Box Office Check-in – Six Best Picture Nominees Over $100 million

Lincoln – $176 million – 12 Oscar nominations
Django Unchained – $156 million – 5 Oscar nominations
Les Miserables – $145 million – 8 Oscar nominations
Argo – $126 million – 7 Oscar nominations
Life of Pi – $109 million (but half a billion internationally) — 11 Oscar nominations
Silver Linings Playbook – $98 million (will hit $100 soon enough) — 8 Oscar nominations

Can anyone remember an Oscar year with that many $100 million dollar babies?  Not last year, not the year before or the year before that.  Why do you think they’re making this kind of coin? Could it be the studios gave up on “adult” audiences prematurely? Or could it be that good movies will always draw crowds of any age or demographic?

And if you stretch it beyond just the Best Picture race you have Skyfall, The Avengers and The Hobbit.  It’s a good year for Hollywood.

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86 Comments

  1. eurocheese
    February 17, 2013

    Plus Zero Dark Thirty and even Beasts were big hits for their studios. The more Battleships that bomb and the more Lincolns that succeed, the fewer excuses studios have to churn out crap. Plus, what happens when you put a big budget behind a brilliant director? Well, I guess The Avengers, Inception and Avatar did OK…

  2. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    Inflation

  3. Zizo Hawa
    February 17, 2013

    Well, 2010 was better I think…

    Toy Story 3: $415M
    Inception: $293M
    True Grit: $171M
    The King’s Speech: $135M
    Black Swan: $107M
    The Social Network: $96M
    The Fighter: $94M

  4. February 17, 2013

    Call it wishful thinking on my part, but I hope Hollywood has figured out that if they are going to save themselves by actually putting an audience in the theaters, then the product has to be worth the price. Even pay per view and video won’t sell in the after market if the cable big shots are in the movie making business for $10 a month on your big screen HD TV with Boze surround sound system and a pause button for the bathroom break.

    Add in the global market, on line streaming and movies to go on your IPAD and the competition is so fierce you better have an experience people want to buy.

  5. phantom
    February 17, 2013

    I REALLY hope Zero Dark Thirty will inch past 100M, as well, for now it seems it will get stuck between 95-100M.

  6. February 17, 2013

    This should encourage Hollywood to keep making great, serious films as well as blockbusters. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’s release strategy seems to have paid off. The only Weinstein film that failed at the box office was ‘The Master’.

    As far as Oscar winners are concerned each film has fans. The way I see it they will hope for the following:

    1. Fans of ‘Lincoln’ like myself hope that it will win beyond Daniel Day Lewis

    2. Fans of ‘Les Miserables’ will hope that it wins beyond Anne Hathaway

    3. Fans of ‘Life Of Pi’ especially here in India will hope that it gets more awards beyond some of the techs

    4. Fans of ‘Silver linings Playbook’ will hope that David O Russell wins something or else he could have a meltdown.

    5. Fans of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ will hope that it does not go away with nothing

    6. Movie fans and Oscar pundits annoyed at Jennifer Lawrence’s attitude at the Baftas will hope that Emmanuelle Riva pulls off an upset. Then J-Law can throw a serious temper tantrum for the camera.

    7. When ‘Argo’ wins best picture some passionate supporters of these other films will start making fun of it.

    8. But whoever wins director would be accused of winning by the ‘Argo’ fans only because Affleck was not nominated.

  7. February 17, 2013

    I thought after last year, that this would be the year of the blockbuster at the Oscars. This isn’t exactly what I meant but it’ll do. I also think it’s worth noting that three of them came out on top of each other. DJANGO UNCHAINED, LES MIS, and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK were all basically Christmas releases. They had to share people for a while and probably still are to some degree.

    ARGO comes out on DVD Tuesday. So that should be interesting as well. Seeing how it sells.

  8. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    I’m reading more “Blind” interviews with Academy members that they LOVED the Life of PI. Shirley Maclaine just completed a radio interview and Argo and PI were her faves. Makes me think there might be an upset for BP.

    As for why there are more over $100Mil? Are the on-demand receipts factored in? There are so many ways to see movies today, not just in-theatre, but on demand online. And ZIZO makes a good point. This isn’t such an unusual year, there have been better boxo years.

  9. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    Could the Life of Pi’s boxo be HURT because it’s in 3D and seeing movies in 3D is no longer favored by the public?

  10. Pierre de Plume
    February 17, 2013

    Jennifer Lawrence’s attitude at the Baftas

    C’mon, Ashwin. JLaw didn’t have an attitude at the BAFTAs — not that I could see. David O. Russell, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly graceful in the wake of her defeat.

  11. February 17, 2013

    In line with the above comment, the current global standings for the films mentioned with more markets still to open:

    Life of Pi – $567 Million
    Les Miserables – $361 Million
    Django Unchained $345 Million
    Lincoln – $224 Million
    Argo – $203 Million
    Silver Linings Playbook – $139 Million

    If Hollywood wants to keep its reputation of the “source of movies” and the criterion for film no matter where the movies are made, then it will have to appeal to an ever growing global audience. You can’t be the center of the solar system, unless you are the sun.

