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Tag:the fighter
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Cast: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte
Certificate: 15
Trailer / Clips

There's nothing as intense as two male men beating each other to a bloody pulp. And Warrior makes sure it's as intense as possible. First, it hires Tom Hardy to play damaged male man Tommy. Then it gets him to face off against Brendan (Edgerton), who is - shock, horror - his brother. And to make things more intense, the whole thing goes on for over two hours. It's overkill, definitely, but it's worth the slog.

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Gnomeo and Juliet stole the UK box office crown this week, keeping The King's Speech in a solid second place with £1.98m following its BAFTA victory.

It's a convincing win for Gnomeo and Juliet, which sits pretty at the top with a £2.95m debut. Not bad, given The King's Speech is still holding the most screens in the UK (543), but impressive with two other 3D animated kids movies out in force.

Yogi Bear put £1.82m into its pic-a-nic basket of soul-destroying naffness - again, a strong start given the competition, placing it in fifth place, £120k below Tangled. Disney’s fairytale has the fewest screens out of the three CGI contenders, but has now amassed a three-week total of just over £13m.

Fourth place went to True Grit, the Coens' remake, which performed astonishingly well in the US. It managed £1.82m from 372182000 screens, putting it shoulder to shoulder with Yogi Bear but without the 3D uplift. An average of over £4,000 per screen is pretty good for Paramount's Western, especially given the awards love going round to everyone else at the moment.

Black Swan and The Fighter also both posted takings of over £1m, lining up at number seven and eight respectively. That’s eight out of the UK Top Ten all taking over £1m at the box office. Eight. This never happens. Literally - it's never happened before. The BAFTAs are to blame for this box office silliness. As people flock to see the major nominees, money is flying into cinema cash registers.

It's sad to see The Fighter drop 50% to take £1.2m - compared to Black Swan's more typical 38% dip - but with so many movies out this week and the existing releases performing so well, there are only so many screens to go round. Black Swan's been out twice as long as The Fighter, but its £12m total gross is triple that of the boxing drama, which says a lot for its wider appeal. It's also showing in 100 more screens.

Perhaps the week’s most intriguing release was Never Let Me Go - demonstrating what happens during awards season if you don't get the nominations you wanted. It took just £625k from 265 screens.

A good comparison is last month's Conviction, which also had no BAFTA nominations. That took £279k from a similar spread of cinema screens, so it's not a terrible result given the heavyweight box office rivals. But a lack of nominations (and a low marketing push compared to Fox Searchlight's other movie, Black Swan) has left Mark Romanek's brilliant romance at the wrong end of the release schedule. Here's hoping Keira Knightley staring at people on the London Underground will help it stay afloat for one more week.

Just like the BAFTAs, the box office spotlight is still shining firmly on Colin Firth. £1.98m is less than we're used to seeing for Tom Hooper's drama, but it's been out for six weeks now. Six. By rights, it shouldn't be anywhere near the £2m mark. It's running total is now up to £33.7m, which makes it the 44th highest grossing movie in the UK of all time. And that's before it gets a kick from its Best Film triumph on Sunday - we're way past Slumdog Millionaire now, but that increased by £300k immediately following its BAFTA for Best Film, reversing a 32% drop from the previous week.

Paul tries to jump the royal shark by hopping into cinemas on Monday this week, so it should secure a top spot at the box office next week after 4 days of previews. But expect The King's Speech to stick around - just below Justin Bieber and Big Momma, who are both bringing their booty into play. And as half-term approaches, prepare for Yogi, Gnomeo and Rapunzel to squabble among themselves to see who can attract the most children. 



The Fighter failed to knock Tangled from the box office top spot after Disney's 50th took another consistently high total of £4.57m.

Dropping just £537k (about 10.5%), Tangled managed to hold off Mark Wahlberg, in third place, as well as topping The King's Speech for the second week running. The King's Speech is still number two, with takings of £2.74m.

This is the first time Tom Hooper's film has dipped below £3m since its release in January, losing 25% of last week's £3.6m. But it's still holding onto 545 screens - up 12 from last week - so we're only just now seeing the peak of its box office run. Or at least, we would be, if the Oscars weren't in three weeks.

The other awards contender, Black Swan, dropped a standard 32% to reach a solid fourth place figure of £1.72m. That loss for both Oscar front-runners is down to David O'Russell's The Fighter, which hit cinemas with a very strong £2.12m across 380 screens. Like The King's Speech, Black Swan also increased its share of cinemas over the weekend, but the boxing drama will be beating them back in a week's time after packing such a big opening punch.

Of course, Tangled has the advantage of its 3D ticket price, but new release Sanctum (or James Cameron's Sanctum In 3D to use its full title) suffered from poor word of mouth, notching up just £859k for Universal. They won't be too happy about such a so-so response. Maybe everyone was busy doing a spot of spring caving themselves - or they were just distracted by the Superbowl.

