VES Awards: ‘Gravity’ Wins 6 Including Top Prize; ‘Frozen’ Goes 4-For-4; 3 Nods For ‘Game Of Thrones’

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 7:45pm PST

Gravity DGAThe much talked-about visual effects in Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller dazzled even the pros, as Gravity floated away with six wins at the VES Awards tonight. The pic won in all but one of its categories, including the big prize of Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture. Cuaron capped off his film’s big night with the Visual Effects Society’s Visionary Award. Cuaron accepting his honor said briefly, “Finally, visual effects are merging into the whole process of the cinematic experience,” the filmmaker said in his acceptance speech. “It’s about the integration of lights, sets and even actors.” Gravity continued its awards-season momentum, following up on big wins at the Art Directors Guild Awards, the American Society of Cinematographers Awards and DGA Awards.

Related: What Does DGA Win Mean For ‘Gravity’s Best Picture Chances?

VES_Logo__140114230649Meanwhile, Frozen further cemented its Oscar front-runner status with wins in all four of its categories. Pacific Rim, which entered the 12th annual VES Awards with six nominations, second only to Gravity, went home empty-handed. And, just like last year, HBO’s Game Of Thrones was the big winner on the TV side with three VES Awards, also missing out in just one of its nommed categories. The evening also featured a tribute to VFX pioneer Ray Harryhausen, who died in May, and a Lifetime Achievement Award to Oscar and Emmy winner John Dykstra, whose credits range from the original Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica to Spider-Man and Django Unchained. As the 186-minute show ending, host Patton Oswalt quipped, “”Omigod! Who’s president now!?”

Here is the complete list of winners, followed by our live blog, with Anthony D’Alessandro on the scene: Read More »

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‘Gravity’ Leads With 8 VES Awards Nominations; ‘Pacific Rim’ Nabs 6

By | Tuesday January 14, 2014 @ 3:09pm PST

Los Angeles (January 14, 2014) – Today, the Visual Effects Society (VES), the industry’s professional honorary society, announced the nominees for the 12th Annual VES Awards, the prestigious yearly celebration that recognizes outstanding visual VES_Logoeffects artistry and innovation in film, animation, television, commercials and video games and the VFX supervisors, VFX producers and hands-on-the-keys artists who bring this work to life. Nominees were selected by VES members via concurrent events in Los Angeles and within the eight Global VES Sections – New York, Bay Area, New Zealand, Sydney, United Kingdom, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The VES Awards will be held on February 12th at the Beverly Hilton.

“The artistry, ingenuity and passion of visual effects practitioners around the world have come together to tell the most amazing stories imaginable,” said Jeffrey A. Okun, VES Chair. “This year, more than ever, we have seen the fantastic become normal, the unimaginable become reality and the artistry of VFX drive box office. The VES Awards is the only place where this amazing work is showcased and honored. We are extremely proud of our nominees!”

The 12th Annual VES Awards Ceremony will be held Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at the The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The nominees for the 12th Annual VES Awards are as follows:

Read More »

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OSCARS: Which Visual Effects Contenders Can Fight ‘Gravity’s Pull?

Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.

Gravity Oscars vfxExpect Gravity to be as powerful and inevitable a force in the visual-effects category at this year’s Oscars as, well, gravity. Offering more than just snazzy visuals — about 95% of what’s on screen is digital — Gravity’s visual-effects supervisor Tim Webber fulfilled many artists’ dreams by working from the start with director Alfonso Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to completely embed the effects into the storytelling and filmmaking process.

The space drama also has some serious cachet as a more artistic use of effects — a quality Academy voters have AwardsLinerewarded recently with trophies for Life of Pi, Hugo and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With Gravity offering a seemingly irresistible complete package, it looks as if the other nine Academy short-list contenders will just have to aspire to impress the effects branch enough at the Jan. 9 bake-off to score one of five Oscar nominations on Jan. 16.

In addition to Gravity, the short list includes Elysium, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim and World War Z. The most obvious question about the list is: How did the year’s highest-profile boxoffice dud, The Lone Ranger, make the cut and Man of Steel did not? Read More »

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‘Pacific Rim’ Is “American Propaganda”, Chinese Military Official Says

By | Tuesday August 27, 2013 @ 12:04pm PDT

The Guillermo del Toro-directed robots vs. monsters movie may be doing monster box office in China, but an officer in the People’s Liberation Army is no fan. “Hollywood has always been the best American propaganda machine,” wrote … Read More »

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Fleming Rants On Why Studios Can’t Launch Franchises Anymore, Leaving Us With Retreads Like ‘The Mummy’

By | Thursday August 1, 2013 @ 7:03am PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal has confirmed that Len Wiseman has dropped off Universal’s reboot of The Mummy franchise, which will get a new round of movies after the last reboot trilogy grossed north of $1.25 billion worldwide before running out of steam. Do we need another Mummy? I wouldn’t think so, but apparently we do need to reopen that sarcophagus, especially since studios are whiffing badly in attempts to create new intellectual properties. They instead seem bent on running tried and tested past successes into the ground.

