| Los Angeles
Los Angeles Jan 10 News Corp's 20th
Century Fox received 31 Oscar nods on Thursday, taking the lead
among studios in nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards
next month, and positioning it for the box office bounce that
films' selections often bring.
The nominations will trigger new and frenzied marketing
efforts for the highlighted films, as studios jostle to take
advantage of the buzz before Hollywood's biggest night, on Feb.
"For the right film at the right time, Oscar nominations and
most importantly a best picture nomination can do wonders for a
nominated film's cachet, profile and 'must see' factor," said
Paul Dergarabedian, president of the box office division of
Fox received 12 nominations for "Lincoln," a U.S. Civil
War-era movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis that took home more
nominations than any other film, and was co-financed and
distributed internationally by the Rupert Murdoch-led studio.
Fox also earned 11 nominations for "Life of Pi," among them
best picture, best director and adapted screenplay.
"Lincoln" was produced by Dreamworks and distributed
domestically by Walt Disney, which ranked third among
studios in nominations, with 17 nods, twelve of them for
Sony Pictures Entertainment, which was second with
24 nominations, earned nods for "Zero Dark Thirty," "Skyfall"
and "Amour," with five nominations each.
Weinstein Company, a privately held company headed by
brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein that is well-known for its
intense post-nomination marketing strategy, pulled in 16,
including nods for "Silver Linings Playbook," "The Master" and
Last year, Weinstein Co's "The Artist," a film about a
silent-movie star, took home the golden statue for best picture,
generating $44.6 million in North American box office ticket
sales in all. Of that total, 71 percent came in after its
nomination and victory.
The Weinstein Co beefed up its TV ads and increased the
numbers of theaters in which the movie appeared three days after
its Oscar nomination, to 897 from 662, according to the movie
online site Box Office Mojo. That number rose to 1,756 a week
after it won the award.
"Zero Dark Thirty," a gritty film distributed by Sony about
the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs, is being
shown in only 60 theaters and will be expanded to about 2,400
theaters on Friday, said Dergarabedian. The film collected five
nominations, including those for best picture and best
Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal, a unit of Comcast
and distributor of best film nominee "Les
Miserables," said the movie's marketing was aimed to take
advantage of the awards season, which has helped it at the box
Four of this year's best picture nominees, including "Les
Miserables," "Lincoln," "Django Unchained" and "Argo," have
grossed more than $100 million each in North American ticket
sales, an unusually large number for a best-picture crop.
These films already are in more than 2,000 theaters or were
there earlier in their run.
Oscars can also breathe new life into DVD sales.
When Lions Gate Entertainment took home the gold for
"Crash" in 2006, it had already been released in both the
theatrical and DVD markets. Its DVD sales spiked after the
Academy Awards, with Lions Gate selling 17,500 copies of "Crash"
in one day after the Oscars, more than half the previous week's
entire total of 33,000.