This Week in Box Office History: Oscar Bump?

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This Week in Box Office History

We’ve put the old year to bed, so time to take a look at what 2015 has to offer us at the cinema.  We’re going for a leaner format this time around:  just the numbers and a look at our reasoning behind them.  This week we get an added wrinkle due to the fact that this morning the Academy  just released their Oscar nominations.  Several potential winners are on the list this week, but will the prospect of a little golden statue help them out?  Let’s see.

The Week That Was:  (Actual/Predicted)

It's incredibly rude to shoot somebody will on your cell phone.
It’s incredibly rude to shoot somebody while on your cell phone.  Just saying.

1.  Taken 3  (39 million/ NA)

2.  Selma  (11 million/ NA)

3.  Into the Woods (9 million/ NA)

Taken 3 blew out the competition this week…which is not so big a feat as it may appear, since there were no other new movie wide releases.  Still, Luc Besson and Liam Neeson managed to hold their ground the third time around with this franchise, falling off only slightly from Taken 2‘s opening weekend of 49 million.  Selma bumped up from limited release screening into a full blown wide release, and seems to have struggled to find an audience.  It’s only marginally better off than 12 Years a Slave was after it jumped to wide release (and 12 Years released on half as many screens) and is lagging well behind films like Lincoln and The Butler.  A long MLK Jr. weekend may help its prospects, as well as some fresh wind in the sails due to a Best Picture nod.selma

The Week That Will Be: (Predicted)

The heart warming tale of the killingest dude in America.  Wait...what!?
The heart-warming tale of the killing-est dude in America. Wait…what!?

3.  Taken 3 (21 million)

2.  The Wedding Ringer  (25 million)

1.  American Sniper  (40 million)

American Sniper may be the only film to see a true bounce due to the Oscar nominations.  It may be hard to detect though, since this film has been tearing up its limited release earnings, and was pretty much bound to open well in wide release.  Still, Best Film and Best Actor nods always help.  Selma may see some added love, but will probably only manage to age gracefully, holding steady in the 10 million range, sadly not enough to crack the list.  Kevin Hart has been a hard man to beat at the box office, and last year at this time he was setting records with Ride Along.  Expect another strong opening.  Finally, Taken 3 should fend off newcomer Paddington for the third spot, as even with a 60% drop in cash, it should stay above the 17 million threshold that seems to be the norm for kid’s movies featuring British characters.

Random Thoughts

The Oscar nominations for Best Picture will most likely have the most heft when it comes to adding revenue to a film.  That will come as cold comfort for several of the nominees, since The Grand Budapest, Birdman, Boyhood and Whiplash are all pretty much out of the theaters (some are even already available for streaming at this point.)  Selma and The Imitation Game will likely benefit the most, as they are still quite active at the box office.  Sorry, The Theory of Everything, I think you’re going to get the same treatment as last year’s Nebraska…a nice nod for the effort, but very little in the way of commercial success.  Look forward to a more in depth look at the Oscar action when we do our February Oscar month features!

Thanks for nothing, Oscar!
Thanks for nothing, Oscar!

Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo.  Used with permission.

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