Oscar History

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Release Date Shuffle: Oscar Players, Musical Wars, Franchise Heroes

I know most film blogs make a post for every teaser, release date, and every last press release. I frankly don't have the time but even if I did... why encourage Hollywood's itchy trigger fingers when they're constantly fussily rescrambling their pieces on the puzz--I'm mixing too many metaphors--  Moving on to the Release Date Switches/Announcements. We're less than 200 days away from Oscar nominations! So yes, we gotta update those charts again soon, I know.

Oscarable Switcheroos
August: Osage County has, as you now, moved to Christmas day, despite its summer friendly title. And Saving Mr Banks, the Mary Poppins related Disney flick is opting to get out in front of the Christmas crowd a bit with a December 13th bow. Meanwhile Twelve Years a Slave, from director Steve McQueen and Grace of Monaco, the new Kidman flick, both move from the Dread Oscar Eligibility Dump Week (that awful New Years week) into airier mid October. And October is getting busier and busier, really because Ridley Scott's The Counselor (just discussed) has also moved from its intended mid November start to late October.

Contrary to popular belief this does not automatically mean that the studios are less gung ho about their Oscar chances. Oscar watchers (and, yes, distributors sometimse) often forget that you don't have to open in late December to be a player. It helps to open in the last third of the year though, sure! But MANY MANY films have had good luck in September (your Argos and your American Beautys), October (your Departeds) and November (your Slumdogs and your No Countrys) among other months. 

Your Oscar calendar is currently looking like this... [Oscar Types, Superheroes and Meryl vs. Annie after the jump]

woo woo ♪ here comes the life of the Oscar partay

Prisoners, Rush (20); Therese (27), 
Gravity (4); Captain Phillips, The Fifth Estate, Romeo & Juliet (11); 12 Years a Slave (18); The Counselor (25)
The Wolf of Wall Street (8); Her (20); Nebraska (22); Black Nativity, Frozen, Grace of Monaco, Out of the Furnace (Thanksgiving); Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (29)
Dallas Buyer's Club, Inside Llewyn Davis (6); American Hustle, The Hobbit 2, Saving Mr Banks (13); Monuments Men (18); August: Osage County, Labor Day (Christmas Day)


First promotional image from "Grudge Match"

Christmas 2013
New Entry: Have you heard about Grudge Match? It's a boxing comedy starring Sylvester Stallone and... Robert De Niro? Oh god no. Really Bobby? If you wanna talk about grudges, I got one: why u wanna piss on your Raging Bull legacy now? It's one thing to have a sense of humor about yourself. It's another to make a lot of junk late in your career that exploits your early career in such shameless make-a-buck ways. This is why I can't take him seriously and hated that brief moment last Oscar season when people were trying to sell us on a third Oscar win for Silver Linings Playbook merely because it looked like he wasn't only there for the paycheck for once.

Goodbye 2013!
The Seventh Son, which was to be one of three Julianne Moore movies opening the same weekend in October, has left for the wasteland of January. This is not a good sign for the fantasy franchise hopeful (which also stars Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes) and gives me nightmares that it's another Beautiful Creatures. Also departing the year is Sin City: A Dame To Kill For which I never really believed was going to open this year (or ever frankly). It's now looking at August 2014.

I just had such a brilliant idea. Can Meryl please drop out of Into the Woods and give that gem of a role to someone else? She'd be an AWESOME "Miss Hannigan" in Annie.Musical vs. Musical in 2014
Meryl vs. Annie. For the first time in my entire lifetime Hollywood is threatening to open two big movie musicals on the same weekend. It used to be I couldn't get a big movie musical even once every three or four years so I'm happy about this development. See, both the remake of Annie (starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan) and the adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (with Meryl Streep as The Witch and Anna Kendrick as Cinderella) are sharing that holiday berth. You know they're never going to go head-to-head in the end. But who wins this game of chicken?

Expect one of them to move to Thanksgiving or Meryl Streep and Cameron Diaz will both be warbling tunes about children not listening and children annoying them at each other in the multiplex.

Meanwhile cinema continues its march towards becoming the world's noisiest TV station, with endless episodes of the same fucking series hogging all the theaters. It's worth noting that as of today we are only...

