Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Paramount press release for The Fighter on iTunes below. Right below is Focus’ release, issued after Deadline broke the story.

EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Focus Features has made a deal with iTunes that will allow SAG members to view its awards season candidate, The Kids Are All Right through a multitude of viewing devices. This follows last week’s announcement by Fox Searchlight of its accommodation with iTunes so that SAG members could watch 127 Hours, Black Swan and Conviction. Other studios are expected to follow suit quickly, because the acting races are so tight this year and because, unlike the AMPAS voting, SAG polls are open for two more weeks. Focus Features is making the service available today because we’re heading into a four-day weekend with MLK Day, and the Golden Globes. The Kids Are All Right is a triple SAG Award nominee, for Ensemble Cast, Annette Bening for Actress, and Mark Ruffalo for Supporting Actor.

Will the move toward iTunes make DVD screeners obsolete? I’m told the jury’s out. The process allows voters to view films on devices, which adds a convenience factor, and there are safeguards. Viewers get 24 hours to finish watching a film before it goes dead. The system could certainly work for AMPAS members, though it might be more of a challenge to get an older membership to embrace it, as well as Writers Guild and Producers Guild membership. The Directors Guild doesn’t is the sole body that still tries to make voting members watch eligible films on the big screen.

HOLLYWOOD, CA (January 14th, 2011) – Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media will offer THE FIGHTER for awards consideration to Screen Actors Guild (SAG) eligible voting members on iTunes. Beginning Friday, January 14th, THE FIGHTER can be downloaded in HD from iTunes for viewing on an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC, or on an HDTV with Apple TV. The film will be available to members from January 14th through 28th during the SAG awards consideration window.

“The recognition THE FIGHTER has received has been tremendous and this opportunity to provide an exciting digital means for SAG members to see the film is something that we are extremely pleased to be able to offer with the help of both iTunes and SAG,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman Paramount Pictures.

SAG Awards® nominations for THE FIGHTER include: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, THE FIGHTER; Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Christian Bale – THE FIGHTER; Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams – THE FIGHTER; and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Melissa Leo – THE FIGHTER.

Screen Actors Guild members can obtain information on receiving their redemption codes at http://www.paramountguilds.com/sag

LOS ANGELES, January 14th, 2011 – Focus Features is inviting the nearly 100,000 Screen Actors Guild eligible voting members to screen its movie The Kids Are All Right in HD on iTunes for viewing on an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC, or with Apple TV on their HD TV.

The Kids Are All Right, which is nominated for 3 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards(r), is available to SAG members – pending confirmation of valid current ID – for a complimentary 24-hour rental any time from Friday, January 14th through Friday, January 28th, when voting for the SAG Awards closes.

The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko from the Writers Guild of America-nominated original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg, is nominated for the following Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, and Josh Hutcherson); Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Annette Bening); and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Mark Ruffalo).

“The movie is all about family, and now members of the SAG family will enjoy the opportunity and the flexibility to see the picture and experience the performances of the SAG Award-nominated cast – whether in a repeat viewing or for the first time with iTunes,” commented Focus president Andrew Karpen. The Kids Are All Right was made available to iTunes customers last November.

Screen Actors Guild members can obtain information on accessing their free 24-hour rental of The Kids Are All Right at
www.focusawards2010.com/sag . The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(r) will be simulcast live coast-to-coast on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 30th, 2011, at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT) from the Shrine
Exposition Center in Los Angeles.