| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Feb 24 Time Warner Inc's
Warner Bros. basked in the golden glow of coveted Best Picture
Oscar for its Iran hostage drama "Argo" on Sunday, giving the
Ben Affleck film a likely boost for its ticket and home
Hollywood's big night often proves a boon to studios that
take home Oscars, and this year the haul was spread among
several major film companies.
Among the Best Picture competitors, shipwreck drama "Life of
Pi" from News Corp's 20th Century Fox studio earned the
most awards - four - including Best Director for Ang Lee.
"Les Miserables," made by Comcast Corp's Universal
Pictures, secured a Best Supporting Actress win for Anne
Hathaway and two others.
Besides grabbing the big prize, "Argo" took home two other
trophies for Best Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing.
Winning a golden statuette can boost receipts by one-third
Last year, ticket sales for "The Artist" gained 41 percent
after it won the top film prize, according to the box office
division of Hollywood.com.
Before this year's awards show, the nominees already racked
up a combined $2 billion in global sales, with six of the nine
contenders topping $100 million at the domestic box office.
Ticket sales for "Argo," directed by and starring Ben
Affleck, surpassed the expectations of Warner Bros. executives,
topping $127 million at theaters in the United States and
Canada, plus $77 million in international markets. The film was
released on DVD last week and should see a spike in sales.
When Lionsgate Entertainment surprisingly 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 Lionsgate selling 17,500 copies of
"Crash" in one day after the Oscars, more than half the previous
week's entire total of 33,000.
"Argo," a $45 million production, recounts a real-life CIA
mission to rescue six American diplomats from Iran after the
1979 Islamic Revolution, under the cover of making a fake
Hollywood film called "Argo."
Fox's "Life of Pi" had scored $583 million in global ticket
sales ahead of Sunday night's awards, overcoming skepticism that
the book adaptation about a boy stranded on a lifeboat with a
tiger would work on the big screen.
"Everyone at Fox, thank you for taking the leap with me!"
Lee said onstage as he accepted his Best Director award.
The victory for "Argo" in the Best Picture category ended
the winning streak for independent studio The Weinstein Company,
which took home the Best Picture trophy last year for "The
Artist" and the prior year for "The King's Speech."
The studio run by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein went
into the night with 16 nominations, including Best Picture
nominations for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Django
The Weinstein Company finished the evening with three
awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz in
"Django" and Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver
Fox, which led rivals going into the ceremony with 31
nominations, ended the night with a total of six, four for "Pi"
and two for the international distribution of "Lincoln."
Sony topped all studios with seven wins, including best
foreign language film "Amour" and Best Documentary for
"Searching for Sugar Man." It shared in the two wins for
"Django" as the film's international distributor.
Sony's thriller, "Zero Dark Thirty," the controversial
account of the CIA's search for Osama bin Laden, landed just one
technical award, for sound editing, in a category that was a
Walt Disney Co earned the Best Animated Feature
award for Pixar movie "Brave" about a spunky red-headed
princess, plus three other awards.
Disney-distributed film "Lincoln," produced by Steven
Spielberg's DreamWorks, went home with just two statuettes, Best
Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis and Production Design, after going
into the night with an industry-leading 12 nominations.
The film about the 16th U.S. president is leading Best
Picture nominees in the box office race, however, selling $179
million worth of tickets at U.S. and Canadian theaters in
addition to $59 million in international markets