Cannes Winners and Box Office Losers

The winners from the prestigious Cannes film festival have been released today – these films can sometimes turn into serious Oscar contenders, particularly in the Foreign Language Film category. This year’s Competition field was generally considered to be weaker than usual, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on these titles. Recognizable figures who served on the Competition jury included Tim Burton (jury president), Kate Beckinsale (go figure) and Benicio del Toro. Oh, and don’t ask me what the difference between the Palme d’Or and the Grand Prix is, I still have no idea.

Palme d’Or: Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand; now there’s a title for you)

Grand Prix: Of Gods and Men (France)

Best Director: Mathieu Amalric, On Tour (Mr. Amalric starred in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and was the decidedly non-villainous antagonist of the last Bond film, Quantum of Solace)

Best Actor: Javier Bardem, Biutiful (Mexico) AND Ellio Germano, La Nostra Vita (Italy)

Best Actress: Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy (France)

Screenplay: Lee Chang-Dong, Poetry (South Korea)

Jury Prize: A Screaming Man (France)

Out of all these winners, Bardem is probably the safest bet to go on to an Oscar nomination, with Binoche as an outside shot. Surprised to see nothing for Another Year, but as always critical love does not necessarily translate into awards.

I’m also posting to gloat over today’s box office figures. The ad campaign promised us that Shrek Forever After would be the last installment in the usually lucrative franchise, and audiences have declared, good riddance. Though it will win the weekend with a roughly $71.3 million gross, Shrek the Third debuted with $140.5 million its opening weekend in 2007. Factor in inflated prices for the 3-D, and that means Shrek 4 didn’t even sell half the tickets of its predecessor. That’s an unprecedented drop for a profitable family-friendly series like Shrek. As someone who found the original film somewhat tiresome (and that was NINE freakin’ years ago), I’m quite enjoying this.

Also, MacGruber is possibly the only film in history that cost only $12 million to make and still managed to be a flop. The SNL spin-off took $4.1 million its opening weekend, good enough for sixth place at the box office. That’s the fourth-worst opening of all time for a film that opened on over 2500 screens, topped only by The Rocker, Lucky You and Hoot. That’s some prestigious company, right there. Hang on, a feel an “I Told You So” followed by ten minutes of gleeful giggling coming up….

Here it comes…

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!    (he he hee heeeee he hehehehehe)

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