Warner Bros. has boosted Niki Sherrod to SVP,Music as the film music exec goes into her eighth year with the studio. Sherrod had most recently served as VP Music after joining the company in 2006 following stints at Atlantic Records’ soundtrack division and Warner Music Group, where she served as creative director for film and TV. At WB she has overseen music including the Billboard-charting soundtrack for teen party pic Project X featuring the likes of Kid Cudi, Pusha T, and Tyler the Creator – and, on the other side of the spectrum, the Oscar-winning original score for Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity.
The “Detached” trailer for Alfonso Cuaron’s awards-season favorite Gravity floated away with the top honor at tonight’s Golden Trailer Awards. The pic scored Best of Show and scooped up three other nods including Best Drama Poster and thriller TV spot. Godzilla and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also scored four wins. Gravity distributor Warner Bros went into the 15th annual trophy show with a league-leading 51 nominations and came away with 15, the most for any studio. Universal (along with Focus) was second with nine wins, followed by Lionsgate with eight. Top trailer and creative vendors in the 2014 race included Ignition, whose work was honored in 14 different categories. Buddha Jones earned 7 awards, and Trailer Park was next with six. The judge panel included Frozen co-director Chris Buck, actor Adam Driver, Entourage creator Doug Ellin and castmember Debi Mazar, Raising Hope’s Garret Dillahunt, Divergent helmer Neil Burger, andSnow White And The Huntsman writer Evan Daugherty. Jay Mohr hosted the show from the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, at which 17 of the 75 awards were handed out. Here’s the Best of Show-winning Gravity trailer. A complete list of 2014 Golden Trailer Award winners follows:
UPDATE: ‘Rizzoli & Isles’ Author Says Direct “Development” Connection Between Warner Bros’ ‘Gravity’ & Adaptation Of Her 1999 Novel Of The Same Name
UPDATE, 1:19 PM: Turns out Tess Gerritsen has strongly believed for a few months that her 1999 Gravity novel and the 2013 Alfonso Cuaron-directed film of the same name might have a lot more in common than she first assumed. Shifting from her previous stance that all the two shared was a title, the best selling author yesterday sued Warner Bros for more than $10 million and breach of contract over the Gravity movie. Here’s perhaps why. “In February 2014, Ms. Gerritsen received startling new information from a reliable source,” said a statement posted on the author’s blog late last night. “She was told that at least one individual who was key to the development of the film Gravity had also been connected to her project while it was in development, and would have been familiar with her novel.” No names are given nor what the individual in question’s role was.
In yesterday’s filing in federal court, Gerritsen, upon whose books TNT‘s flagship drama series Rizzoli & Isles is based, never provided a true smoking gun as to how her novel about a female astronaut trapped in space ended up as a 2013 movie with a similar main character with seemingly nothing to do with her. The hugely successful writer did claim in her court filing that recently …
The final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the first of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal our numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.
The Matchup: The top grossing film of 2013, Iron Man 3, opened the tournament by squeaking past The Conjuring, a low-cost movie with no gross outlay that ranks among the highest profit ratio films of the year. Iron Man 3 advanced anyway, and faces off against Gravity, the great anomaly of 2013, a film that most studios would not have made. Gravity made it out of the first round by besting #9 seed Man Of Steel.
The Box Score: Here is how the films stack up against one another, in revenues (some of which have been projected by our experts in ancillary categories), and then costs.
The Bottom Line: Gravity is a remarkable achievement. Consider that its $56 million domestic opening gross was the best ever for an October release. And while moviegoers often regard 3D — especially those shot in 2D and converted after the fact — to be a gimmick designed to dig deeper into their pockets for higher movie ticket prices, they recognized that Gravity was an exception. …
2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament Tip-Off – #1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’; #8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’
Oscar crowned a Best Picture winner two weeks ago, but which 2013 film deserves to be called the profitability champ? This is hard to ascertain. We can reliably track box office grosses domestic and offshore, but studios routinely spin cost factors like production, P&A budgets, and talent participation. Capturing the spirit of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament that just got underway, Deadline has bracketed 2013’s 16 highest-grossing films and they will play off against one another. Our tournament will play out over five rounds. As is the case with the NCAA, the top-earning films face the bottom earners in the first round, leaving room for upsets for setting up brutal behemoth collisions later in the bracket.
