I'm getting pissed off at this country for their moviegoing tastes. An adam sandler film (his 22nd in a row in which he talks like a kid and has bathroom jokes) and a film featuring tabloid sensation jennifer anniston in a film about a dog, have beaten revolutionary road, curious case of benjamin buttons, valkyrie (it's at least made by a respectable director) 2 weeks in a row.
Before that, Yes Men, a Jim Carrey copy-off of Liar Liar and nowhere near the level of acting that he displayed in Majestic, Man on the Moon, Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine, beat Seven Pounds, Doubte and Frost/Nixon. Four Christmas pummeled Milk and Doubt, two or three weeks before that.
Anything that's remotely worthy of an Oscar is not getting any people to see their movie. I can understand a slight discrepancy and that the popcorn fodder would perform well but Four Christmases doubled Australia's box office per theater total and grossed $26 million dollars more. Reviews I read in the Washington Post and New York Times praised Australia. I know Oscar buzzers have written it off, but mainstream reviewers said it was worth seeing, on the whole.
Anyway, it would take a lot of analysis to measure this correctly because the holiday releases release in a lot fewer theaters and work their way up, but on the whole people are choosing to spend their money on generally unintelligent films such as Bedtime Stories, Yes Man, The Tale of Despereaux, Four Christmases, than films with oscar buzz. I realize that a film being nominated for an Oscar doesn't make it better, and I appreciate a wide range of films. Cheaper by the Dozen, Anchorman, X-Men 2, Finding Nemo all made my top ten lists of their respective year and this year's lot will include Be Kind Rewind, Quantum of Solace, and possibly Valkyrie.
Still, I generally believe that oscar-buzz films are of greater quality on the average than Yes Men, Four Christmases, Marley and Me and Bedtime Stories