  12. Kim
    February 17, 2013

    All of this nonsense around Jennifer Lawrence’s reaction face at the BAFTAs is just people projecting their negative feelings about Jennifer on to her. She is not a diva. She is not entitled. I think people just can’t believe that a young, attractive woman isn’t also catty and full of herself. Please stop trying to create a controversy where there is none. David o. Russell looked shocked and appalled, yes, but Jennifer doesn’t have control over his face.

  13. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    @Sally

    Box Office is just that Box Office! “On-demand” is part of home video revenues not theatrical gross. And even VOD usually starts a few months after theatrical release, when the film is no longer in theaters.

  14. Sasha Stone
    February 17, 2013

    You all know that SLP wasn’t my favorite movie of the year but having observed Jennifer Lawrence what I can say about her is this: she doesn’t care if she wins or loses. She has lucked into success and it all seems like more accolades than she ever thought possible. There is no way she cared if she lost the BAFTA. David O. Russell on the other hand is in it to win it.

  15. Sasha Stone
    February 17, 2013

    I’m reading more “Blind” interviews with Academy members that they LOVED the Life of PI. Shirley Maclaine just completed a radio interview and Argo and PI were her faves. Makes me think there might be an upset for BP.

    It is definitely a fave among a certain generation. The only problem of course is that the actor demographic is untested since Pi has no SAG noms. Hard to overcome that one. But probably nothing will beat Argo.

  16. Sasha Stone
    February 17, 2013

    Zizo, 2010 comes close to this year but doesn’t cut it.

  17. filmboymichael
    February 17, 2013

    I can’t even imagine my complete joy should Pi pull an upset and win Best Picture….

    I’d also like to note that this is such a fickle group of commenters – I remember 2 years ago, when Jennifer Lawrence was 20, many people were firmly in her corner hoping she would be an upset winner.

    Now that she’s a perceived front runner, we just love to tear her down, use her age against her and her lack of formal acting training.

    Sorry, but I find it pathetic – and before anyone jumps on me – my favourite is Watts, but I’m pulling for a Riva win.

  18. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    Sasha says: “2010 comes close to this year but doesn’t cut it.”

    BO Mojo begs to differ:

    2012:
    Total Gross: $919,034,233
    Average Gross: $102,114,915

    2010:
    Total Gross: $1,357,489,702
    Average Gross: $135,748,970

    2009 (Avatar, Up…)
    Total Gross: $1,705,128,130
    Average Gross: $170,512,813

  19. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    ^The year’s not over yet but it’s unlikely our group of nominees will go beyond $1bn.

    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/oscar/chart/?yr=2012&view=allcategories&p=.htm

  20. PaulH
    February 17, 2013

    But the best picture race would have been enhanced, and even more people would have tuned in, Sasha, if The Hunger Games ($687m worldwide), E
    The Dark KNight Rises ($1b worldwide) and The Avengers ($1.5b worldwide) were allowed to vie for BP. Instead, one nomination between the three of them shows you all once again just how disrespected the sci-fi genre still is engrained into the Academy. Sack Life of Pi, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild and replace them with the Big Three and there could’ve been 55-60 million watching next Sunday. They’ll still do better than last year, but maybe 43-45m and that for the Bond tribute.

  21. February 17, 2013

    I’m well aware of the definition of “Box Office”. I was talking about competition. Why should a family of four spend $75 – $100 at the multi-plex if they can wait an ever shortening amount of time to see it at home for much less money or get equally good original programming from cable channels. There has to be something special about going to the movies to get already time and financially over extended people out of the house. For more on this year’s really hefty global returns: http://boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3628&p=.htm

  22. February 17, 2013

    Sack Life of Pi, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild and replace them with the Big Three and there could’ve been 55-60 million watching next Sunday.

    The Academy rarely rewards true art and quality… And in a EXCEPTIONAL year in which they do, you want them to ignore world-class masterpieces in favor of juvenile box-office hits?

    Thank heavens the likes of you do not belong in AMPAS.

  23. Scotty
    February 17, 2013

    Why sack Life of Pi when it made much more money than Silver Linings Playbook worldwide?

    If you’re going to make that argument, then sack SLP.

    Of course, thank goodness the nominations are not made by box office numbers, but by what the Academy members actually like (or at least who they like). Their choices may some times be made due to ulterior motives, but for the most part, the Academy is picking with the heart and sometimes their brain.

    I know you’re banking on the fact that Jennifer Lawrence was in the Hunger Games and made a lot of money for Hollywood, but she won’t always be so lucky, and maybe one day, she’ll be nominated for a little-seen independent movie. Will you be making the same arguments against her the way you have been making against Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild?

  24. February 17, 2013

    I’m reading more “Blind” interviews with Academy members that they LOVED the Life of PI. Shirley Maclaine just completed a radio interview and Argo and PI were her faves. Makes me think there might be an upset for BP.

