'Nebraska,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis' could see increased theater traffic
With the Oscar nominations less than a week away, some films that have stalled so far at the box office, including “Nebraska” and “Her,” could see another potential boost in theater traffic after the Hollywood Foreign Press hands out its Golden Globes at Sunday’s event.
The list of films that stand the best chance to benefit from a Globes win is relatively short since most have been in theaters nationwide for several weeks, if not months, such as “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle,” “Gravity” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
For a film like “August: Osage County,” which only just began to stretch its legs in theaters, wins for either Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts could help what pique audience interest for both actresses’ highly regarded performances.
But this year’s list of potential winners, particularly in the best picture (musical-comedy) category still has a few top contenders poised to break out:
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Though it missed out on a best picture nomination, “Dallas Buyers Club,” which has grossed nearly $17 million and counting, scored two other nods for lead actor (Matthew McConaughey) and supporting actor (Jared Leto), both of whom have considerable momentum going into the Globes. “Dallas” has been in theaters for 11 weeks, with an expansion to 700-plus theaters in its sixth frame.
Takeaway: Wins for either McConaughey or Leto would remind moviegoers of the film, though Focus would need to bump up the location count to see significant results. The distrib may not feel it’s worth spending the money, however.
“Her” — Warner Bros. didn’t release Spike Jonze’s “Her” until after the film received its three bids for picture (musical-comedy), actor and screenplay. In fact, the studio has kept the release small up until this weekend, when it broadened “Her” to 1,729 locations. The aggressive expansion, which yielded just $5.4 million in three days, doesn’t bode well for the film going forward though Globes or Oscars might help.
Takeaway: Awards mentions would help validate “Her,” which is an otherwise tricky sell about a man who falls in love with his computer operating system.
“Inside Llewyn Davis” — Nominated for three awards, including picture (musical-comedy) and actor, the Coen brothers’ lastest film just this weekend surpassed the domestic gross of their 2012 Oscar-nominated “A Serious Man,” with $9.3 million. CBS Films added 573 theaters to the pic’s domestic run on Friday. “Davis” has been in theaters for six weeks now.
Takeaway: A win in any category would help make “Inside Llewyn Davis” top-of-mind again for moviegoers.
“Nebraska” — Also nominated in the picture (musical-comedy) category, Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” received the second-most nominations with five. That said, the film has struggled to generate much general interest, despite an aggressive marketing campaign by Paramount. “Nebraska” failed to crack $1 million this weekend, playing at more than 500 locations. Pic has cumed just $8.2 million domestically.
Takeaway: The film’s sheer number of nominations means “Nebraska” has supporters in the HFPA, though translating that support to the podium (and then into theaters) is far less certain.
“Philomena” – A surprise contender for many in the picture (drama) category, “Philomena” also scored two additional noms for Judi Dench in the lead actress category and screenplay. The Weinstein Co. released the film over Thanksgiving weekend before expanding it the following frame to more than 800 theaters.
Takeaway: “Philomena” has done well so far, grossing more than $20 million domestically, though filling up its tank with wins at the Globes should help push the film’s B.O. journey even further.