 million in three weeks.

Over on the very crowded limited side, "Youth" did well as it expanded from four to 17 screens in its second weekend, grossing $100K while "Macbeth" jumped to 108 theaters (from five) and made just over $250K.

Among the holdovers, "The Danish Girl" did great business again in its third weekend with $259K at two dozen locations; that translates into a per screen average of just over $10K. Focus Features plans a slow roll out in the weeks to come.

"Carol," which did well with both SAG and the Glboes, packed them in once again at just four locations, earning an impressive $336 in its third weekend at 16 locations. The Weinstein Company won't expand at all till mid-December before going wide after Oscar nominations are announced in mid-January. 

Our leading contender for Best Picture "Spotlight" made just over $2.5 million in its sixth weekend as it added 109 screens for a total of 1,089 nationwide. That haul of just over $2,300 per screen was good enough for ninth place on the overall box office chart. Rave reviews boosted interest in this docudrama that details the work by the Boston Globe to expose the coverup by the local Catholic diocese of pedophile priests and its cumulative take is now up to $20.3 million as awards season heats up. 

Brooklyn" added another $1.975 million as it expanded to 947 theaters (from 906) nationwide in its sixth week; that puts it in tenth place on the box office chart. With a PSA of $2K this weekend (and total gross of $14.3 million), Fox Searchlight is doing well with its gradual platform of this period charmer that stars Saoirse Ronan, a strong Best Actress contender and NYFFC champ, as an Irish emigrant to America in the early 1950s. 

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The sixth weekend tally for “Trumbo” was an impressive $811K across 554 screens. Bleecker Street has taken in just over $5.4 million to date for this film starring Emmy and Tony champ Bryan Cranston as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo

Among other holdovers, the Focus Features release “Suffragette” is down to 166 locations in its eighth week and made another $96K. This historical drama about the fight for the vote by British women has made $4.5 million stateside. 

Boosted by its SAG and Globe bids, “Room” had an uptick to $247,000 as it added 23 locations for a total of 198 in week nine. This A24 release has racked up just over $4.1 million to date.

Among those titles still in general release, Sony continues to score with "Spectre," which made a respectable $4 million in week six, which was good enough for sixth place overall. Fox did good business with animated feature "The Peanuts Movie," which was in eighth place as it added another $2.6 million in its fifth weekend for a cumulative gross of $125 million (as with "The Good Dinosaur" many of those admissions were at reduced prices). And the studio saw "The Martian" land in 11th by adding an impressive $1.4 million in its tenth frame for a total tally of $222 million and counting. 

Click here to see ups and downs of Oscar races over entire awards season

As of this writing, all 22 of our Oscar experts (journalists who cover this beat for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and Huffington Post) are predicting that "Spotlight" will reap a Best Picture bid. Twenty-one say the same about "The Martian," 20 expect the same for "Room" with 19 forecasting that "Carol" will make the cut, 18 for "Brooklyn" and 16 for Bridge of Spies." 

Among the performers in these pictures, "Room" breakout star Brie Larson sit atops the Best Actress chart. And over in Best ActorLeonardo DiCaprio is now solidly in first place for  "The Revenant," which has unspooled for the industry in advance of its Xmas release. 

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Photo: Warner Bros.

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