Also fairly floppy were seventh place A Little Bit of Heaven (£443k from a fairly wide release) and ninth place Brighton Rock. Rowan Joffe's remake can at least cling to only having 115 screens in the face of its £352k, which gives Brighton Rock's box office a surprisingly good average of £3,067 per screen.

Rabbit Hole, meanwhile, burrowed its way below the UK Top Ten (and Top 15 for that matter) with just £54,567 from its debut. It has 41 screens to its name; it is, after all, hard to sell a film about Nicole Kidman grieving. Its £1,330 average could be worse, but perhaps releasing it before The King's Speech would have given it more attention.  

It's soon time for True Grit to weigh in as the last of the awards grabbers slip into cinemas before the BAFTA cut-off date. The Coen Brothers' Western did remarkably well in the US with their highest ever opening, so Colin Firth, Mark Wahlberg and Natalie Portman will have a struggle on their hands.

Black Swan, now on £10m total, will be happy with a £15m overall gross. Meanwhile, The King's Speech is still in its counting house counting out its money (and awards). It's just passed the £30m mark and is easily on the way to hitting £40m. Slumdog's final total was £31.66m. The counting continues...



Christian Bale's a dead cert for Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter, which proves that there's one thing Bale is really good at: fighting. Ladies and Gentleman, Academy Award nominee Christian Bale. Punching people since 2000.

Fun Fact 1: it is impossible to count the number of times Christian Bale has punched people.
Fun Fact 2: Christian Bale once punched a black man in the balls. In prison.
Fun Fact 3: You do not have to punch people to win an Oscar.
Fun Fact 4: Sometimes Christian Bale punches people with an axe.
Fun Fact 5: Christian Bale did not punch his mother. But he'd probably punch yours if you said he did.

Director: David O'Russell
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
Certificate: 15

Micky Ward (Wahlberg) is a boxer - not a great one, but a good one. He's the younger brother of Dicky Ecklund (Bale). Dicky's a boxer too. He once knocked down Sugar Ray. Now he spends his days honking on his crack pipe and talking bollocks to a video camera.

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The King's Speech has got itself 12 nominations in this year's Oscars, including Best Director, Best Actor and, inevitably, Best Film. It leads the pack in a predictable list of contenders that range from The Fighter (hello Christian Bale) and 127 Hours - both on 6 nods each - to Inception and The Social Network - 8 nods apiece. True Grit is in second place with 10 nominations.

The most pleasant surprises are from the indie side of things: Mark Ruffalo has got himself a nod for The Kids Are All Right (the film's up for four awards in total), Hailee Steinfeld is up for Best Supporting Actress (not Best Actress for some reason), Another Year's up for Original Screenplay and best of all? Winter's Bone is in the running for four different Oscars. FOUR. That includes Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor (an unexpected but very deserving John Hawkes) and Best Film.

Of course, everything's nominated for Best Film this year, what with the list being 10 million titles long. 127 Hours and Inception are both in there, of course, making up for the lack of Boyle and Nolan in the Best Director race. It's the opposite way round for Black Swan, with Darren Aronofsky up for Best Director but not earning a Best Film nom. Shame.

It's also sad that Andrew Garfield is nowhere to be seen, but The Social Network is still, in theory, the one to beat for Best Picture - even if The King's Speech has the momentum now with the most nominations. But even with Nolan's lack of Director credit and Blue Valentine's Ryan Gosling overlooked for Best Actor, we can all take comfort from the fact that we'll be hearing a nice fat clip from The Social Network score at some point during the awards ceremony.

And if that isn't cheering enough for you, cling to this: The Illusionist got its foot in the Best Animated Film door. Yay! Now we can watch Lee Unkrich trample all over Sylvain Chomet live on Sky TV!

The Oscars will happen in the horribly early hours of the morning on Sunday 27th February. James Franco and Anne Hathaway will be there. I will be too. Mainly because I want to win cupcakes.

For a full list of nominations, read on. For more on winning cupcakes, check out THE OSCAR NOMNOMNOM CHALLENGE.

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Well, we all wanted The Tourist to win, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association stuck to the predictable choices for most of the Golden Globes last night: The Social Network won the big ones, Christian Bale and Natalie Portman picked up something each and, of course, Colin Firth got his gong for Best Actor.

Putting The King's Speech on solid ground for an Oscar win, The Firthmeister accepted the award with all the British charm he could muster - which is a lot. Less charming for some was host Ricky Gervais, who started off risky and ended up a tamed beast who stuck to reading off cards.

