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Few Surprises at the Oscars

There will be plenty of ties in office Oscar pools this year: The Academy Awards were just as predictable as they possibly could have been.

Oscar Awards
AP
Oscar Awards

As expected 'The King's Speech', from the Weinstein Company won best picture, along with best actor. The only minor surprise — the mildest of upsets — is the fact that it also won best director. Despite early excitement about 'The Social Network' in the fall, momentum shifted to 'King's Speech' in mid-December, King's speech swept the awards. Sony's 'The Social Network' snagged three wins for its eight nominations.

The King's Speech has been a low-budget global sensation, grossing $114.5 million in the US and another $130 million overseas, on a $15 million budget. It's benefitted tremendously from Oscar attention and now it's due for another bump: The average best picture Oscar winners saw a 22.2 percent box office bump after they were named a nominee and an additional 15.3 percent bump after their win, according to research firm IBISWord, which analyzed the past four years.

The acting wins came in right in line with expectations. Paramount's (VIA) 'The Fighter' earned best supporting actor and best supporting actress. Best actress went to Natalie Portman in Fox's = 'Black Swan.' Disney's 'Toy Story 3' took home best animated picture as well as best song.

The winner of 'best documentary feature,' 'Inside Job,' made a dig at Wall Street. Director Charles Ferguson started his acceptance speech by saying that three years after the financial crisis no financial executive has gone to jail. The comment didn't quite fit with the glitzy tone of the evening, but what would the Oscars be without some sort of political comment.

The show had plenty of surprises — Franco as Marilyn Monroe in a hot pink gown, and President Obama sharing his favorite Oscar movie song 'As Time Goes By'. But the show slowed dramatically over the course of the evening, largely because it was laden with a heavy dose of history. Not only did the ceremony start off with 'Gone With the Wind,' but there was plenty of Kirk Douglas and Bob Hope, plenty of callbacks that didn't seem fitting with an evening hosted by a 28 year old and a 32 year old.

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