JunoNational Treasure: Book of Secrets (Disney) continued its box office roll on Saturday getting a 39% lift from Friday, posting an $8.86M Saturday. Assuming a 37% Sunday dip, Nicolas Cage’s treasure hunting sequel will bring home a 3-day weekend of an estimated $20.81M and a new cume of $171.62M. Sometime on Monday, NT2 will surpass the $173M domestic haul of the 2004 original making it Cage’s all-time top-grossing film.

It is an absolute photo finish for #2 on Saturday. My early estimate is that I Am Legend (Warner Bros) wins by a nose with $6.96M followed by Juno (Fox Searchlight) with $6.82M and Alvin & the Chipmunks (Fox) with $6.81M, but it’s anybody’s guess which picture comes out ahead when the actuals are released on Monday. In the 3-day race, it looks as though Searchlight may have pulled off the upset.

The awards caliber, critically-hailed comedy Juno, written by former stripper Diablo Cody and starring sure-fire Best Actress nominee Ellen Page, should have a stronger Sunday than Legend and Alvin and finish with a monstrous $16.6M weekend with its expansion to 1,925 locations. I expect the Will Smith blockbuster to finish 3rd with an estimated $16.34M and a new domestic cume of $228.68M. Meanwhile, Alvin is tailing off a bit, but it should still reach $15.94M for the 3-day. It should be pointed out that with a relatively modest budget of $60M, Fox’s CGI critters have reached $176.68M domestic and $206.7M worldwide.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) is demonstrating real potency in its expansion to 51 locations. Featuring a searing performance from Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis, Blood grabbed another $490,000 on Saturday for a $9,608 Per Theatre Average. It’ll wrap up the weekend with $1.26M and a spectacular $24,843 3-day PTA.

Last Saturday, I wrote about the way box office might influence Oscar voters in the Best Picture category. Tonight, a breakdown of how box office my impact the Best Actor and Best Actress races. For each of the contenders, I’ve included the reported budget, domestic cume and international box office numbers.

BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE OF FILMS
FEATURING POSSIBLE BEST ACTOR NOMINEES

Denzel Washington, American Gangster -
$100M reported budget – $129.2M domestic sales – $63.2M international sales
Net – $92.4M

George Clooney, Michael Clayton -
$25M reported budget – $39.1M domestic sales – $31.1M international sales
Net – $45.2M

James McAvoy, Atonement -
$30M reported budget – $19.2M domestic sales – $35.8M international sales
Net – $25M

Josh Brolin, No Country For Old Men -
$25M reported budget – $44.8M domestic sales – $1M international sales
Net – $20.8M

Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises -
$25M reported budget – $17.2M domestic sales – $27.6M international sales
Net – $19.8M

Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild -
$20M reported budget – $17.1M domestic sales – $3.1M international sales
Net – $200K

Sam Riley, Control -
$6.6M reported budget – $850K domestic sales – $4.8M international sales
Net – ($95K)

Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening -
$800K reported budget – $510K domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($290K)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages -
$5M reported budget – $2.57M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($2.43M)

Ryan Gosling, Lars & the Real Girl -
$13M reported budget – $5.7M domestic sales – $50K international sales
Net – ($7.25M)

Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly -
$13M reported budget – $1.44M domestic sales – $2.8M international sales
Net – ($8.76M)

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah -
$23M reported budget – $6.7M domestic sales – $6.4M international sales
Net – ($9.9M)

Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd -
$50M reported budget – $38.72M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($11.28M)

Tom Hanks, Charlie Wilson’s War -
$75M reported budget – $52.9M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($22.1M)

Daniel Day Lewis, There Will Be Blood -
$25M reported budget – $1.77M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($23.23M)

ANALYSIS: Obviously, Daniel Day Lewis and There Will Be Blood is just getting started. This movie will be in the black long before final Oscar ballots are due. Charlie Wilson’s War has recovered from its slow start, but it remains a disappointment. The failure of In the Valley of Elah makes any discussion of Tommy Lee Jones a virtual non-starter. The success of American Gangster makes Denzel Washington tough to ignore (but I think the Academy will this time), and Atonement’s James McAvoy seems like a better shot when international box office is included (the film is already very profitable). Depp’s Sweeney Todd only added $5.64M over the weekend, bringing its domestic take to $38.72M.

My hunch is that Daniel Day Lewis, Clooney and McAvoy are Best Actor nomination locks with the remaining 2 nominees coming from a group of Depp, Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild), Ryan Gosling (Lars & the Real Girl) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages).

BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE OF FILMS
FEATURING POSSIBLE BEST ACTRESS NOMINEES

Amy Adams, Enchanted -
$35M reported budget – $119.6M domestic sales – $110.6M international sales
Net – $199.4M

Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray -
$75M reported budget – $119M domestic sales – $81M international sales
Net – $125M net

Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose -
$30M reported budget – $10M domestic sales – $71.6M international sales
Net – $51.6M

Ellen Page, Juno -
$2.5M reported budget – $52.41M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – $49.91M

Keira Knightley, Atonement -
$30M reported budget – $19.2M domestic sales – $35.8M international sales
Net – $25M

Keri Russell, Waitress -
$5M reported budget – $19M domestic sales – $3M international sales
Net – $17M net

Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart -
$15M reported budget – $9M domestic sales – $10M international sales
Net – $4M net

Julie Christie, Away From Her -
$4M reported budget – $4.5M domestic sales – $2.6 international sales
Net – $3.1M

Jodie Foster, The Brave One -
$70M reported budget – $37M domestic sales – $33M international sales
Net – $0

Laura Linney, The Savages -
$5M reported budget – $2.57M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($2.43M)

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age -
$55M reported budget – $16M domestic sales – $36M international sales
Net – ($3M)

Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd -
$50M reported budget – $38.72M domestic sales – $0 international sales
Net – ($11.28M)

ANALYSIS: These films are arranged from the highest net gross to the lowest. Sweeney Todd’s soft performance may handicap Helena Bonham Carter, but she’s been nominated before and the degree of difficulty for her Mrs. Lovett role is very high. I suspect that any prospect of a nomination for Jodie Foster for The Brave One is moot given the film’s disastrous domestic performance, and the 2nd time as Elizabeth was not a box office charm for Cate Blanchett.

