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Oscars give pair box office bump

"Artist,""Descendents" continue strong run

In the run-up to the 84th Oscars telecast, two multiple-nominated pics continued their stalwart domestic runs.

The Weinstein Co.’s “The Artist” nabbed just shy of $3 million from Feb. 17-20, pushing the silent pic’s Stateside tally north of $28 million, while “The Descendants,” from Fox Searchlight, grossed $3.5 million over the same frame for a cume of $75.6 million domestically.

“The Artist,” which received 10 noms, including picture, director and actor for Jean Dujardin, has been steadily building at the B.O. — boosted by strong perfs in markets outside New York and Los Angeles. The pic actually gained 8% during the three-day frame (its 13th) vs. the previous weekend at the same number of domestic locations — 808.

“The Descendants,” meanwhile, became helmer Alexander Payne’s highest-grossing Stateside release, and Fox Searchlight’s fourth-highest, surpassing 2004’s “Sideways” ($71.5 million). The George Clooney-starrer, which earned the thesp his third lead actor nom, received four other nods: picture, director, adapted screenplay and film editing.

Both films have amassed noteworthy overseas hauls as well. After 19 weeks, “The Artist” is approaching $45 million (pic first launched Oct. 12 in France), while “Descendants,” released internationally by Fox Intl., is nearing $70 million in just six weeks.

“The Artist” has been released in 31 markets outside the U.S.; “The Descendants” is playing in 50 territories.

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