FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections (With 5 Weeks Until the 85th Oscars)
FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections (With 5 Weeks Until the 85th Oscars)
Every week through the Oscars on Feb. 24, The Hollywood Reporter's awards analyst Scott Feinberg will release a new "Feinberg Forecast," a post in which he recaps the most noteworthy awards-related news of the past week and shares his latest assessment of the standings in each of the major awards categories. (For more information about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, as well as a key for the various colors and acronyms that appear throughout them, scroll to the bottom of this post.)
NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS SINCE LAST WEEK'S FORECAST
It has been an unusually quiet week for the awards season. Much of the film industry is at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT (hoping to find the next Beasts of the Southern Wild, which premiered there last year and is now Oscar-nominated for best picture, best director, best actress and best adapted screenplay) or the second inauguration of Pres. Barack Obama (Harvey Weinstein is among the Hollywood power-players in D.C. for tomorrow's public festivities), and much of the rest of it is preoccupied with the professional football playoffs and/or the return of professional hockey, not to mention the return of warm weather to Los Angeles. But not everything awards-related came to a standstill...
- Best actress Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) hosted the first episode of the new season of Saturday Night Live on Jan. 19, generating strong ratings. While massive exposure -- for her individually and for her film, ads of which were run during the show -- are probably helpful, the focus of much of the post-show discussion is probably not. Lawrence, during her opening monologue, playfully ridiculed the Oscar prospects of her fellow nominees ("Jessica Chast-ain't gonna happen on my watch"), but, coming on the heels of her largely misunderstood Golden Globes acceptance speech ("I beat Meryl!" was an homage to The First Wives Club that didn't register for most people), some have suggested that she is coming across as arrogant, which she cannot afford to do in a tight race, especially when...
- Best actress Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) ruled the holiday weekend at the box-office -- or at least two of her films did, with the horror flick Mama taking the top spot with a projected four-day gross of $33.2 million, and Zero Dark Thirty, last week's #1, holding relatively steady with a projected four-day gross of $21.4 million, good enough for #2. But Silver Linings Playbook, Lawrence's film, continued to expand into more theaters and, on the heels of its historic Oscar nominations showing (it became the first film in 31 years to score a nom in all four acting categories), is projected to gross $14.2 million over the four-day weekend, good enough for third place. As THR's box-office analyst Pam McClintock notes, "Many box-office observers had thought Harvey Weinstein made a fatal mistake in deciding not to open the film nationwide in November, opting instead for a limited rollout."
- Meanwhile, writer-director and best original screenplay Oscar nominee Quentin Tarantino, a best original screenplay -- but not best director -- Oscar nominee for Django Unchained, celebrated a personal milestone, as his Civil War-era spaghetti-Western surprassed Inglourious Basterds (2009) to become his highest-grossing film of all-time at the North American box-office. Basterds grossed $120 million in its entire run; Django has taken in over $138 million in its first four weeks!
- Amour, the French-language Austrian film that has been nominated for the best picture, best director (Michael Haneke), best actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and best original screenplay (Haneke) Oscars, was named the winner of the London Film Critics' Award in all of those categories save for director, which was awarded to best director Oscar nominee Ang Lee (Life of Pi). Three other major categories were also won by Oscar nominees -- The Master co-stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman won best actor and best supporting actor, respectively; Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) won best supporting actress -- but the best documentary and best foreign language film prizes were won by films that the Academy passed on, The Imposter and France's Rust and Bone, respectively.
- Best actress Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible) was at Sundance to celebrate the world premiere of Anne Fontaine's Two Mothers, a controversial film in which she stars alongside Robin Wright Penn. Before the film's first screening, she was feted at a celebration hosted by THR editorial director Janice Min, which was also attended by actors Kyle MacLachlan and Danai Gurira (star of TV's The Walking Dead and this year's Sundance indie Mother of George) indie producer Jonathan Schwartz (who re-teamed with his Like Crazy writer-director Drake Doremus and star Felicity Jones, plus Guy Pearce and Kyle MacLaughlin, for the Sundance entry Breathe In), MacLaughlin, Fontaine and others. I was lucky enough to fly in for the event and visit a bit with Watts, who lamented the fact that she will just miss overlapping in Park City with her dear friend/fellow Aussie A-lister Nicole Kidman, the star of Sundance entry Stoker and THR's Sundance Issue cover-girl. (Coincidentally, they will each be playing princesses in upcoming films: Watts will play Princess Diana of Wales in Diana and Kidman will play Princess Grace [Kelly] of Monaco in Grace of Monaco.)
- On Jan. 17, the Costume Designers Guild, the costume designers union, announced their nominees for the 15th CDG Awards. Best costume design Oscar nominees Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Mirror Mirror (a posthumous nom for Eiko Ishioka) and Snow White and the Hunstman were all also nominated in by the CDG either the period or fantasy film categories. As has become common in recent decades, but was not always the case, no films that primarily employed contemporary costumes -- including those nominated in that category by the CDG, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty -- were nominated by the Academy.
- On Jan. 17, the Motion Picture Sound Editors, the sound editors' union, announced their nominees for the 60th Golden Reel Awards. Best sound editing Oscar nominees Argo, Life of Pi and Skyfall -- as well as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which was denied an Oscar nom -- led the field with three Golden Reel noms each, for outstanding sound editing in the feature film categories of sound effects and Foley, dialogue and ADR and music. The other two Oscar nominees, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty, met very different fates: Django received two noms, whereas Zero Dark Thirty received none.
- Also worth your time: THR features editor Stephen Galloway and I wrote about the widespread outrage that exists over the failure of the Academy's directors' branch to nominate Ben Affleck (Argo) for the best director Oscar, and THR film editor Gregg Kilday and I taped a video about the uncertainty about the best picture Oscar race created by the directors' branch's snub of not only Affleck, but also fellow directors Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) and the aforementioned Tarantino.
- Coming up after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 21: The 28th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will get underway on Jan. 24. Affleck will receive SBIFF's Modern Master Award on Jan. 25, and on Jan. 26 best actor Oscar nominee Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) will receive its Montecito Award after a 90-minute Q&A that I will be moderating. That same night, the Producers Guild of America will become the first of the guilds to weigh-in on this awards season, and on the following night, Jan. 27, the Screen Actors Guild will reveal its winners.