Tonight’s Writers Guild of America awards show brought further clarity to this year’s topsy turvy awards race but it also brought some embarrassment to the guild. Is there any reason the WGA can’t coordinate the so-called “simutaneous” ceremonies between east …
ACE Eddie Awards: ‘Argo’, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, ‘Brave’; TV ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘The Newsroom’, ‘Hemingway & Gellhorn’
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
Argo continued its winning streak tonight at the 63rd annual ACE Eddie Awards nabbing Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic, with the nod going to editor William Goldenberg. Silver Linings Playbook took Best Edited Feature – Comedy or Musical and Brave won Best Edited Animated Feature. Brave editors Nick Smith and Robert Grahamjones spent five years working on the Pixar pic, which is also up for the Academy Award for Best Animated Film. “Some people think we’re censors and a lot of people think films are shot in the camera but they’re not”, Smith told Deadline before the awards ceremony, “so it means a lot to be honored by people who actually know what we’re doing”. Goldenberg nabbed the BAFTA on Sunday and was nominated tonight for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty (with Dylan Tichenor). He is Oscar-nominated for both films as well. Goldenberg spoke with Deadline shortly after his win. “I spend most of my life in a dark room, so I’m not used to [awards shows]“, he quipped, “so I was only moderately terrified and not completely terrified like I was at the BAFTAs”. Other winners included Searching For Sugar Man – Best Edited Documentary Feature, and HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn - Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture For Television. Breaking Bad: Dead Freight won Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television and The Newsroom: “We Just Decided To (Pilot) took the Non-Commercial TV nod.
The American Cinema Editors event honored the best in film, television, and documentary editing in nine categories. Actor and comedian David Cross emceed the evening, cracking jokes about everything from Breaking Bad spoilers to Sofia Vergara to his own bad movies: “I was in three Alvin And The Chipmunks movies!” (“You’re killing it”, Spielberg was overheard backstage saying to Cross.) Four time Oscar- and ACE-nominated Richard Marks, A.C.E. (Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets) and Emmy-nominated Larry Silk, A.C.E. (Pumping Iron, American Dream) were honored with lifetime career achievement awards for their work, while Steven Spielberg was presented with the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award. In his acceptance speech, Spielberg said “editing and directing are almost interchangeable” to explain the impact on his development. “I’ve always looked at the editing room as the safe haven of second chances… Editors, everybody here: You are my heroes”. The complete list of winners follows:
Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor
Few categories offer as much confusion in Oscar pools as best sound editing and best sound mixing. Unlike the more esoteric categories where few have seen the nominated films, most of the nominees …
As the industry kicks into full awards mode, with one guild after another handing out trophies to whomever they consider the year’s best in any given field, it’s become increasingly clear this is a year like we have not seen in a while. Certainly every season we go through this ritual of watching the crème de la crème of the industry line up to get awards, but rarely have we seen as dense a field of top contenders, and especially deserving ones, as we have this year. The common denominator among most, if not all, of the contenders in Oscar’s 24 categories is how difficult it was in the first place to get any of these films made in a sequel-happy, franchise-loving, play-it-safe motion picture industry.
For example, Steven Spielberg began talking about Lincoln with Doris Kearns Goodwin before she started writing the book and struggled for well over a decade to bring it to the screen, getting turned down by three studios in the process. And first-time feature filmmaker Benh Zeitlin went against all industry norms to make the unique and hard-to-define Beasts Of The Southern Wild come to life. But no matter who the filmmaker is, the most often-heard mantra is stick to your core beliefs and vision and somehow an Oscar-worthy film can be willed into being. Even James Bond ran into trouble when MGM went bankrupt and a normal 2½-year process turned into twice that for Skyfall, which went on to win five Oscar nominations. It also got recognition as one of the year’s best pictures from the Producers Guild, as well it should, considering what its veteran producers went through to just to make it.
#1 ‘Identity Thief’ Steals $36M Weekend (Bigger Than ‘Bridesmaids’), #2 ‘Warm Bodies’ $11.4M, #3 ‘Side Effects’ $9.5M: Blizzard Didn’t Blitz U.S. Box Office
SATURDAY 11:45 PM, 7TH UPDATE: Well, Winter Storm Nemo raged over the Northeast Friday but box office stayed really solid. Despite movie theaters closed by nightfall and venues with lost power. Even though Northeast governors shut down all road traffic and imposed fines and even jailtime. That could have been terrible news for this weekend’s two major openers but wasn’t. Now for the dig out. Both Universal’s frenemies comedy Identity Thief and Open Roads Films’ Steven Soderbergh crime thriller Side Effects scored middling ‘B’ CinemaScores which won’t help or hurt word of mouth. Yet grosses went up double digits – +35% and +52% respectively from Friday to Saturday for the pair. True, this weekend’s total moviegoing is only $100M which is down a disappointing 45% from last year.
