Oscar nominations — my own two bits, and a complete list

grandbudapesthotelIt is extremely rare for a film to win Best Picture without also being nominated for its director, its film editing, and its screenplay. So it looks like this year’s top Oscar will go to one of three films: Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel or The Imitation Game. But there are exceptions to every rule, and we can’t entirely rule out Birdman, which is tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel for the most nominations of any film this year; Birdman was snubbed in the film-editing category, but that could be because the film was seamlessly edited to look as though it was all filmed in one long take.

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Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings falls out of the top ten

exodus-bale-battle-aThere’s good news and bad news for Exodus: Gods and Kings at the box office this week.

First, the good news: despite having a smaller opening weekend, Ridley Scott’s Moses movie has now outgrossed Son of God in North America, with its $61.2 million edging past the other film’s $59.7 million. Exodus was already doing far, far better overseas, of course, where it has earned $141.5 million in contrast to the other film’s paltry $8.1 million.

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Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings falls some more in its third week while most other films go up

exodus-DF-04525Exodus: Gods and Kings is still falling at the box office, but not as fast it was.

As expected, the post-Christmas surge at the box office put the brakes on the film’s slide, so that it earned an estimated $6.7 million this weekend and dropped only 16.7% compared to last weekend.

This is better than the 46.7% and 55.7% by which Son of God and Noah dropped during their third weeks, respectively. Exodus has also grossed $52.5 million in total as of this Sunday, which puts it ahead of where Son of God was at a comparable point in its release for the first time ever.

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Box office: Exodus: Gods and Kings loses its audience faster than any recent Bible movie or Ridley Scott film

exodus-yahoo-5Exodus: Gods and Kings already had the smallest first-weekend gross of the year’s three Bible movies. Now it has the steepest second-weekend drop.

Exodus earned an estimated $8.1 million this weekend, which represents a drop of 66.6% since last week. (Yes, that’s the actual number being floated by Box Office Mojo.) That’s steeper than the 59.5% by which Son of God dropped in March and the 61% by which Noah dropped in April.

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Oscar nominations — my own two bits, and a complete list

It is extremely rare for a film to win Best Picture without also being nominated for its director, its film editing, and its screenplay. So it looks like this year’s top Oscar will go to either the frivolous but entertaining American Hustle, which scored 10 nominations altogether, or the serious and historically significant 12 Years a Slave, which scored nine.

Between American Hustle and last year’s The Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell has pulled off the neat trick of getting nominations in all four acting categories for two years in a row. This had happened only 13 times prior to Russell’s films, and while no film has ever won all four acting categories, all but two of the 14 films so nominated in the past have won at least one of the acting awards (the sole exceptions being 1936’s My Man Godfrey and 1950’s Sunset Boulevard).

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Bale charges into battle as Moses in new Exodus pic

When Ridley Scott’s life-of-Moses movie Exodus was first announced five years ago — long before Scott himself became involved with the movie — it was pitched as a “visually stunning action piece” that would owe as much to films like 300 and Braveheart as it did to any of the more conventional versions of this story.

So far, though, there has been a lack of action in the pictures we have seen from this film. All of the unauthorized pictures have shown Moses (played by Christian Bale) and others standing on the set, and the one authorized picture released a few weeks ago showed him sitting on a horse.

That changes now with Entertainment Weekly’s 2014 preview, which the Christian Bale fansite Baleheads Blog has scanned and posted for our benefit:

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