Golden Globes still spur B.O.

'Atonement,' 'Blood' feel effects of wins

Even without the traditional Golden Globes ceremony, a win apparently still means something.

Several of the victorious films enjoyed a box office bump in the wake of the Jan. 13 announcements.

Focus Features distribution prexy Jack Foley said ticket sales for “Atonement” (best drama pic) jumped 18% on Monday, Jan. 14, and stayed up by 11%-12% for the rest of the week.

Paramount Vantage’s “There Will Be Blood,” featuring a Globe-winning perf by Daniel Day-Lewis, also saw nice gains.

Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, the pic expanded from 129 to 389 locations and grossed an estimated $3.5 million over the four days for a cume of $8.9 million in the film’s fourth week.

“Sweeney Todd” (winner of best musical/comedy pic) had been holding at 1,249 theaters. On Friday, it expanded into 1,507 theaters, grossing $3.3 million for a cume of $48.7 million. Pic placed No. 13 for the frame.

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Distribs and marketers have come to rely on the Globes and the Oscars to pump up visibility and grosses.

No one knows how much more winners would have done at the B.O. had the Globes held a traditional ceremony, instead of the no-frills press conference with no stars and no glitz.

It’s become traditional for films to expand the Friday following the Globes. “Atonement” added 341 theaters to its run, bringing the total count to 1,291. Expansions also are timed to the announcement of Oscar noms. This year, that announcement comes today.

“Atonement” made an impressive showing over the four-day weekend, grossing an estimated $5.7 million for a per-screen average of $4,408 and a cume of $32.8 million. That put the film at No. 10.

“It definitely had a bump, bearing in mind the competition that arose this week,” Foley said. “The Golden Globes do matter, even without it being televised. The Golden Globes and Academy nominations really can help commercialize a movie.”

The Globes box office bump isn’t generally huge, but it’s sometimes enough to give a film an edge.

Foley said he believes “Atonement” got the same sort of box office boost that Globe winner “Brokeback Mountain” enjoyed two years ago. There is a caveat, however. This year, the first weekend after the Globe announcement also happened to be the MLK Jr. holiday frame, whereas the holiday usually falls a week earlier.

Vantage prexy of distribution Rob Schulze agreed that the Globe win still had an effect on “Blood,” even without the usual televised awards ceremony.

“Being a newer picture, we were well-poised to take advantage of any incremental praise,” said Schulze, adding that the film is still riding a strong wave of interest regardless of the Globes.