    This is what I’ve been saying. Plus I think it would be nice if a film that wasn’t trying so hard to win won. That way maybe it could break the cycle of this insane campaigning.

  25. February 17, 2013

    Sack Life of Pi, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild and replace them with the Big Three and there could’ve been 55-60 million watching next Sunday.

    sorry, but unless you’re in charge of selling ad minutes at ABC who gives a flying shit about how many people watch the Oscars?

  26. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    ^Plus the People’s Choice Awards already do that (nominate blockbusters) and it doesn’t work so well for them in the ratings: less than 10 million viewers when the Oscars regularly score around 40 million viewers, 50 mil+ in a good year.

  27. February 17, 2013

    Scotty (and PaulH) seems to be forgetting JLaw was nominated for WINTER’S BONE a few years ago. That was hardly a populist blockbuster…

  28. Scotty
    February 17, 2013

    ^ I didn’t forget, I just didn’t think it was relevant because Winter’s Bone occurred before Lawrence became a money-maker. I assumed this Lawrence-fandom came after her success in The Hunger Games and X-Men: First Class. So the whole blockbuster argument wouldn’t have come into fruition until now.

    I’m also assuming most of the die-hard Lawrence fans became fans of her due to The Hunger Games, and have been championing Winter’s Bone and The Burning Plains retroactively (not sure if many have even seen it) rather than liking those films when they were actually released. Plus, she didn’t win, so they’ll say the Academy made the right choice since Winter’s Bone wasn’t seen by as many people as Black Swan. However, now that she’s a star, they’re assuming she’ll always be one. I was just wondering what would happen if she became nominated for a movie that almost no one saw. Would these same people be arguing against Lawrence with the same amount of fervor as they have with Riva and Amour?

  29. phantom
    February 17, 2013

    PaulH

    Considering that once again you deem AMOUR undeserving even though you haven’t even seen it, I have to ask you : have you even seen Silver Linings Playbook ? Because it very much feels like you LOVED Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games last March (!) and decided THEN that she will be the only one worthy of Oscar-recognition in 2012 and when she failed to garner any Oscar-buzz for that performance, you jumped on the SLP-bandwagon and started championing her for that and instantly dismissed every Best Actress contender who dared to emerge as a serious threat ever since, several of them in films you haven’t even seen. So…did you at least watch Silver Linings Playbook ? Or The Hunger Games (and its Box Office numbers) was all the ‘proof’ you needed ?

    P.S. It’s your choice if you opt NOT to see Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild etc., but the moment you deem these films undeserving WITHOUT even bothering to watch them first, is the moment you lose all your credibility.

    For the record, I WAS championing The Dark Knight Rises, I would have loved to see it make the BP-cut BUT I honestly don’t think The Avengers and The Hunger Games would have deserved such honor. Both were good films, VERY good even, but definitely not GREAT or BP-great, not in my opinion at least…and it’s not like critics were THAT into them, either, both ended in the high 60s on MC which is great for a tentpole but far from the critical consensus most BP nominees deliver.

  30. phantom
    February 17, 2013

    By the way, I would love to see what PaulH had to say about Winter’s Bone and Jennifer Lawrence back then, I know he was around, because I remember him championing Avatar the year before. I am only curious because if he didn’t see her appeal then, when she was ‘just’ a promising young actress, and not a huge movie star, arguably giving a MUCH better performance than this year’s Tiffany, then it is obvious he only cares about Box Office and star status…and PaulH, if you want to go exclusively by those, go invest all this time into the People’s Choice Awards and MTV Movie Awards, it would be simply a more satisfying fit for all.

  31. February 17, 2013

    Why sack Life of Pi when it made much more money than Silver Linings Playbook worldwide?

    You know why. Her name begins with a Jennifer, and ends with an enormous cumshot all over PaulH’s computer screen.

    By the way, I would love to see what PaulH had to say about Winter’s Bone and Jennifer Lawrence back then

    Get onto it, Ryan!

  32. steve50
    February 17, 2013

    While I don’t support anyone slagging a fillm they haven’t seen, I do support PaulH’s approach to the Oscar “business”. I don’t agree with it, but, from the perspective from which he approaches it, his points are mostly valid.

    Although we differ in opinion, we share the frustration that Oscar supports neither true business success nor the artistic achievements of filmmaking. It’s a hybrid bastard that tries to appeal to both sides, usually without success.

  33. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    FYI, Oscar BP nominees collectively grossed $17,683,000 this weekend alone bringing their collective cume at $919,034,233. If they keep this momentum over the next few weeks they might actually break the $1bn mark, but they will still be far behind the total cumes for 2010 ($1.35bn) and 2009 ($1.7bn).

    So far we have 5 $100 million dollar babies among our nominees, which is exactly on par with 2009 and 2010. 2012 will indeed soon top this number when SLP breaks the $100 mil bar, ZD30 might do it too, but it’s not that exceptionnal: 2010 also had 2 other films between $90 and $100mil.

