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There are only a few days left until the 2014 Academy Awards, so most of our predictions are solidified by now. But even though Cate Blanchett appears to be a lock for Best Actress and Alfonso Cuaron has the highest odds of winning Best Director, there's still one race that's impossible to guess: Best Supporting Actress. The two candidates who could snag the trophy are Lupita Nyong'o for her work in 12 Years a Slave and Jennifer Lawrence for her performance in American Hustle.
Normally, we could just rely on the previous awards shows to help influence our predictions. Blanchett and Cuaron have both swept their categories, as have Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (who we think will take Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively). But Lawrence and Nyong'o have split the opinions of the various awards organizations, which means the Oscar is still anyone's game. In an attempt to solve this problem once and for all and help you solidify your Oscar pool, we've taken a look back at all of the women who have won Best Supporting Actress in order to see if we could use the winners of yesteryear to determine who will walk home with the trophy on Oscar night.
Major Precursor Awards Won: 2 (for each)Lawrence won both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, while Nyong'o picked up the Critic's Choice Award and the Screen Actor's Guild Award for playing the slave girl Patsey.
Actresses 25 and Under Who Won Best Supporting Actress: 8If Lawrence, who at 23 is the youngest actress to earn 3 Oscar nominations, were to take home the award on Sunday, she would join a list of young winners that includes Tatum O’Neal, Patty Duke, Goldie Hawn, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Hudson, Angelina Jolie, Teresa Wright, and Anne Baxter.
Actresses Between 25 and 30 Who Won Best Supporting Actress: 13At 30, Nyong'o would be in good company as a Best Supporting Actress winner, as Shirley Jones, Mary Steenburgen, Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino, Miyoshi Umecki, Gloria Grahame, Kim Hunter, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno, Eva Marie Saint, Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Celeste Holm also took home an Oscar around the same age.
Best Supporting Actress Winners Who Won for Their First Performance: 9It's hard to believe that 12 Years a Slave is Nyong'o's first feature film, but she's not the only actress to impress the Academy with her debut perfomance: Katina Paxinou, Mercedes McCambridge, Eva Marie Saint, Jo Van Fleet, Tatum O’Neal, Goldie Hawn, Miyoshi Umecki, Anna Paquin, and Jennifer Hudson all stunned on their first try.
Actresses Who Won Best Supporting Actress After Winning Best Actress: 3 After winning for Silver Lining's Playbook at last year's awards, Lawrence would join an elite club of women who topped their Best Actress win with a Best Supporting Actress trophy. : Helen Hayes, who won Best Actress for her work in The Sin of Madelon Claudet in 1931 and Best Supporting Actress for Airport in 1970, Ingrid Bergman, who took home Best Actress for Gaslight in 1944 and Anastasia in 1956 then won Best Supporting Actress in 1974 for Murder on the Orient Express, and Maggie Smith, who was awarded Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1969 and followed it up with Best Supporting Actress for California Suite 1978.
