The Maria Full of Grace reception at the Four Seasons was in a slightly smaller room than last year’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King reception at the Four Seasons, with a slightly smaller turn out.
The Sideways party at Vibrato was primarily for music voters and not a celebrity-filled event. In fact, the biggest name there that was not part of the film was Harry Hamlin, in addition to a few A-list directors.
Warner Bros. in reality did pull back on Oscar-specific spending on Million Dollar Baby in December, riding their media exposure and waiting for it’s mid-January wide release. Sideways, which initially opened in October, did the same, strategically waiting for Oscar nominations to spend on a national ad campaign and to go wide.
Sideways could never have expected to pass $20 million without the awards season… so is the $40 million-plus in addition theatrical box office really a disproportionate focus?
The $200,000 to bring Mick Jagger in for the Golden Globes came after the Oscar nominations closed and never could have had any effect on the failure to secure a nomination.
On the issue of The Oscar Box Office Bump:
Lord of The Rings: Return of the King grossed just 3% of its domestic total after winning Oscar, with Mystic River’s domestic total adding 9% after the awards. .
Chicago earned 21% of its domestic gross after winning, though it had only been in wide release for seven weeks prior to Oscar, while The Pianist did 38% percent of its business post-Oscar while never expanding to a full “wide” release.
A Beautiful Mind grossed 9% of its domestic total after winning, while Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers added 5%.
No other titles have grossed as much as $5 million additionally after The Oscars in the last three years. But Home Entertainment is thought to be benefited by major nominations in a very significant way.
Sophie Okonedo flew to the U.S. for Hotel Rwanda interviews no less than six times before nominations… she was shooting Aeon Flux in Berlin and came to town every chance MGM could get her in order to get the momentum for the nomination going.
New Line did not take advantage of a personal loss in the life of Imelda Staunton, regardless of strategic advantage and a limited budget, to promote her candidacy. So when she finally was available, they had to go to unique ends to get the media access to her in a very short period of time. In other words, what is presented in the piece as strategy was virtually the opposite.
Adrien Brody spent three months virtually non—stop promoting The Pianist.
Like political campaigns, capping Oscar campaigns is impossible without a cash fund to create a level playing field. And will we really need Oscars when hell freezes over?