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2011 Oscar Nominations Announced; THE KING’S SPEECH Leads with 12 Nominations


The nominees for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards have been announced.  The King’s Speech led the pack with 12 nominations.  True Grit followed with 10 nominations while early favorite The Social Network racked up eight.  Most of the nominees were easy to predict.  While I’m not surprised that John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) nabbed acting nominations, I’m happy they were recognized for their work.  I’m also ridiculously happy that Exit Through the Gift Shop picked up a nod for Best Documentary.

As far as snubs go, the biggest one has to be Christopher Nolan for Inception.  While he picked up the DGA nomination, the Academy chose to go with Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.  As someone who loved the hell out of True Grit, it’s hard for me to complain.

Winners will be announced on February 27th.  James Franco and Anne Hathaway are set to host the awards ceremony.


The-Social-Network-movie-poster-David FincherBEST FILM

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

[Matt’s note: Absolutely no surprises here, although I suppose you could argue that The Town got snubbed]


  • Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
  • David O. Russell – The Fighter
  • Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
  • David Fincher – The Social Network
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit

[These five films are the real nominees and actually, the contest at this point is really between The King’s Speech and The Social Network.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Fincher ends up winning Best Director but The King’s Speechtakes home Best Picture]


  • Javier Bardem – Biutiful
  • Jeff Bridges – True Grit
  • Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
  • Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
  • James Franco – 127 Hours

[Oscar writers are masturbating furiously about all the jokes they can make since host James Franco is also a nominee]


  • Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
  • Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman – Black Swan
  • Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

[Again, no real surprises but nice to see Lawrence in the mix.  However, at this point, the race looks like a contest between Natalie Portman and Annette Bening]


  • Christian Bale – The Fighter
  • John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
  • Jeremy Renner – The Town
  • Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right
  • Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech

[From now on, you can say Oscar nominee John Hawkes.  That’s amazing]

the-kings-speech-movie-poster(1)BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams – The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
  • Melissa Leo – The Fighter
  • Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
  • Jackie Weaver – Animal Kingdom

[Very happy that the Academy recognized Weaver’s tremendous performance in Animal Kingdom even though the film barely saw a release in the U.S.]


  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech

[It’s tough to see The King’s Speech not winning this although I think these are all worthy films, although I would have liked to seen Black Swanpick up a nomination]


  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

[This is Aaron Sorkin’s award to lose.]


  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist
  • Toy Story 3

[And the award for Best Toy Story 3 in Best Toy Story 3 goes to…]


  • Biutiful
  • Dogtooth
  • In a Better World
  • Incendies
  • Outside the Law

[There are a lot of Dogtooth fans out there that are very happy this morning since the film didn’t seem likely to receive a nomination.  I personally haven’t seen the film yet, but it’s been on my list for a while now]

black_swan_movie_poster_01BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland
  • Inside Job
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land

[Banksy is now not only one of the world’s most popular street artists.  He’s an Oscar nominee.  Also, the second biggest snub has to be not nominating Waiting for “Superman”.  Why does the Academy hate children?!]


  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

[Very surprised Inception didn’t get nominated in this category.  The editing in that film is so crucial to the storytelling.  In 127 Hours, it’s fine, but slightly abrasive]


  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • The King’s Speech

[This is a tough category, but it’s one of the few where Black Swan could take home the prize]


  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

[Two major surprises in this category: First, there are five nominees when usually there are only three.  Second, Hereafter?  Really?  For what?  Afterlife blur effects?  Yeah, the tsunami scene is cool, but it doesn’t hold a blurry candle to the entirety of how Edgar Wright used effects in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World]


  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

[Oh, Make-up.  You’re such a lazy category.]

Inception-movie-posterBEST ART DIRECTION

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • True Grit

[Alice in Wonderland does have impressive art direction…provided you’ve never seen a Tim Burton movie before]


  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

[I’m betting The King’s Speech will win because dressing people in period costumes is apparently the most amazing thing ever]


  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • Salt
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit


  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • TRON: Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable


  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

[It was a long shot, but I was hoping Daft Punk would get a nomination for their TRON: Legacyscore.  Oh well.]


