Even though some wide releases will attempt to ground "Gravity," another will take over Oscar talks with its slow roll out.
That film is "12 Years a Slave" starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson and Paul Giamatti. A powerful and poignant film that will grab Oscar buzz talk right behind "Gravity" for now.
And those two may end up near the top when all is said and done. The film is based on Solomon Northup's memoir. Northrup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofo, was kidnapped into slavery. Now, like other films that will go ahead in the award season race, the accuracy will come into the discussion. But again, as movies go, this is what ultimately matters and this one packs a punch. A painful one for sure. Steve McQueen directs "12 Years a Slave."
Although only in limited release this week, it goes wider later. Let the buzz grow now. To insiders, that buzz grew months ago.
1. "Kill Your Darlings" - 4
1. "Carrie" - 3,157 theaters
2. "Escape Plan" - 2,88s theaters
2. "The Fifth Estate" - 1,769 theaters
4. "12 Years a Slave"- 19 theaters
5. "I'm In Love With a Church Girl" - 457
6. "All Is Lost" - 6
"Gravity" still has enough pull to grab hold again but can it make it three in a row?
Perhaps, and "Captain Phillips" may remain strong as well. So, that leave the newcomers to chip away. One is a remake of a horror classic, "Carrie." It is also one that may not have been needed, but Halloween is near, so that alone will trigger some emotions for this one.
"Escape Plan" lives up to one name in the title. It is pure escapism and fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, in year's past, would be in many more than they open with today. The box office power is past but their names still resonate.
Plus, they have never appeared together in film. Despite that, do not expect much unless it over-achieves. One could just wait for another pairing of box office heavyweights on Christmas Day. Stallone and Robert De Niro in "Grudge Match," a boxing film. We can see the headlines now - Rocky vs Raging Bull.
Before this one strays too much, the star of "Carrie" is Chloë Grace Moretz, who has her work cut out for her. Now, let's continue. "The Fifth Estate" cannot and will not compete for the top spot. The subject matter alone will dictate that, but so will the theater count. The per screen average will be the tracking interest here. The media and those involved in politics may make more out of it than it warrants. The film just seems like it doesn't matter.
As for the casting news that Charlie Hunnam stepped out of "Fifty Shades of Grey" doesn't really surprise and it may help the film stay in the headlines and grab buzz. The backlash against him didn't help but it, too, grabbed timely headlines.
One final note, "All is Lost" is generating Oscar buzz for Robert Redford as well.