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What will be this year's Black Swan at the Box Office ?

What can I say, I am a sucker for those 'little film that could' kind of Cinderella-stories and today, when big-budgeted sequels and tentpole-wannabe-s rule everything, it was great to see last year that people ARE still interested in little films IF these films are special...reaally special. So which low budgeted tiny indie (or not so tiny OR indie) could surprise at the Box Office this year ? Let's have a closer look :

  1. The Iron Lady
      The Weinsteins will campaign the hell out of this one, it has a Holiday Season-release date and Meryl Streep in the leading role. She has been extremely succesful at the Box Office lately, so there is no need to assume that her streak will end now...especially with the Weinsteins in her corner. The film has an excellent shot at delivering 'The Queen-numbers' (57M US + 67M overseas) BUT I think it will do better...probably MUCH better...100M+100M ? I mean, look at the numbers of The King's Speech...and Meryl Streep is a much bigger (Box Office-) star than Colin Firth was last year.
  2. The Descendants
      George Clooney sold an Oscary dramedy two years ago...could he do it again ? Probably. If Payne's Sideways could make 72M 7 years ago, The Descendants with Clooney should have a good shot at that magical 100M domestic number...but 'Up in the Air' s 80M would be a great accomplishment already.
  3. Machine Gun Preacher
      Could be the 'inspirational' film of the year. It is the story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers...take that Soul Surfer!
  4. One Day
      The high-concept, the built-in audience thanks to the source material and Anne Hathaway's star power might just be enough...although rave reviews would definitely help...A LOT.
  5. Wuthering Heights
      Apparently, the marketing will focus on the tragic, forbidden love story, trying to appeal to the Twilight-audience...well, if they can pull it off, we might just have „the overachiever” of the year. Having said that, a BO-performance closer to recent British romances (Jane Eyre, The Young Victoria) is definitely a (much) more reasonable guess at this point.
  6. The Skin I live in
      For some reason, I'm getting a Black Swan-vibe here, I don't know whether it has something to do with the fact that it has the same kind of creepy/edgy-yet-campy story, but it could be definitely a film that people could talk about.
  7. Drive
      The genre is audience-friendly and Cannes-word suggests it will be critically acclaimed, the only problem is that Ryan Gosling isn't a BO-star...although after Crazy Stupid Love, that might change...we'll see!
  8. The Rum Diary
      Johnny my case.

And let's not forget about „the 'big' studio films that could”, either...sounds stupid, I know.

  1. War Horse
      On paper, this should be definitely THE film of the Holiday Season...too bad it is coming out relatively late. Anyway, 100M stateside and another 200M on the international circuit could happen without a hitch.
  2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
      Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks are probably the most likeable Oscar-winners today, add the always reliable Daldry, the source material, the December-release date and the family drama factor, and we might just have another The Blind Side on our hands...and I mean that strictly Box Office-wise...
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
      Unfortunately this doesn't have the luxury of „might”, it HAS TO bring in big numbers simply because it had a big budget (100M) 100M stateside and 200M on the international circuit are pretty much the least it should do...for what it's worth, I think it will do much better.
  4. J. Edgar
      Tricky...Eastwood's previous high-profile biopic didn't exactly do well at the Box Office, but then again, Invictus didn't feature one of the biggest movie stars in the lead role, what will it be BO-wise...another Invictus or another Aviator (ironically enough, Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby beat the latter in 2004) ?
  5. Hugo
      Scorsese + 3D + family fantasy + Thanksgiving release date...with this formula, it definitely SHOULD do well...
  6. Young Adult
      Jason Reitman's recent films (Up in the Air, Juno) did remarkably well at the Box Office, but both of those films were strong Oscar-contenders (bp-bd-acting-script nominations)...considering Charlize Theron isn't exactly a solo draw, either, the film kind of has to be a serious Awards-contender to get that will come down to the reviews...although a release date wouldn't hurt, either.
  7. We bought a Zoo
      Cameron Crowe had been more miss than hit lately, so hopefully he is back to his A-game this time around. If he is, Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson could definitely help him turn this film into a hit.
  8. The Help
      Early words is great – but then again, not official early word is always great – and it definitely looks „feel-good” enough...well, if it manages to get at least a fraction of The Blind Side-audience, it will be a success. At this point, 50M would be nice...but 100M would be a story...AND a huge Oscar-push, as well...


  1. Perhaps the question should, what will be this years Black Swan/True Grit/The King's Speech/The Fighter, as they were all small films that just took off at the b.o. like nothing else. (Grit and Fighter's budgets were higher, though)

    Out of the top 8, I'm not seeing any possibilities after the top 3. No way. That being said, Iron Lady has the best chance and unless The Descendants can rise above the lackluster trailer and poster, that's a big no.

  2. I think Drive could be a hit. It all depends on the marketing. If the trailer makes it seem action-packed then I think it will do well.

  3. It's just extremely vague guesswork at the moment, I am basically bored...though I AM fascinated with the sudden rise of Oscar-contenders at the Box Office, that's why I brought it up.

    Cinesnatch, I thought about mentioning the other overachievers, but in then end I've decided to pick only one, and considering The King's Speech WON best picture and True Grit and The Fighter had big BO-names, for me, Black Swan's 330M worldwide total seemed the most outstanding. The other three films were crowdpleasers, meanwhile Black Swan was the typical edgy, artsy, risky little indie, the type that usually goes unnoticed...not this time.

  4. I would say that We Bought a Zoo, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and maybe The Descendants have the potential to be this year's "Black Swan"s...

    "Drive" may be a surprise at the box-office too, but maybe not as big as Black Swan..

  5. Well, if early word has any indication, The Descendants is the disappointment of the year..