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‘The King’s Speech’, ‘Friday Night Lights’ & ‘Modern Family’ Among Humanitas Finalists

Nellie Andreeva

Oscar contenders The King’s Speech, The Fighter and 127 Hours will face off again, this time as finalists in the feature film category for this year’s Humanitas Prizes, which recognize writers whose work “entertain, engage and enrich the viewing public.” The series finale of DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights made the cut in the hourlong TV category alongside Fox’s House, Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and HBO’s The Pacific, while ABC’s Emmy-winning Modern Family, which shared the comedy prize in the half-hour category with Showtime’s Nurse Jackie last year, is nominated again, along with Nurse Jackie, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Showtime’s The Big C. (The drama prize last year was split between Glee and The Good Wife.) The winners in 6 categories will be announced at the annual ceremony slated to take place Sept. 16 at the Montage Beverly Hills where comedy veteran Gary David Goldberg will receive the Kieser Award “which is given to an individual whose work has helped promote a greater appreciation for each member of the human family.” Here is the official release: Read More »

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OSCAR MOGULS: Tom Rothman Q&A

By | Sunday February 13, 2011 @ 9:46pm PST

The Deadline Team of Nikki Finke, Pete Hammond, and Mike Fleming have spent recent days interviewing the studio moguls to gauge their perspective on this very close Oscar race:

FOX
12 Nominations: 5 Black Swan, 6 127 Hours, 1 Unstoppable

DEADLINE’s Nikki Finke: How would you characterize this Oscar season?
TOM ROTHMAN: I think it’s been a really good season, actually. Between Black Swan and 127 Hours we’re doing great. So I feel actually pretty ecstatic about it. But we’ll see what happens. If I have a disappointment, I would say it’s one that’s common and consistent in almost every awards season in the modern era. That often times in the technical category, some of the master craftsmanship in a lot of big, commercial pictures tends to be overlooked, even though it’s the highest level of work — the editorial work, the cinematography, the sound in particular. It’s as if it’s not fashionable, that commerciality is inconsistent with the craft. But I would say this season is a really good representation of a number of high quality films. And I happen to be a person who still very much wishes that there were only five slots for Best Picture. 

DEADLINE: I agree.
ROTHMAN: I regret that change. Because I believe that, in the orgy of self-congratulations that is the Hollywood awards system, when everything else in our world is common, what made the Academy Award nomination for Best Picture so special was exactly how … Read More »

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Fox Searchlight & UK’s Ingenious Commit To Financing and Distributing British Films

London-based Ingenious Media, the private equity fund which backed Twentieth Century Fox’s Avatar, has struck a deal with Fox Searchlight to make between 2 to 3 movies in the $10M-15M range. Ingenious could inject up to $14 million annually into the deal, providing 20%-30% equity per movie. Fox Searchlight will guarantee U.S. distribution, the Holy Grail for most UK indie producers. Both companies worked together most recently on 127 Hours, Never Let Me Go, and the forthcoming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which Fox Searchlight will release in the Fall. Ingenious has backed more than 30 Fox movies but until now under a loose arrangement, financing between 5 and 10 of Fox Filmed Entertainment’s movies each year. Recent investments include Gulliver’s Travels, Unstoppable, The A-Team, and Percy Jackson.

James Clayton, CEO of Ingenious Investments, tells me he first approached Fox Searchlight presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley and production president Claudia Lewis back in November about formalising their relationship. “The UK independent sector has been going through a very tough time I told them I think there’s something more ambitious we can do in the UK. Given our position, we get to see pretty much every UK project in development. And Fox Searchlight wanted to make a greater commitment to the UK business.” The new deal, notes Clayton, takes advantage of “Fox Searchlight’s great taste, superb marketing and the economics of global distribution [which] are much more interesting from a financing perspective than … Read More »

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‘The Rite’ #1, ‘The Mechanic’ #4; Best Picture Nominees Begin Oscar Bumps

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM: The big news this weekend wasn’t just seeing whether domestic grosses were depressed on the post-blizzard East Coast (they weren’t), but also which movies received Oscar bumps given that the Academy Award nominations were announced this past Tuesday (all of them still in theaters). Some like The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, Blue Valentine (because of Michelle Williams’ Best Actress nom), and Rabbit Hole (due to Nicole Kidman’s), all expanded their runs. True Grit, Black Swan, The Fighter, are still in the thick of their releases and held very well, including Golden Globe Best Drama winner The Social Network in limited release for a return engagement to improve on its $96M domestic cume. (But King’s Speech attendance could soar if The Weinstein Co succeeds in creating a PG-13 version for exhibitors and educators who want the R-rated movie available to a bigger audience.)