Best Supporting Actress Winners Who Won on Their First Nomination: 51The Best Supporting Actress category has been particularly kind to newcomers, with 51 actresses who have taken home gold on their first nomination (a fact that bodes well for Nyong'o). If she wins, she would be added to the long list that includes Gale Sondergaard, Hattie McDaniel, Jane Darwell, Mary Astor, Katina Paxinou, Ethel Barrymore, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Mercedes McCambridge, Josephine Hull, Kim Hunter, Donna Reed, Eva Marie Saint, Jo Van Fleet, Dorothy Malone, Miyoshi Umecki, Shirley Jones, Rita Moreno, Patty Duke, Margaret Rutherford, Lila Kedrova, Sandy Dennis, Estelle Parsons, Goldie Hawn, Cloris Leachmann, Tatum O’Neal, Beatrice Straight, Mary Steenburgen, Jessica Lange, Linda Hunt, Peggy Ashcroft, Anjelica Huston, Dianne Wiest, Olympia Dukakis, Geena Davis, Brenda Fricker, Mercedes Ruehl, Marisa Tomei, Anna Paquin, Mira Sorvino, Juliette Binoche, Kim Basinger, Angelina Jolie, Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Connolly, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Hudson, Tilda Swinton, Mo’Nique, and Octavia Spencer.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for a Comedic Role: 7Although the Academy tends to favor dramatic performances, the Supporting Actor and Actress categories often reward more comedic roles, like Lawrence's. If she wins, she would join the seven other women who laughed their way to an Oscar: Josephine Hull for Harvey, Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower, Maggie Smith for California Suite, Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck, Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny, Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, and Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress Winners For Playing Servants: 3Although Nyong'o would be the first Best Supporting Actress winner to win for portraying a slave, three women have previously won for playing servants: Gale Sondergaard, Hattie McDaniel, and Octavia Spencer.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for Playing the Wife of the Lead: 7Before Rosalyn Rosenfeld came along to "inspire" her husband Iriving, there were countless other wives who played a key role in their husband's stories, and seven actresses won an Oscar for playing them: Mary Astor, Kim Hunter, Gloria Grahame, Jennifer Connolly, Rachel Weisz, Meryl Streep, and Mary Steenburgen.
Black Women Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress: 4If Nyong'o takes home the Oscar on Sunday, she will become only the fifth black woman to win Best Supporting Actress, and just the sixth black woman to win an acting Oscar overall. The previous Best Supporting Actress winners are Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Mo’Nique, and Octavia Spencer, while Halle Berry is the lone black Best Actress winner.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for Playing a Character with a New York Accent: 2Whether you love Lawrence's accent in American Hustle or it makes you want to stab yourself in the ears, there's no denying that the New York accent is a tricky one to pull off. Only two women have done it well enough to earn an Oscar: Marisa Tomei as the wise-cracking fianceè of the title character in My Cousin Vinny and Olympia Dukakis as Cher's mother in Moonstruck.
Our Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o Despite being evenly matched, we think that the combination of 12 Years a Slave being Nyong'o's film debut, as well as her first nomination will help swing the votes in her favor, as the Academy has proven that there's nothing it loves more than an impressive breakthrough performance. Plus, she deserves it, and we have to believe that there is some semblance of justice left in this world.
It was a dino-might box office weekend driven by explosive openings for Jurassic Park III and America's Sweethearts.
Between them, Universal and Amblin's JP III and Revolution Studios and Columbia's Sweethearts grossed an extra sweet $81 million-plus. Distribution sources said Sunday morning that it set a record as the biggest combined total ever for two openings. They added, however, that combined total for Pearl Harbor's opening weekend and Shrek's second weekend for the three day weekend portion of this year's four day Memorial Day holiday period was an even larger $101.6 million.
Driven by the twin blockbuster openings, ticket sales reversed their recent downward pattern versus last year. Key films grossed nearly $140 million, up over 5 percent from this time a year ago.
The PG-13 rated action adventure fantasy sequel JP III kicked off to a sizzling ESTIMATED $50.27 million at 3,434 theaters ($14,640 per theater). Its cume after five days is approximately $80.9 million.
JP III is Universal's third high profile box office success story this summer. The studio began the summer season in early May with The Mummy Returns, which has grossed nearly $201 million after 12 weeks in theaters. The studio's mid-summer sleeper hit The Fast and the Furious has now grossed $125 million after five weeks in theaters.
Directed by Joe Johnston, JP III stars Sam Neill, William H Macy, Tea Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter, John Diehl and Bruce A. Young.
JP III's average per theater was the highest for any film playing in wide release this weekend.
"It's extraordinary," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said Sunday morning. "Coming off of the Wednesday opening (of $19 million), everybody was surprised. Now that the weekend results are almost in, I think everybody continues to be surprised.
