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Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 12-12-11


 
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” – In theaters December 16th

“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” – In theaters December 16th

Jared Harris, Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. on the set of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

Jared Harris, Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Jr. on the set of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”

AC3-137 – Director Mike Mitchell on the set of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED Photo: Doane Gregory Alvin and The Chipmunks, The Chipettes and Characters TM and @copy;2011 Bagdasarian Productions, LLC. All rights reserved. @copy; 2011 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

AC3-137 – Director Mike Mitchell on the set of ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED Photo: Doane Gregory Alvin and The Chipmunks, The Chipettes and Characters TM and ©2011 Bagdasarian Productions, LLC. All rights reserved. © 2011 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

“Sherlock” strength: You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who’s going to top this weekend’s boxoffice.

The clues are already here with tracking scores for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” that are in enviable double digits.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, director of the 2009 blockbuster “Sherlock Holmes,” the Warner Bros., Village Roadshow and Silver Pictures production re-teams Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams. This time around Holmes (Downey) and Dr. Watson (Law) confront their worst nightmare — Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).

“Sherlock” is showing huge strength in the tracking with males under and over 25. Its scores with women under and over 25 are about half of those hefty male scores, but are still bigger than what most films achieve with their very best demo. The PG-13 rated “Sherlock” is clearly poised to make a major boxoffice impact when it opens Dec. 16 at over 3,600 theatres.

The rebooted “Sherlock” franchise got off to a sensational start Dec. 25, 2009 with $62.3 million at 3,626 theatres. It wound up grossing $209 million domestically and another $315 million in international theatres.

While “Sherlock” will dominate the boxoffice, there also should be good ticket sales for 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises’ G rated animated comedy “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked,” featuring the voices of Justin Long as Alvin, Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon and Jesse McCartney as Theodore.

“Alvin’s” tracking best with women under and over 25, which is the perfect audience for a film that wants to attract lots of moms with kids.

In this episode, the Chipmunks and Chipettes find themselves marooned in a tropical paradise that’s not quite as deserted as they think.

The previous installment, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” kicked off Dec. 23, 2009 to $48.9 million at 3,700 theatres. It went on to gross $219.6 million domestically and another $223.5 million in international theatres.

This weekend will also see Paramount and Mandate Pictures’ R rated comedy drama “Young Adult” expand to approximately 1,000 theatres after opening to very encouraging business last weekend in platform release at 8 theatres.

Directed by Jason Reitman, an Oscar nominee for “Up in the Air” and “Juno,” and written by Diablo Cody, an Oscar winner for “Juno,” “Young” stars Charlize Theron, a best actress winner for “Monster.”

In “Young” Theron plays a divorced writer who returns to Minnesota to pursue her high school boyfriend Buddy (Patrick Wilson), who’s now married and a father. As you’d expect, “Young” is tracking best with 25-plus women.

Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” also enters the marketplace this weekend in limited release at about 400 theatres prior to going wide Wed., Dec. 21.

The last episode in the franchise, “Mission: Impossible III,” opened May 5, 2006 to $47.7 million at 4,054 theatres. It wound up grossing $134 million domestically and $263.8 million in international theatres.

“Mission” is tracking solidly with men under and over 25, exactly the audience you’d expect would be interested in seeing an action adventure thriller.

Awards activity: Last weekend saw a flurry of awards activity from critics groups, but the honors went to a number of films and filmmakers so there’s still no real frontrunner in the Oscar race.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted “The Descendants” the year’s best film, but gave best director honors to Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life,” its runner-up best picture. Martin Scorsese was the best director runner-up for “Hugo.”

Meanwhile, the Boston Society of Film Critics gave its best picture award to the black & white silent movie “The Artist,” but named Scorsese best director for “Hugo.”

“The Artist” also won best picture in the New York Film Critics Online vote and its director, Michael Hazanavicius, took received top directing honors.

But “The Artist” failed to make it a mini-sweep when the American Film Institute announced its list of the year’s best movies. AFI’s top 10 are: “Bridesmaids,” “The Descendants,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Help,” “Hugo,” “J. Edgar,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Moneyball,” “The Tree of Life” and “War Horse.”

On the other hand, in previously announced awards, the New York Film Critics Circle gave best picture to “The Artist” and voted Hazanavicius best director. The National Board of Review, however, honored “Hugo” as best picture and Scorsese as best director.

Clearly, “The Artist” and “Hugo” are already resonating with awards givers while “The Descendants” is beginning to emerge. As December unfolds, there will be critics groups voting across the country and making announcements every few days.

While none of these critics groups directly influence Oscar voting, they can have some cumulative impact if they wind up endorsing the same movies in key categories. So far, however, the early awards have been spread all over the place, making it a wide open Oscar race.

The Oscar morning line will really start to take shape when the high profile Golden Globes nominations are announced Dec. 15 by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Those noms are immediately converted by the studios into movie ads promoting their pictures “For Your Consideration,” which is to say for consideration by Academy members as they start thinking about their Oscar nominations.