Skip to comments.'Les Miserables' Wins Huge Christmas Box Office.
Posted on 12/26/2012 8:22:51 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Even if you walked away from the holidays this year with the Red Ryder BB Gun you always dreamed of, you weren't the big winner this Christmas season: that distinction belongs to "Les Miserables," the long-awaited adaptation of the award-winning musical, directed by Tom Hooper.
Deadline.com reports that "Les Mis" opened with close to $18 million on Christmas day (December 25), making it the decisive "Master of the House" at the box office. Hooper's adaptation of the beloved musical stars Hugh Jackman as fugitive Jean Valjean, a bread thief on the run from the vengeful lawman Javert (Russell Crowe). Valjean's road to redemption is populated by ill-fated factory worker and prostitute Fantine (Anne Hathaway), her daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) and a young revolutionary named Marius (Eddie Redmayne). The film contains very little spoken dialogue, staying true to its musical roots, with performances recorded live on set throughout production.
"Les Mis" wasn't the only holiday success story. Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," starring Jamie Foxx as a freed slave turned brutal bounty hunter, clocked in at number two on Christmas day, with an estimated $15.5 million to its name. The filmmaker's latest is a Western set in the pre-Civil War south, exploring the horrors of slavery and racial supremacy with all of the blood and bad language Tarantino is so well-known for.
Both "Les Mis" and "Django" are considered major awards-season contenders this year, particularly in acting categories. Many onlookers consider Hathaway a lock for the Best Supporting Actress award at the coming round of Oscars, with Leonardo DiCaprio's "Django" villain, the slave-owning man-child Calvin Candie, at least a nominee for Best Supporting Actor. Both actors are nominated for Golden Globes.
Prior to "Les Mis" and "Django's" big Christmas openings, it was "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" that ruled the box office. Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth won its second weekend in a row with $36.7 million, adding an additional $10.8 million on Christmas day. The movie has scored more than $400 million worldwide since its mid-December debut.
Not every film felt the Christmas spirit, however, as Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher" earned only $15.6 million in its debut over the weekend about half of what Cruise earned during the opening weekend of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" last year. "Reacher" brought in an additional $5 million on Christmas, putting its total to date at $22.9 million.
I am reading mixed reviews on les Miz. It seems that the only one who can really sing is Eponine.
Since I am a VOICE TEACHER, I might find myself being EXTREMELY critical, knowing that any one of my teenage students could do a better job! LOLOLOL
I doubt that any of your students are more talented than Hugh Jackman.
People are more drawn to the big name stars than the singing.
Let’s be realistic, out of millions of movie viewers, only a handful are technically inclined when it comes to vocals (How many really listen to the fine art of vocal pedagogy?). As long as you can sing in tune and not crack and be believable when you act, THAT’s what people want.
I’ve not seen the film yet ( but have seen the Broadway show more than once in NY, London and Australia ), however my friends and family who went to see it yesterday told me there was not a dry eye in the theater after the movie was done.
Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away was my pick yesterday, in 3D. Visual stunner, unimaginable. A beautiful and relaxing way to spend an hour and a half on Christmas Day.
BTW, for those who don’t know, the vocals in the film were performed LIVE ( not the usual way where they record the vocals first and then lip sync it ).
The Director Tom Hoopers approach with Les Misérables may prove somewhat divisive for musical theater lovers. On the one hand, singing live does allow for more spontaneity in terms of performance; thus, the characters can behave in a more instinctive manner than they would striving to match pre-recorded vocals.
On the other hand, some hardcore Broadway fans prefer stage musicals that feature the talents of dedicated singers, rather than performers who are actors first and singers second. Its for that reason that some music specialists take issue with films like Sweeney Todd and Mamma Mia!, where celebrities and acclaimed stars were cast over people with proven professional musician chops.
You haven’t heard my students. (Smile) I have one 13 Year Old who Sings “I Dreamed a Dream” better than both singers that I heard in two Broadway Cast performances of les Miz. AND she accompanies herself on the piano. (Of course, I love my students and am very proud of them!)
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I did see Hugh Jackman in “Oklahoma”. He is an acceptable singer, but a much better actor.
I hear you.
But when “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot” were filmed many years ago, they proved to be great disappointments because Julie Andrews was totally ignored in favor of well-known actresses who couldn’t sing. Marne Nixon sang behind Audrey Hepburn, and I think that Vanessa Redgrave(UNGH!) did her own “singing” in Camelot. Neither of these films are classified as “masterpieces” these days, while “The Sound of Music”, which starred Julie Andrews doing her own singing, is considered a film classic and was a box-office smash.
Is it possible to get the same effect on film that one has in the live theater? That’s debatable because they are two different media. I actually LOVE Franco Zeffirelli’s Outdoor “Carmen” with naturalistic sets and gritty realism. But, of course, it’s also Placido Domingo!
I have a free movie ticket (Christmas Gift from a student) and it WILL be Les Miz, of course! LOL!
I was extremely disappointed with the movie version of “Phantom of the Opera”.
Another flat “dud” was “M Butterfly”.
Both were outstanding on the stage. What a waste of time and money to see the film.
