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This week’s Oscar nominations boosted contenders “1917” (Universal) and “Parasite” (Neon) to further box-office gains. Other nominees saw little impact, from “Bombshell” (Lionsgate) to the second week expansion of French Oscar entry “Les Miserables” (Amazon). While some Oscar also-rans fell short, crowdpleaser “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros.) managed just fine. Such is the uneven impact of the award that dominates the specialized world for nearly half the year.
Even when results don’t meet expectations, things still work out. That’s the case with “Weathering With You” (GKids), the Japanese animated smash that in five days has already in national release grossed $5 million. That’s a nice reminder that innovative strategies, such as initial event weekday showings, can bring success outside the conventional limited release pattern.
Los - Angeles - Run - Alex - Gibney
After a Los Angeles qualifying run, Alex Gibney’s Russia expose “Citizen K” (Greenwich), about an exiled billionaire dissident opponent of Vladimir Putin, opened in New York for a strong $10,500 for the weekend. The WGA award contender will expand to further theaters in upcoming weeks (six this Friday), without a hoped for documentary Oscar nomination but still showing appeal.
What comes next: The holiday Monday will boost this more, and these grosses will extend its run and get additional interest for this early-year sleeper success.
Shot - VHS - Films - Comedy - Pre-teen
Shot on VHS and resembling earlier found-footage films, this comedy about a pre-teen’s adventures with a video camera follows initial successful festival showings with a multi-city release as an event (not full show) release. It sparked interest in some initial showings.
What comes next: This will roll out to additional cities over upcoming weeks.
Major ad buys and the International Feature Film Oscar nomination were in play for this bigger-than-usual second weekend expansion for a specialized subtitled release. The result remains minor, similar to its platform dates last weekend. Despite the “Parasite” box office, this reminds how...
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