"It would have been a normal expectation for the picture to be flat between Friday and Saturday, but once again there's no way of reading this business. We did a lot of business and were up 24 percent on Saturday night. It's playing very broad, is what it means. All of my people that went to check theaters yesterday -- which we do when we have films like this in the marketplace to make sure we're in the right screens -- at one o'clock in the afternoon the big screens were (already) three-quarters filled in the megaplexes and with families."
Rocco also pointed to anecdotal evidence that JP III is already generating repeat business. "We had a theater manager that got some complaints from parents," she explained. "But you'll never guess what the complaints were -- the kids behind them kept on saying what the next scene was going to be because they'd seen it already!"
With nearly $81 million already in hand, where does it go? While it's clearly going to be huge, it's too early now to say how huge. "No one knows," Rocco observed.
It also was an outstanding weekend for Revolution Studios and Columbia Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy America's Sweethearts, which opened in second place to a very engaging ESTIMATED $31.0 million at 3,011 theaters ($10,296 per theater).
Directed by Joe Roth, it stars Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Cusack.
"We're delighted. Those are all boxcar numbers in the world of romantic comedies," Sony Pictures Entertainment worldwide marketing & distribution president Jeff Blake said Sunday morning. "You look at films like Runaway Bride on July 30, 1999 with $35.0 million and a $152 million total (in domestic theaters). That was the biggest romantic comedy opening ever. In the world of romantic comedies, you've got Runaway Bride as the biggest and then What Women Want on Dec. 15, 2000 with $33.6 million and (a domestic theatrical) cume of $183 million.
"And we don't have to take a back seat after that to anybody. You've got Notting Hill, which opened May 28, 1999 to $27.6 million on a four day Memorial Day (holiday) weekend and (wound up doing) $116 million. You've got You've Got Mail, which opened Dec. 18, 1998 to $18.4 million and did $115 million. Certainly, as you go further back there's a great indication of romantic comedies that opened in the mid-to-high teens (in millions) and all went and did over $100 million -- like Jerry Maguire ($153.6 million) and Sleepless in Seattle ($126.7 million) and things like that."
Focusing on the huge combined business for JP III and Sweethearts, Blake observed, "It's certainly great for Jurassic Park and their franchise and it's great for us and what we're trying to do. And it's great for the market. This looks like a $140 million weekend and we're even up from last year. It had been going in the other direction (in terms of weekends being down from 2000), so I think this certainly revitalized the summer with two openings of this magnitude and, hopefully, it will be a great second half (of the summer)."
Blake pointed out that, "The hard part is to get a romantic comedy out there in a big way right from Day One. They certainly have -- better than any other genre -- a great track record of holding. That always has been the game plan. To get it open to as good a number as we could versus (what is) certainly different competition, but huge competition as turned out to be the case, and to be that summer movie that's going to hold for a while. I think the genre allows that and all indications are that that's what will happen to us here."
Asked who was on hand opening weekend to see Sweethearts, Blake replied, "We got our initial exit polls and it looks like about 55%-45% women to men. So slightly more women, but really a traditional date movie for the most part. It looks like about the same 55%-45% adults to younger people, using 25 as the cut-off. Certainly we've got something here for the first time this summer -- or one of the only pictures this summer -- that appeals to adults. But it also got the younger contingent, as well. Every indication is that it's playing great."
Looking ahead, Blake pointed out, "If you look at the competition coming up it's all big, but pretty male -- Planet of the Apes and Rush Hour 2, in particular. So I think we're in a very good spot. It's unusual for two pictures to open north of $30 million on the same weekend. I know it happened with The World Is Not Enough and Sleepy Hollow, but it's hard to think of many other examples where pictures got out there in as big a way as this."
While Bride still ranks as Roberts' biggest opening ever, Sweethearts' $31 million launch goes into the record books as her second biggest opening. It overtakes Erin Brockovich, which arrived to $28.1 million on Mar. 17, 2000 and went on to gross $125.5 million in domestic theaters.
