When award shows suffer, films suffer

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"The season of trophies is truly a season in hell."

That's Sean Penn, quoted in USA Today, describing this November-March run we chronicle so lovingly here at The Gold Rush. But Penn also went on to admit understanding of what these shows are really all about — promoting the film's he and other filmmakers craft so lovingly. Awards shows, he says, get "butts in seats."

But if there are no — or at least fewer, or scaled-back — awards shows, earnings will suffer, which is why many in Hollywood are glum over the Globes news ... and worried about the Oscars. ...

The Hollywood Reporter reports: An appearance on the Globes telecast — which is traditionally watched by as many as 20 million viewers in the United States — tends to thrust a movie into the spotlight, bolstering its chances for more boxoffice and possibly even Oscar wins.

"Getting on the Golden Globes is critical to getting a movie more business," said veteran Oscar strategist Tony Angelotti.

The PR maven said that while he didn't think the effect on voters would be significant, he noted that the Globes' ability to give a movie publicity helped it stay in theaters during a critical period.

And while ballots for Oscar noms are due Jan. 12, the day before the Globes telecast, the lack of exposure for any given nominee on the show could have a trickle-down effect on the next round of voting.

It's impossible to know which pics will feel the greatest impact. But movies like "Juno," "Sweeney Todd" and "The Great Debaters" were cited around town as films that could have used the Globes for extra octane. All were December releases that are still in theaters, and all had been relying on awards-season word-of-mouth to drive ticket sales.

DreamWorks' Marvin Levy noted that "Sweeney Todd," for instance, would normally get a lot of "free shots" as cameras spotlighted talent associated with its noms in major categories, as well as clips from the film. "You're looking at a movie that's nominated for several major awards, not to mention all the close-ups of the stars."

Focus Features' "Atonement" gained the most noms of any film, picking up seven.

How much of an effect the weakened Globes will have on boxoffice and the Oscars is hard to determine, experts said, because it amounted to an extrapolation from something that didn't happen.

"It's like a costly holding penalty at a critical moment of a football game," said one publicist. "You don't know how much it would have made a difference if it wasn't called. But a lot of people will assume the worst."

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on January 8, 2008 10:58 AM.

Globes parties nixed, too was the previous entry in this blog.

Accountants still prepping for Oscar tally is the next entry in this blog.

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