Monday, January 07, 2008

The Terribly Amateur Box-Office Analysis

Editor's note: data was taken from late Sunday estimates. Actual figures may vary.

Is it just me or has it been an oddly quiet awards season? I know the strike has put a damper on everyones' spirits, but it's almost as though you could hear a proverbial pin drop. There don't seem to be any films generating an overwhelming amount of "Oscar Buzz" (which I'm pretty sure is a side effect of prolonged drug use). In past years, you could reel off six or seven films that could receive Oscar nods for Best Picture without hesitation. But now? Wouldn't you have to at least think about it a little?

Anyway, that being said, National Treasure: Book of Secrets took home the most moolah this weekend, grossing an estimated $20.2 million. For all intents and purposes, by this time next week, it should surpass its predecessor and be the highest grossing film of Nicolas Cage's career. Reread that sentence and tell me why it's odd: because you'd think there would be some other film, or because it's Nicolas Cage of SNL's "Celebrity Jeopardy" fame?

I Am Legend came in second with $16.4 million. Has anyone else already forgotten about this movie? Honestly, after its release, I've heard nothing about it. Even people that have seen it don't seem to say much. It's like everyone collectively agreed that it was time for it go away. But thank goodness. Because just when you were over the idea of a decimated New York, Cloverfield is on its way.

Playing the role of the obligatory "Indy movie that gets a lot of awards attention and also becomes a box-office success story" this awards season is Juno, which came in third with $16.2 million. The cool part about this? It has grossed $52 million since its release. The price tag? $10 million.

Rounding out the top five were Alvin and the Chipmunks ($16.0 M) and One Missed Call ($13.5 M).


Norphen said...

You're right about the quieter Oscar buzz this year. I wondered if I was just feeling that because I've had a harder time keeping informed on films this year cause my life is just busier in general.

Right now, the front runner seems to be There Will Be Blood. Juno seems to have staked out the "Little Miss Sunshine" spot...and then there are a handful of other movies which have a following, but nothing massive. No Country For Old Men is one of those movies that's getting praised because it's all technique..brilliant technique, but not all that much else. Atonement strikes me as the annual "Movie that gets early praise but then seems dismissed as overrated, pretentious, not especially interesting." Think The Hours.

This time of year will hopefully help me inject some life back into my own blog...which has been dormant for months. I'm glad you've been covering the writer's strike. I think you're right to say that it's having an effect on the awards season..especially because there seems to be some doubt that the Oscars will even happen this year if it gets too out of hand. Your thoughts on that?

Lokor said...

I hope they don't boycott the Oscars. In AM New York this morning, in the little article they had reporting the cancellation of the Golden Globes, a WGA rep was quoted as calling it a "victory" for the union. What? A victory? I'm sorry, but even as a writer that sounds totally f*cked up. There aren't winners in this. There are only losers, and they aren't the writers or the producers. No, it's the fans, the movie-going and tv watching public, and they're being completely forgotten. I do believe that there are art forms that exist solely for the artists (mostly visual arts - painting, sculpture...maybe some music), but when it comes to entertainment, I personally believe it's FOR THE AUDIENCE, not the artist, and to see the writers completely forgetting who their work is ultimately for is very saddening.

In the same vein, the Oscars are about movies and the people who love them. It's a celebration of the most treasured American art, and I don't care if every other awards show is canceled, the writers need to make sure that one goes on the air, even if they refuse to be involved. It's not about them at that point, not for THAT ceremony. Maybe I'm worshiping that silly statue just a bit too much, but for me, personally, it represents everything good about movies, and I honestly think that it's larger than a labor dispute. I would hope the writers understand that, and I would hope that the actors do as well.