UPDATE NOON: ABC’s time zone-adjusted ratings for last night’s 83rd Academy Awards are in, confirming the drop from last year’s telecast. Some 37.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the show from 8:30-11:30 PM, down 9% from last year. In adults 18-49, the Oscars drew an 11.7 rating, down 12% from last year. With hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, who are smack in the middle of the 18-34 demo, the ceremony was down even in that category from last year when 50something Alec Baldwin and 60something Steve Martin were the hosts – it slipped 5%. Here is historic data on the Oscars viewership over the past decade, along with the best picture winner that year:
Deadline’s Mike Fleming just caught up with Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Company party inside Chateau Marmont: “I am on Cloud 9. I am so excited to see Colin [Firth] here. We’ve done 10 films in 20 years together… This win is so special because, after the Golden Globes, we were left for dead. We had lost all the critics award, every single one. But we stayed the course and that was key… It is great for my company. It has attracted many films and all kinds of new financing opportunities.”
So tonight’s Academy Awards scorecard for independent films were 7 major Oscars, including the 19th Best Picture of the past 30 years for non-studio movies. The Independent Film & Television Alliance compiled this list: Best Picture: The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co); Best Director: Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co), Best Actor: Colin Firth – The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co), Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter (The Weinstein Co distributing internationally), Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo – The Fighter (The Weinstein Co), Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler – The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co), Best Foreign Language Film: In A Better World, Denmark (Nordisk Film).
There’s no question this was Hollywood’s biggest week of the year. But now it’s all coming to a close tonight — and not a moment too soon for a lot of nominees at the end of a looooong campaign trail. “Thank God,” said The King’s Speech’s 73-year-old screenwriter David Seidler when I asked him Saturday night at The Weinstein Co bash at Soho House how he felt about nearing the end. After tonight, he plans to spend a month fishing. At the same party I caught up with the ultimate class act, Colin Firth, who between last year’s A Single Man and this year’s The King’s Speech has been on the awards circuit for the better part of two seasons. I asked him about being heavily favored to take Best Actor, and he replied, “I’m told I am”. He’s next making lighter fare: a Coen Brothers-penned version of the 1966 movie Gambit that starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. He said the film, to be directed by Michael Hoffman (The Last Station), is not a remake and that there’s barely a line of dialogue in common between the two films. Cameron Diaz will co-star. The Weinstein party filled up fast and brought out the entire King’s Speech crowd except for Geoffrey Rush who was on stage in New York for Diary Of A Madman but will be at tonight’s Oscars.
At a Society Of Lyricists And Composers reception Saturday afternoon, many-times nominated and Inception Best Music Score nominee Hans Zimmer told me he’s been too …
‘Gnomes’ No. 1 In Third Week Of Release; ‘Hall Pass’ Drops To #2; ‘Drive Angry’ #9; Oscars Fave ‘King’s Speech’ Doesn’t Stutter
SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Hollywood movies continue to underperform domestically since the start of the new year, including this weak weekend when the film industry honors its best 2010 offerings at Sunday’s Oscars. Talk about a reality check! Here are these Top 10 North American box office numbers:
1. Gnomeo & Juliet 3D (Disney) Week 3 [3,037 Theaters]
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $6.3M, Weekend $14.2M, Cume $75.1M.
Who gnew that in its 3rd week of release, this 3D animated toon would rise to #1 at the domestic box office? Gnoone! Because last night when I updated box office, studios were still saying it was behind Hall Pass. But there’s a dearth of family films at the box office and those Saturday kiddie matinees continue to be great gnews.
2. Hall Pass (New Line/Warner Bros) NEW [2,950 Theaters]
Friday $4.7M, Saturday $5.7M, Weekend $13.4M
Owen Wilson went on Leno accompanied by a clip from his past hit movie Wedding Crashers – and then had to hawk this weekend’s unsuccessful Hall Pass. Interesting how New Line has done well with its string of estrogen rom-coms, but then returns to its old formula of testosterone male-bonding films and falters. Had it stayed in first place by the end of the weekend, it would have been the lowest grossing #1 in two years. Hollywood expected this Farrelly Brothers comedy to pass $20M and instead the pic greatly underperformed. But not for lack of trying. Warner Bros marketing campaign attempted to leverage the R-rated concept and the Farrellys’ past successes and the newbie/vet comedy combo of SNL‘s Jason Sudekis/Owen Wilson — but failed. Challenge was positioning the pic primarily to men but also not turning off women. Trailers were paired with Due …
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned 2-time Oscar winner and Academy favorite Tom Hanks will be the first presenter and name winners in both the Art Direction and Cinematography categories right off the bat. Best Picture frontrunner The King’s Speech is up for both, so the world will quickly get an idea whether that Best Picture nominee is able to mount a sweep right in the first few minutes of Sunday’s Oscar show. Two other Best Picture pics are also nominated in both categories, True Grit and Inception, with the Christopher Nolan written and directed movie having taken awards at both the Art Directors and Cinematographer Guild awards earlier this month. The King’s Speech also won at Art Directors. The show’s theme exploring the past, present and future of movies will start right here and then wend its way throughout the evening. The producers wanted to have a big star kick it off and set the tone.