Leaving The Mummy might be the best thing for Wiseman, a props man who got off to an impressive start as a director by launching the ambitious Underworld. He helped hatch that series, which added some real flourishes to the  vampires and werewolves genre. Since then, Wiseman has gone through a succession of sequels (Live Free Or Die Hard) and remakes (Total Recall), becoming a symbol of a time where Hollywood studios place too little emphasis on originality and instead prize utterly familiar product studios hope might put up big global numbers. Wiseman needs an original movie, and fast.

Why does Hollywood go back to the well so often on tired retreads? Because, as this summer has proven, it’s damn near impossible to create new intellectual properties that are not based on bestselling book series with vast reading audiences like Twilight Saga or The Hunger Games. Some of this summer’s non-sequel misfires, like After Earth, The Lone Ranger and R.I.P.D., surely deserve to be one-offs. But even worthy, imaginative films like Pacific Rim have it rough. They get measured and dismissed quickly, not helped by the fact that press coverage has become reliant on imprecise tracking service estimates that give journalists a touchstone to dismiss movies even before anyone has seen them. Early low tracking on Pacific Rim fueled advance stories that the movie would be a flop, which it wasn’t. When The Wolverine‘s opening weekend didn’t match high advance tracking estimates, journalists bashed the movie (which is quite good), and not the faulty tracking services that overestimated the opening weekend numbers in the first place. Pacific Rim also wasn’t helped by a marketing campaign straight out of Transformers, and it wasn’t until too late that Warner Bros switched to spots that showed the movie had heart and wasn’t just a collision of robots and over-sized alien monsters from beneath the sea.

If there are two originals this summer worth sequel-izing, I would nominate Pacific Rim and World War Z. Despite being real crowd-pleasers, these will not be easy decisions because their high production budgets require each to do upwards of $400 million worldwide before serious sequel talk even begins. WWZ passed this threshold and is at $475 million, while Pac Rim is at $226 million but playing strong in Asian territories including China. All of this raises the currency of worn franchises like The Mummy. Read More »

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‘Pacific Rim’ $9M Opening In China Biggest Ever For Warner Bros: Sequel Likely Now

By | Wednesday July 31, 2013 @ 4:48pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE… UPDATED: I’ve just learned that momentum is building for a Pacific Rim sequel based on the international box office for the Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros summer tentpole. The latest development is the 3D … Read More »

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‘Pacific Rim’ #1 Internationally Over Weekend

By | Monday July 22, 2013 @ 6:25pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has bragging rights today for distributing the Legendary Pictures 3D scifi actioner around the world after co-financing it. I’ve learned the studio discovered this morning that last weekend’s results came in $500K higher than forecast on … Read More »

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‘Pacific Rim’ #3 As ‘Grown-Ups 2′ Edged By #1 ‘Despicable Me 2′ For Domestic Weekend

SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM, 9TH & 10TH UPDATEThe Top 3 order changed again this weekend. Holdover Despicable Me 2 is still #1 with around $44.7M beating newcomers Growns-Ups 2 ($42.5M for #2) and Pacific Rim ($38.3M for #3). Universal’s and Illumination Entertainment’s 3D toon is #1 worldwide passing $400M global gross and $200M from North America. Warner Bros’ and Legendary Pictures’ mecha anime-inspired scifi battle was  the only original newcomer fighting 2 sequels. Because of good reviews and CinemaScores, the hope is to “broaden out” the 3D film’s audience for the next four weeks of IMAX screenings. The $180-$220m costing pic’s worldwide cume is now $91.3M after opening in 50% of international territories this weekend. More later.