Instead of relying on numbers from studios that would make us susceptible to spin, we instead confidentially engaged two separate experts from entities that regularly create revenue models. We assure you, these are top-level insiders. We have used the results to create a formula that encompasses the wisdom of both. Films that advance to the next round will do so partly by the profit they create for their sponsoring studios, but other intangibles will be considered on close call decisions. Those include films that launch or grow franchises and create ancillary revenues, variables that have become the core of the studio business these days. The detailed descriptions and analysis of the …
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in, and Sony Pictures and New Regency are out of The Juliet, an adaptation of the Alfred Bester short story that was developed by Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment. The film has a script by Henry Bean that is being rewritten by Paul Haggis, and Snow White And The Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders is attached to direct. At one point it looked like Sony would make it this spring. Atlas’s Roven and Alex Gartner are producing with Frank Beddor of Automatic Pictures.
It makes me wonder, what is going on in Hollywood? I have been around long enough that I actually broke the story of when Warner Bros, clashing with John Hughes over $2 million in budget, allowed Fox to grab Home Alone and turn the $18 million film into a $477 million worldwide gross blockbuster. After that, studios used to never let projects go for fear of being embarrassed, a possibility that was reinforced when Paramount inexplicably let the option lapse on the Twilight Saga, the billion-dollar franchise that built Summit Entertainment. Studios used to keep everything, or heap on overhead costs that made them prohibitively expensive, or attach first-dollar-gross obligations, like the 5 percent that Harvey Weinstein got on The Lord Of The Rings and is trying to enforce on The Hobbit.
‘Midnight Rider’ Victim Sarah Jones Memorialized At Camera Operators Awards; ‘Gravity’ And ‘Mad Men’ Land Wins
The Society of Camera Operators held an in memoriam tribute to assistant camerawoman Sarah Jones as part of its annual awards ceremony tonight at the Skirball Cultural Center. The tribute was the second to be held for the 27-year-old this weekend following Friday’s Sunset Boulevard candlelight walk and vigil in her honor, which counted nearly 1,000 local union members. Attending both events were Jones’ parents Richard and Elizabeth from South Carolina. Jones was killed in an on-set train accident during the production of the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider on February 20 in Jesup, GA. Jones’ death has spurred an industrywide outcry for improved safety standards.
As part of the ceremony, her parents were presented with a plaque accepting her as an honorary member of the SOC. Former SOC president Dan Kneece, who cut together the moving tribute video of Jones as the Hall & Oates song “Sara Smile” played, said he was crying as he put together the presentation. Although he didn’t know Jones personally, he was friends with her on Facebook because of a mutual friend, Amanda Etheridge, who spoke at Friday night’s memorial about her friend and mentor. The tribute was part of the SOC’s annual awards ceremony tonight in which Gravity‘s Peter Taylor won the Camera Operator of the Year-Feature Film award and Mad Men‘s Don Devine the Camera Operator of the Year-TV award. The event took place before an audience of 500, including Society of Camera Operators and International Cinematographer Guild members. (See the full list of winners an honorees below.)
After months of speculation, maneuvering, campaigning, champagning, Q&Aing and ever so much more, the 2013-14 awards season is done, done, done, and in this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom wrap up the winners and notable moments from this years Academy Awards ceremony. They’ll look at which studios (hint, the initials are W and B) and stars were big winners, why 12 Years a Slave is a lot like The Godfather, and why The Hammond Rule proved so durable throughout the season.
Pete and David also review the Oscar Lite ceremony that was Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards, with winners in nearly every award exactly tracking the Oscar wins.