Even so I’m astonished that weekend trends showed incredibly strong numbers for Identity Thief (originally in 3,141 theaters) with $11.2 million Friday and $15 million (+35%) Saturday trending for $36M this weekend. Despite (or because) it was critically panned as derivative drivel, the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman comedy is doing fantastic box office in nation’s center (which Hollywood derides as ‘flyover’ country). ”Everyone says Identity Thief is really good – even when it gets formulaic,” a rival exec admitted to me. And it only cost $35M, claims the studio. It’s even beating McCarthy’s Bridesmaids opening numbers - $26.2M weekend from 2,918 theaters on May 13, 2011. Of course, that Universal movie went on to do a huge multiple for the studio which would be happy with 3x now.
Identity Thief is doing 1/3 better than tracking predicted — and it was tracking well before the storm. Led initially by females, awareness and interest spread out to men, helped by 2 spots around the Super Bowl this past Sunday. But why Hollywood keeps making this story every decade is beyond me – 2003′s Bringing Down The House with Queen Latifah and Steve Martin, 1992′s HouseSitter with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. This one reteams Batemen with his Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon, and it’s McCarthy’s first starring role since Bridesmaids which earned her an Oscar nomination. Identity Thief was produced by Scott Stuber, Pam Abdy and Bateman who pitched Stuber the idea while they were working together on Couples Retreat. They originally developed the film for two male leads, but then they saw McCarthy in Bridesmaids and adapted the co-lead role for her with more physical comedy. Overseas, pic opens day and date in Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Taiwan and continues rolling out abroad beginning February 21st.
#3 is last weekend’s winner, Summit Entertainment’s zombies rule comedy Warm Bodies, which grossed $3.2M Friday and $5.4M Saturday for maybe $11.7M after its big $25.1M opening a week ago. New cume is $36.8M.
#3 is Side Effects (originally 2,605 theaters) opening with $2.8M Friday and $4.2M Saturday (+52%) for a $9.4M weekend. Open Road, underwritten by both AMC and Regal, claims it will make a profit at that result even with a production budget of $30M and a marketing spend of $20M. Open Road in January 2012 pre-bought the U.S. rights to Side Effects which was financed by Endgame Entertainment. Pic’s producers are Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Gregory Jacobs, and Scott Z. Burns who is also the screenwriter. With a marquee director in Steven Soderbergh and a marquee cast in Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, it’s perplexing why pic didn’t do better at the box office. Obviously, kicking off the publicity campaign with a New York Times piece doesn’t mean anything anymore. Rooney Mara even appeared on the cover of Vogue and Interview Magazine. But the hip stayed home. The trailer launched on November 2nd with Flight and the media campaign was focused on adults 18-49. A heavy word-of-mouth screening program included screenings for psychiatric doctor groups accompanied by niche publicity about the psychiatric medicine of the movie. The online campaign kicked off with a viral push for the fictional drug featured in the film. Interestingly, much of the content featured on the film’s website could only be revealed by rollover – alluding to the theme of the film that there is much more beneath the surface. Oh, well.
Warner Bros pushed up the print count to 1,405 for its Best Picture Oscar lead contender Argo in its 18th week to jump back into the Top Ten Films for a $2M weekend and $123.2M cume. And Paramount’s Top Gun reissued in 3D IMAX (300 locations) rounded out the Top Ten with $2M for the weekend in support of the Blu-ray debut this month.
Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:
1. Identity Thief (Universal) NEW [Runs 3,141]
Friday $11.2M, Saturday $15.0M, Weekend $36.0M
2. Warm Bodies (Summit/Lionsgate) Week 2 [3,009]
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $5.4M, Weekend $11.7M (-43%), Cume $36.8M
3. Side Effects (Open Road) NEW [Runs 2,605]
Friday $2.8M, Saturday $4.2M, Weekend $9.4M
4. Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein) Week 13 [Runs 2,809]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $3.1M, Weekend $6.4M, Cume $89.5M
5. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Paramount) Week 3 [Runs 3,285]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.7M, Weekend $5.7M, Cume $43.8M
With a best actor Oscar nomination for his very first film, the comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, and a second one for the drama The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter just two years later, Alan …
By all coventional signals, Warner Bros is sitting with a hot hand right now with Argo.
The second in a three-part series in which AwardsLine breaks down all nine of the best picture contenders.