133 days away from... Thor The Dark World (11/8/13)
147 days away from... Hunger Games: Catching Fire (11/22/13)
280 days away from... Captain America: The Winter Soldier (4/4/14)
208 days away from... The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (5/2/14)
329 days away from... X-Men Days of Future Past (5/23/14)
343 days away from... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (6/6/14) Reboot
364 days away from... Transformers 4 (6/27/14)
369 days away from... Maleficent (7/2/14)
377 days away from... Fast & Furious 7 (7/11/14)
386 days away from... Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (7/18/14)
399 days away from... Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1/14)
441 days away from... Resident Evil 6 (9/12/14)
511 days away from... Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Pt 1 (11/21/14)
537 days away from... The Hobbit: There and Back Again (12/17/14)
616 days away from... Fantastic Four (3/6/15) Reboot
616 days away from... Cinderella (3/6/15)
672 days away from... The Avengers 2 (5/1/15)
729 days away from... The Terminator (6/26/15) Rebootof the franchise. This is so hilariously dumb I can't help but lmfao. Time travel, by its very nature, allows you to keep on tinkering with the timeline -- you don't have to start over dumbasses! Hollywood, ur dumb
735 days away from... Independence Day 2 (7/3/15)
741 days away from... Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (7/10/15)
757 days away from... The Smurfs 3 (7/25/15)
861 days away from... Ant-Man (11/6/15) 
896 days away from... Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 (12/11/15)
908 days away from... Kung Fu Panda 3 (12/23/15)
1078 days away from... The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (6/10/16)
1771 days away from ... The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (5/4/18) ... Or, "The Emancipation of Andrew Garfield" and he's free to make movies suited to his talents again! He'll be nearly 35 years old when he yanks himself out from that web.

I'm sorry if that exhaustive list screams "kill me now". It gets better. Beautiful original movies will manage to sneak themselves into a few theaters inbetween the oppressively marketed superheros, anachronistic fairy tales, and giant fucking robots. I promise! They must!

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Reader Comments (26)

That gif is GOLD, I imagine the wiseasses on the internet making a lot of good use out of it.

And thanks for this, it's a great resource for those who don't follow release dates too closely. That is, until the dates get changed again.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Agreed about Garfield. But fortunately for us, Spider-man won't be stealing away too much of his time since he's been cast as the lead in Scorsese's Silence.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

Thirteen of those brands-er-movies listed above shouldn't be happening: all of the Amazing Spider-man movies, Terminator, Transformers 4, POTC 5, Smurfs 3, Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, Kung Fu Panda 3, Fantastic Four, ID4 2, Fast and Furious 7, Resident Evil 6...

It's gotten so bad that they're making sequels to box office disappointments. And then there's reboots, the new excuse for unoriginality. Why can't they let stalled franchises just stay dead? Batman, Bond, and Star Trek? Fine. But Fantastic Four and Terminator? The end is nigh.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

What is gif?

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Regarding SILENCE... When someone explains to me where do people see Portuguese in Andrew Garfield... He looks nothing like a Portuguese Jesuit Priest would look.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

tr: I'll be going by worldwide earnings in millions against budget to prove when you're right and wrong.

The Amazing-Spiderman: $752 against $230 x 2 = $752 - $460 = $292 / 2 = $146 for the studio (WRONG)
Terminator Salvation: $371 against $200 x 2 = $371 - $400 = $29 million loss (RIGHT)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon: $1.1 billion against $195 x 2 = $1.1 billion - $390 = $720 / 2 = $360 for the studio (WRONG)
POTC 4: $1 billion against $250 x 2 = $1 billion - $500 = $500 / 2 = $250 for the studio (WRONG)
Smurfs 2: Gross unknown. Release may be cancelled.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked: $342 against $75 x 2 = $342 - $150 = $192 / 2 = $86 for the studio (WRONG)
Kung Fu Panda 2: $665 against $150 x 2 = $665 - $300 = $365 / 2 = $182.5 for the studio (WRONG)
ID4: It's been so long that you're right even if "the first one was successful"
Fantastic Four: The first one wasn't even GOOD ENOUGH for success, so I'll say I kind hope you eat that cynicism when it turns out that it's at least good enough
Fast Six: $669 against $160 x 2 = $669 - $320 = $349 / 2 = $174.5 for the studio (WRONG)
Resident Evil 5: $240 against $65 x 2 = $240 - $130 = $90 / 2 = $45 for the studio (an additional 2/3 of the budget is a stretch, but I'd still say WRONG)

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Andrew Garfield was Brazilian, now Portuguese. No way he looks like somebody who can speak Portuguese.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Nathaniel, that list is the single most depressing thing you've ever posted.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan


My note about Hollywood making sequels to box office disappointments wasn't referring to all of those I listed, just some of them.

@Jorge and Cal

We know nothing about Silence except that it's about traveling priests. For all we know his character might be British.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

Um, they speak Portuguese in Brazil. And movie magic is powerful. Did you know that Meryl Streep is not an Hasidic Jew but played one beautifully in Angels in America?

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

tr, cal, Pam --- SILENCE is based on a novel by Shusaku Edo with the same name. The two lead characters are PORTUGUESE Jesuit Priests, one of them was even sanctified (Cristovão Ferreira).

Initially the parts were to be played by Daniel Day-Lewis (who could convincingly play Portuguese) and Gael Garcia Bernal (he is Latino so he's halfway there). Then Day-Lewis quit for Benicio del Toro, which would also be a fine choice (although he does not look exactly like a Southern European would look).

But Andrew Garfield? I hope you're right and movie magic does appear. He looks so generically american/british...

