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Oscar Week: Box-Office

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Before Daniel Day Lewis wins his Oscar on Sunday for There Will Be Blood — he's as close to a lock as anyone in the race — he'll have to drink up a sour milkshake: Of the five films nominated for Best Picture, Blood has amassed the lowest box-office take so far: around $31 million since it debuted in December. That's $3 million less than the jumbled Jumper just finished taking in on its opening weekend. Since Blood is brilliant and Jumper is, well, junk — you get my point.

Since it's Oscar week, I don't want to concentrate on the parade of puke that made a killing between Valentine's and President's Day.

Just look at the stuff following Jumper into box-office pig heaven: Step Up 2 the Streets, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and our old friend Fool's Gold.

Instead, let's look at the five Oscar nominated movies still in play. Juno continues to lead the pack, bringing its total to a killer $125 million this weekend with no sign of slowing down. We've got a phenom here, my friends — an Oscar contender audiences are actually paying to see instead of waiting for the DVD. To show you the difference, just look at Number 2 among the Big Five. That would be my favorite to win — No Country for Old Men. It's total take so far is around $60 million, less than half of Juno. But, hey, at least its decent money. Huffing and puffing to stay in the middle are Michael Clayton and Atonement, with around $48 million each. And, in the rear, is There Will Be Blood.

Is there a lesson to be drawn here? Yes siree. If you're tempted this week to see, say, Jumper, resist it. By now your friends must have told you it sucks. Instead, see one of the Oscar nominated films you missed. It's like voting for change — think Obama — and oh brother do we need change now.

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Peter Travers

Rolling Stone senior writer Peter Travers has reviewed movies for the magazine for more than 20 years. Send your comments and questions to him here.

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