As for this weekend’s newcomers, studios hoped that house-bound blizzard victims would dig out and go to the movies on this football-less Sunday. Warner Bros’ exorcism genre pic The Rite starring Anthony Hopkins and playing in 2,985 theaters came in #1 with approximately $15 million. CBS Films released hit man flick The Mechanic with 2,703 runs for #3 Friday. But the Jason Statham starrer fell to 4th Sunday with $11.5M. CBS Films paid $5M for the distribution rights and the pic supposedly will be in profit if its domestic run gets to the mid-$20sM. “It’s coming in where we expected,” one insider tells me. “I’d rather our … Read More »

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OSCAR: Category Nominations Per Picture

83rd Annual Academy Award Nominations

NOMINATIONS BY PICTURE
(In alphabetical order; does not include Short Films or Documentary Short Subjects)

Alice in Wonderland, A Walt Disney Pictures Production (Walt Disney) – 3 nominations
Art direction
Costume design
Visual effects

Animal Kingdom, A Porchlight Films Production (Sony Pictures Classics) – 1 nomination
Jacki Weaver – Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Another Year, a Thin Man Films Production (Sony Pictures Classics) – 1 nomination
Original screenplay

Barney’s Version, a Serendipity Point Films Production (Sony Pictures Classics) – 1 nomination
Makeup

Biutiful, a Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production (Roadside Attractions) – 2 nominations
Javier Bardem – Performance by an actor in a leading role
Best foreign language film (Mexico)

Black Swan, a Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production (Fox Searchlight) – 5 nominations
Natalie Portman – Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cinematography
Directing
Film editing
Best picture

Blue Valentine, a Silverwood Films and Hunting Lane Films Production (The Weinstein Company) – 1 nomination
Michelle Williams – Performance by an actress in a leading role

Country Strong, a Material Pictures Production (Sony Pictures Releasing/Screen Gems) – 1 nomination
Original song – Coming Home

Dogtooth, a Boo Production (Kino International) – 1 nomination
Best foreign language film (Greece)

Exit through the Gift Shop, a Paranoid Pictures Production (Producers Distribution Agency) – 1 nomination
Documentary feature

The Fighter, a Relativity Media Production (Paramount) – 7 nominations
Christian Bale – Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Amy

Read More »

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OSCAR: Today’s Nominations By Picture

83RD AWARDS
Feature Films With 2 Or More Nominations
(No Short Films or Documentary Short Subjects.)

The King’s Speech – The Weinstein Company 12
True Grit – Paramount 10
Inception - Warner Bros 8
The Social Network - Sony Pictures Releasing 8
The Fighter – Paramount 7
127 Hours - Fox Searchlight 6
Black Swan – Fox Searchlight 5
Toy Story 3 – Walt Disney 5
The Kids Are All Right – Focus Features 4
Winter’s Bone – Roadside Attractions 4
Alice in Wonderland – Walt Disney 3
Biutiful – Roadside Attractions 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Warner Bros 2
How to Train Your Dragon – Paramount 2

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83rd Annual Academy Award Nominations: ‘King’s Speech’ Leads With 12; ‘True Grit’ 10, ‘Social Network’ And ‘Inception’ 8 (But Nolan Blanked Again For Best Director)

BEVERLY HILLS: Beverly Hills, CA (January 25, 2011) – Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced today (Tuesday, January 25) by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2009 Oscar® winner Mo’Nique. Sherak and Mo’Nique, who won an Academy Award® for her supporting performance in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” announced the nominees in 10 of the 24 Award categories at a 5:38 a.m. PT live news conference attended by more than 400 international media representatives.

