FEINBERG FORECAST: 'Saving Mr. Banks,' 'Out of the Furnace' Unveilings Shake Up Race
Every week until the 86th Oscars on March 2, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," wherein he presents a summary of developments since the last update that helped to shape this one and then lists his revised projections. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post.
- Screening notes: The U.S. premiere of Disney's primary Oscar hopeful Saving Mr. Banks kicked off the 27th AFI Fest on Nov. 7 at Hollywood's TCL Chinese Theatre, where Mary Poppins, which inspired the film, also premiered 49 years ago. ... On Nov. 9, the AFI Fest hosted the world premiere of Relativity Media's primary Oscar hopeful Out of the Furnace.
- Box office: The top-selling film of the weekend was, as expected, Marvel Studios and Disney's Thor: The Dark World, which blew away the competition with an $86.1 million debut. The highest-placing film with legitimate awards hopes was Gravity, which finished in the sixth spot for its sixth weekend take of $8.4 million (bringing its total domestic haul to $231.1 million). Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave placed seventh after expanding from 410 to 1,444 theaters and banking $6.6 million in its fourth weekend in release. Eight place, meanwhile, belonged to Sony's Captain Philips, which added $5.8 million in its fifth weekend to up its domestic total to $91 million. The weekend's highest per-theater-average belonged to 20th Century Fox's The Book Thief, which raked in $108,000 from just four theaters, or $27,000 per location.
- Announcements: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 19 films have been submitted for consideration for this year's best animated feature Oscar category. If 16 or more officially qualify, then that will guarantee that the category will eventually include five nominees. ... The Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that its Desert Palm Achievement Award will be presented to Dallas Buyers Club's best actor Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey on Jan. 4. ... The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced that its Outstanding Performer of the Year award will be presented to Blue Jasmine's best actress Oscar hopeful Cate Blanchett on Feb. 1. ... The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced that it will host a retrospective of the five films that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty's best director/best actor Oscar hopeful Ben Stiller has directed from Dec. 6-8. ... The IFP announced that Fox Searchlight's 12 Years a Slave and The Weinstein Co.'s Fruitvale Station are among the five films that will vie for the Gotham Independent Film Awards' Audience Award, which will be revealed at the group's awards ceremony on Dec. 2. ... The nominees have been announced for the 26th European Film Awards. Belgium's best foreign language Oscar submission The Broken Circle Breakdown leads the field with five nominations. Winners will be revealed on Dec. 7. ... Fox Searchlight announced that 12 Years a Slave will screen at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on Nov. 13.
- Precursors: On Nov. 6, The Cinema Eye Awards, which aim to recognize the year' top documentaries, announced their 2013 nominations, and TWC-RADiUS' Cutie and the Boxer led the field with six noms. Drafthouse Films' The Act of Killing was close behind with four mentions. ... On Nov. 9, BAFTA-LA hosted its 22nd annual Britannia Awards, at which the honorees included August: Osage County producer/best picture Oscar hopeful George Clooney (introduced by the film's best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Julia Roberts), 12 Years a Slave supporting actor Oscar hopeful Benedict Cumberbatch (introduced by the film's best actor Oscar hopeful Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom best actor Oscar hopeful Idris Elba (introduced by Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of the film's subject Nelson Mandela).
- Moments in the spotlight: On Nov. 4, Vanity Fair hosted cocktails and a screening of The Weinstein Co.'s Fruitvale Station at Los Angeles' Soho House in honor of the film's best actor Oscar hopeful Michael B. Jordan. The film's producer/best picture Oscar hopeful Forest Whitaker, best director/best original screenplay Oscar hopeful Ryan Coogler and best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Octavia Spencer were also in attendance, as were several Academy members. ... On Nov. 6, The Hollywood Reporter hosted a big party at Los Angeles' Hammer Museum in honor of the 20th anniversary of its NextGen issue. Attendees included DreamWorks Animation chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, Paramount vice chair Rob Moore, Captain Phillips' best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Barkhad Abdi, Lee Daniels' The Butler screenwriter Danny Strong, The Croods co-director Kirk De Micco and American Hustle producer Richard Suckle. ... On Nov. 6, former U.S. president George H.W. Bush hosted a screening for family and friends of 20th Century Fox's The Book Thief in Houston, Texas. The film's best director Oscar hopeful Brian Percival, best actress Oscar hopeful Sophie Nelisse and best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Geoffrey Rush were in attendance for a post-screening Q&A, as was the author of the book that inspired the film, Markus Zusak. ... On Nov. 7, Saving Mr. Banks' best actress Oscar hopeful Emma Thompson had her handprints and footprints immortalized in cement during a ceremony outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre. ... On Nov. 8, Lee Daniels' The Butler's best actor Oscar hopeful Forest Whitaker participated in a Q&A at Santa Monica's Aero Theatre as part of an American Cinematheque retrospective of his career. ... On Nov. 8, the AFI Fest hosted "A Tribute to David O. Russell" at which the Oscar-nominated writer/director screened a clip from his forthcoming film American Hustle, which will be released by Sony. That film's best supporting actor Oscar hopeful Bradley Cooper and best supporting actress Oscar hopeful Jennifer Lawrence were among those who attended a pre-tribute reception. ... On Nov. 8, in promotion of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney hosted "An Evening with Richard Sherman," the co-composer of the songs from Mary Poppins, at the Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge, which also figures into Banks. Guests -- including many Academy members -- were treated to dinner and a sing-along with the 85-year-old legend. ... On Nov. 10, IFC/Sundance Selects hosted a screening of/Spago dinner for Hirokazu Koreeda's Like Father, Like Son, which won the Jury Prize at May's Cannes Film Festival but was inexplicably passed over by Japan for the nation's best foreign language film Oscar submission. Koreeda and his executive producer Tom Yoda were among those in attendance.