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article image'A Good Day to Die Hard' leads; students to appear on Oscar stage

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By Tim O'Brien     Feb 17, 2013 in Entertainment
The official winner of the box office race will have to wait because of the Presidents' Day holiday, but right now it is close at the top between "A Good Day to Die Hard" and last week's winner, "Identity Thief."
But, it is "Safe Haven" that is fighting for a bigger payday than the supernatural-inspired "Beautiful Creatures." The latter came out of the gate slow considering the popularity of that genre of late. "Safe Haven" beat of the Bruce Willis adventure on Friday.
In all, four films went over double digits over the three-day weekend and one more Oscar winner looks to go over $100 million by show time. "Silver Linings Playbook" is now over $98 million and closing in.
But, this is a holiday weekend when Monday's numbers will be added and many stories will be held until the totals come in. Not here. Meanwhile, three films opened on Thursday to get the Valentine's Day crowd. So, it was two holidays wrapped int one nice box office party.
UPDATE, TOP THREE (including holiday)
1. "A Good Day to Die Hard" - $28.6 million (including Thursday, $36.8 million)
2. "Identity Thief" - $27.4 million
3. "Safe Haven" - $24.4 million (including Thursday, $33.2 million)
Weekend
1. "A Good Day to Die Hard" - $25.3 million (including Thursday, $33.2 million)
2. "Identity Thief" - $23.4 million
3. "Safe Haven" - $21.4 million (including Thursday, $30.2 million)
4. "Escape from Planet Earth" - $16 million
5. "Warm Bodies" - $9 million
"Beautiful Creatures" is at No. 6 with $7.4 million and a disclaimer for them is that it was the film with the lowest theater count of the major new releases. Adding in its Thursday total ($10 million), it didn't really help it overall prospects.
Award season
It is Oscar Week, when more than awards take place. For that story, head here. It is also the time when Hollywood Boulevard, right in front of the Dolby Theatre and near the El Capitan and TLP Chinese Theater, is an odd sign, not often caught by many.
When this spot gets ready to honor the best in film, those marques usually have the title of what is often the worst in film at the time of the Academy Awards. As the stars parade the carpet, a glimpse this year will include the above films. Most likely no Oscar contenders in the bunch.
And with that, Oscar voting ends Feb. 19, and that, too, means a curve. Since Monday is a holiday, the Academy urged members who chose to use a paper ballot to return them well in advance of the deadline.
Why? Presidents' Day holiday on Monday, Feb. 18. No doubt, like the first year that online voting took place, this may halt a few votes. The votes are being tabulated and verified by the international accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
One last item of note is the announcement of the college students who get the chance to experience Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, have announced the six winners of the "Oscar Experience College Search" for aspiring filmmakers.
The winners are:
ChaRon Brabham – SUNY Potsdam (NY) – Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Jennifer Brofer – University of Texas at Austin (TX) – Hometown: Austin, Texas
Abe Diaz – DePaul University (IL) – Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
Hearin Ko – Emerson College (MA) – Hometown: Shanghai, China
Tatenda Mbudzi – UCLA (CA) – Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe
AJ Young – Columbia College Chicago (IL) – Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
They will deliver Oscar statuettes to ceremony presenters at the show, which airs on ABC Feb. 24.
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