Academy members from each of the branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominations are selected by vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees. Nominations ballots were mailed to the 5,755 voting members in late December and were returned directly to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the international accounting firm, for tabulation. Official screenings of all motion pictures with one or more nominations will begin for members this weekend at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Screenings also will be held at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and in London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. All active and life members of the Academy are eligible to select the winners in all categories, although in five of them – Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject and Foreign Language Film – members can vote only if they have seen all of the nominated films in those categories.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Here are today’s nominations:

BEST PICTURE
127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight)
An Hours Production Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
INCEPTION (Warner Bros)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Production Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
A Relativity Media Production David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
An Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision and Gilbert Films Production Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co)
A See-Saw Films and Bedlam Production Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
A Columbia Pictures Production Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
TOY STORY 3 (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Production Darla K. Anderson, Producer
TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
A Paramount Pictures Production Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
A Winter’s Bone Production Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

BEST ACTOR
JEFF BRIDGES – TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
JAVIER BARDEM – BIUTIFUL (Roadside Attractions)
JESSE EISENBERG – THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
COLIN FIRTH – THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
JAMES FRANCO – 127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight)

BEST ACTRESS
ANNETTE BENING – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
NICOLE KIDMAN – RABBIT HOLE (Lionsgate)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE – WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
NATALIE PORTMAN – BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
MICHELLE WILLIAMS – BLUE VALENTINE (The Weinstein Co)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
CHRISTIAN BALE – THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
JOHN HAWKES – WINTER’S BONE (Roadside Attractions)
JEREMY RENNER – THE TOWN (Warner Bros)
MARK RUFFALO – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
GEOFFREY RUSH – THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
AMY ADAMS – THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
HELENA BONHAM CARTER – THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
MELISSA LEO – THE FIGHTER (Paramount)
HAILEE STEINFELD – TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
JACKI WEAVER – ANIMAL KINGDOM (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (DreamWorks Animation)
TOY STORY 3 (Walt Disney)
THE ILLUSIONIST (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST DIRECTOR
DARREN ARONOFSKY – BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight)
DAVID FINCHER – THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
TOM HOOPER – THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co.)
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN – TRUE GRIT (Paramount)
DAVID O. RUSSELL – THE FIGHTER (Paramount)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ANOTHER YEAR, Mike Leigh (Sony Pictures Classics)
THE FIGHTER, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (Paramount)
INCEPTION, Christopher Nolan (Warner Bros)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg (Focus Features)
THE KING’S SPEECH, David Seidler (The Weinstein Co)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 HOURS, Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy (Fox Searchlight)
TOY STORY 3, Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich (Walt Disney)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Aaron Sorkin (Sony Pictures)
WINTER’S BONE, Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini (Roadside Attractions)
TRUE GRIT, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Paramount)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Algeria, Hors la Loi (Outside the Law) (Cohen Media Group) – A Tassili Films Production
Canada, Incendies (Sony Pictures Classics) – A Micro-Scope Production
Denmark, In a Better World (Sony Pictures Classics) – A Zentropa Production
Greece, Dogtooth (Kino International) – A Boo Production
Mexico, Biutiful (Roadside Attractions) - A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight) – Matthew Libatique
Inception (Warner Bros.) – Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company) – Danny Cohen
The Social Network (Sony Pictures Releasing) – Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit (Paramount) – Roger Deakins

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Exit Through The Gift Shop (Producers Distribution Agency) A Paranoid Pictures Production Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
Gasland – A Gasland Production Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job (Sony Pictures Classics) – A Representational Pictures Production Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo (National Geographic Entertainment) – An Outpost Films Production Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land (Arthouse Films) – An Almega Projects Production Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Read More »

Comments 279

Fox Puts Searchlight Contenders On iTunes For SAG Voters

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 7, 2011) __ Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE) and iTunes are offering nearly 100,000 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members Fox Searchlight Pictures’ 127 HOURS, BLACK SWAN and CONVICTION in HD from iTunes for viewing on their iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC, or with Apple TV on their HD TV. The films will be available to members from January 7-28 during the SAG awards consideration window.

In the past, studios have faced security concerns and prohibitive costs to create and distribute screeners to organizations with large numbers of voters. For the first time ever, FFE’s Fox Searchlight Pictures and iTunes allow the studio to make the screening of films still in theatrical release available to all SAG members who are eligible to vote, in a more secure and cost effective manner. Fox is discussing a similar arrangement in the future with AMPAS, BAFTA and other organizations to implement this new way to present their films for consideration.

“We are thrilled at the nominations these fantastic films have received from this prestigious group, and while we would always prefer voters see films in a theaters, we realize that is not always possible, so we wanted to make sure as many voters as possible have the opportunity to screen them. iTunes enables us to make our films still in theatrical release available to a large number of important voters,” said Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

“We’ve worked with Fox to bring their films to SAG members

Read More »

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’127 Hours’ Star James Franco & Grandma

By | Saturday December 25, 2010 @ 6:48am PST
Mike Fleming

Here’s a holiday message from 127 Hours star James Franco, whose proud grandmother deals with those moviegoers who are having trouble with the film’s amputation scene.