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:
7 Nominations: 7 The Fighter
DEADLINE’s Nikki Finke: How did you first get involved with The Fighter?
RYAN KAVANAUGH: Mark Wahlberg brought us the project. It was developed at Paramount by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman and they put Mark on the project. Everybody knows there were a lot of starts and stops. When Paramount told them, ‘We’re not making the movie,’ Mark called us because we had a prior relationship with him. Effectively, the script that Paramount had developed was very dark. So we said to Mark, ‘Look, it can be a modern-day Rocky. The good news is we love the story. The bad news is we need to pay someone to rewrite it.’ Mark and David O. Russell had worked together on Three Kings and we had actually met with David a few times on other movies. So we brought David in and in a very short period we had a shooting schedule. He was not contractually given any writing credit. It went to Scott Silver. But at the end of the day David was really responsible for 90 percent of the rewrite. The budget was $50 million, and we gave him a budget of $25 million. Then, we shot the movie in 33 days. And here we …
Ever since the British Academy of Film and Television Arts several years ago moved their honors ceremony to coincide with Hollywood’s awards season, it’s been hit and miss as a predictor of the Oscars. Even though there is probably a crossover of about 600 members in both organizations. This year’s results giving a near-sweep, but very significantly not complete sweep, to hometown favorite The King’s Speech did little to change the status of that film’s Oscar chances in certain key categories. It already is the frontrunner for Best Picture, and for Colin Firth as Best Actor, and for David Seidler’s Best Original Screenplay. So tonight’s BAFTA wins just add to the pile of its big Hollywood Guild wins here.
In the Supporting categories winner, Helena Bonham Carter did not have to contend with Oscar frontrunners Melissa Leo and Hailee Steinfeld who weren’t nominated by BAFTA. (Steinfeld was competing in lead while Leo was snubbed.) And the absent Geoffrey Rush’s triumph over Oscar frontrunner Christian Bale also was not surprising since The Fighter found little support in overall BAFTA nominations.
But DGA winner Tom Hooper’s loss here to The Social Network’s David Fincher is intriguing. It could mean voters may be thinking about a split ballot. The facebook origins film also won Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin as well as defeated The King’s Speech in the ever-significant Film Editing category, too. That means both films collected exactly half of their BAFTA nomination total with TKS garnering 7 out …
Overall, tonight’s BAFTA awards show — known as “the British Oscars” – was marred by human errors and technical flubs. But the winners didn’t care. I counted 7 name-checks for Harvey Weinstein during the evening. In fact, pretty much every time one of The King’s Speech’s 7 award winners thanked the British academy, they thanked The Weinstein Company brother. A visibly emotional Colin Firth, accepting his second straight Best Actor statuette, referred to “the unstoppable Harvey”. Winning The King’s Speech screenwriter David Seidler said: “Harvey, I guess you’re not British but you’ve made and distributed so many British films we owe you an honorary tally-ho.” Presenter Jessica Alba, referring to Geoffrey Rush not being on hand to accept his Best Supporting Actor award, said that Harvey would give it to him. Helena Bonham Carter, accepting her Best Supporting Actress award, called Harvey her “nominations godfather”. Even emcee TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, admonishing everyone to turn off their cell phones, worked in a reference to the man: “I can see that Harvey Weinstein is gagging for a tweet.”
In Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House tonight, Inception won 3 technical awards for Sound, Production Design, and Special Visual Effects which prompted one VFX designer to pay homage to the film’s writer/director Christopher Nolan: “I spent 3 weeks in Chris Nolan’s garage visualising this film, which wasn’t hard because Chris had done all the work.” The Social Network also received 3 BAFTAs, including a surprise Best Director for David Fincher. But …
SATURDAY PM UPDATE: Sources tell me that the studios are having difficulty getting their nightly Rentrak numbers. But initial intel is that this back-and-forth North American box office battle for #1 isn’t over yet and may continue until Sunday night. Sony Pictures’ Just Go With It, starring the sometimes funny Adam Sandler and the always annoying Jennifer Aniston had a big Saturday jump (+41%) from Friday with $13.4M in grosses. If that holds, then this latest Valentines Day-timed rom-com could come in at $31.2M for the weekend. As for Paramount’s PG-rated Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D, “Bieber fever hasn’t broken but at least he’s sweating,” a rival studio exec said tonight. Even with higher 3D ticket prices but about 450 less theaters, the punk kid held strongly from Friday to Saturday with only a -13% drop for $10.7M which would put the kid at $30.2M for the weekend. As for other openers, Disney’s Gnomeo and Juliet 3D opened with a soft $6M Friday but that was doubled Saturday by the matinee kiddie bump for a $25.4M weekend. And Focus Feature’s PG-13 The Eagle had decent numbers in both major cities and suburbs.
