Hugh Jackman leads Aust SAG-Globe charge

Hugh Jackman leads Aust SAG-Globe charge

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Hugh Jackman leads Aust SAG-Globe charge; Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians battle at US box office; Australian and international Hollywood movie news update...

Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe, Toni Collette, Jacki Weaver and director Ben Lewin will discover this week if they are Oscar contenders or pretenders.

Nominations for the two key pre-Oscar award ceremonies, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and Golden Globes, will be announced in Los Angeles, with Jackman considered a certainty to score nominations for his performance in the musical Les Miserables.

First up is the SAG nomination ceremony early on Thursday AEDT.

Then 24 hours later, the Globes nominations are revealed.

Every top film critic and awards pundit has Jackman pencilled in with acting heavyweights Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Civil War hero and the 16th president of the US Abraham Lincoln in the Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln, and Denzel Washington in the drama Flight, to battle it out for the best actor Oscar.

Weaver, who plays Cooper's mother in Silver Linings Playbook, is a decent chance of scoring supporting actress nominations.

Collette, playing Alfred Hitchcock's trusted assistant Peggy Robertson in the biopic Hitchcock about the great director, is an outside chance for a supporting actress nomination, with Amy Adams (The Master), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Helen Hunt (The Sessions) the favourites.

Watts, playing a survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in The Impossible, is a decent chance of picking up a SAG and Globe best actress nomination this week.

Kidman, for her feral, sexed up performance in The Paperboy, has been largely left out of the awards talk, but has a good track record of scoring Globe nominations.

Crowe, playing obsessed policeman Javert in Les Miserables, deserves supporting nominations for being brave enough to sing head-to-head with the accomplished Jackman, although the New Zealand-born actor has been savaged in some reviews.

Lewin, the 66-year-old Poland-born, Australian-raised, US-based director, is an outside shot of a Globe nomination for The Sessions, a breakout hit at the Sundance Film Festival about the real life story of a poet paralysed from the neck down who hires a sex surrogate to lose his virginity.

Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians battle at US box office...

James Bond is in a box office photo finish with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny over what looks to be the last slow weekend of the holidays.

According to studio estimates on Sunday, Sony's Bond tale Skyfall took in $US11 million ($A10.54 million) to move back to No.1 in its fifth weekend.

That put it narrowly ahead of Paramount's Rise of the Guardians, the animated adventure of Santa, the Easter Bunny and other mythological heroes that pulled in $US10.5 million.

The two movies inched ahead of Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, which had been top for three straight weekends.

The Twilight finale earned $US9.2 million, slipping into a tight race for No.3 with Disney's Lincoln, which was close behind with $US9.1 million.

The top movies were bunched up so closely that rankings could change once final weekend revenues are released on Monday.

The weekend's only new wide release, Gerard Butler's romantic comedy Playing for Keeps, flopped with $US6 million, coming in at No.6.

Skyfall raised its domestic total to $US261.6 million and added $US20.3 million overseas to bring its international income to $US656.6 million. At $US918 million worldwide, Skyfall has the best cash haul ever for the Bond franchise and surpassed Spider-Man 3 at $US890 million to become Sony's top-grossing hit.

The Twilight finale also is a franchise record-breaker, surpassing the $US710 million worldwide haul of last year's Breaking Dawn - Part 1. The finale's domestic total now stands at $US268.7 million.

Rise of the Guardians led the international box office with $US26 million, followed by 20th Century Fox's Life of Pi at $US23.8 million.

It was another traditionally quiet post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with big November releases continuing to dominate in the lull before a pre-Christmas onslaught of movies.

The box office is expected to soar next weekend with the arrival of part one of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings prelude.

After that comes a steady rush of action, comedy and drama through year's end, including Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher, Quentin Tarantino and Jamie Foxx's Django Unchained, Seth Rogen's The Guilt Trip and Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe's Les Miserables.

'The last couple of weeks of the year are some of the strongest every year,' said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box office tracker

'We are on the cusp of some really huge box office. There's a lot of money still left in the year despite this slow period right now.'

Hollywood's domestic revenues have topped $US10 billion so far this year, with the industry expected to finish 2012 ahead of the all-time high of $US10.6 billion set in 2009.

Trashed savagely by critics, FilmDistrict's Playing for Keeps stars Butler as a washed-up soccer star trying to reconnect with his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and young son. The all-star cast includes Catherine Zeta-Jones and Uma Thurman as soccer mums with the hots for Butler.

In limited release, Bill Murray's Franklin Roosevelt drama Hyde Park on Hudson opened solidly with $US83,280 in four theatres, averaging a healthy $US20,820 a cinema. By comparison, Playing for Keeps averaged $US2115 in 2837 theatres.

Released by Focus Features, Hyde Park on Hudson stars Murray as Roosevelt, whose intimate relations with a distant cousin (Laura Linney) become both a source of strength and distraction as the president plays host to the king and queen of England on the eve of World War II.