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OSCAR: Danny Boyle Q&A On ’127 Hours’

Mike Fleming

While Slumdog Millionaire is remembered for its cache of Oscars and cast dancing through the end credits Bollywood-style, Danny Boyle’s real achievement was  drawing a global mainstream audience for a film that depicted such brutal moments as the mother of the young protagonists being beaten to death, and a child blinded to make him a more productive panhandler. That was a walk in the park compared to 127 Hours, Aron Ralston’s harrowing tale of survival after being pinned for five days under an 800-pound boulder. Given the opportunity to follow Slumdog by taking a multi-million dollar paycheck for James Bond or another big studio film, Boyle instead got paid $666,000 and gambled his Oscar currency on the bet he could get an audience to sit through a grueling survival story for a rich spiritual payoff. Here, Boyle provides the logic behind the most daring creative leap he has made in an exceptional career:

DEADLINE: Early in 127 Hours, Aron Ralston takes an exhilarating free-fall through a chasm and into a pool of blue water far below. Isn’t there a parallel to the creative leaps you take, the way you jump from one genre to another and take on improbable premises that could easily end up going splat?
BOYLE: There certainly is that possibility of going splat. One of the things I believe in is to be extreme. I don’t mean do things for shock value, but to tell a story as … Read More »

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Golden Globes Film: Hammond Analyzes; ‘King’s Speech’, ‘Social Network’, Fighter’

Pete Hammond

With the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, it’s always a bit of give and take. Since overall they try and please everyone so they giveth to Paramount for The Fighter but taketh away for True Grit, they shower nods on Warner Bros for Inception but give hardly anything for The Town, they place Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan in Picture and Directing categories over 127 Hours and so on. The one producer who got everything he wanted was probably Harvey Weinstein, now back in the awards game bigtime this year with The King’s Speech, acting noms for Blue Valentine, and a foreign film nomination for The Concert. He’s also one of the backers of The Fighter. Harvey is having a good morning.

It was a very big morning at the Golden Globes for critical darlings The King’s Speech (7 nominations), The Social Network and The Fighter (6 nominations apiece), all of which are cleaning up this week with awards and accolades. This closeness in the voting should set up a fierce race in the Best Motion Picture - Drama category which also includes Warner Bros’ Inception and Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan (4 nominations each). All five films won nods for their directors (David Fincher, David O. Russell, Tom Hooper,  Christopher Nolan, and Darren Aronofsky) making this anyone’s ballgame at this point.

What Sony Pictures might not have expected were 3 nominations for the GK Films’ critically drubbed The Tourist which Sony is distributing, including Best Picture – Comedy or Musical (what’s up with that category?) and nods in the acting categories for stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, who is nominated against himself for Disney’s Alice In Wonderland. Champagne corks should be popping in Culver City this morning for this unexpected bounty; it means Sony will be able to splash “Best Picture Nominee” ads for the expensive movie which underperformed at the domestic box office in its opening weekend with a disappointing $16.5 million grosses from North America not to mention only a 7% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. (Only two good notices out of 29 reviews counted from top critics, with a measly 20% fresh overall.) This has to be one of the worst reviewed movies ever to get this kind of attention. Read More »

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‘Black Swan’ Sets Fox Searchlight Record; ‘Tangled’ Now Tops ‘Harry Potter 7A’ For #1

SUNDAY AM: First weekend I’ve slept past 8 AM in what feels like forever. But this is Hollywood’s lone box office break for big movies before the end of the year, and the 2nd slowest grossing weekend of the year (since the Fri-Sat-Sun post-Thanksgiving is usually a turkey). But a lot of specialty films had their debuts or expansions including Fox Searchlight’s drama Black Swan from Darren Aronofsky starring Natalie Portman (18 theaters in 8 cities — NY, LA, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC, Dallas, Toronto). It had Friday’s best per screen average with $23,660, and the studio knew it was overperforming when Friday’s matinees were double the per screen average of Aronfsky’s previous The WrestlerBlack Swan grossed $1.3M with a gross per theater average of $77,459, setting an all-time record for Fox Searchlight. (More than Juno, Slumdog MillionaireSideways, and Little Miss Sunshine all of which were in fewer theatres.) The drama also is the 2nd highest opening of a limited release for 2010, passing The Kids Are All Right and now only behind The King’s Speech.

