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article imageNew films face tough competition as 2012 box office eyes record

By Tim O'Brien     Dec 6, 2012 in Entertainment
Move over "Lincoln," Franklin Delano Roosevelt is here. Well, not with all the fanfare and hype that Honest Abe got, but "Hyde Park on the Hudson" opens this weekend and all eyes will be on the performance of Bill Murray as FDR.
Some are touting this as a role that may perch him alongside Daniel Day-Lewis come Oscar time. But, no way will the film come close to competing for box office crown. So, look at the per screen average for that one, and that will be done, Stay tuned.
With relatively low theater counts, can anyone expect the newcomers to hit the top three over the weekend? It would take a big effort and frankly, it doesn't seem like it will happen. With "Twilight" and "Skyfall" holding together so well, and "Lincoln" continuing to log very well, a shuffle at or near the top may have to wait for "The Hobbit" next weekend, as it gets set to open in 4,000 theaters.
But, hold out for a Christmas film that is still hanging in there. That would be "Rise of the Guardians." As the holiday inches closer, the family might want to opt for that friendly fare.
1. "Playing for Keeps" - 2,837
2. "End of Watch" - 1,249
3. "Lay the Favorite" - 61
4. "Hyde Park on Hudson" - 4
"Playing for Keeps" seeks that escapism crowd, who perhaps is tired of all the rest and needs a romantic comedy. It stars Gerard Butler and boasts a fine cast. Others in it are Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid. It might be nice to see it jump into the top three as the weekend plays out. "End of Watch" gets another release date but came out in September. One more item to track is that second week for "Killing Them Softly." It most likely will not be pretty.
Award notes
Back to Murray as FDR. If he gets inaugurated in the best actor category, that would make two presidents. But, add in Bradley Cooper in "Silver Linings Playbook," and it makes three in that category. One other lock is there, too. That makes four. Oh, that is Hugh Jackman. It is also hard to believe that talk of "The Master" has fallen here in the states, so put someone from that movie back in the discussion. So, it's done. And that, my friends, is what will hurt Murray - a crowded field of contenders. Confused. Here's the quick recap: Day-Lewis and Jackman are locks, as is Cooper. Add in Philip Seymour Hoffman or Joaquin Phoenix, and perhaps even Anthony Hopkins, then head starts to spin.
Then take out Phoenix and Hopkins for trashing the Oscar campaign nightmare. Murray is also getting raves for his role in "Moonrise Kingdom."
Year end
As noted in an earlier report about the yearly box office numbers, that is becoming more clear. It looks like 2012 should go down with the biggest box office as November set a record. That means December must do well, but it does not have to set a monthly record.
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