SATURDAY 10 AM, 8TH UPDATE: What a surprise Friday’s domestic box office turned out to be as Summer 2013 continues to sizzle. Total moviegoing this weekend is close to $200M which is a humongous +29% from last year. At first the three top films looked neck and neck throughout Friday. After predictions of possible disaster, Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures’ 3D Pacific Rim (3,275 theaters and 331 IMAX screens) seemed strong throughout the day but then “ran out of IMAX tix and pre-sales at last” according to an exec. It ended Friday #2 with $14.6M and an expected $37M weekend. With audiences giving it an ‘A-’ CinemaScore, the scifi winner-takes-all actioner may have an upside with word of mouth. Or else the hype just failed to hold. International is a big part of Pacific Rim‘s strategy day and date in 38 territories in a crowded marketplace with 9,700 screens including the Top 12 markets. But Sony Pictures/Happy Madison’s Growns-Ups 2 (3,491 theaters) wound up #1 Friday with a middle-of-the-road ‘B’ CinemaScore (same as the original) despite terrible reviews. Goes to show that this summer’s audiences are still starved for comedy. And that no one can count out Adam Sandler and his $80M ensemble or Jeff Blake’s strong marketing department. It made $16.3M for $42M, beating the first’s $14.4M/$40.5M. Internationally, Sony is releasing it day and date in just Spain and some small territories this weekend Germany next week, and then a wide rollout. But even though Universal’s and Illumination Entertainment’s global #1 holdover Despicable Me 2 placed #3 Friday, it must wait for the Saturday kiddie bump to see if it can land on top of the worldwide box office again. The 3D toon did $13.3M domestic Friday (-56%) and should end up $43M. Pic reached $404.6M at the worldwide box office today and crosses $200M later today after just one week in release. Film only cost a very reasonable $76M and has 18 more foreign territories to open over the next few months. Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond, Episode 34

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 1:48pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Listen to (and share) episode 34 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about a very strong slate of African-American-themed films, led by the award-winning Fruitvale Station, which opens this week; Oscar plans to spotlight film music in a new concert; and last-minute buzz ahead of the Emmy nomination announcements next week. Pete also gives his take on the rest of the week’s movie debuts, including Guillermo del Toro’s fine monster movie Pacific Rim, Adam Sandler sequel Grown Ups 2 and the late-arriving DreamWorks Animation entry Turbo.

Deadline Awards Watch, Episode 34 (MP3 format)
Deadline Awards Watch, Episode 34 (MP4a format) Read More »

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Guillermo del Toro Sets ‘Pacific Rim’s’ Robert Maillet As Main ‘Strain’ Villain

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 6:21pm PDT

Guillermo del Toro must really like working with Robert Maillet. First he directed him in the soon-to-open Pacific Rim, and now the actor has snagged the role of the world-conquering vampire The Master in FX’s drama pilot … Read More »

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‘Pacific Rim’ Gets $20 ‘SuperTicket’ Treatment In Canada

World War Z had the Mega-Ticket, now Guillermo del Toro‘s CGI actioner is getting a SuperTicket up in the Great White North. Cineplex Entertainment will offer the $19.99 premium ducat — the first of its kind … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Pacific Rim’

Here’s the third and final trailer for Guillermo del Toro‘s Pacific Rim. This one sees Idris Elba‘s Stacker Pentecost enlist Charlie Hunnam’s washed-up pilot Raleigh Becket for a last-ditch attempt to save humanity. Becket will team with rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) to steer … Read More »

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WME Signs Idris Elba

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 11:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Idris Elba, the talented star of Luther and The Wire who has been in play for the past couple months, has just signed with WME for all areas. This comes at a great time for Elba, … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’

By | Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 8:47am PDT
Mike Fleming

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros are getting close to unveiling their giant-robot film Pacific Rim, which opens July 12. The film, which is under $200 million I’m told, has a marketing strategy championed by geek-savvy Thomas Read More »

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‘Pacific Rim’ Sequel In Planning Stages, Guillermo Del Toro Says

By | Tuesday June 18, 2013 @ 1:05pm PDT

Guillermo Del Toro Pacific Rim Sequel“We’re been talking about the idea for it and working on a pitch,” said Guillermo del Toro today about a Pacific Rim sequel. “And there will be a Mexican Jaeger,” he … Read More »

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Hot Clip: ‘Pacific Rim’ Featurette

By | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 4:14pm PDT

“To fight monsters, we created monsters” – so goes the tagline for Guillermo del Toro’s summer tentpole for Warner Bros. A new 4-minute Pacific Rim featurette gives viewers a look inside the massive robots deployed to battle the kaijus that have emerged from the sea in the … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Pacific Rim’

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 10:37am PDT

Here’s the first full trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which expands on the footage Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures unveiled at WonderCon last month. The pic opens July 12:

Watch this video on YouTube

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Guillermo Del Toro To Show New ‘Pacific Rim’ Footage At NCM Media Networks’ Cinema Upfront

By | Thursday May 9, 2013 @ 8:11pm PDT

Next week is all about television upfront presentations in NYC. But National CineMedia and NCM Media Networks are holding a ‘cinema upfront’ event on May 15 featuring filmmaker Guillermo del Toro with never-before-seen footage from his Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros summer tentpole Pacific Rim. This ‘Bigger Picture’ presentation and lunch will … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Pacific Rim’

By | Monday April 29, 2013 @ 10:55am PDT

Here’s the mecha vs. monsters Pacific Rim trailer Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures unveiled at WonderCon last month. Fanboys went nuts. But when the same footage screened at CinemaCon some exhibitors complained to me that it was “too sci-fi”. The … Read More »

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