  34. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    Life of Pi not in theaters here (exc. 3D, a format I absolutely hate!) Lincoln is down the street, I guess I’ll go see that. If Life of Pi wins, will it be the FIRST 3D to win BP?

  35. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    Where’s the edit button!!! Anyway, PI is in the suburbs in 3D. Only 3 movie houses. Bummer.

  36. Pierre de Plume
    February 17, 2013

    By the time the Oscars first rolled onto the scene, Hollywood films were a clearly commercial enterprise. These people weren’t there to make art films. It stands to reason that the Academy would primarily look to commercial product from which to choose its “best.” And, for a good many years, inter-studio politics had an undue effect on outcomes.

    Let’s be glad that, in recent years, many small, independent and foreign films make it into the discourse.

  37. Manuel
    February 17, 2013

    This is not a question about what year had the best box office, but what year with movies nominated for best picture, had movies with b.o over 100 mill dollars.

    So this Oscar race is really really financially great. And on paper neither of them are box office champions:

    Lincoln: a bio of Lincoln, long and talky
    Life of Pi: long movie about life, religion and philosophy
    Argo: political thriller about foreign affairs in Iran
    Silver Linings Playbook: dysfunctional dramcomedy
    Django: slavery with splash
    Les Miserables: musical
    Zero Dark Thirty: a female driven political thriller (hopefully 100 mill $ soon)

    And like Sasha said: the other movies nominated in techs and so on: Skyfall, The Hobbit, The Avengers ( b.o champs)

  38. Christophe
    February 17, 2013

    @Manuel
    “This is not a question about what year had the best box office, but what year with movies nominated for best picture, had movies with b.o over 100 mill dollars. ”

    What do you think I was talking about? The numbers I’ve mentioned only take into account BP nominees, not total BO! And like I said before the number of $100mil+ films isn’t that impressive either (potentially 7 vs. 5 in 2010 and 2009), but I do agree 2012 performances are quite impressive given the difficult subject matters of the nominees.

  39. John
    February 17, 2013

    2010 feels somewhat more impressive because:

    Toy Story was 415 million and was better than any animated film in the race this year.
    Inception was one of a kind movie and made 293. Wow.
    True Grit at 171 was wow, like Djangos 156.
    The Kings Speech 135. Like Lincoln, amazing that a film like that made that much $$.
    Black Swan was one of a kind and made 107. Wow.
    The Social Network was an incredible film and 96 very impressive.
    The Fighter at 94 was wow for the type of film it is.

    This year (with inflation a smidge more than 2010):

    Lincon nearly at 180, a wow.
    Django, peeps love violence.
    Les Miserables was as always going to be big.
    Argo at 126 is unexpected and great, but the movie is just very good, not exceptional. Meat and potatoes movie for audiences.
    Life of Pi, 110 million is a truly great story.
    SLP is a romcom with Lawrence and Cooper was always going to do well, and for a while, it wasnt (until great campaigning kicked in).
    ZD30, 90ish million is a great result for the type of film it is.

    My point is, not only was box office better in 2010, but the types of movies that were doing amazing business in 2010 were noteworthy (toy story, inception, true grit, kings speech, black swan, social network). The films this year are, a bit less noteworthy as pieces of art, as a whole. Just my opinion.

    2012 box office is really great. But I think 2010 is very comparable, if not slightly better.

  40. February 17, 2013

    Christophe, did I delete the right one? …which one is “that one too” ?

    :)

  41. Watermelons
    February 17, 2013

    who gives a flying shit about how many people watch the Oscars?

    I cannot think of a better metric for the success of a year’s worth of films than TV broadcast ratings. Do we have the numbers for the year Kate “The Great” Winslet (Revolutionary Road, Little Children) won her richly deserved Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for The Reader? Do they even have numbers high enough to record the impact of such events??

    -Watermelons

  42. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    Based on the chatter in the previous thread, I bought Munich DVD….and I was bored to tears. Why is this considered one of Spielberg’s great movies? I couldn’t get pass the first 30 minutes. Plus, half of the movie is subtitled!

  43. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    (Edit button please!) Because of Munich and the comment above about Lincoln being too talky, I think I’ll stay home tomorrow. Sometimes the BEST movies are the quietest non-talking movies — think the ARTIST and BOTSW!

  44. Reno
    February 17, 2013

    Life of Pi and Lincoln are still playing here, 3 straight months since their November release. Ditto with December releases Les Mis, Django, ZD30 and SLP. Argo was re-released and has been playing for several weeks now. Amour is in 1 theater. I watched it on opening day and there were 9 of us in the theater.

  45. daveinprogress
    February 17, 2013

    “Why do you think they’re making this kind of coin? Could it be the studios gave up on “adult” audiences prematurely? Or could it be that good movies will always draw crowds of any age or demographic?”

