Oscar Hopefuls Get Chance to Shine Before ‘Last Jedi’ Debuts

(Bloomberg) -- Score one for the little guys.

With a new “Star Wars” movie just days away from opening, film goers took the opportunity to catch smaller movies such as “Lady Bird” and critically acclaimed performances from James Franco and Frances McDormand.

A24 Films LLC’s “The Disaster Artist,” based on the true story of the filming of one of the worst movies of all time, garnered $6.4 million for fourth place at the North American box office over the weekend, its first in wider release. Franco is getting Oscar buzz for his role as Tommy Wiseau, director of the ill-fated 2003 film “The Room.” Closely held A24 produced last season’s Academy Award winner for best picture, “Moonlight.”

A24’s coming-of-age drama “Lady Bird” came in ninth, with $3.5 million. McDormand’s star turn in 21st Century Fox Inc.’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” was in 11th place with $2.9 million.

Walt Disney Co.’s “Coco” was the top movie for the third straight week, raking in $18.3 million, with no new major films for audiences to flock to. The animated Pixar release has accumulated $389.5 million worldwide.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will send a jolt into sleepy theaters when it opens this week around the world, except for China, where it will debut in January. The latest installment of the Skywalker space saga is projected to bring in close to $200 million in its first three days in North America alone -- more than double the combined total of this weekend’s top 10 films.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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