Oscar Watch: Natalie Portman and James Franco snag EW's Oscar cover but does it matter?
There used to be a time when getting your Academy Award contending star or film on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's annual first "Oscar" issue was a big deal. Just like landing your holiday movie on the cover of Vanity Fair meant something. Oh, how times of changed. This web veteran doesn't mean to knock an already crumbling print industry, but you hardly hear anyone talking about who made the front page of Friday's New York Times or Los Angeles Times Arts & Leisure and Calendar sections respectively these days. And a whole generation will soon work in movie marketing never understanding what a "double truck" print ad is (figure it out) after the two biggies used to be full of them. That being said, kudos to Fox Searchlight for locking the placement on EW for "Black Swan's" Natalie Portman and "127 Hours'" James Franco this week. As a non-competing studio publicist noted to me this morning, "You can't knock it as noise." Indeed, especially with Portman in a seemingly tight race with Annette Bening for best actress and Franco attempting to pull off the unthinkable by hosting and upsetting frontrunner Colin Firth at the same time.
No doubt there was also competition for the cover. WB would have died to have DiCaprio and the "Inception" cast on there. Paramount and Relativity were no doubt pushing for Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale for "The Fighter" and you have to speculate the "Social Network" team (which is far more than just Sony Pictures) were working their hardest to get that flick on the cover again (although that over exposed flick - sorry it's true and not a statement on the quality of the film - hardly sells magazines or results in click through anymore).
Print still is trying to have its place in Oscar campaigns, however. With over 6,000 members of the Academy and a majority of them over the age of 50, sales people can make the justifiable claim that advertising in the print versions of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, the LA Times' Envelope (ah, a shadow of its former self) and even Deadline's new print "special editions" reach member eyeballs. But that is revenue that will continue to dwindle for those outlets in an increasingly digital media landscape. It used to be that studios could justify the expense of creative for your consideration ads in NY and LA as reaching traditional moviegoers, who might buy tickets, as well. Next year? Either print is going to have to make a major cultural turnaround or those sales people better have some pretty impressive statistics ready to convince consultants and marketing heads of their relevance.
Better get those iPad editions ready fellas.
In other awards season news…
- Pete Hammond of Deadline has a great warning of yet another year where the upcoming WGA nods won't be particularly indicative of the Oscar's screenwriting selections. Because of strict WGA rules "The King's Speech," "Blue Valentine," "Another Year," "Biutiful," "The Way Back," "Winter's Bone," "The Ghost Writer" and, of course, animated contenders "Toy Story 3" and "How To Train Your Dragon" are ineligible. There are a lot of arguments on both sides for why sticking to the rules is necessary (or not), but just keep it mind when the nominations are announced next week.
- Dirty laundry from the HFPA is starting to pile up this year. Susan Waxman has some details on the legal wrangling between the Golden Globes org and Dick Clark Productions while NBC wonders who is crazier from the sidelines. New NBC owe Comcast thought dealing with the International Olympic Committee was going to be crazy, but they ain't seen nothing when it comes to the Globes.
- And just for fun, Film Drunk has a very entertaining collection of quotes from the annual Armond White collection. The New York Press critic continues to confound with his own unique set of criteria and taste. It's certainly an entertaining read in a slow holiday week and well worth your time.
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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