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Doldrums At The Box Office

Aftermath of bomb blast, Algiers, Algeria, video still 2007/4/11
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This past weekend was slow at the box office, reports CBS News Early Show entertainment contributor Laurie Hibberd. The new movie Head Over Heels, starring Monica Potter and Freddie Prinze, Jr., didn't even make the top five.

The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez held on to the top spot for the second week in a row.

Here are the box office numbers, according to Hollywood.com:

  • The Wedding Planner earned $11 million
  • Valentine scared up $10 million worth of business and a second-place showing.
  • Cast Away still hanging in there. It took in over $7 million and has topped the $200 million mark in seven weeks.
  • And Save the Last Dance and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon rounded out the top five.
Hibberd says that the post office was where all the action was over the weekend, because final Academy Award nomination ballots were due by Friday. Here are Hibberd's predictions for Oscar winners and close Oscar races, although she says it's a tough call this year.

"Most people think Julia Roberts will walk off with an Oscar statue for Erin Brockovich," said Hibberd. The competition that might stand in her way are Laura Linney's performance in You Can Count on Me and Ellen Burstyn's in Requiem for a Dream.

She thinks Steven Soderbergh will receive nominations for directing Erin Bockovich and Traffic but his two films will cancel each other out and he won't win an Oscar.

Summer blockbusters aren't usually big Oscar bait, but Hibberd said "they can't ignore Gladiator. Look for a slew of nominations," and she thinks Ridley Scott will win Best Director.

"And don't count out Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe's rock 'n' roll tale," said Hibberd. "Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand could go head-to-head for an Oscar" for Best Supporting Actress.

The Miramax marketing team is working overtime to make sure voters are aware of Chocolat. Look for a best actor nomination and supporting.

Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon may get a supporting nomination for the newcomer Zhang Ziyi's performance as well as the nod for Best Picture, said Hibberd.

And the sleeper hit Billy Elliot could score nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor and Supporting Actress for Julie Walters. Some say the film may have peaked too early, but the same thing was said about American Beauty.

Other front-runners include Cast Away and The Contender and Michael Douglas for Wonder Boys.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on February 13th.

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