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article image'The Hobbit' hauls it in; Oscar balloting begins

By Tim O'Brien     Dec 16, 2012 in Entertainment
From Middle Earth to the top of the box office, those Hobbits are. With projections from $70-$100 million, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hauled in $84.8 million and dwarfs the competition.
Now,. yes, a record was set for the film but just seeing that in a headline can be a bit deceiving. It was a record take, but only December numbers. The other story of the box office is the staying power now of "Rise of the Guardians," which is in second place. After a lousy first weekend, it now has two solid weeks. With a holiday theme, "Rise" is staying put for now.
Weekend
1. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" - $84.8 million
2. "Rise of the Guardians" - $7.4 million
3. "Lincoln" - $7.2 million
4. "Skyfall" - $7 million
5. "Life of Pi" - $5.4 million
To help break the box office record, December needs to take in roughly $596 million. It would then put it over the total from 2009. "The Hobbit" will surely help as will "Les Miserables," as it opens wide on Christmas.
Award notes
Without listing all of them, it was noted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) that 283 features films are eligible for the 2012 Academy Awards®.
In one has ever wondered what that means, here it is. "To be eligible for 85th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days."
And, feature films that receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release are not eligible for Academy Awards in any category.
Meanwhile, balloting will begin on Dec. 17. This is the official notice from AMPAS. Nominations voting for the 85th Academy Awards® will open at 8 a.m. PT, Monday, December 17, for the 5,856 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Members will have until 5 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, to vote electronically or mail in a paper ballot. Any paper ballots received after the deadline will not be counted.
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