http://www.digitaljournal.com/a-and-e/entertainment/last-hobbit-wins-again-critics-honor-goodbye-to-language/article/422601

Last 'Hobbit' wins again; critics honor 'Goodbye to Language'

Posted Jan 4, 2015 by Tim O'Brien
It was a happy time for the holdovers at the box office and a pleasant start to the new year. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" took its third win in a row while "Into the Woods" and "Unbroken" round out the top three, domestically.
Holiday holdovers do well again.
Holiday holdovers do well again.
Box Office Mojo
Now, as usual, the last "Hobbit" is doing much better overseas, and with its demographic. With it being the last one, it is faring better than "Smaug" did at this point. It probably should, too, since it is the last one. The last film will cross over $1 billion worldwide when all is said and done.
Even the newcomer, "The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death" performed pretty well. It did beat expectations and perhaps movie-goers simply needed a break and see a new one.
The fact that "Into the Woods" and "Unbroken" has some award season buzz right now is helping. Plus, one has an all-star cast and the other an A-list actress as director. And Meryl Streep does sing in "Into the Woods."
Weekend
1. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" - $21.91 million
2. "Into the Woods" - $19.07 million
3. "Unbroken" - $18.4 million
4. "Woman in Black 2" - $15.1 million
"Selma" and "American Sniper" are doing real well in limited runs, as they now do indeed qualify for Oscar consideration. What is a takeaway is that both films took in about the same amount over the weekend, but the theater count is the key here. "Selma" took in $645,000 on 22 screens, while "American Sniper" took in $644,000 from four.
"A Most Violent Year" was also in just four and took in $188,000.
With the Golden Globes on Jan. 11, the box office will take a back seat as Hollywood starts to award themselves in a bigger way than they have up until now. Meanwhile, the National Society of Film Critics chimed in and threw a curve, which is not a surprise, really.
They went with "Goodbye to Language" as its top film. It is a 3D film, which is of note as well. The society consists of around 60 critics, so it is less than the Golden Globes contingent. It is not real bellwether to Oscars.
"Boyhood" came in second and "Birdman" third among critics, so to have "Goodbye to Language" win, it proved while they are critics. They have to be different.
Richard Linklater and his "Boyhood" took director while Timothy Spall in "Mr. Turner" took actor. Marion Cotillard won for actress in "The Immigrant" and "Two Days, One Night."
January is a big award month and then February is the granddaddy of them all, the Oscars. Plus, parties are a big business in Hollywood and a huge marketing campaign ensues. The box office is a big story, but less so in the next two month. So, it needs those pleasant surprises.
However, try to get a box office headline to take off when a major award show is happening. That would take some great marketing on the studio, and they, too, are on the award season circuit.
Take the Palm Springs Film Festival this past weekend, for example. That is a good example of seeing and understanding the campaigning. The fest honors actors and actresses, and then lets them speak - or campaign.