'Social Network,' 'King’s Speech' to See Box Office Bounce After Golden Globes

Merrick Morton/2010 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group

"Winning helps because it draws attention to the film among people who otherwise might not be thinking about it,” Searchlight’s Sheila DeLoach tells THR.

A bevy of films are poised to benefit at the box office from Golden Globe wins—even The Social Network, which is still playing in about 300 theaters domestically and overseas in Japan.

Still in the heart of their box office runs are Barney’s Version, Black Swan, The Fighter and The King’s Speech, all of which picked up top Globe performance awards.

Distributors often calibrate their release plans to major award events, such as the Globes, hoping for a victory. About 17 million viewers watched Sunday’s show.

The Weinstein Co. held off until the eve of the Globes to expand King’s Speech nationwide. Film did impressive business, grossing an estimated $11.2 million from 1,543 theaters over the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend for a cume of $46.7 million and placing No. 4.

Colin Firth’s Globe win for best actor in a drama further ups King Speech’s profile. Both King’s Speech and Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan are already crossover hits, having broadened their reach beyond the traditional arthouse crowd.

Black Swan—earning Natalie Portman a Globe for best actress in a drama—ended the four-day holiday weekend with a cume of $75.2 million as it expanded from roughly 1,550 theaters to 2,328. Film came in No. 5, grossing $10.4 million.

“I think winning a Golden Globe helps because it draws attention to the film among people who otherwise might not be thinking about it,” Searchlight’s Sheila DeLoach said.

While Paramount and Relativity Media’s The Fighter has been doing solid box office business, it’s been out of the spotlight. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo’s respective Globe wins for best supporting actor/actress in a drama could boost grosses.

The Fighter placed No. 9 over the holiday weekend, grossing $6.2 million from 2,414 theaters for a cume of $66.8 million.

Sony Pictures Classics waited until the weekend of the Globes to officially launch Barney’s Version, which had a brief qualifying run in December. Paul Giamatti stars in the indie film, and won a Globe for best actor in a musical or a comedy.

Barney’s Version scored the best per theater average of the holiday weekend, grossing $85,241 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for an average of $21,310. Cume is $114,285, including the qualifying run.

Social Network, which picked up the most top Globe awards, came out on DVD earlier this month. Some theater owners are still willing to play the film, but the country’s largest exhibitor, Regal, won’t.

Over the weekend, Social Network grossed an estimated $435,000 from 300 theaters domestically and another $2.3 million overseas, where it opened in Japan. Film jumped the $200 million mark worldwide, with a cume of $202 million through Sunday.

Sony execs said it’s possible that Social Network will increase its screen count in the U.S. They also pointed out that the Globe victories could help with DVD sales.

Sony’s The Green Hornet  came in No. 1 over the holiday weekend, debuting to $40 million from 3,584 theaters. Overseas, the 3D pic grossed roughly $16 million.

Domestically, Green Hornet nabbed the second-best gross for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday after Paramount’s Cloverfield, which grossed north of $46 million in 2008.

Coming in No. 2 was Ron Howard’s Vince Vaughn/Kevin James comedy The Dilemma. The Universal pic debuted to a disappointing $21.1 million from 2,940 theaters.

Revenues were down a steep 25% from last year, when Avatar and The Book of Eli  dominated.

True Grit may have been shut out of the Globes—film didn’t receive any nominations—but it continued to do well at the box office. The Paramount pic came in No. 3 behind Hornet and Dilemma, grossing an estimated $13.1 million over the four-day weekend for a cume of $128.3 million.

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