    Could it be that the art house or more classically made movies are getting better while the pop corn and fast food film fodder is getting worse and audiences are more circumspect as to what to do with their hard earned dollars? Maybe the great film makers like Nolan, Lee, Spielberg, Tarantino et al make just as good movies as they ever did, and the crap-arama is just as crappy as before, but folk don’t want to be insulted in the cinema. Here in Oz, ticket prices are among the most expensive in the world, and so I for one, choose very carefully what i pay to go and see.

  46. zazou
    February 17, 2013

    This has been a great year for movie watchers and I am doing a little dance of joy.The films have been successful because they have universal appeal and the critics be damned.Lots of bad attitude swirling around the Oscar campaigns,and that should be discouraged, for it has gone on too long. Is it necessary to try to nuke the movies that didn’t appeal to you? Anyway Les Miserables is at $378,821,000,worldwide, good for Hooper and the LM cast.

  47. filmboymichael
    February 17, 2013

    “I couldn’t get pass the first 30 minutes. Plus, half of the movie is subtitled!”

    How did you get through Amour???

  48. Watermelons
    February 17, 2013

    Why is this considered one of Spielberg’s great movies? I couldn’t get pass the first 30 minutes.

    Probably because a lot of people watched the entire film. But I feel ya – I don’t get why Citizen Kane is considered one of Orson Welles’ greatest movies. It’s just these boring exterior shots then Orson Welles dies? I couldn’t get past that part! How does is this movie going to be about KANE if he DIES at the start??

    Sincerely,
    -Watermelons

  49. Edkargir
    February 17, 2013

    Comment

  50. Edkargir
    February 17, 2013

    I”ll have a stroke if the overrated life of pi wins bp or bd . Beasts of the southern wild is so much better . Please somebody explain to me why they love the weekest of this years bp nominees. Thank you.

  51. CMG
    February 17, 2013

    Zero Dark Thirty will definitely see itself in the 90-ish million dollar range but it really could have gone over 100 already had it not been marketing simply from the SEAL Team 6 point of view (with some scattered, Chastain-heavy ads once it came time to campaign for her). It likely alienated some female moviegoers. What’s interesting is that the film’s overseas box office (and maybe I am wrong but I feel like the reports have come out how much they make every other week instead of weekly) is maybe 12% of its earnings with it being such a domestic-heavy movie. I note this because The Hurt Locker’s box office overseas actually got that film to recoup. Still ZD30′s earnings as a well-earned R-rated procedural film that is over 2 1/2 hours long and with the way it got rolled out that I think people are still second-guessing (a lot of pirated videos of the film that included a For Your Consideration copy were available on the internet for people just **curious** about the torture in the film), is very impressive.

    Ashwin, as some in the #5 camp I am getting resigned to the empty-handed scenario. What ticks me off is I can totally visualize Glenn Greenwald and Naomi Wolf giving each other high-fives when that happens and then each getting a gift basket from Harvey Weinstein (not that they took orders from him but they planted a lot of seeds that even a whisper campaign by him could not reach).

    And speaking of Les Miz, I am still somewhat shocked at the budget it got (supposedly at $61 million). Hooper maximized The King’s Speech’s budget, mind you, but you would think a film like Les Miz would have had a budget that was not lower than the infamous Nine flop just because of who was directing, who was starring, and just the fact it was a period piece and those things cost money. This sort of was obvious in the barricade scene that felt a lot **smaller** than it should be. Compared to Argo and Zero Dark Thirty each being in the $40-45 million budget range, both felt like they maximized their budget to the point they should be model movies for filmmakers who want to make adult dramas (and no matter how much I think Argo is aggressively average in other respects, the budget is all there and in the soundtrack) while it seems Hooper was exhausting and burning through what he was given by the third act. I felt a little bad for him. Les Miz just felt like it was the one movie musical to get away with a $100 million budget.

  52. Edkargir
    February 17, 2013

    Paul H, yes the 3 movies you mentioned made a lot more money than beasts,amour and pi but the 3 films mominated are better than the movies you mentioned . ET is the only si fi film that should have won. Annie hall is better than Star Wars.

  53. desmond
    February 17, 2013

    3. Fans of ‘Life Of Pi’ especially here in India will hope that it gets more awards beyond some of the techs

    not only india , many chinese hope that ANG LEE will get more awards beyond some of the techs

  54. SallyinChicago
    February 17, 2013

    “I couldn’t get pass the first 30 minutes. Plus, half of the movie is subtitled!”
    How did you get through Amour???
    ^^ I didn’t see Amour. I. am. not. a Subtitles person. But I did see the Artist last year — GREAT movie.

  55. JJ
    February 17, 2013

    I think Argo is a really good movie. I just don’t think it’s the year’s best picture. It has no ideas in its head other than “teamwork is good”! But most of Hollywood have no ideas in their heads, so…good luck challenging the Argo handsome producers club.

  56. steve50
    February 17, 2013

    “not only india , many chinese hope that ANG LEE will get more awards beyond some of the techs”

    Add Canada, Desmond, home of the original book, the music (Danna up for song and score) and VFX.

