Another awards ceremony, another victory lap for Ben Affleck's 'Argo'! If it doesn't scoop up Best Picture at the Oscars next week, there are going to be a lot of very confused bookies. The latest accolade for the critically acclaimed crowd-pleaser comes courtesy of the Writer's Guild of America, who awarded screenwriter Chris Terrio the trophy for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
While the British Academy of Film and Television may not have the international clout of the Oscars, they're still a big deal and can often drop some useful tidbits for all of the awards prognosticators out there. In this case, the BAFTA awards have only further propelled Ben Affleck's 'Argo' to the front of the pack.
Is Melissa McCarthy a movie star yet? The opening weekend of 'Identity Thief' suggests that yes, she is. After all, all of those people weren't flocking to this movie because of Jason Bateman (as delightful as he is). Anyway, all of this pretty much means that McCarthy's asking price just doubled.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
Okay, this is just getting silly -- another major Hollywood award ceremony, another victory for Ben Affleck and 'Argo,' this time at the Director's Guild of America awards. If this was like any other year, Affleck would look like a shoe-in for the Oscar...except that he's not nominated. Which means that Affleck's repeated victories make this year's Academy Awards the hardest to predict in recent memory.
Make no mistake: this was a slow and bad weekend at the box office, an example of the January doldrums at their absolute worst. However, this was probably the only environment where a film titled 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' could have flourished, so at least someone is happy.
With each passing awards ceremony, the Academy's snubbing of Ben Affleck for Best Director looks increasingly ridiculous. Some thought that 'Argo' winning Best Picture and Best DIrector at the Golden Globes was something of a fluke, but now that the critically acclaimed box office hit has won big at the Producer's Guild of America awards, you may want to shuffle around your Oscar bets.
Is Jessica Chastain a movie star? Probably not. At least not yet. However, this weekend proved that she's well on her way to being one. Headlining the top two films at the box office in a single weekend is a great start. The Oscar nomination certainly doesn't hurt either.
You really only need to say one thing about the opening weekend of Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty': it made more in three days than 'The Hurt Locker' did in its entire run. If there's anything that's going to alleviate getting snubbed for at the Oscars in the Best Director category, it's that.
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