'Killing Them Softly' enters picture as talk turns to end of year

Posted Nov 29, 2012 by Tim O'Brien
As December arrives at the box office, the talk will now turn to the overall 2012 numbers. It may not achieve a record but it will go over $10 billion.
Brad Pitt: Killing Them Softly
Brad Pitt: Killing Them Softly
Plan B Entertainment
The box office figures since 2009 have all gone over $10 billion, with the record being in 2009. See that list here.
Where it all ends up is just a matter of how many movie-goers head out as they shop, need a break and want to catch those possible award contenders so these words need not be uttered: "I haven't seen any of these nominees." And December offers up "Les Miserables" and "The Hobbit."
This weekend will not see a great deal of competition for newcomers while those that were released last week need some traction. After all, they are going up against some blockbusters. There were some good reports for "Life of Pi," but it was generally disappointing for "Rise of the Guardians." Can that film bounce back because of its holiday theme?
A soft debut.
A soft debut.
The top release is "Killing Them Softly," which boasts an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini. The word softly may be the word for it as the weekend plays out. In an already crowded field, the star power may not help.
"Killing Them Softly" - 2,424 theaters
"The Collection" - 1,403 theaters
"Dragon 2012" - 14 theaters
"Talaash" - 172 theater
"Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning" - 3 theaters
For a holiday recap, head here.
Award notes
Two awards that are far better indicators of how the best picture will be decided are the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) and the Producers Guild Awards (PGA). Look for reports when those get announced, but the DGA has given its Lifetime award to director Milos Foreman. Here is how they announced it in a release this week: “It is a tremendous privilege to present the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for feature film to one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, Milos Forman,” said Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford. “No matter what subject or genre he tackles, Milos finds the universality of the human experience in every story, allowing us – his rapt audience – to recognize ourselves within the struggle for free expression and self-determination that Milos so aptly portrays on the silver screen.”
Now, taking out all the emotion as we get rolling with predictions and notes of the award season, the front-runner for Oscar best picture is "Les Miserables." That does not mean it will stay that way but it does have timing on its side. It opens wide on Christmas Day and it has it all.
Now, "Zero Dark Thirty" which makes the deadline because of its release schedule, will be heavy on the sentiment because of the timing as well. Plus, the subject matter of the Osama bin Laden killing. That, however, may work against it this time around. Again, take out the emotion and enter this idea. "Zero Dark Thirty" is being released on Dec. 19 in New York and Los Angeles only. It goes wide in January 2013.
Kathyrn Bigelow has won for "The Hurt Locker" already so having here sweep up again is a hard sell. The smart move on her part was, for the most part, take out the hot political button and simply focus on the story, like she did in "The Hurt Locker." Good move.
Like Daniel Day-Lewis, nothing is a lock. As for him, he has won two, so will someone pull that upset? Many already have handed it to Day-Lewis. The independent films will have a say, especially in the acting categories.The real interesting thing to track is look at those who are main actors who fall into those supporting categories.
One more item this time around, do not look for The Golden Globes to have that much of an impact, since the Oscar nominations are how announced before those awards are given. A nice ploy on the part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to take a bite out of the Globe influence.