Also for Fox Searchlight, there is Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours with James Franco (433 theaters for a gross per screen average of $3,695), The King’s Speech from The Weinstein Co (6 theaters) with another terrific gross per screen average of $54,312. Roadside Attraction release I Love You, Phillip Morris starring Jim Carrey scored $18,886 gross a screen in 6 theaters for its opening. “Considering the behemoth that is Black Swan, who took away a nice chunk of our hipster, gay and specialty audience, we think we came through with shining colors,” a Roadside exec tells me. Roadside and its partner on the release,  Liddell Entertainment,  are spending a fraction of what, say Fox Searchlight or The Weinstein Co is spending. Magnolia’s drama thriller All Good Things (2 theaters), directed by Andrew Jarecki, debuted with a gross per screen average at NYC’s Paris and Angelica of $20K. But the movie has already made millions on VOD and is on its way to becoming Magnolia’s most successful on that platform. “There is a giant section of America that doesn’t have access to these types of films,” said a Magnolia rep. “The VOD/Theatrical model is alive and very well and these numbers proves that clearly. Many wonder how VOD will affect theatrical – this opening shows that it can lead to success for both. The VOD acts as a sneak and word of mouth tool and theatrical numbers reflect that.”

The good news is that the marketplace expanded for all of these films because the adult audience still feels underserved. Also in theaters are Summit Entertainment’s Fair Game (436 theaters), and Waiting for ‘Superman’ from Paramount Vantage [85 theaters]. Most are platforming for awards season, but none are cracked the Top 10 this weekend. Fair Game added screens but still came in behind Black Swan which looks to gross a phenomenal $300K for Friday, so figure about $1 million for the weekend. On the other hand, the expansion of 127 Hours still can’t get it to hang with the big boys.

As for the major studios, only Rogue/Relativity’s martial arts western The Warrior’s Way stealth-opened semi-wide in 1,622 theaters. I never saw a single trailer or TV ad for it anywhere. No matter: it’s a bomb with the production budget at $42 million and independently financed thanks to international superstar Dong-gun Jang. It was distributed in the U.S. as a rent-a-system deal by Relativity. With a CinemaScore of “C-”, the studio claimed today, “The opening results, while modest, didn’t fall far below expectations as the campaign and spend were very targeted.” According to exit polls, 35%/65% were under/over age 25, with 65% of moviegoers male. But it was a very diverse audience with 27% Asian, 23% African-American, 20% Caucasian and 20% Latino. Among holdovers, this weekend should have seen even steeper drops since a week ago was the day after Thanksgiving and the biggest moviegoing day of the year. But 3 of the 4 opening pics badly underperformed. Disney’s Tangled finally surged past Warner Bros’ Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows which continues to dominate the overseas marketplace, grossing an estimated $54.4M in 62 territories for an international cume to date of now $469.1M and a global cume of $713.3M.  Disney’s 50th animated toon took in $26M this weekend from 15 territories representing 35% of the international market. With Tangled now hitting a domestic cume of $96.5M and overseas total of $45.8M, the new global cume is $142.3M:

1. Tangled (Disney) Week 2 [3,603 Theaters]
Friday $5.1M, Saturday $9.9M, Weekend $21.5M (-56%), Cume $96.5M

2. Harry Potter/Deathly Hallows (Warner Bros) Week 3 [4,125 Theaters]
Friday $4.8M, Saturday $7.4M, Weekend $16.7M, Cume $244.2M Read More »

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2011 Indie Spirit Awards Nominations

Pete Hammond: Indie Spirit Nominations Could Predict Oscar

LOS ANGELES (November 30, 2010) – Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced nominations this morning for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards.  Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner served as presenters and 2011 Spirit Awards host Joel McHale was also on hand.  Nominees for Best Feature include 127 Hours, Black Swan, Greenberg, The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone.

Please Give was selected for the Robert Altman Award, which is given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.

“The artistic side of independent film is stronger than ever, and it’s especially impressive to see the developed craft of extraordinary independent filmmakers who have only gotten better over the years.  Past nominees such as Darren Aronofsky, Noah Baumbach, Danny Boyle, Lisa Cholodenko, Debra Granik, Nicole Holofcener and John Cameron Mitchell continue to create original and compelling films that move and amaze us.” said Film Independent Executive Director Dawn Hudson.