  57. PaulH
    February 17, 2013

    I think there’s been a glitch on the site; my comment was somehow deleted.

  58. February 17, 2013

    PaulH, I deleted the whole exchange between you and me. 3 of my comments, 1 of yours.

    Didn’t expect it to bother you. You completely misunderstood my intention. I’m too busy to deal with explaining.

  59. gh
    February 17, 2013

    [I heart AwardsDaily]

  60. rufussondheim
    February 18, 2013

    2010′s top 2 films were box office ready – Toy Story 3 is a long awaited film from a beloved major franchise and Inception was fanboy heaven after The Dark Knight. Both were going to be big hits upon release no matter what. With that said, the other films from 2010 like True Grit, Black Swan, King’s Speech are all impressive. And The Fighter and Social Network also are impressive results.

    But I’m with Sasha, even though it’s close 2012 is more impressive when you look at it relatively. Only Django Unchained seemed destined for 100 million before release and even then it was kinda shaky since advanced buzz on the film wasn’t as high as it could have been. And that it overperformed Inglorious Basterds is impressive especially since Basterds was vastly superior.

    Yeah, Les Miz was probably going to get 100 million no matter what, but for a musical, it’s the best numbers since Chicago, so it’s pretty darn good, especially when you throw international box office in. Ultimately, I was disappointed in the numbers, but heck, the studio is probably happy.

    With Lincoln, it’s great box office is pretty darn surprising, the best numbers for Spielberg for a non-action, non-family film. And after War Horse and Tintin failing to ignite audiences the year before, Lincoln’s BO was no guarantee.

    SLP floundered for a long time and Bradley Cooper and Jenniger Lawrence are no box office guarantees. Both seemed to have one-off success rather than be true box-office draws. Neither has had a huge success outside of The Hangover or The Hunger Games where they’ve headlined the film. But the power of their performances caused the film to have some good buzz and audiences genuinely seem to love the film. Serena will be a good test for their box office draw as the two of them headline a film that’s not automatically audience friendly.

    And Life of Pi, while it had a built-in audience from the book, is a stunning box office achievement, that it wrestled its way to 100 million after a tepid opening is hugely impressive, but over 500 million worldwide is amazing. Really amazing. I doubt anyone anywhere was predicting that.

    And Zero Dark Thirty is impressive since it wasn’t ra-ra patriotic, it didn’t have a feel good aspect to it (unless you just love great films and they invigorate you) and it touched on a subject material that had been box office poison for years. For this film, I think the controversy hurt the box office rather than helped it. I think the film deserves to be the Best Pic winner and i think it had a real shot at that since it was winning all the critics awards until the controversy hit. If it were having this string of victories that Argo is having, I think ZDT would be a must-see film to many and the BO would be at least 20 to 50 million higher.

    And Argo is just another climb for Affleck who had good BO with The Town. But he crafted an entertaining, substantive film that came out in October when movie attendance is traditionally low and still made a bundle, especially compared to “prestige films” that have been released at that spot on the calendar. Another extremely impressive box office total.

    The one disappointment in the box office is Amour. I don’t understand why the studio/distribution company didn’t push for a wider release after all of the nominations. No, it wasn’t going to ever reach 100 million, but 20 to 30 million should have been reachable. The film never got to the multiplexes in suburbia. I’m not sure it should have played on 3 screens, but, damn, if the local 24plex refused to put a Best Picture nominee in one of those 24 screens I’d be shocked. My guess is that no one ever asked them to book it.

    With all that said, I think this is a great year for Box Office and Oscar, Oscar didn’t seem to have BO in mind when choosing these films and yet they still have a great slate of films that have been quite popular. This bodes will for the future and hopefully by 2014 we’ll see the results.

  61. joe
    February 18, 2013

    All the films that are listed made 100 milllion. Argo was re released in jannuary and still going strong. In theaters. Lincoln beats war horse. Les miserables made it’s money fast. The silver linings playbook is still in the top ten at the box office. But this is not a toy story 3 year.

  62. PaulH
    February 18, 2013

    Rufus, 2-word reason why Amour bombed; Subject. Matter. Nobody except the masochistic or if you,love foreign films that much, wanted to sit through a 2-hour, 7 minute death scene. No matter how greatly acted the academy thought it was. It took a Best Picture nomination away from an American movie (TDKR? Avengers? Moonrise Kingdom?). Let Amour have its foreign language film nomination. Clearly it belonged there. But in actual BP? No.

  63. CMG
    February 18, 2013

    As a Haneke partisan, I do think the movie is magnificent but I also feel like by being a bit more accessible and less maddeningly complex and arresting as The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, and Cache, that this film was a coronation over a body of work. Not unlike the Malick/Tree of Life BD/BP nomination (except this is Haneke at his most accessible versus Malick having, even for its supporters, a very inaccessible film). Let’s not deny it was BP worthy. How many foreign films score big box office? How many foreign films with two of the leads in the 80s score at the box office? And don’t give me The Artist as some example of a foreign film doing good business, the whole wink and nod about that this was a film from Europe doing old Hollywood was part of the film itself. It is doing fine business in the art house, specialty circuit that is only available in cities. It was never going to break for bank.