  • “Coming Home” from Country Strong
  • “I See the Light” from Tangled
  • “If I Rise” from 127 Hours
  • “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3


  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Qiugang


  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let’s Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage


  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143




Weekend Box Office – NO STRINGS ATTACHED Stays On Top with $20.3 Million


After just one weekend of excitement surrounding the release of The Green Hornet, the box office reverted to more modest numbers this weekend.  As the week’s sole new release the romantic comedy No Strings Attached came out on top, bringing in a higher than expected total estimated at $20.3 million from its 3,018 locations.

Title Weekend Total
1 No Strings Attached $20,300,000 $20.3
2 The Green Hornet $18,100,000 $63.4
3 The Dilemma $9,720,000 $33.3
4 The King’s Speech $9,100,000 $58.6
5 True Grit $8,000,000 $138.6
6 Black Swan $6,200,000 $83.5
7 The Fighter $4,515,000 $73
8 Little Fockers $4,390,000 $141.1
9 Yogi Bear $4,060,000 $88.8
10 Tron Legacy $3,700,000 $163.2


no_strings_attached_poster_natalie_portman_ashton_kutcherNo Strings Attached may have been the only wide release of the weekend, but that did not mean that Paramount was confident about its chances at the box office.  The track record for recent romantic comedies suggested that the film would be met with a big, fat ‘meh’ by audiences.   Titles like Love and Other Drugsand How Do You Know both came and went over the holidays.  In fact, you have to look all the way back to February 2010 to find a romantic comedy winner with Valentine’s Day. The ensemble release opened above $56.2 million… the kind of big debut weekend that the box office hasn’t seen (for any genre) since Thanksgiving.

No Strings Attached – starring rom-com regular Ashton Kutcher and genre newbie Natalie Portman – did not get close to that Valentine’s Day weekend total, but it didn’t have to.  That’s where being the only new movie of the week comes in handy.  Paramount is reporting a budget of just $25 million, which means that their film won’t have far to go to make a profit. That figure, however, doesn’t take into account marketing costs which likely put the tally closer to $35 million.  If Strings can maintain momentum over the coming week, then we’ll talk about the revival of the rom-com genre.

The film received a mixed reception with 51% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but that makes it a critical darling next to the 11% of Kutcher’s last starring role in Killers.  No Strings Attached also opened higher than Killers (and every other romantic comedy in recent memory) but just to illustrate the level of diminished expectations the box office is working from lately: this weekend’s number one film came in slightly lower than last summer’s The Bounty Hunter ($20.6 million).  Makes you think more of Jennifer Aniston… or less of Ashton Kutcher (if possible).

Green-Hornet-movie-image-seth-rogenLast weekend’s number one filmThe Green Hornet fell off by an estimated 46%.  That’s a less than expected drop considering that Sunday estimates reflect the expected interference of football on the male-skewing title.  The superhero comedy has a new domestic total of $63.4 million – making it the second highest-grossing superhero comedy of all-time behind The Incredibles.  Number three on that list is last year’s Kick-Ass (which topped out at $48 million) followed byMystery Men.  This is not a genre known for its big hits, in other words.

After a disappointing start last weekend, The Dilemma fell off by 45% in its second frame; coming in third with an estimated $9.7 million.  With the film’s domestic gross barely topping $33.3 million after 10 days it seems unlikely that The Dilemma will make it past its reported budget of $70 million; which reminds me – the next time the cultural zeitgeist shifts and America decides that they will no longer rush to see any mediocre movie that stars Kevin James, I wish she’d give me the heads up first.

Once again, the most startling achievers this week were the award-seekers: The King’s Speechheld on to nearly all of its MLK weekend profits to stay at number four with $9.1 million.  True Gritbrought its total up to $138.6 million which puts it nearly equal to the domestic total of Little Fockers.  And finally, that other Natalie Portman movie – Black Swan – fell by just 25% and saw its total leap past $83.5 million… more than No Strings Attached can hope to earn with more than double its budget.

Two new titles join the January fray next weekend with Anthony Hopkins debuting in the PG-13The Rite and Jason Statham headlining CBS’s R rated The Mechanic. The Rite has a slight theatre count advantage but, who knows?  In a topsy-turvy worls where Kevin James movies fail and Ashton Kutcher movies succeed, it isn’t inconceivable that CBS Films could have a hit.



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