Rupert Murdoch's awards-season soiree for Ang Lee's Life of Pi has been canceled because of the death of his mother on Tuesday.
The cocktail party was scheduled to be held Wednesday night at Murdoch's Fifth Avenue home in New York. Guests were to have included Lee and Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman-CEO Jim Gianopulos, as well as several awards tastemakers and Hollywood insiders. Several studios are throwing similar parties and receptions touting their awards season films.
Life of Pi was produced and financed by 20th Century Fox, the studio owned by Murdoch's News Corp.
Fox is waging an aggressive awards campaign for Lee's film, which has grossed north of $51 million domestically since opening over the long Thanksgiving holiday. Life of Pi is doing big business in Asia, where it has grossed roughly $53 million in China alone. All told, the movie has grossed $81 million internationally from only 11 markets.
"Life of Pi masterpiece movie released last night. All at Fox rightly proud. Congrats to Liz Gabler [president of Fox 2000]," tweeted Murdoch following the film's opening on Nov. 21.
Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, one of Australia's most prolific philanthropists, died at the age of 103 at the Murdoch family farm not far from Melbourne, Australia.
“Throughout her life, our mother demonstrated the very best qualities of true public service,” Murdoch said in a statement. “Her energy and personal commitment made our country a more hopeful place and she will be missed by many.”