In the face of the weekend's two blockbuster arrivals, MGM's PG-13 rated comedy hit Legally Blonde fell two pegs to third place in its second week with a still sexy ESTIMATED $11.05 million (-46%) at 2,695 theaters (+75 theaters; $4,100 per theater). Its cume is approximately $43.4 million, heading for $70-75 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Robert Luketic, the Marc Platt production stars Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis, Victor Garber and Jennifer Coolidge with a special appearance by Raquel Welch.
"It held up great during the week and even held up well on Wednesday against the massive opening of Jurassic Park III," MGM worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution president Bob Levin said Sunday morning.
"As we look now at what happened this weekend, I think given the (blockbuster) opening of Jurassic Park III and the right on demographic target opening of America's Sweethearts, this kind of drop is totally acceptable and gives us a good feeling that we won't see anything this significant (in terms of a drop) in the future and that we'll be holding up pretty well."
Paramount's R rated crime drama The Score slid two rungs to fourth place in its second week with an okay ESTIMATED $10.75 million (-43%) at 2,160 theaters (+31 theaters; $4,977 per theater). Its cume is approximately $37.2 million.
Directed by Frank Oz, it stars Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett and Marlon Brando.
Cats & Dogs, the PG rated family appeal comedy from Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures and NPV Entertainment dropped two notches to fifth place in its third week, still showing its teeth with an ESTIMATED $6.77 million (-44%) at 3,040 theaters (theater count unchanged; $2,227 per theater). Its cume is approximately $72.4 million, heading for $100 million in domestic theaters.
"The picture performs like the weather report. It rained in the Miami area and the Jacksonville area and we were up 58 percent (on Saturday) from Friday. In Boston the weather was still fantastic and we were up (only) 19 percent," Warner Bros. Distribution president Dan Fellman said Sunday morning. "That's what happens with this movie. It's going to be around a very long time. Families like it. Kids like it. We're doing repeat business. It'll play a long time. There's nothing coming in that's going to hurt us."
Universal's PG-13 action drama The Fast and the Furious fell two laps to sixth place in its fifth week, still showing good legs with an ESTIMATED $5.26 million (-35%) at 2,744 theaters (-155 theaters; $1,915 per theater). Fast, which cost a modest $38 million, has a cume of approximately $125.0 million.
Directed by Rob Cohen and produced by Neal H. Moritz, it stars Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster.
20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment's PG rated comedy sequel Dr. Dolittle 2, which was seventh last week, tied for seventh place in its fifth week with a quiet ESTIMATED $4.4 million (-42%) at 2,444 theaters (-385 theaters; $1,780 per theater). Its cume is approximately $93.2 million, heading for $100 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Steve Carr and produced by John Davis, it stars Eddie Murphy.
Dimension Films' R rated horror film spoof sequel Scary Movie 2, which was fifth last week, tied for seventh place in its third week with a mellow ESTIMATED $4.4 million (-54%) at 2,802 theaters (-418 theaters; $1,570 per theater). Its cume is approximately $61.7 million, heading for $70 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, it stars Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Anna Faris, Regina Hall, Christopher Masterson and Kathleen Robertson.
Columbia's release of Square Pictures' PG-13 rated computer animated sci-fi fantasy adventure Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within plunged five slots to ninth place in its second week with a dull ESTIMATED $3.5 million (-69%) at 2,649 theaters (theater count unchanged; $1,321 per theater). Its cume is approximately $26.7 million.
Square financed the film's production costs, which reportedly were about $115 million. For Sony Fantasy represents a distribution deal with Columbia in only for marketing and distribution costs.
Rounding out the Top Ten was 20th Century Fox's R rated action drama Kiss of the Dragon, down two rungs in its third week with a cold ESTIMATED $2.86 million (-52%) at 1,658 theaters (-442 theaters; $1,726 per theater). Its cume is approximately $29.6 million.
Directed by Chris Nahon, it stars Jet Li and Bridget Fonda.
