Disney is giving Tron: Legacy a major push, launching today an official 10-week countdown to the December 17 release. Every week will showcase some kind of special Tron: Legacy “event.” It’s highlighted by Tron Night: An IMAX 3D Experience on October 28 at select theaters. 20 minutes of the film will be shown, and tickets are actually free and on a first-come, first-serve basis. There’s also what the studio is calling “Tron Tuesdays” – new video clips and artwork will be released online and via different broadcast outlets. And among other things, the nighttime “party” ElecTRONica takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Disney California Adventure. It’s touted as a visual- and music-based experience and runs through April.
And we’re off… I received emails and calls from a couple of recently inducted Academy Award voters who reported that the first two screeners of the season arrived in their mailboxes Wednesday from Sony Pictures Classics. The studio beat the competition by sending out the Australian crime thriller Animal Kingdom and the multi-story drama Mother And Child to all of the nearly 6,000 members. It’s a repeat of a familiar strategy employed by SPC in the past when they were first out in 2008 with Frozen River and in 2005 with Junebug. These small earlier-in-the-year releases clearly benefitted from separating themselves from the glut of November/December arrivals – and in the case of Frozen River landed Best Actress (Melissa Leo) and Best Original Screenplay nominations while the little-heralded Junebug pulled off a supporting actress nod for Amy Adams.
With Animal Kingdom trying to stay alive at the box office since its August 13th release, SPC co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard recently told me they plan to aggressively go after a supporting actress nomination for the acclaimed performance of Jacki Weaver, whose dynamic turn in the film would probably be a slam dunk if it could generate any Oscar heat. It’s exactly the kind of gritty character role that actors love to reward. The early screener gambit is a way to start.
As for Rodrigo Garcia’s heartfelt SPC film Mother And Child, which seemed to open and close rather quickly …