- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
In recent years, there has been a disturbing dissonance between Oscar voters and movie-goers when it comes to top nominations. Many of the best picture nominees just never caught on at the box office. This time, it’s the opposite as moviegoers are wholeheartedly embracing a number of awards darlings. And Oscar nominations haven’t even been announced.
It’s a refreshing change and reminds Hollywood studios that adult dramas aren’t the devil in disguise. Over New Year’s weekend, four awards front-runners made the top 10 at the domestic box office, led by Paramount’s True Grit, the sleeper hit of the Christmas season.
“It may only be a coincidence, and I don’t know if it’s a long-term trend, but it definitely says there is a big upside for intelligent movies,” says indie veteran Howard Cohen of Roadside Attractions, which enjoyed a victory of its own during the summer as Winter’s Bone did outsize business for an art house play.
The Coen brothers’ True Grit has been coming in at No. 1 during the first week of the new year, grossing $91.4 million in its first 15 days. It’s a stunning showing for a Western.
The cume for Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan hit $48.9 million by Jan. 4. The Fox Searchlight film has performed more strongly than anyone expected for a moody psychosexual drama set in the ballet world.
The Fighter, from Paramount and Relativity, is another box-office champ in the form of a gritty, R-rated boxing drama. By Jan. 4, its domestic total was almost on par at $47.8 million.
Historical dramas can be especially tough, but The King’s Speech from the Weinstein Co. is having no trouble translating its worth to moviegoers. Currently playing on only 700 screens, the film’s cume is already at $22.9 million.
And don’t forget The Social Network, which has bested them all with $93.3 million domestically since its Oct. 1 bow and $104 million overseas for a global total of nearly $200 million. “It is invigorating,” Cohen confesses.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day