  64. OCO 300
    February 18, 2013

    How is it that Skyfall won for Outstanding British Film at the British Academy Film Awards, but got snubbed out of thre Best Picture nominees of the Academy Awards?

  65. JLaw!
    February 18, 2013

    Ha, a true masochist would watch Silver Linings Playbook.

    That was a true horror show to witness.

  66. SCLUB8OFFICIAL
    February 18, 2013

    @PaulH

    “It took a Best Picture nomination away from an American movie (TDKR? Avengers? Moonrise Kingdom?)”

    It took it away from a british film too (Skyfall)……just like last year (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2).

  67. Edkargir
    February 18, 2013

    Paul H , Amour deserved to be nominated.i hope more foreign films get nominated In the future. Paul don’t worry the academy will never give bp to a film totally not in English . Couching tiger ,hidden dragon should have won in 2000 over gladiator .

  68. alan of montreal
    February 18, 2013

    Sally, Life of Pi is really one of those films (like Avatar) that you need to see in 3D. I know the glasses are annoying (I wear glasses, and I always have to readjust the 3D glasses that I have to fit over them throughout the movie), but they really did an amazing job filming this in 3D. It truly is immersive–you won’t be disappointed!

  69. OCO 300
    February 18, 2013

    @Christophe

    Christophe……Christophe?! I’m not even going to ask.

    It was a great year for films that’s favored by billions of people, but the films that were favored by the Academy……eh…..better than last year.

    Let me guess, did you wanted Dark Knight Rises to be nominated for Best Film….or the Avengers?

  70. alan of montreal
    February 18, 2013

    Perhaps there needs to be a film awards that is truly international. If you think about it, the Oscars is really the USA film industry’s awards that invites a few foreigners to the party every now and then (which is why they have a “foreign language” category). Someone with the power, money, and energy should set up an international awards whose membership is comprised of people in the industry from around the world, with quotas limiting membership of mega-countries such as the US so that the balance doesn’t tip in anyone’s favour. This, of course, is unlikely ever to happen, but one can dream.

  71. SCLUB8OFFICIAL
    February 18, 2013

    @alan of montreal

    If WrestleMania was a film awards instead of a pro wrestling ppv, that might work…..but you have to change the name?

  72. PaulH
    February 18, 2013

    Edkargir, we agree on CTHD. That was a once in a generation great movie, and should’ve beaten Gladiator. I do appreciate foreign films. I just ordered the Criterion Blu of Seven Samurai.

    But Alan, what good is it if you have an immersive 3D if you don’t understand the plot? Nobody’s been able to explain in a spoiler-free way just what the heck this movie is about. It’s a bloody miracle Pi made as much dough as it did here. Overseas, they got what Lee was giving them. But I just wonder if it the book were more accessible, say like Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games, that Pi could’ve made so much more.

  73. February 18, 2013

    Nobody’s been able to explain in a spoiler-free way just what the heck this movie is about.

    Most people don’t need Life of Pi explained to them, with or without spoilers. If you don’t get it, if you’re not interested in thinking it out for yourself, that not the fault of the film. $600 million says quite a few people don’t need Bert and Ernie to act out Life of Pi for Dummies in order to glean their own meaning from it.

    But I just wonder if it the book were more accessible, say like Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games

    The Hunger Games was written at grade school reading level. (Age Group: 12 years and up. Accelerated Reader (AR) Level: 5th grade)

    There’s a place for that (that place is called Grade School and Middle School). I’m glad not all authors try to dumb down their novels so that any 5th grader can follow them.

  74. brendon
    February 19, 2013

    Yep, definitely sack Amour for The Hunger Games. Fucking LOL.

  75. rufussondheim
    February 19, 2013

    Well, I think Life of Pi (the book) is pretty dumbed down if you look at it from a technical grade-level perspective. Yann Martel ain’t no David Foster Wallace, that’s for sure.

  76. Tero Heikkinen
    February 19, 2013

    Rufus, did you ever read the Helsinki-something by Martel? I am curious. Maybe there is something about Finland.

  77. February 19, 2013

    Well, I think Life of Pi (the book) is pretty dumbed down if you look at it from a technical grade-level perspective.

    We’re talking about more than vocabulary. We’re specifically comparing two books. The Hunger Games — written as straightforward a YA novel. vs. Life of Pi — certainly within the comprehension grasp of tweens but obviously written for more mature readers.

    Infinite Jest ain’t no Gravity’s Rainbow. But that’s not the game we’re playing today.

  78. rufussondheim
    February 20, 2013

    Ryan, this touches on a touchy subject (how’s that for a shittily written sentence!) with me. As I’ve said before, I work in a restaurant, and because of this there are about five or six high school seniors in my orbit at any given time, some are smarter, some are not.