This weekend also saw the arrival of Fine Line Features' R rated rock musical drama Hedwig and the Angry Inch to a very encouraging ESTIMATED $0.15 million at 9 theaters ($17,001 per theater).
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell, who also wrote and adapted his hit Off-Broadway play to the screen, Hedwig stars Mitchell in its title role.
MGM's release of United Artists' R rated youth appeal comedy Ghost World materialized to a spirited ESTIMATED $0.1 million at 5 theaters ($20,174 per theater) in New York (two theaters), Los Angeles (two theaters) and Seattle (one theater).
Directed by Terry Swigoff, it stars Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas and Steve Buscemi.
"We have the highest screen average this week, which is great," MGM's Bob Levin said Sunday morning. "And looking back, it's a higher screen average over (hit specialized film) openings like Run Lola Run, Mighty Aphrodite, Hilary and Jackie or You Can Count On Me. We hold for a week and then expand into seven additional markets on Aug. 3. Based on this performance, I think we'll also be expanding within these first three markets.
There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
On the expansion front, this weekend saw Fox Searchlight's R rated critically acclaimed British crime thriller Sexy Beast continue to widen in its sixth week, still showing good legs with an ESTIMATED $0.39 million (-22%) at 189 theaters (+10 theaters; $2,075 per theater). Its cume is approximately $4.5 million.
Directed by Jonathan Glazer, it stars Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley.
"I think we're going to end up with probably around $5.5-$6.0 million," Fox Searchlight distribution president Steven Gilula said Sunday morning. "We'll be real pleased with that. Right now, we're the third strongest limited release for the year after Memento and Amores Perros. I think we'll get past Amores Perros and be number two. And then it's a question of all these new (specialized) films and which ones will expand out and be able to penetrate the market. There's a lot of independent product opening now."
Miramax's R rated French comedy The Closet went wider in its fourth week with a still promising ESTIMATED $0.34 million (+8%) at 65 theaters (+22 theaters; $5,153 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.3 million.
Directed by Francis Veber, it stars Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte and Michele Laroque.
Artisan's R rated comedy Made expanded in its second week with an encouraging ESTIMATED $0.27 million at 19 theaters (+16 theaters; $13,947 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.5 million.
Written and directed by Jon Favreau, it stars Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Sean Combs, Famke Janssen, Faizon Love and Peter Falk.
Fine Line Features' R rated comedy The Anniversary Party went wider in its seventh week with a quiet ESTIMATED $0.17 million (-36%) at 120 theaters (+2 theaters; $1,405 per theater). Its cume is approximately $3.3 million.
Written/directed by and starring Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh, its ensemble cast includes Jane Adams, Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline, , Gwyneth Paltrow, Parker Posey and John C Reilly.
Lions Gate Films' PG-13 rated drama Songcatcher continued to widen in its sixth week with a weak ESTIMATED $0.16 million (-15%) at 91 theaters (+19 theaters; $1,800 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.2 million.
Directed by Maggie Greenwald, it stars Janet McTeer and Aidan Quinn.
Lions Gate Films' unrated erotic drama Lost and Delirious widened in its third week with a slow ESTIMATED $0.037 million at 18 theaters (+10 theaters; $2,050 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.14 million.
Directed by Lea Pool, it stars Piper Perabo.
Miramax's R rated comedy Everybody's Famous added a theater in its third week with a dull ESTIMATED $0.01 million at 11 theaters (+1 theater; $918 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.075 million.
Written and directed by Dominique Deruddere, it stars Josse De Pauw.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 -- took in approximately $139.68 million, up about 5.37% from the comparable weekend last year when key films grossed $132.55 million.
This weekend's key film gross was up about 19.6% from last weekend this year when key films took in $116.78 million.
Last year, DreamWorks' opening week of What Lies Beneath was first with $29.70 million at 2,813 theaters ($10,559 per theater); and Fox's second week of X-Men was second with $23.47 million at 3,112 theaters ($7,541 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $53.2 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $81.3 million.
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