There was a time when many of the nominated films were released late in the year, mostly because the studios wanted to make sure they remained fresh in the voter's minds. Then a little movie called "The Silence of the Lambs," which was released on Valentines day in 1991, went on to sweep the Grand Prix of Oscars (Actor, Actress, Director & Film). It proved that memorable films, those which truly merit awards, are not easily forgotten. And, of course, this doesn't mean films released late don't get nominated, look at "Into the Woods" and "Unbroken," however it does indicate that if you release late in the year, you need to go deep and wide into the nation. Twenty two theaters isn't going to get you squat. The movie industry waits for no one. It is constantly moving forward, because even now there are people thinking of next year's awards.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
There's a lot of finger pointing going on right now regarding the film "Selma," and its failure to garner more then one Oscar nomination. Personally, I feel those fingers should be directed at the producers for bungling the timing of the release so terribly. Last year saw 2 films with black casts receive multiple nominations, of course "The Butler" was released in the spring and "10 Years a Slave" in late August, which gave them months to generate good 'press.' This was not the case with "Selma," which was released to 19 theaters on 12/16, expanding to 22 theaters for the first week in January, a time when its Box Office actually declined. The Box Office did pick up on 1/9 when the film was released nationally, but by then most of the Academy voters had already sent in their nominations. Another issue compounding the last release mistake was the fact that DVD's of the film were not sent to Academy voters ahead of time. The producer's excuse was that the film was released too late for them to do that. What were they thinking?