I've been meaning to say something about The Departed for a while now, but I kept putting it off until I could see. I still haven't seen it, but that isn't going to stop me from pointing out its impressive box office run.
The Departed opened to relatively little fanfare--it got good reviews, but the ad push preceeded the release by only about two weeks. Certainly, it's the lowest-profile Scorsese picture in a very, very long time; probably since The Color of Money (if you discount the artsy Kundun). Consequently, it opened to a relatively modest $26M. (Although that's a career-best for Scorsese.)
But if you look at the numbers since then, Departed is showing fantastic legs, with weekend declines of 29.2 percent and 29.3 percent. It's already got $80M in the bank domestically and I suspect it will chug along to at least the $100M mark--and that's before it gets a nomination for Best Picture.
Again--I haven't seen the movie yet--but just from the externalities, The Departed has all the makings of a BP nominee: an artistically ambitious, but popular, movie that succeeds over long period of time and is directed by a revered figure who's been overlooked by the Academy. A movie with that pedigree is a lock for a nomination, even if it stinks.
Keep watching the daily grosses for The Departed. It's been the #1 movie nearly every weekday since its release. That's a sign that, even three weeks out, it's prepared to keep running.
21 minutes ago