What the Academy says: 8 nominations (Picture: Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen, Jonathan Gordon; Directing: David O. Russell; Lead Actor: Bradley Cooper; Lead Actress: Jennifer Lawrence; Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro; Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver; Film Editing: Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers; Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell)
What the public says: $71.4M domestic boxoffice; $19.8M international (as of Feb. 1)
What Pete Hammond says: Because it is a comedy, albeit one laced with drama, Silver Linings Playbook is at a disadvantage right out of the starting gate because comedies don’t traditionally win best picture Oscars. But this critically acclaimed story about two broken people who are trying to get their lives back together benefits from a passionate base of admirers, and that’s key
Australia Distribs Confident Of Fast Take-off For UltraViolet
The UltraViolet format launches in Australia on May 1, a joint effort from the majors and independent distributors which they are confident will avoid the pitfalls which plagued the technology’s introduction in the U.S. Key elements of the Australian launch include a unified marketing campaign, the participation of all distributors except Disney, which has yet to join the UV bandwagon, and the support of dominant retail chains, home entertainment retailers and digital download services. The Oz-based working group that includes members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem Universal, Sony, Fox, Warner, Paramount, Roadshow and Hopscotch eOne, predicts 300,000 Australian homes will sign up for UV accounts by October 31. Australia still has a very healthy DVD rental business, partly because pay-TV penetration is a relatively low 30%, Netflix and Hulu haven’t entered the market and the SVOD business is tiny. U.S. and Australian companies that supply UV back-end services have been pitching the mass merchandisers. Distributors haven’t announced titles for the May launch. The primary target of the marketing campaigns will be families and people aged 25-45, rather than early adopters regarded as less receptive to UV. Distributors hope the ease and convenience of downloading films to multiple devices via UV will reduce piracy. – Don Groves
With less than a month to go, the stage is set for one of the strangest Oscar showdowns in memory. Certainly the season started with some clear favorites emerging, like Argo at Telluride, Silver Linings Playbook at Toronto, then Lincoln just after the election, followed by Life Of Pi. I thought Paramount’s Flight also might emerge as a major best picture contender around this time, but when critics awards and early nominations for Globes and CCMAs started coming in, it was clear this was mainly just a play for Denzel Washington and John Gatins’ original screenplay. At Christmas time, we got Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, and the hotly anticipated Les Misérables to complete our seven-pack of best picture contenders. What many weren’t anticipating was that two small indie films that made a splash earlier in the year were also going to come in. Beasts Of The Southern Wild managed to hold on to all that momentum from its Sundance debut a year ago, and then
Golden Globes Movies: Winning Films Enjoy The Taste Of Victory, But Does It Really Help Oscar Chances?
If anyone thought the Golden Globes results were going to add any clarity to the topsy-turvy atmosphere that has so far characterized this year’s Oscar race, forget it. In a week that has offered crushing disappointment and major highs …
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: ‘Argo’ Best Picture, Director; Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain Take Acting Honors
Ben Affleck got some consolation tonight when his Argo was named Best Picture and he was honored as Best Director at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Affleck, who was overlooked in the director category at today’s Oscar Nominations, took things in stride tonight as he picked up his award for Argo: “I would like to thank the Academy. I’m kidding, this is the award that really counts”.
The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards took place at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport. This morning Lincoln dominated Oscar nominations with 12, and Steven Spielberg’s historic film portrait also dominated the broadcast critics contenders with 13. The CW is broadcasting the event from 8 PM to 10 PM Eastern time, tape delayed for the West Coast.
Daniel Day-Lewis, accepting his award for Best Actor, said that Lincoln was “One of the great unforeseen privileges of my life. Each and every day was filled with discovery and the joy of discovery.” Jessica Chastain was voted Best Actress for her work as a driven CIA analyst for Zero Dark Thirty. Jennifer Lawrence nabbed two prizes, one for Best Actress in an Action Movie for The Hunger Games and the other for Best Actress in a Comedy for Silver Linings Playbook.
A complete list of winners follows:
Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor.
Remember the 1971 movie Shaft? Ben Affleck doesn’t want you to—at least, not while you are watching his 2012 movie Argo, set in the turbulent 1979-80 era of the Iranian revolution and the Iran hostage crisis.
In creating the look of Argo — the stranger-than-fiction true story of a covert mission to help six Americans flee Iran by posing as a Canadian movie crew — director/star Affleck was adamant that the design team create an authentic ’70s look without falling into disco-era extremes of fashion and style.
“Costume designer Jacqueline West shared with me the goal of not having the ’70s thing upstage the movie,” Affleck explains. “I didn’t want to have just fur coats and bell bottoms — Shaft —to communicate the period. It’s a period that could very easily be exploited for comedy, so have you to be really ginger about what you do. There’s a laugh waiting behind every haircut.”