OSCARS: A Selfie-Important Academy Awards Honors Our Past And Our Future And Hits Just The Right Notes
In the end the Academy Awards fell right into place with every other awards show this season. Gravity got LOTS of love but it ended with 12 Years A Slave‘s Steve McQueen making the big acceptance speech of the night for Best Picture — just like it went at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, BAFTA, PGA and others. It’s a weird year when a blockbuster picture like Gravity can win seven Oscars including Best Director yet lose the big one. But science fiction is not a category the Oscars have ever embraced in that way, and this year was no exception. In 1977 Star Wars also won seven Oscars yet lost in the end to Best Pic winner Annie Hall, which only picked up four awards overall much like Slave’s haul of three nods this year. The record still stands though with 1972′s Cabaret winning eight Oscars but losing ultimately to The Godfather which won only three including Best Picture.
How do you explain it? It’s called spreading the wealth but wanting to save your most important award for a movie that has real gravitas, one that breaks barriers over what the Academy has ever done before. A movie directed by a black person has never before won nor has a film that so harrowingly details one aspect of the black experience. 12 Years A Slave may have depicted the dark side of this country in a way Oscar had never before recognized, but the Academy wanted to spotlight that and reward it with its highest prize in a year of great films about the black experience. In fact the whole show was full of diversity including numerous black presenters and the Best Director award to Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron.
Warner Bros’ Gravity took home the most hardware at Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards and 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture, but everyone was all smiles backstage in the winners’ circle. Check out Deadline’s gallery of photos with the night’s big Oscar winners, including Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, Alfonso Cuaron, those peppy Frozen songwriters, and more:
WINS BY FILM
Gravity – 7
12 Years A Slave – 3
Dallas Buyers Club – 3
Frozen – 2
The Great Gatsby – 2
20 Feet From Stardom – 1
Blue Jasmine – 1
The Great Beauty – 1
Helium – 1
Her – 1
Mr. Hublot – 1
The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life – 1
Here we are again after the Golden Globes, Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.
That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.
Then there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)
ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
“The Great Gatsby” (Warner Bros.) Catherine Martin
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features) Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
“Frozen” (Walt Disney)
Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
An M & M Production
Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
“The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
A Reed Entertainment Production
Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“20 Feet From Stardom” (RADiUS-TWC)
A Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Production
Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Great Beauty” (Janus Films) – Italy
An Indigo Film Production
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years A Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Emmanuel Lubezki
ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
“The Great Gatsby” (Warner Bros.) Production Design: Catherine Martin; …
Anna Lisa Raya, Diane Haithman, and Anthony D’Alessandro are contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage.
Related: OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog
So did the 12 Years A Slave team contemplate a potential best pic loss tonight? According to producer and co-star Brad Pitt — it didn’t matter if they won or lost. 12 Years A Slave in and of itself is a benchmark in cinematic history, unlike many films being made today. Asserted Pitt, “I love this story. It’s a historical story of man in an inhumane situation finding freedom. It’s an important film because it deals with our history that hasn’t been shown on screen. It’s important that we understand this era as it explains who we were, so we can better understand who we are now. The film is a gentle reminder that we’re all equal and want dignity for ourselves and for our families.” Fielding a question about how 12 Years A Slave has evolved cinema about African-Americans in the south since Gone With The Wind 75 years ago, McQueen exclaimed, “It’s obviously a progression. The background characters are now in the foreground and now they’re being recognized. It’s indicative of what’s going on; how people are ready for this narrative and how they want to look at this history. It’s like Brad said, ‘If you don’t know your past, we don’t know our future.’” Speaking about 12 Years‘ momentum around the world, producer Dede Gardner pointed out how Solomon Northup’s book is now available in high school libraries throughout the country after being out of print, while producer Jeremy Kleiner said, “the universality of the film’s story has broken down ideological concepts of what is a domestic and what is an international story.”
Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
The robocalls and emails apparently did the trick. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson reports the 86th Oscar contest is responsible for another significant high mark in the Academy’s efforts to turn out the vote.”As we head toward Oscar Sunday, I am thrilled to report how engaged our members have been this voting season. Your efforts resulted in another record turnout. And we are so happy to see that members have embraced our online voting system, and are voting from all over the world easily and securely. Thank you for participating in this historic year – when all members were able to vote in all categories – and for honoring the brilliant artists in our community,” she wrote in an internal Friday memo. The Academy doesn’t reveal actual numbers but I was told by reliable sources that the turnout for the nominating phase was over 90%, and with a huge last-minute surge (and that effort to get members engaged in the process) the total for the final voting phase which ended last Tuesday may have exceeded that number. But what does it all mean? It’s been said before, but I will say it again, this is one of the tightest and most unpredictable Best Picture races I can remember and I am not sure what the massive turnout of the Acad’s 6028 eligible voters says other than there was obviously a lot of interest within Oscar’s ranks. I have talked to numerous members over the past few days at various Oscar-related events, and while the results vary, it is clear this has all finally turned into a real seesaw race between 12 Years A Slave and Gravity. It appears to be a divide so sharp between those two that Sony’s American Hustle has a fighting chance to be the real beneficiary in what has been widely acknowledged the past few weeks to be a three-way contest.
OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever
This column originally ran Thursday.
With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the most unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important. The top three contenders—12 Years A Slave, American Hustle and Gravity—are in a real dog fight, which means a dark horse like The Wolf Of Wall Street, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club or Nebraska could sneak in if a true three-way split occurs, although I don’t think that scenario is too likely. Never say never though. In 1981 for example no one was expecting a small British film called Chariots Of Fire to sneak in and take Best Picture but indeed it did. The last huge upset in the Picture race was probably Crash over Brokeback Mountain in 2005 but judging from voter interviews that year I saw a tidal wave of last minute support. This year I don’t get that. There are lots of opinions out there and it looks like …
The best holds going into the Oscar weekend in the Top 20 at the box office are, as expected, those films nominated for Best Picture. There are two things that traditionally happen at the box office right before the Academy Awards. First, all the nominated films still playing receive a bump the weekend before and of the Awards show. And secondly, overall, movie going for the older female demographic drops slightly on Sunday (around 15%). The result for all grosses is negligible, however.
Of the titles still playing in the top 20, 12 Years a Slave has far and above the best hold weekend to weekend, up 70% for Fox Searchlight. Kudos to Frank Rodriguez at FSL and all of these distribution executives who we have watched week to week deftly handling these pictures. Sony/Annapurna’s American Hustle held strong with a 6% increase (thanks to Jeff Blake and Rory Bruer) and Philomena was up 3% (Erik Lomis at TWC). All added theaters. Of those that shed theaters, Warner Bros.’ Gravity (Dan Fellman and Jeff Goldstein) and Paramount/Red Granite’s The Wolf of Wall Street (distrib head Don Harris) had only slight declines of …
The campaign teams from Warner Bros’ Gravity and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven came away with the respective Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Award for Motion Pictures and Television at today’s 51st annual ICG Publicists Awards. Michael Singer received the Les Mason Lifetime Achievement Award. Other winners announced at the Beverly Hilton luncheon ceremony were Access Hollywood‘s Scott Mantz (American Press Award), former HFPA President Philip Berk (International Media Award). Peter Fountain (Excellence in Still Photography, Motion Pictures) and Michael Yarish (Excellence in Still Photography). Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger were presented with the Motion Picture Showmanship Award by the Divergent duo of Shailene Woodley and Theo James, and Shonda Rhimes received the Television Showmanship Award from her Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn. Jerry Lewis also was on hand to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award. A complete list of winners follows.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom do their annual Oscar preview ahead of the weekend’s festivities, to help you fill out that Oscar ballot with Pete’s choices and dark-horse candidates in all the major categories. David and Pete also preview Hollywood’s favorite beach party, the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. This year, nominees for the Spirit Awards don’t feel that independent with all the familiar names also up for Sunday’s kudos. Finally, David and Pete discuss the weekend’s notable movie debuts, led by the airplane thriller Non-Stop and the very Russian war movie Stalingrad.