Mature field measures its Oscar bump

'Playbook' finds silver lining at box office

It was a sleepy box office weekend over the Feb. 22-24 frame, except, not surprisingly, for a select few Oscar contenders, led by the Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” which collected $5.8 million, down just 8% for a domestic cume of $109 million through Feb. 27.

“Silver Linings” has been the most resilient B.O. player among last year’s Oscar pic nominees, though a few others, like Fox’s “Life of Pi” and Disney-DreamWorks’ “Lincoln,” also have shown strong legs. Most recently, “Pi” collected $1.6 million, up 2% over the previous weekend for a cume of $114.4 million Stateside, while “Lincoln” fell just 9% for a weekend take of $1.5 million and a cume of nearly $180 million.

The last gasp before the Oscarcast usually is robust for the pic contenders. This year, however, the B.O. bumps have been more reserved, since six of the nominated pics have cumed $100 million or more domestically. Still, the slight weekend-to-weekend drops for those nominees is more impressive given their already stellar grosses.

Pic winner “Argo,” in its 20th week going into the Oscars, fell just 16% for a three-day gross of $1.8 million and a Stateside cume of $129 million through Oscar Sunday. Warner Bros. expanded the film to 985 locations, up by 183, the weekend after the Oscars, hoping to capitalize on the victory.

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