Tuesday February 17, 2009

The EW Fall Preview Issue: A Look Back

Last night I found the Fall Movie Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly under a pile of more recent magazines and thought it worth looking at if only to examine the worth of preview issues. A kind of look back at when we looked ahead. Similar to this.

First, “Harry Potter” is on the cover, and of course that film got pushed ahead to a summer release date so no one's even seen it. Then, month to month, here’s the big movies they target and anticipate:
  • September: “Miracle at St. Anna”; “Burn After Reading”; “Appaloosa”
  • October: “High School Musical 3”; “Body of Lies”; “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”
  • November: “Australia”; “The Road”; “The Soloist”
  • December: “Revolutionary Road”; “Marley & Me”; “Doubt”
In other words, of the top 13 films they played up, three were never released, most bombed, and not one was nominated for best picture.

And what of the best picture nominees? “Milk” and “Button” and “Frost” get middling write-ups, while “The Reader” and front-runner “Slumdog” aren’t mentioned at all. It took a second to remember that, oh yes, “Slumdog” had distribution difficulties. From the August 31st New York Times:
“Slumdog Millionaire” was originally a Warner Independent Pictures release, but last May, Warner Brothers closed its two independent divisions, PictureHouse and Warner Independent, in an effort to cut costs. Now the company will work with Fox Searchlight Pictures to distribute Mr. Boyle’s film in North America. ... Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Brothers Pictures Group, said Warner was working with Fox Searchlight to release the film because of the studio’s crowded calendar. “With the recent additions to our slate, it became impossible for us to release ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ in this calendar year,” Mr. Robinov said. “Danny very much wanted to get it released this year,” said Peter Rice, president of Fox Searchlight, “and we have a long relationship with him.”
It’s easy to forget how quickly a non-entity can become an inevitability. And vice-versa.
Posted at 10:00 AM on Tuesday February 17, 2009 in category Movies - The Oscars  
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