Does the Golden Globes mean less for awards season next year?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a slew of key dates for the 83rd Academy Awards today and happily, there will be no extended awards season again in 2011.
Because of competition from the Winter Olympics, the entire Oscar schedule was pushed back two weeks this past year creating more time for senseless drama such as the "Lockergate" E-mail affair. That won't occur in 2011. The Academy Awards will return to February, more specifically, Sunday, Feb. 27. Nominations, which were announced Feb. 2 this year, will move to January 25, 2011. This also puts Nominations Day smack in the middle of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival (where it traditionally takes place).
Plus: Watch five impressive clips from one of the best films of the year so far
Actors are usually barraged with numerous talking points by publicists and studio executives to convey their "true love" for their latest projects.Â Most of the time, it's easy to see through that charade when it's clearly not the case.Â In fact, there have been stars in great movies where it was obvious even they weren't as enthusiastic as the critics were.Â Speaking to Jay Baruchel about his new DreamWorks Animation epic "How To Train Your Dragon" it was clear the 28-year-old Canadian is not in that camp.Â He simply adores his latest project.
Potential helmers have 'Good Will Hunting,' 'Lost in Translation' and 'Dreamgirls' on their resumes
While half of Hollywood continues to watch in amusement as Marvel Studios' casting call for "Captain America" becomes a daily public relations debacle of the first order, the remaining chunk are keeping a close eye on how Summit Entertainment will handle the expected final installment in the "Twilight Saga": "Breaking Dawn."
Because the franchise has become a massive moneymaker for the mini-major, it's generally assumed the final book in Stephenie Meyer's vampire series will be divided into two films. It's a strategy Warner Bros. is also using for the last Harry Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." The company also has a pretty well-known time frame to shoot the two-parter this fall and winter as stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner have blocked out their schedules for it. What has become a much more intriguing question is who will helm the final two installments?
Apparition moves the Sundance drama to fall
It's only been a week since the 82nd Academy Awards, but studios and distributors alike are already planning which films will be positioned as awards contenders for the next awards season. It's not that the companies behind these films think they are all true Oscar contenders, hardly, but that the "prestige" label will help generate publicity and box office. One relatively new outfit, Apparition, had strong box office in 2009 for two films that were never real players: Jane Campion's "Bright Star" and the Emily Blunt period piece "The Young Victoria." Now, the Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad company is primed to play the game once more with the Sundance drama "Welcome to the Rileys."
With three 'Wizard of Oz' remakes in the works 'Wicked' producers needs to watch out
The most intriguing result of the massive success of "Alice in Wonderland" is the ripple effect it's had on other projects in Hollywood. The movie industry is ruled by trends and after "Alice" and "Avatar's" success, 3-D four-quadrant visual extravaganzas are a priority for every studio in town. One classic tale with cues to "Alice" that two companies are already jumping on is none other than "The Wizard of Oz. "
Just a decade ago it would have been blasphemy to suggest remaking an "Oz" similar in tone and title to the 1939 Judy Garland classic. Sure, there was the African-American musical "The Wiz" (which bombed in theaters) and 1985's "Return to Oz" (another bomb), but no one has truly remade the signature L. Frank Baum story onscreen. That may soon change as both Disney and Warner Bros. have numerous "Oz" projects at their disposal.
What excuse, er, explination could Awards Campaign have for picking "Avatar"?
After a few days to take in all the Oscar madness and find our bearings, this pundit is ready to face the music on his 82nd Academy Award predictions.
To be honest, this wasn't a great year. 16 out of 24 isn't horrible, but it's this Oscar watcher's worse record in sometime. However, among the more prominent categories only Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay (a shocker for almost every Academy Award expert out there) provided unexpected results. Why? Quite frankly, it was the shorts and sound that did me in.
Predicting the short-form contenders is never easy, but usually foreshadowing two out of the three has been something I pride myself in. Not this year. And sound? Well, if you went with the theory that "Avatar" was going to be justly rewarded by the Academy in the technical categories it just made sense. Instead, the industry showed just how much it respected and loved Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" instead.
Most important: It pays to stay humble
Another awards season has come to a close and boy has it been a long one. As we soak in "The Hurt Locker's" David vs. Goliath win over "Avatar," one of the more disjointed award shows in recent memory and Sandra Bullock's ascension to Oscar-winning actress, it's time to circle back and review some of the major lessons learned over the past seven months on the awards circuit.
Awards bait movies can make money without a Best Picture nod or big wins
It's a rich tradition for studio heads to publicly complain about the expenses of an Oscar campaign and how unprofitable prestige pictures can be. Well, like NBA or MLB owners who are at fault for overpaying players within their sport's own rules, studio moguls have long had themselves to blame for overspending when a campaign is out of reach or indulging in extravagant budgets for pictures that could be made at half the price. With the new economic realities hitting Hollywood over the past two years, that's all starting to change. Now, Sony Pictures Classics has worked this successful model for years on a small scale, but this year five other contenders played the game and all came way with the green if not gold. Paramount's "Up in the Air" got snubbed at the Oscars, but the $25 million dramedy is already in the black with $153 million worldwide. Fox Searchlight's "Crazy Heart" was made for an amazing $7 million and should pass the $30 million mark this week. Lionsgate's "Precious" was picked up for around $10 million and has grossed $47 million before hitting DVD. Apparition had two profitable pick ups with both "Bright Star" and "The Young Victoria" which grossed $4 million and $10 million respectively. Now, there are always going to be some roadkill along the way ("Nine," "Invictus," "Amelia," "The Lovely Bones") but you can still succeed with prestige if you do it right.
Will 'Avatar' or 'Hurt Locker' dominate the night? A blow by blow account of Hollywood's Super Bowl.
It's time, after all the drama, all the intrigue, all the scheming, the millions spent, the 82nd Academy Awards are finally here. Will "Avatar" or "The Hurt Locker" rule the night? Can someone upset Sandra Bullock for Best Actress? Let's sit back and enjoy the wonders of when Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic produce the Oscars.
Some quick thoughts before the award season Super Bowl begins
It's finally here, Oscar Sunday. The current award season technically stars each August with a kick off during the Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals, but this one seemed a bit longer with all the players from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in the mix. And considering "Hurt Locker's" impressive June debut and "Avatar's" amazing journey which hit a bump during last July's Comic-Con, it's been almost non-stop. Plus, the extra weeks because of the Olympics didn't necessarily provide anyone with any relief. In fact, running into some of Awards Campaigns talented peers Friday night at the Independent Spirit Awards including Kris Tapley (In Contention), Pete Hammond (The Envelope), Anne Thompson (Thompson On Hollywood) and David Poland (Movie City News) there was certainly a sense of utter exhaustion (such troubles, I know).
Oh, and those pesky Sound Editing and Sound Mixing categories
It's hard to believe that at one time during this extended awards season "Nine" was the frontrunner for Best Picture (especially after everyone finally saw it). And then it was a seemingly invincible run for Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," but even that bubble burst before had barely started. And now? The 82nd Academy Awards will feature a long night of back and forth wins as "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" line up for an epic David vs. Goliath showdown for Best Picture.