Golden Globes: Adele Among Non-Surprises + Amy Poehler & Tina Fey High Ratings

Adele Golden GlobesAdele: Golden Globes' lack of surprises.

Golden Globes non-surprises: Adele & Ben Affleck + Daniel Day-Lewis

The Golden Globes 2013 – a.k.a. the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards – offered few surprises, at least when it came to the winners. Unless, that is, you weren't expecting Adele to win for her Skyfall ditty, Ben Affleck to win Best Director for Argo, Les Misérables to win Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, Anne Hathaway to win Best Supporting Actress for Les Misérables, or Jennifer Lawrence to win Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Silver Linings Playbook. (Image: Adele surprisingly looks surprised that she won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for the Skyfall theme song. © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association / Golden Globes 2013.)

Or maybe you weren't expecting Daniel Day-Lewis to win the Golden Globe for Best Actor - Drama for Lincoln, Jessica Chastain to win Best Actress - Drama for Zero Dark Thirty, Quentin Tarantino to win for his Django Unchained screenplay, or Mychael Danna to win for his Life of Pi score. Or Michael Haneke's Amour to win the Best Foreign Language Film Golden Globe. (See also the full list of this year's Golden Globes nominations.)

Golden Globes validate established and up-and-coming stars

The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have stars in the eyes. How could Ben Affleck not win the Best Director Award? Or Quentin Tarantino not win for Best Screenplay? When it comes to the Golden Globes, a Best Screenplay victory by Argo's Chris Terrio or Lincoln's Tony Kushner would have been an upset, much like David Fincher's The Social Network Best Picture - Drama win two years ago was an upset: true, Fincher's drama was the American critics' favorite, but the popular vote would normally have gone to the eventual Oscar winner, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech. The year before, no one should have been surprised that James Cameron's Avatar beat Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker at the Golden Globes.

As for Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, it's true that they're not established stars. But both The Hunger Games' Lawrence and The Help's Chastain are up-and-coming stars; their Golden Globes help to validate their budding stardom, even if not necessarily their acting skills.

Golden Globes few surprises: Hugh Jackman, Christoph Waltz

In the motion picture categories, the biggest surprise was probably Les Misérables' Hugh Jackman beating Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper in the Best Actor - Comedy or Musical category. Why so surprising? Chiefly because Harvey Weinstein was behind the latter movie; to a lesser extent because Bradley Cooper's performance has been singled out elsewhere and he's as much a star as Hugh Jackman.

Curiously, in her Golden Globe acceptance speech, Jennifer Lawrence thanked Weinstein “for killing whoever you had to kill to get me up here today.” Apparently, not enough killing was done. Hugh Jackman, for one, was left standing. Hence, Bradley Cooper went home empty-handed.

The Weinstein Company's final Golden Globes tally, I should add consisted of three wins: Jennifer Lawrence, Quentin Tarantino, and the evening's other big surprise, Christopher Waltz, who waltzed away (sorry, couldn't resist the awful pun) with his second Golden Globe while fellow Django Unchained player (and Big Movie Star) Leonardo DiCaprio looked on.

Adding insult to injury, Christoph Waltz won his first Golden Globe a mere three years ago, for another Quentin Tarantino effort, Inglourious Basterds. Leonardo DiCaprio, for his part, has been nominated for nine Golden Globes, but has taken home only one statuette: Best Actor - Drama for Martin Scorsese's 2004 Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator.

Golden Globes 2013: Argo vs. Lincoln

Ben Affleck's Argo would have been a truly surprising Best Picture - Drama choice had Steven Spielberg's Lincoln taken home the Golden Globe for either Best Screenplay or Best Director – or both. That was not the case. In fact, by the time the final award of the evening was announced, Lincoln, despite the unexpected Bill Clinton plug, had become a dark horse. Lincoln's only Golden Globe win turned out to be The Inevitable One: Daniel Day-Lewis, who has become the early 21st-century's mix of Paul Muni and George Arliss.

Wrapping up this Golden Globes 2013 post: Pixar's Brave was the moderately surprising Best Animated Feature winner, as there was no clear front-runner in that category. (Hotel Transylvania, Wreck-It Ralph, and the critically acclaimed but financially disappointing Frankenweenie and ParaNorman were the other contenders.)

Adele accepting the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “Skyfall” image: © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association / Golden Globes 2013.

Golden Globes Tina Fey Amy Poehler
Golden Globes Tina Fey Amy Poehler probably making fun of James Cameron – by way of Kathryn Bigelow – at the Golden Globes 2013 ceremony. © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Golden Globes 2013: Best TV ratings in six years

The Golden Globes 2013 telecast, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as smartly and tightly dressed co-hostesses, boasted the Golden Globes ceremony's best television ratings in six years. That seems to indicate that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were bigger TV attractions than Ricky Gervais.

Broadcast last Sunday evening on NBC, the 70th Golden Globes lured an estimated 19.7 million viewers in the United States, up 17 percent from last year. In recent years, Golden Globes 2013 trailed only the 2007 ceremony, which was watched by slightly more than 20 million viewers – on a (less audience-friendly) Monday. This year's Golden Globes were also a relative hit with the 18-49 demographic, up 28 percent from last year and averaging a 6.4 rating, according to data found at Variety.

Do bigger movies mean bigger TV audiences?

Now, some insist that bigger nominated movies mean bigger audiences for televised awards shows. But if that were necessarily the case, Golden Globes 2010 – the year James Cameron's Avatar won Best Picture - Drama – should have been the most-watched Golden Globes ceremony of the last millennium or so.

