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Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a star. “On the Basis of Sex” (Focus) beat three year-end openers with a strong multi-city Tuesday showing. Two limited debuts, “Destroyer” (Annapurna) and “Stan & Ollie” (Sony Pictures Classics), earned decent reviews and box office.
No weekend is more critical to specialized films than the one right after Christmas. Not only does it provide an opportunity to reach the highest number of older and other specialty ticket buyers of any time of the year, but it comes just as Academy voters are pondering their choices as the January 7-14 nomination period looms. But this trio of latecomers seem sidelined in the Oscar race.
Oscar - Contenders - Showings - Grosses - Results
Multiple strong Oscar contenders continue to score decent showings. Their total grosses came to only about half the results compared to last year’s strong holiday slate: “Darkest Hour,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” all scored very well on their way to $50 million or higher totals.
Stealing some of the noise was the wide release of “Vice” (Annapurna), which targeted the same audiences as the more limited films. Also offering competition was adult-appeal films like Clint Eastwood’s even higher-grossing “The Mule.” But there are multiple weeks ahead for most of these films to continue to draw.
Star - Power - Supreme - Court - Justice
The star power shown by the Supreme Court Justice a few months ago with the documentary “RBG” showed up again with this drama about her early law career. Despite the lack of particularly favorable reviews or major awards hype, targeting audiences with substantial group sale and special event effort paid off with a strong Christmas Day release that carried over into an equally strong weekend. The movie consistently shows a positive reaction. It placed as the top-grossing film at many key theaters that often have the best specialized results, and only behind “Aquaman” at others...
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