P.S. - And Pam, Meryl Streep can play everything. SHE could play a Portuguese Jesuit Priest. ;)

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Sorry, I made a mistake. He wasn't sanctified. He was banished from the church. I knew it was something big, but it was the other kind of big. He became famous for being one of the first to renounce his religion.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Ugh... I apologize in advanced but after SIX articles about this same thing in the past three months, it needs to be said: Everyone needs to stop complaining about the damn franchise/superhero thing! This "there's too many franchises/comic book films, kill me now" sentiment is becoming as large in number as the franchises culture its criticizing. We get that you want originality - as well you should - but original films are coming out and they will continue to do so.

Also, no one is holding a gun to anyone's head to see ANY of these films. I haven't seen a Fast and Furious movie since the first; the only Pirates Of The Carribean I saw in theaters was the first; I haven't seen the first Smarfs nor will I see the second; I have little interest in Cinderella; And if JP4 and T5 look bad, I won't see them. It's that simple ladies and gentleman: DON'T WATCH THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE.

Lastly, if the problem is that large audiences are seeing these films instead of original work then just let it go. Film is an art to cinephiles but its simply entertainment to most people. I can only imagine that one or two of you have an inverse sentiment to people who watch sports: To them its a major event but to you its just a silly exercise. They don't care if you make a big deal about their thing nor should you care that they make a big deal about yours.

June 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

Here's the thing, Daniel - I don't see things I don't want to see. But these movies are crowding out films I do want to see in theatres. I consider myself lucky that I got to see Before Midnight in theatres because in five years, I might not be able to. I'm not talking something like Upstream Color, which was never going to see the inside of a multiplex (my local rephouse showcased it), but mainstream 'adult' filmmaking will get relegated to the ghettos in order to make room for the latest 500 million dollar extravaganza. And anything slightly out-of-bounds? Well, forget about seeing it on the big screen.

But more than that - I'd argue that as movie costs skyrocket, we're going to see more theatres increase the price of movie tickets. Going to the theatre will cost just as much as buying the Blu-ray (to give you an example, looking at Amazon.ca, it actually cost more to see Prometheus in IMAX 3D theatres than it would to buy the 3D blu-ray+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy package). Doesn't that strike you as kinda ridiculous?

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Thank goodness we are back to real shop talk. Oscar heat is on Monuments Men and August: Osage County. Nicole has a Thanksgiving burden with Grace of Monaco because her films do not traditionally perform well. She would have to suddenly invent an audience and carry a movie through March. knowing Harvey, this means Grace of Monaco is bad. And what happened to The Railway Man? Is it unreleasable?

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Sharp

Nat: I don't get it. If you're doing a serial franchise (as jumping beyond three films might suggest), why nail down the same actor EVERY TIME? It's not like comic book characters age in real time, after all (Peter Parker: 16 in his debut, is only in, what, his mid 30s today?). Just write the character consistently and we, the audience, do the rest.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Arkaan - In the way you addressed it, I absolutely understand that. There is a real danger of smaller/adult films being regulated to the ghettos, which is unfortunate. And hell, I think large chunks of those blockbusters/franchises don't need to be made (Transformers 4, JP4, T5, Pirates 5, Resident Evil 6, Fast Seven, ID Forever - Part I, etc.). My frustration mostly came from the "blockbuster bad, indie good" sentiment of the other articles I've read. I just don't like the either or mentality of the argument because I enjoy both types of films.

As for the increase in ticket prices, I'm afraid that's a train that can't be stopped. Whether they make fifty blockbusters or five, cost for them will continue to go up and ticket prices will increase because of it (although the outdated star system plays a part in it to; but that's another conversation). It is absolutely ridiculous - and may even threaten the movie theater goeing experience - but it most certainly is coming.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

Whoever thought that 'August' would make a nice Christmas release is a real pip.

And isn't Million Dollar Baby the last true December release BP winner?

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

With August:OC, Leo, and Marlene, this site is currently a gif treasure chest.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKurtis O


Really? Generically British? The guy has dark dark hair and olive skin. He can absolutely pass as Portuguese. It's not like all Portuguese look Mexican or something.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

Kurtis O -- i can't take credit for 2 of the 3 but I did make the Christmas Tree in August gif

June 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

tr -- I am Portuguese. I don't think he looks Portuguese. But that conversation is irrelevant. I hope the movie is good, that's all. I just don't think he is very convincing. Would you take him as Spanish? Italian? Greek? Portuguese is the same. We don't look Latino or Mexican. We're not Brazilian either.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

All is Lost? It seems like a more likely contender than many of these...

Also, have I missed Mad Men at the Movies? (It's entirely possible I have, I haven't been able to check the site as much as I wanted to.)

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne


Garfield looks both Italian and Greek. Hence my comment about his olive skin. Meaning he looks Portuguese to me.

June 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

Suzanne I'm running behind! There weren't many movie references this year but I still have to do the wrap-up with Rosemary's Baby

July 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Jorge: Oh, believe me, Silence won't be good. "Respectable", yes, but not good. Why? Two words: Jay Cocks.

July 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

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