Sunday Update: Official domestic weekend estimates/domestic cumes for Best Pic nominees:
Zero Dark Thirty: $24 million/$29.5 million
Django Unchained: $11.1 million/$125.4 million
Les Miserables: $10.1 million/$119.2 million
Lincoln: $6.3 million/$152.6 million
Silver Linings Playbook: $5 million/$41.3 million
Life of Pi: $2.7 million/$94.8 million
Saturday Update: 6 of the 9 Best Picture nominees are still very much in play theatrically. Here's what we're projecting they'll make this weekend:
Zero Dark Thirty: $26 million, pushing its domestic cume to $31.5 million
Django Unchained: $11.7 million for a domestic cume of $126 million
Les Miserables: $9.5 million/$118.6 million domestic cume
Lincoln: $6.5 million/$152.8 million domestic cume
Silver Linings Playbook: $5.1 million/$41.4 million domestic cume
Life of Pi: $2.4 million/$94.6 million domestic cume
Thursday Update: Every year the Oscar nominations bring in a new wave of business to movie theaters as film snobs and casual moviegoers alike rush out to see the the major contenders in time for the ceremony. Certain films are well positioned to post financial gains based on where they are in the release cycle, while others have already faded. Here are five films that stand to benefit the most this year:
Zero Dark Thirty
Sony's decision to release Kathryn Bigelow's drama to more than 2,400 locations a day after the nominations announcement is a brilliantly calculated move. We're currently predicting an impressive $24.6 million haul for ZDT this coming weekend, which means the Sony release could easily reach $100 million domestically. ZDT should also perform well overseas. Key openings include the UK (Jan. 25), Australia (Jan. 31), Germany (Jan. 31) and Italy (February 7).
Silver Linings Playbook
After dominating the last two years with The King's Speech and The Artist, Harvey Weinstein's best shot at Oscar gold this year comes in the form of a quirky dramedy from David O. Russell (The Fighter). Weinstein won't go down without a fight even though Silver Linings Playbook is, at best, a dark horse contender for Best Picture at this stage. Expect a heavy marketing blitz designed to push Silver Linings Playbook well beyond its current $47.9 million global cume. Major commercial benefit: Silver Linings Playbook is uplifting while many of its fellow Best Picture nominees are downers.
Steven Spielberg's historical drama doesn't need any help at the box office, but it's going to get it anyway. Lincoln has already tallied $145 million domestically, and the fact that it's quickly emerging as the heavy favorite to win Best Picture means that $175 million looks like a sure thing. (Could it hit $200 million? We won't rule it out...) Oscar attention will also help Lincoln overseas. Key release dates include Italy (Jan. 24), Germany (Jan. 24) and the UK (Jan. 25).
Director Tom Hooper's musical is already a must-see for many moviegoer, so a slew of Oscar nods is just icing on the cake. The Universal release has already tallied more than $185 million globally. We're thinking that $300 million looks realistic at this point.
Michael Haneke's latest is the foreign film that will benefit the most this year from Oscar attention. The Sony Pictures Classics release should hit at least $5 million in North America while continuing to build upon its overseas total of more than $13 million. That's more than enough bank for a no-frills director such as Haneke.