Jackman is he best and most talented man that musical theater has had for the past decade. (And musical theater is more than technical singong gymnastics.)
I agree! :-)
Of Course “Musical theater is more than just singsong gymnastics”. (otherwise gymnast mariah carey would be in theater...LOL)
I am happy for you that you like Hugh Jackman in the role of Jean Valjean.
I prefer Colm Wilkerson. Opinion. But educated opinion nonetheless. Not that yours isn’t. It’s called “Preference” and is part of our free society.
You’ll be glad to know that Colm Wilkinson is in this movie. He plays the Bishop who helps in Valjean’s redemption.
I LOVE that scene!
When I first saw the Musical, in its first run, I wept during that “Candlestick Scene”.
Well, whether they are “perfect” or not, I’m always astounded by the talent level of these people-—Ewan McGregor, Russel Crow, Nichole Kidman, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman. By MY standards these people are superior singers, and in my rock days, we would have turned cartwheels to have someone with a voice like most of these (Kidman is a little thin). It’s like Dudley Moore, a superior piano player who started his comedy career with the piano.
Love your tag line!
Yes, sir...nothing says Christmas like a Tarantino/Foxx 'kill whitey' flick...
My my, aren’t you full of yourself...
I agree. My wife was so psyched when Phanton was made into a movie because we had see it in NYC and London.....however.....horrible!!!!
You misinterpret me. You don’t know me, and misunderstood my post.
Vocal Teaching is my JOB. Do you like your job? Did you train for years to do what you do? Do you feel adequate to make sound judgements in your area of expertise? I hope so, because I do not wish you ill.
I really love teaching and work very hard to support myself (a widow with no other income)by teaching children to become singers. Some of them have gone on to wonderful careers in music, some not, but I loved them all.
If that is being “Full of Myself”...well so be it.
I am sorry about your recent diagnosis.
I will pray for you.
We FReepers REALLY should be kinder to one another.
Same thing with me and my Parents. We had seen it in London and it was so GOOD! :-)
Then that movie came along.....
He’s Hugh and I’m series!
My point wasn’t one of preference for him in a role, but a response to the suggestion that ‘my barely-teen students are superior to him (in about any role)’.
And i was referring to the Female roles, so we must have misunderstood each other at the outset! LOL. Oh well...that is the pitfall of computer communication.
And you should hear some of these teens. I kid you not! :-)
Re: dubbing in My Fair Lady and Camelot. It wasn’t the singing that is the problem, but the bad casting of “stars” over talent.
Seeing an aristocratic Belgian (Hepburne) pretend to be a poor cockney didn’t fit (albeit she was glowing as usual). Her singing made me wince, but the main problem is that she was miscast period.
As for Camelot, I simply can’t watch Vanessa Redgrave mugging and overacting in the film.
The singing in both cases was nonsense, but not the main problem.
Looking forward to seeing Le Mis. Everyone I know who has seen it raves about it. Apparently it's playing to packed theaters and the audience regularly applauds at the end.
“casting of stars over talent”
Indeed. I am in agreement with you.
There are others that can sing. The ones that are broadway actors are all very good! I really liked Aaron Tivet as Enjolras. I also liked the song Empty Chairs, but I liked that more for the acting.
I did not like Russell Crowe at all. My son was in his high school’s Les Mis, and I thought the kid who portrayed Javert in the high school show was better than Crowe.
Hugh Jackman was very good. Anne Hathaway sang her song very differently. Not sure what I think about her.
I enjoyed the film, but I prefer the stage version. It’s worth seeing.
THANK YOU for that.
Some of the High School productions are AMAZING.
A 16 year old student of mine did a wonderful job in “Gypsy”, as Mama Rose, and EXTREMELY difficult role even for a mature woman. Over 2.5 hours of almost solid singing, playing a crazy stage mother who goes into a “mad scene” near the end.
Another one of my students was disappointed to not get the role of Maria in her HS production of West Side Story. However, she was cast as Anita, which, IMHO, is a much meatier role.
And she did GREAT!
I heard that the “Empty Chairs” scene was wonderful.
Of Course, the term “Empty Chair” has a whole new meaning to us FReepers! :-)
The film version of POTO was a victim of noted bad director Joel Schumacher who got his start as a window dresser - he doesn’t direct films he upholsters them. It was as bad an adaptation of a hit stage musical as has ever been made.
1) I found the unremitting close-ups tiring. A little bit of some “Ken Burns” effect would have been welcome and more restful to the eyes.
2) I sew well, so here are two tailoring mistakes:
*** In the last scene Hugh Jackman, of course, is doing a wonderful job with his final song, however, the top button on his shirt is fastened with an elastic loop. Every time he takes a breath the loop stretches. ( There was no elastic thread in 1832. )
*** In the empty chairs scene, Marius's left sleeve has a small pleat where the the sleeve meets the body of the jacket. This is a common mistake made by seamstresses using sewing machines. It is caused by the zipper foot folding over a small amount of fabric causing a pleat. A good seamstress would have caught this and corrected it. ( There were no sewing machines in 1832.)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.