Here’s the Top 10:
1. Just Go With It (Sony Pictures) NEW [3,548 Theaters]
Friday $9.7M, Saturday $13.4M, Weekend $31.2M
If the rom-com holds at No. 1, then like him or not, Adam Sandler’s track record as one of the most consistent top performers in the business continues. This latest is based on the old Cactus Flower play/movie (which itself was based on a French play) by Sandler’s Happy Madison production company and directed by Dennis Dugan. But by now who hasn’t seen this dumbass premise of a single man who pretends to be married all over The Hallmark Channel? Yet it received an “A-” CinemaScore overall and an “A” from females despite lousy reviews. Just Go With It, should also be the main Date Night movie choice on Valentine’s Day so expect to see a substantial spike on a typical non-holiday Monday. Last weekend, Adam did a lot of press during the Superbowl as well as MTV Networks (including VH-1, Spike, and Comedy Central) where special interstitials were created with footage from the film. Additionally, there was a TNT and NBA promo tied to the upcoming NBA All-Star Game, while Sony worked with ESPN for a special “Just Go With It Moment” promo which was cut using footage from last year’s Game 7 final match-up, and a clip from the film.
2. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D (Paramount) NEW [3,105 Theaters]
Friday $12.5M, Saturday $10.7M, Weekend $30.2M
In terms of Disney comps, this is less than the $31M opening weekend of Disney’s 2008 Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds Concert Tour pic but massacres 2009′s Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience opening weekend of $12.5M. Considering Bieber’s pic had a budget of only $13M, the punk did fine. (But if he’s “living his dream” at soon-to-be age 17, then mine is to send him packing from Hollywood until his testicles descend.) Born out of production boss Adam Goodman’s Paramount Insurge initiative overseen by Amy Powell to find talent from the Internet, this is the first offering. Goodman came up with the idea of pursuing a Bieber pic, so he, Powell, Megan Colligan, and Rob Moore traipsed to the Target Center in Minneapolis to watch the kid’s concert first-hand at the end of June. Negotiated with LA Reid of Island Def Jam records and Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, the idea was to follow Bieber’s journey to a sold-out Madison Square Garden. Justin’s Internet army of fans were enlisted to submit photos and videos that would be incorporated into the film and the initial one-sheet. At the end of November, the decision was made to let fans pay $30 to sneak the film complete with souvenir purple glasses and wrist bands. About 60,000 fans saw the film Wednesday so they could spend Thursday and Friday spreading the word at schools. Paramount only included the value of the ticket in its box office reporting, though. The premiere featured a stunt with Ellen DeGeneres (who early on identified Justin as a star) after his Tuesday appearance on her show: Usher showed up with a fleet of vans and brought Ellen’s entire audience of over 300 people to the premiere. The promotion included sister company MTV’s Jersey Shore and The Situation to let teens know this film was not just for tweens. Meanwhile, Bieber’s mom went on Christian Radio to make inroads with faith-based audiences.
3. Gnomeo and Juliet (Disney) NEW [2,994 Theaters]
Friday $6.1M, Saturday $11.5M, Weekend $25.4M
The project was at Miramax and, as part of the recent sale, Disney kept the film which was distributed by Touchstone. Executive Produced by Elton John and his Rocket Pictures, Gnomeo & Juliet is the only animated film in the marketplace right now. The soundtrack released February 8th from Buena Vista Records features 9 songs from the songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, performed by Sir Elton. (There’s a remake of Elton’s 1973 hit, “Crocodile Rock” sung with Nellie Furtado.) The voice cast included James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Patrick Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne, Dolly Parton, and Hulk Hogan. Shrek 2‘s Kelly Asbury directed what was billed as “the greatest love story ever told” starring… garden gnomes with plastic pink flamingoes and lawnmower races in the mix.
4. The Roommate (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 2 [2,534 Theaters]
Friday $2.6M, Saturday $3.8M, Weekend $8.5M (-43%), Cume $26.1M
5. Eagle (Focus Features) NEW [2,296 Theaters]
Friday $2.7M, Saturday $3.5M, Weekend $8.5M
Focus will hit projected numbers if the film makes $8 million for the weekend. Tracking best with men both over and under 25 (strongest with men over 25), the film had a budget of mid-$20sM and strong international pre-sales. Reviews were only mixed (35% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, 55% on Metacritic). The film drew a mostly male, ethnically diverse audience: 64% Male, 47% Under 30, 62% Under 35, 38% Caucasian, 27% Hispanic, 21% African American, 13% Asian.