    This past summer, Life of Pi was given out as the summer reading assignment for the non-advanced English students at the local high school. Personally, I think this is a terrible assignment. Yes, the character is age-appropriate, yes the reading level is age-appropriate, but really, would a 17 year old who wasn’t into reading enjoy this book on any level. Well, the two kids at the restaurant who read the book didn’t care for it at all.

    (Meanwhile, the advanced English kids were assigned Hamlet, 1984, and something else I wasn’t familiar with and can no longer recall).

    Now, the Hunger Games is too simple for high school seniors so I’m not saying that’s a good option either, but certainly there must be middle ground. I just got done reading The Fault in our Stars by John Green, a YA novel that’s remarkably good. When reading it, it can be a little aggravating because it’s not as “intellectual” as, say David Mitchell, but damn, it’s so well-written. So many great sentences, so many great passages, some great characters and there’s a lot to chew on that’s extremely relatable to high school students (the story centers around a 16 year old girl with terminal cancer.) Granted, this is a new book and hasn’t had time to circulate into the cirriculum yet, but surely this isn’t the first great YA novel.

    What I’m saying is, that educators (of which I was one back in the day) try to foist too much onto students. We want them to read, so why not give them books they can enjoy, books that will want them to read more. The Life of Pi is just not that book, not for 17 year olds disinterested in reading. And if I had to choose between Life of Pi and The Hunger Games to teach in a high school, I would definitely teach the Hunger Games. It might be simple, but at least I know my students would be engaged in the subject material, and that’s a godsend in my opinion.

  79. rufussondheim
    February 20, 2013

    Tero, I have not read anyting else by Martel.

  80. February 20, 2013

    Ryan, this touches on a touchy subject

    so long as you and I both remain aware that everyfuckingthing you and I touch on lately seems to be a touchy subject

    Thanks for The Fault in our Stars recommendation

    it can be a little aggravating because it’s not as “intellectual” as, say David Mitchell, but damn, it’s so well-written.

    It’s always impossible for me to recommend anything to you that you haven’t already read when it was still in galleys

    but my favorite YA novel of the past several years is Black Swan Green — oddly enough, by David Mitchell

    (stranger still, I came across Black Swan Green before I knew who David Mitchell was. I read Black Swan Green several months before I was aware of Cloud Atlas).

  81. February 20, 2013

    And if I had to choose between Life of Pi and The Hunger Games to teach in a high school, I would definitely teach the Hunger Games.

    I agree.

    But I don’t know how this turned into a discussion of High School curriculum.

    PaulH said, “Maybe if Life of Pi was as dumb as The Hunger Games more people could understand it.” (I might be paraphrasing)

    so I was responding to that, and only that. I pointed out the plain fact: The Hunger Games is written for 12-yr-olds and I’m sure as hell happy that Hollywood sometimes aims for richer literary reading levels than that.

  82. steve50
    February 20, 2013

    Anything that engages kids to read should be used. Movie adaptations help in that more young readers may pick up a copy of Cloud Atlas, Anna Karenina, etc., just because their curiosity was piqued. Sometimes starting with the movie, then hitting the book works.

    If Hollywood wants a real challenge – J. Littel’s just short of 1,000 pager The Kindly Ones. It would be a mash-up of Stalingrad/Holy Motors/The Pianist. Brilliant book, but no way I’d plop that in front of a 12 year old.

    Dumb books make more accessible movies, as a rule, but it’s admirable when a director puts it all out there to aim higher, even though the odds are against them.

  83. February 20, 2013

    Dumb books make more accessible movies

    Even for grownups. (just trying to steer this away from focusing on what kind of movies and books appeal to kids because, oops erp, I don’t even care about that).

    Difficult books don’t become best sellers because, well, we all know why.

  84. steve50
    February 20, 2013

    Best example – The Godfather. Pulpiest novel I’ve ever read becomes one of the greatest films ever made.

  85. rufussondheim
    February 20, 2013

    Yeah, I hadn’t read Cloud Atlas until that five minute trailer came out, then I knew I had to read the book. And, later, I came across an article that discussed how teenagers are no longer interested in The Catcher in the Rye. The article writer argued that technology has advanced so much (and thinking back on the book, I tend to agree) that young people these days can’t grasp important facets of the novel readily.

    So the article writer suggested Number9Dream by David Mitchell as a replacement. So I promptly read it, intrigued. And it’s a very good book. But not for teenagers. And not for today’s teenagers as the book was clearly inspired by the John Lennon song. Plus, it’s just a difficult read at times.

    But I will now read all of Mitchell’s work. He’s a fascinating author willing to take huge risks that often pay off. I can’t recommend him highly enough at this point. Although Ron Rash and Haruki Murakami appear to be slightly better amongst my recent discoveries.

  86. rufussondheim
    February 20, 2013

    And if you want to start a thread in which we agree with each other on everything Ryan, start one on how terribly written Silver Linings Playbook is. I know we’ve discussed it over and over again, but it’s always fun to trash that sloppily written used condom of a movie.

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