His opening monologue accused The Tourist of bribing people, and also covered Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson. Gasps and frowns went round the room, and Gervais promptly disappeared for an hour before reappearing with a more serious face. Still, he did better than Andrew Garfield, who stuttered his way through trying to say the word "inspiring" and failing miserably. But hey, he looked good while doing it, so it's fine.

The very minor surprises of the night came from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross beating safe bet Alexandre Desplat to Best Score for The Social Network. Yes, that's right: Nine Inch Nails have now won a Golden Globe. Paul Giamatti also unexpectedly won Best Comedy Actor for Barney's Version, an award I thought would go to double-nominee Johnny Depp. The only other non-shock? In a Better World winning Best Foreign Language Film, proving that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association don't always just vote for Iñárritu by default.

But the best moment of the evening? The bit when Robert De Niro made a joke about Little Fockers. And 3D. And private schools. And immigration. It was a long acceptance speech for his Cecil B. DeMille Award, but The De Niro Stand-Up Hour won the Meet the Parents and Machete star back a lot of his credibility.

That was only rivalled by Lee Unkrich bashing down Justin Bieber, who presented him with the Best Animated Film award: "Were you even born when the original Toy Story was released?" Unkrich quipped. Sadly, he was.

Read on for the complete list of winners. And to see Ricky Gervais' opening monologue.


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It's the Golden Globes nominations tomorrow lunchtime, but the build up to the Oscars has already begun with Los Angeles, New York and Boston Critics all dishing out their awards over the weekend. Nobody wants to read three full-scale lists of film titles, but here's the main thing to take away from it all: The Social Network has seriously kicked butt.

LA crowned it Best Picture, with Fincher also getting Best Director (although he has to share it with Olivier Assayas for Carlos). Aaron Sorkin also scooped Best Screenplay and Trent Raznor shared Best Score with The Ghost Writer. The same happened in Boston (minus The Ghost Writer and Carlos), with the bonus of Best Actor for Jesse Eisenberg. New York followed suit, but honoured the acting of James Franco in 127 Hours instead.

So what can you surmise? Well, firstly, Natalie Portman is a strong Best Actress candidate for Black Swan - she got two of three critics' awards. So strong, in fact, that Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone didn't even get a look in (she got pipped by Mother's Kim Hye-Ja to Los Angeles' prize). Secondly, Colin Firth's return to the Best Actor field may be hard-fought if James Franco and Jesse Eisenberg impress the Academy this much. Thirdly, Black Swan will be getting every editing/cinematography gong going.

And fourthly, Fincher's Facebook film will win EVERYTHING ELSE.

While Christian Bale bashes away at Best Supporting Actor in the background, the eyes of Hollywood turn to their Foreign Press Association, who announce their Golden Globe nominations in a matter of hours. Judging by the American Film Institute's Top Ten of the year, The Social Network will be right up there with the best of them. The question is: will the best include Inception? Or will David Fincher face down Christopher Nolan with his more conventional Faustian drama?

The Social Network is more awards-friendly in that its not a blockbuster. But Inception is as intelligent and absorbing as Aaron Sorkin's account of real events. Maybe if Nolan had a CGI clone of Leonardo DiCaprio, the matter would already be resolved. For now, I'm torn between my admiration for my academically adept younger child, and my love for my first-born who likes blowing things up with his mind.



A new TV spot for The Fighter has punched its way online via Mad Men. Because everyone know that all the cool people watch Mad Men.

That was actually the reason behind Paramount's decision to put together a quick trailer for the movie: the ABC show is watched by "high end, smart, savvy" people. In other words, the kind of people who vote for the Oscars.

Directed by David O Russell, The Fighter is about boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), whose relationship with his washed-up brother (Christian Bale) complicates his attempts to return to the top of the sport. Amy Adams is in it, too. And it's totally based on a true story and stuff.

It hits US cinemas on Friday 10th December, right in time for Awards season. Whether it'll get any with its earnest cast and OTT music is another matter entirely. We'll find out in the UK around Friday 4th February.

Check out the TV spot over at Deadline, or read on for the full video. 

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David O Russell has signed to direct an adaptation of computer game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune.

After dropping out of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the director has revived a previously dead project, which he ditched back in August. The PS3 title, which sees Francis Drake's descendent trying to discover the treasure of El Dorado. A nice adventurous romp for the I Heart Huckabees helmer, then.

Sony, who have a script from Cowboys and Aliens scribes Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, are happy for O Russell to tinker with it before starting to shoot - that's the kind of treatment you expect when you're surrounded by Oscar buzz for The Fighter, the boxing movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.

David O Russell originally planned to make Old St Louis instead of Natalie Portman's undead Austen flick, and he'll probably stick with that schedule. Not only does it let him work with Vince Vaughn, it also gives him more time to come up with a decent MacGuffin for his Indiana Jones-style summer movie. That's summer 2012, of course. 


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