While the Independent Spirit Award announces their nominations earlier than anyone else, they only handed the awards last night.
The two big winners were Little Miss Sunshine and Half Nelson, but both have to be seen as underdogs for tonight's Oscars.
Despite having seven new releases to chart this week, only one of them made it to the top five. However, that film was The Departed and it dominated both the rental and the sales chart. It took in $9.86 million in rentals during its first week of releases pushing Flags of Our Fathers into second place with $6.33 million.
In terms of raw numbers, this isn't as busy a week as last, but there are a lot more releases worthy of discussing, including several that I rate highly.
The short-lived series Grosse Pointe - The Complete Series - Buy from Amazon gets its wide release after being an Amazon exclusive since November.
Half Nelson - Buy from Amazon comes up just in time for Oscar buzz to reach its peak.
Meanwhile, ... So Goes the Nation - Buy from Amazon should get the political junkies all worked up.
However, the clear winner of the DVD Pick of the Week is The Departed - 2-Disc Special Edition.
My only concern is the likelihood of a super special edition coming out after it wins several Oscars.
nominations were handed out today and for the most part they've followed the script written by previous awards committees fairly closely.
The Screen Actors Guide
handed out their nominations yesterday and of the 5 theatrical categories, there were more than a dozen films to pick up at least one nomination.
As always, Award Season officially begins with the announcing of the Independent Spirit Award
nominations. While this is the first major awards to announce their nominations, they are one of the last to hand them out so the nominees have a long wait ahead of them.
The Queen was crowned champion of the per theatre charts this weekend after it earned an astounding $122,000 in 3 theatres for an average of $40,671. Even more impressive is the fact that it earned that in just two days as Friday's debut was actually part of the New York Film Festival and not a theatrical release. Second place went to another regally titled film, The Last King of Scotland; this film brought in $143,000 in 4 theatres for an average of $35,725. Even more impressive is the fact that it opened on Wednesday, which undoubtedly kept its weekend box office lower than it otherwise would have been. Both films seemed poised to earn some measure of mainstream success, which will really help their chances come awards season.
There were two other films to top $10,000 on the per theatre charts, Old Joy at $13,029 and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints at $11,848.
Red Doors earned top spot on the per theatre charts after starting its theatrical run with just over $35,000 in its two theatres for an average of $17,525. Hopefully this will allow the film to expand in the coming weeks. Man Push Cart was the only other film to top $10,000 as it took in $13,694 in its lone theatre.
The Illusionist was able to climb to the top of the per theatre charts this week despite seeing its theatre count nearly triple. The film's average of $12,745 was significantly, but not overwhelmingly ahead of second place Suicide Killers, which earned $10,601 in its lone theatre. Half Nelson, which led the charts the previous two weeks, slipped to third but still managed to maintain its $10,000 per theatre average with nearly $211,000 in 21 theatres for an average of $10,036.
Half Nelson was able to remain on top of the per theatre charts, barely, with an average of $18,755 in three theatres.
That was less than $1,000 ahead of the second place film, The Illusionist and its $18,195 average; that figure is made even more impressive by the film's 51 theatre count, which is very high for a limited release and usually causes serious problems because the distributor can't do national advertising, but local advertising in lots of markets becomes very expensive.
For the third weekend in a row, The Wedding Curse's average topped $10,000 as it earned just over $50,000 in 3 theatres for an average of $17,271. Another holdover rounded out the list of $10,000 films as Viva Pedro saw its box office dip less than 24% to $10,227 in its lone theatre.
More than ten limited releases on this week's list including a couple that should earn some measure of mainstream success, Conversations with Other Women
and Half Nelson
. While the Canadian
release, Bon Cop, Bad Cop, could break records north of the border.
The torrid pace of website updates continues with more than 30 films on this week's list. There were a few sites that really caught my eye, but it was Trust the Man
- Official Site
and its interactive map of New York City and its more than 2 dozen clips that won the Weekly Website Award.
Third week in a row where the number of sites featured on this list has topped 30. With such a busy week it would take something different to win the award, and that's something Michel Gondry
excels at delivering giving The Science of Sleep
- Official Site
the Weekly Website Award.
Another big week for movie sites with several excellent entries. In this crowded field there were a lot of sites that showed promise and could be just one big update away from winning the award. But this week the best of the best was World Trade Center
- Official Site
. Let's hope that the movie can live up to the site.