Selected from 220 submissions, this year’s winners will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. on the beach in Santa Monica.  The 26th annual awards show will air exclusively that night on IFC at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  Winners of the Filmmaker Grants will be highlighted during the Spirit Awards and announced at the 2011 Spirit Awards

Read More »

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How Will ’127 Hours’ Be Defined?

Mike Fleming

I’ve had boats since I was a teen, and it’s a frustrating relationship because they are expensive and you never use them enough. Nothing’s better than getting out in the ocean where the fish are biggest, and dropping your line  80 feet down to them, with the ocean swells creating a gentle rocking motion. And nothing’s more frustrating than when you bring a guest who is rendered green by those swells, usually just when the tide is perfect and the big fish start biting. You head in, a great day is redefined as something else, and you remember why you prefer to go alone.

This reminds me of all the reports I’ve been reading on Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, which has been in danger of being defined not by its cinematic achievement, but rather by the number of faint-hearted folks who, reports suggest, have been dropping like canaries in a coal mine. I saw the film at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere, and have rarely felt as moved by a movie, especially when Boyle and James Franco were joined onstage by hiker Aron Ralston. But the audience continues to be part of the storyline: at last Thursday’s Academy screening, the crowd reaction was huge, but press focus was on a single moviegoer who fainted (apparently not from the amputation scene, but a health issue). I’m told a Producers Guild screening … Read More »

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Danny Boyle Honored At London Festival

The director, whose 127 Hours is closing the festival, was presented with a BFI Fellowship at tonight’s awards ceremony by fellow director Stephen Daldry. Also on hand was Martin Scorsese, who paid tribute to the BFI National Archive. As for the winners, jury president Patricia Clarkson presented director Alexei Popogrebsky the Best Film award for the isolation-themed How I Ended This Summer. Andy Serkis presented the Best British Newcomer award to Clio Barnard, director of The Arbor, about playwright Andrea Dunbar. And Barnard also won this year’s Sutherland Award for most original and imaginative feature debut, presented by jurors Michael Winterbottom and Olivia Williams. Armadillo won Best Documentary. Other guests at the ceremony, held at LSO St. Luke’s, home of the London Symphony Orchestra, included ex-BBC Director General Greg Dyke and screenwriter Tony Grisoni.

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Honors For James Franco, Carey Mulligan

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will present James Franco with the Outstanding Performance of the Year Award for his performance in 127 Hours. The festival runs January 27-February 6. Carey Mulligan will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs January 6-17. She’s being honored for her roles in Never Let Me Go and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

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Dial 911 For ’127 Hours’ Screenings

No, it wasn’t a publicity stunt. I’m told that two people fainted during a screening hosted by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich of Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours that took place Friday night at Pixar’s theater packed with about 300 people. Paramedics were called, the pair were declared fine, but it underscores once again the intensity of this real life tale starring James Franco as the hiker who gets trapped and cuts off his arm to free himself. The pic opens in theaters November 5th.

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Hot Trailer: ’127 Hours’

Mike Fleming

Fox Searchlight has issued a new full length trailer for Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, which stars James Franco as Aron Ralston, the hiker who amputated his own arm after it was pinned for days under a boulder in a deserted canyon in Utah. The film will be released November 5

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The Oscar Road Traveled By Toronto Films

Mike Fleming

The business story of the Toronto International Film Festival was a cautious resurgence of the specialty film market. But in my opinion the more compelling and even uplifting story surrounds those Toronto films now emerging as Best Picture Oscar candidates. The reason is that so many of them easily could have fallen apart in the struggle to get them to the big screen if not for the filmmakers’ admirable persistance:

127 Hours: After Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle could have taken a multi-million paycheck to direct James Bond or any of several other big budget studio films. Instead he chose to do on an indie level what Chris Nolan did on a studio level when he used his clout to direct his wholly original spec script Inception. Boyle took an upfront salary of just $666K and put all his Slumdog credibility chips on the table to make 127 Hours. The movie’s pitch — hiker amputates pinned arm with dull knife — is so preposterously non-commercial that even Boyle’s writing partner Simon Beaufoy didn’t get it until Boyle sketched out a first draft that showed the potential for a visceral and spiritually uplifting drama. “Sometimes, and this was the first time for me, you can’t explain it verbally, you have to write it down and test it on your collaborators,” Boyle said. Said producer Christian Colson: “While Slumdog was the classic underdog story — not enough money, nearly went straight to DVD, no stars, no power — … Read More »

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