erik lundegaard

Sunday January 13, 2013

Hollywood B.O.: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Grosses More This Weekend than 'Hurt Locker' In Its Entire Run

Sorry about the word “gross.”

“Zero Dark Thirty,” the controversial film from Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, about the search for and the killing of Osama bin Laden, which opened in five theaters in NY and LA in December, went to 60 last weekend (inculding one here in Seattle), and went superwide (2,937 theaters) this weekend, was No. 1 at the box office with a $24 milion haul. That's $7 million more than “The Hurt Locker,” Bigelow and Boal's previous film, made in its entire 2009 run.

Two 2013 films, meanwhile, “A Haunted House” (10% on Rotten Tomatoes) and “Gangster Squad” (34%), finished second and third, respectively, with $18 and $16 million.

The good news is that more than half the Oscar nominees for best picture continue to do well at the box office. Here are their total grosses:

Lincoln $152,579,000
Django Unchained $125,399,000
Les Miserables
Argo $111,645,000
Life of Pi $94,781,000
Silver Linings Playbook $41,306,000
Zero Dark Thirty $29,481,000
Beasts of the Southern Wild $11,249,128
Amour $652,000

How does this compare with previous years? Last year, only one best picture nominee grossed more than $100 million: “The Help” at $169 million. 2010 had five, including good box office from movies that focused on self-destructive ballet dancers, drunk cowboys and stuttering kings, while the movie about the asshole techie topped out at $97 mil. 2009 also had five, including the biggee, “Avatar,” which grossed $749 million domestic, a record for any film.

What 2012 does not have is a best picture nominee in the top 10. “Lincoln” is currently at No. 16 for the year. To get in the top 10 it has to gross another $65 million. 2011 didn't have a top 10 film, either: “The Help” topped at No. 13.

So basically we we're back to where we were before the Academy rewrote its rules in 2009 and nominated more than five pictures. We're back to a time when we don't really see best picture nominees. At least at the theater.

The first two years with the rewritten rules, yes, we got popular fare nominated: top 10 pics like “Avatar,” “Up,” “The Blind Side,” “Toy Story 3” and “Inception.” But then the rules were rewritten again. I forget how they changed. Instead of the top 10 nominees you had to garner at least 5 percent of the vote. Something like that. With a limit of 10.

We've gotten nine films each with the new rules, including critically lauded and little-seen films such as “The Tree of Life” and “Amour.” But not top 10 stuff. The divergence continues.

Here are the weekend numbers.

Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty"

Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty”: the only thing worse than being talked about...

Posted at 02:08 PM on Sunday January 13, 2013 in category Movies - Box Office  
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