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2008 Academy Award Nominations

Academy Awards statueThe nominations for the were announced bright and early Tuesday morning from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  Assuming the ceremony goes on as scheduled, you can see the live broadcast Sunday, February 24th on .

Notable additions/omissions from today’s announcement:

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2008 Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations (Film)

Thanks to an interim waiver granted by the , the telecast will air as scheduled on Sunday, January 27.  Since plans for the and the are still up in the air, this could be most viewed awards show in quite some time.

This year’s film nominees are:

Viggo Mortensen Eastern PromisesOUTSTANDING LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE

  • George Clooney, Michael Clayton
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
  • Ryan Gosling, Lars And The Real Girl
  • Emile Hirsch, Into The Wild
  • Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

OUTSTANDING LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCE

  • Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  • Julie Christie, Away From Her
  • Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
  • Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
  • Ellen Page, Juno

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AFI’s Top Films of 2007

The , probably best known its ‘100 Greatest’ countdowns, has just selected their top films of this year.  Unlike the other lists we have seen on television, this particular grouping does not include rankings nor does it highlight a winner.

Before the Devil Knows You're DeadThe AFI Movies of the Year are:

  • Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • Into the Wild
  • Juno
  • Knocked Up
  • Michael Clayton
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Ratatouille
  • The Savages
  • There Will Be Blood

(You can find the AFI’s list of Top Shows here.)

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2008 Golden Globe Nominations (Film)

Assuming the ongoing doesn’t put a wrench into everyone’s plans, the 65th Annual ceremony is scheduled to air on Sunday, Jan. 13th. (The telecast will come just 9 days prior to the nominations.)

Here are the most notable omissions/additions in this year’s list of film honorees:
Atonement

(Click below for the full list of film nominees; click here for the TV nominations.)

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‘No Country for Old Men’ Earns Big Honor

No Country for Old MenAlthough there’s a large slate of movies yet to be released, the National Board of Review kicked off awards season this week with its list of honorees.  film, , walked away with NBR’s prize for Best Film along with two other categories.

The NBR is not necessarily known for predicting success.  Nevertheless, the group consisting of educators, historians and film industry professionals did select and as its winners last year.

Here’s a list of the 2007 NBR honorees.  Even if you can’t use these selections in your betting pool, you now know which films you should become familiar with:

Box Office Breakdown: A Gangbusters Weekend for Washington, Crowe

American Gangster

Combine and star-wattage and you’re bound to get a hit.  But did anyone expect a $43 million debut for ?  Why did these Oscar-winners do so well when others have only done okay?  How did an R-rated film beat out an animated PG flick?  Why didn’t the movie’s long running-time (157 minutes) turn people away?

Gangster’s #1 spot was just one of the film’s many weekend achievements.  The movie also marked the biggest opening weekend for both lead actors (Russell’s Gladiator earned $35 million; Washington’s Inside Man grossed $29 million).  It also had the 2nd best debut for a drama in November (right behind 2002’s 8 Mile).

Unfortunately, all this good news was lost on comedian —the hardest working self-promoter of 2007.  Even though spent countless hours of airtime sucking up to its former Golden Boy, Seinfeld’s was stung with a 2nd place finish.  Although $38 million take is nothing to complain about, I expect next week’s will slide right in to become the week’s best-grossing comedy.

 

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Box Office Breakdown: Saw Slices Its Way to #1

Saw IV

This weekend’s success of proved that ‘torture porn’ is very much alive and well…at least right before All Hallows Eve.  (Apparently originality is not a prerequisite when you’re in the haunting mood.)  The horror series, which took in $55 million domestically when it debuted in 2004, bloodied the competition with its recent $31 million take.  It will now likely hit the $80 million mark the last two installments surpassed.

Although , lagged behind with only $11 million, the film at least managed to place second.  Hopefully Dan will have legs in the weeks to come; it’s a nice counter-programming option for those desperately seeking romance on their date nights.  Those hunting for acceptable kids fare may have it a bit harder though—- which probably explains why has remained firmly planted in the Top Five.

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Box Office Breakdown: 30 Days of Night Sucks Up the Competition

30 Days of Night

I never thought I would ever find myself writing this:  ‘A Josh Hartnett-led film has opened at #1.’  Of course, he did have a little help from a vampire or two..

The horror film, , had an impressive debut for what was actually an unimpressive weekend.  With only $16 million, the Alaskan-set vampire flick beat out a host of movies filled with Oscar-nominated stars.  Ben Affleck’s well-reviewed directorial debut, , opened up in 6th place.  , starring are-they-or-aren’t-they-dating Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal, barely cracked the Top Ten.  Meanwhile, placed a dismal 15th despite the presence of Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro (and promotion on Oprah).

The success of 30 Days and the surprise return of - which placed 8th even though it was only in 564 theaters - clearly spells out the audience’s need for some Halloween fare.  This bodes well for the release of which opens next weekend.  (Yay!)

 

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Box Office Breakdown: Tyler Perry vs. George Clooney

Michael Clayton

This weekend saw , , and all fighting for your box office dollars—so who would have thought would come out the big winner?

Even though two of his last three films opened with impressive numbers, very few predicted the writer/actor/producer/director would topple the competition.  Now the number crunchers know better.  Though the debut underperformed 2005’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman ($21.9 million) and 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion ($30 million), Tyler Perry’s still scored $10 million more than its nearest competitor.

Additionally surprising was the lasting success of Disney’s .  The film finally dropped one notch to #2 in its third week—also beating out and .  Although kid-friendly fare is rarity these days, the movie’s ability to remain so strong is quite impressive.

 

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In Theaters This Weekend (10/12)

Elizabeth

Here are some possible suggestions for your upcoming weekend:

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