Look at the hits for these women with lots of profitable pictures. Julie Christie (Away From Her), Marion Cotillard’s performance as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose ($50M+ in the black!), Juno’s Page and Keira Knightley (Atonement) seem locked in. The 5th slot should go to either Helena Bonham Carter, Amy Adams (Enchanted) or Angelina Jolie whose A Mighty Heart more than made back its budget despite a disappointing domestic run.

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY SATURDAY  ESTIMATES
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Disney) – $8.61M, $2,355 PTA [$166M cume]
2. I Am Legend (Warner Bros.) – $6.96M, $1,910 PTA [$224.5M cume]
3. Juno (Fox Searchlight) – $6.82M, $3,546 PTA [$47.8M cume]
4. Alvin and the Chipmunks (Fox) – $6.81M, $1,968 PTA [$172.1M cume]
5. NEW – One Missed Call (Warner Bros) – $5.09M, $2,275 PTA [$10.29M cume]
6. Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal) – $3.6M, $1,389 PTA [$50.6M cume]
7. P.S. I Love You (Warner Bros.) – $3.44M, $1,394 PTA [$37.4M cume]
8. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (Sony) – $2.58M, $932 PTA [$29M cume]
9. Sweeney Todd (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $2.36M, $1,892 PTA [$37.1M cume]
10. Atonement (Focus) – $2.1M, $3,604 PTA [$17.6M  cume]
11. The Great Debaters (Weinstein/MGM) – $1.89M, $1,468 PTA [$20.9M cume]
12. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem – $1.81M, $693 PTA [$35.7M cume]
13. Enchanted (Disney) – $1.52M, $791 PTA [$118.7M cume]
14. The Golden Compass (New Line) – $1.2M, $748 PTA [$64.8M cume]
15. No Country for Old Men (Miramax) – $800,000, $977 PTA [$44.2M cume]
16. The Kite Runner (Paramount Vantage) – $735,000, $1,914 PTA [$8.2M cume]
17. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Sony) – $730,000, $358 PTA [$16.8M cume]
18. There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) – $490,000, $9,608 PTA [$1.3M cume]
*The Savages (Fox Searchlight) – $210,000, $1,909 PTA [$2.4M cume]
*The Orphanage (Picturehouse) – $163,000, $2,362 PTA [$695,000 cume]
*The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax) – $161,000, $2,825 PTA [$1.3M cume]
*The Bucket List (Warner Bros) – $135,000, $8,438 PTA [$1.1M cume]
*Persepolis (Sony Classics) -$38,000, $6,333 [$297,000 cume]

EXCLUSIVE FANTASY MOGULS EARLY 3-DAY  ESTIMATES
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Disney) – $20.81M, $5,534 PTA [$171.6M cume]
2. Juno (Fox Searchlight) – $16.6M, $8,627 PTA [$52.4M cume]
3. I Am Legend (Warner Bros.) – $16.34M, $4,482 PTA [$228.6M cume]
4. Alvin and the Chipmunks (Fox) – $15.94M, $4,606 PTA [$176.6M cume]
5. NEW – One Missed Call (Warner Bros) – $13.04M, $5,825 PTA [$13.04M cume]
6. Charlie Wilson’s War (Universal) – $8.49M, $3,276 PTA [$52.9M cume]
7. P.S. I Love You (Warner Bros.) – $8.09M, $3,275 PTA [$39.4M cume]
8. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (Sony) – $6.06M, $2,185 PTA [$30.6M cume]
9. Sweeney Todd (Dreamworks/Paramount) – $5.64M, $4,522 PTA [$38.7M cume]
10. Atonement (Focus) – $5.2M, $8,934 PTA [$19.2M  cume]
11. The Great Debaters (Weinstein/MGM) – $4.43M, $3,441 PTA [$22.2M cume]
12. Alien vs. Predator: Requiem – $4.14M, $1,583 PTA [$36.7M cume]
13. Enchanted (Disney) – $3.7M, $1,919 PTA [$119.7M cume]
14. The Golden Compass (New Line) – $2.81M, $1,746 PTA [$65.6M cume]
15. No Country for Old Men (Miramax) – $1.87M, $2,283 PTA [$44.8M cume]
16. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Sony) – $1.76M, $866 PTA [$17.2M cume]
17. The Kite Runner (Paramount Vantage) – $1.73M, $4,517 PTA [$8.7M cume]
18. There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage) – $1.26M, $24,843 PTA [$1.77M cume]
*The Savages (Fox Searchlight) – $490,500, $4,459 PTA [$2.57M cume]
The Orphanage (Picturehouse) – $391,100, $5,668 PTA [$809,000 cume]
*The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Miramax) – $366,750, $6,434 PTA [$1.44M cume]
*The Bucket List (Warner Bros) – $299,750, $18,734 PTA [$1.28M cume]
*Persepolis (Sony Classics) -$86,600, $14,433 [$324,000]

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