The winner at the 2007 Golden Globes ceremony, I should add, was Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel, which grossed all of $34.2 million in North America. The highest-grossing Best Picture (either Drama or Comedy / Musical) that year was Martin Scorsese's mafia thriller The Departed, which went on to collect $132 million domestically. This year's Best Picture - Drama, Ben Affleck's Argo, has to date grossed $111.86m; the Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, Tom Hooper's Les Misérables, has taken in $119.6 million.

Golden Globes: Seven decades old

The Golden Globes have been around since 1944, the year Paul Lukas was named Best Actor for Watch on the Rhine and Jennifer Jones was named Best Actress for the blockbuster The Song of Bernadette, which also earned Henry King Best Director honors and was selected as the previous year's Best Film by the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

However, it would take the HFPA decades for their Golden Globe statuettes to become an awards-season force to be reckoned with, but they've undeniably gotten there. Though badmouthed, ridiculed, and derided by many, including some in the film industry (see Robert De Niro joke below), the Golden Globes are now not only well known worldwide, but are in and of themselves boosters of both box office returns and, despite Best Picture nominations to the likes of The Tourist, “prestige.” (More on their box office boost in a follow-up post.)

Anyhow, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose Oscar telecasts have been losing viewers at an alarming rate, might want to consider boosting up its TV ratings by way of clever, humorous hostesses such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Though Seth MacFarlane seems to be a good step in the right direction.

* Robert De Niro, being funny while accepting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B. DeMille Award: “I'm sorry more members of the foreign press aren't with us tonight, but many were deported right before the show along with most of the waiters. And Javier Bardem.”

Golden Globes Amy Poehler Tina Fey

Golden Globes 2013 box office bump: From 'Argo' to 'Lincoln'

The Golden Globes are undeniable domestic box office boosters. True, the Globes' box office bump may not last long, but let's not forget that a DVD/Blu-ray cover with the tagline “Winner of 1/2/3/etc. Golden Globe(s)” is a solid marketing tool, no matter how many pundits consider the Hollywood Foreign Press Association both untrustworthy and irrelevant. (Photo: Golden Globes 2013 hostesses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association.)

The day after the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler-hosted Golden Globes 2013 ceremony – the most watched in the United States in the last six years – David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, which earned Jennifer Lawrence the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical Golden Globe, more than doubled its Monday-to-Monday domestic box office take, going from $289,000 at 745 locations to $583,000 at 810 sites, according to figures found at Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, which earned Daniel Day-Lewis a Best Actor - Drama Golden Globe, was up 51 percent (compared to the previous week), collecting $620,000 after having added about 10 percent more theaters (for a total of 2,027).

Best Picture - Drama and Best Director (Ben Affleck) winner Argo was up an astounding 284 percent compared to the previous Monday – though, admittedly, after more than doubling its number of locations (from 302 to 621) last Friday. Oh, but wait. Last Friday, a mere two days after the Academy Award nominations were announced, Ben Affleck's political thriller was up only 53 percent compared to the previous week. In other words, it seems that the Golden Globes ceremony had a much more noticeable impact on that film's box office than the Academy's announcement.

Les Misérables, Django Unchained down despite Golden Globes

Now, Les Misérables, the winner of three Golden Globes, was down 30 percent compared to the previous week, collecting $878,000 at 2,927 locations. For the record, the Les Misérables wins were for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, Best Actor - Comedy or Musical for Hugh Jackman, and Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway.

Also, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, winner of Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz and Best Screenplay (Tarantino), was down 35 percent compared to the previous Monday, grossing $1.21 million.

How come there was no Golden Globes box office boost for those two Globe-winning movies? Well, I'd say there was. After all, both Les Misérables and Django Unchained opened on Christmas Day 2012; in other words, yesterday was only their third Monday out. Also worth noting is that Les Misérables was down 80 percent on Monday last week while Django Unchained was down 64 percent. True, the previous Monday was a semi-holiday, Dec. 31, but bear in mind that going to the movies isn't exactly most people's idea of spending the evening on New Year's Eve.

As for Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, which earned Jessica Chastain the Best Actress - Drama Golden Globe and a very funny torture joke at the expense of Bigelow's former husband James Cameron, it's impossible to make Monday-to-Monday comparisons as the controversial thriller about the U.S. government's hunt for Osama bin Laden went into wide release last Friday. However, Friday / Monday surges can be compared: Zero Dark Thirty was up 1,010 percent on Friday (compared to the previous Friday); and 851 percent on Monday (compared to the previous Monday).

Box-office performance of movies not honored by the Golden Globes

And here are a couple of movies bypassed by the Golden Globes 2013: both Tom Cruise's thriller Jack Reacher and Peter Jackson's fantasy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were down 50 percent on Monday (compared to the previous Monday). Jack Reacher was playing at 2,707 locations (vs. 3,288 the week before); The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was screening at 3,012 locations (vs. 3,755 the previous Monday).

On a smaller scale, Juan Antonio Bayona / Naomi Watts' The Impossible, which didn't win any Golden Globes and was nominated only for Best Actress - Drama (Watts), was down 9 percent despite an increase of about 35 percent in its number of theaters (from 572 to 808).

Monday figures for Michael Haneke's Best Foreign Language Film Amour were unavailable at Box Office Mojo.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Golden Globes 2013 photo: © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association / Golden Globes 2013.

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