Welcome to the Oscar results edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
Politics was the name of the game at the Oscars last Sunday night as Hollywood’s biggest stars make good on their speeches. For the past few weeks, competition was getting rough between Boyhood and the Oscar favorite Birdman. Which flick took the most statues Johnny?
Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Birdman took home the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday night.
Sean Penn presented the award to director Alejandro G. Inarritu. Sharing the stage with Inarritu were the film’s cast and crew, including Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.
Before announcing the winner, Penn exclaimed, “Who gave this son of a b—- his green card?” referring to the Mexican-born director. Inarritu then gave a poignant acceptance speech, dedicating his award to “my fellow Mexicans.”
He continued: “I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve, and the ones that live in this country, who are a part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect as the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”
Birdman beat out American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash to take home the Oscar.
After accepting his best picture trophy, Inarritu responded to Penn’s opening “green card” joke backstage saying, “I found it hilarious. Sean and I have that kind of brutal relationship. I think it was very funny.”
The Oscar favorite nabbed 6 Spirit Award nom’s before getting the nod for best flick at the Oscars. How many Spirits did the bird swoop Jim?
Jim Fish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Birdman won the 2015 Independent Spirit Award for the best feature.
The Fox Searchlight and New Regency film beat out fellow nominees Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash to take home the Spirit Awards’ top honor.
The award was the third prize of the night for Birdman, which also took home best cinematography honors early in the show, with star Michael Keaton also winning the award handed out right before best feature, for best male lead. Keaton returned to the stage with co-star Emma Stone, the film’s producers and director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who accepted the best feature award.
Inarritu called the award, “truly an honor,” touching on the challenges of making independent films.
“I think all of us here in this room and all of these filmmakers, all of these films…as many animals in nature, we are threatened to become species of extinction,” Inarritu said. “And I think all of these films differ from many others in a way…all of them borne from a need to be expressed, something to say, individual expression. And the way I see it I think cinema has these two natures, [a physical and an independent nature, with the independent coming from] the spirit and…from the only condition to be free from any sort of subordinate or objective of mak[ing] money only. I think all of these films were an act of love and I feel so proud, so emotional to be here tonight with you, really.”
He added that directing involves “vibrat[ing] in consonance with souls and pick[ing] things and people that can really make with you something extraordinary and I think I was lucky enough to work with all of the people in Birdman.”
Inarritu paid tribute to Keaton, in particular, along with the rest of the cast and his fellow writers and producers. He also thanked the executives at New Regency and Fox Searchlight, which distributed the film.
Back on Super Bowl Weekend, DreamWorks CEO announced that their animators were laid off as much as 450 according to Deadline Hollywood Reporter Angie Angelfish as part of a 2 year scheduling plan which increased to 500. He also announced the Penguins of Madagascar movie could be written off the same way as Peabody and Sherman as the lackluster crisis reared its ugly head once again. How many smackers did the studio lost on Team Skipper’s backstory Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via The Hollywood Reporter)- DreamWorks Animation took a $57.1 million write-down primarily on the lackluster performance of Penguins of Madagascar as well as Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the beleaguered film studio announced Tuesday while posting less-than-expected quarterly financial results.
The company also said Tuesday that it intends on raising money by selling its Glendale campus for $185 million then leasing back the space.
The film studio run by CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg posted a loss of $3.08 per share in the fourth quarter while analysts predicted a loss of $3.01. Revenue was $234.2 million while analysts expected $246 million.
Shares of DreamWorks Animation rose 2 percent to $21.13 on Tuesday but dropped 9 percent in the after-hours session after Wall Street got a look at the fourth-quarter results.
DreamWorks Animation had signaled a month ago that Penguins would likely result in a write-down of approximately $55 million, and at that time the studio also announced a restructuring that included 500 layoffs and a charge of about $290 million. On Tuesday, the studio said restructuring charges were $210.1 million, with $54.6 million attributable to employee termination costs and $155.5 million due to production costs of unreleased projects like B.O.O. and Monkeys of Mumbai.
Despite massive layoffs, Katzenberg says spirits are high among the remaining staff.
“There’s a great morale around the company right now even in the face of what has been, without a question, the hardest, most difficult, most painful eight weeks in our 20 year history,” Katzenberg said Tuesday during a conference call.
DreamWorks Animation also said a month ago that it was scaling back to only two film releases a year, though in 2015 it has just one: Home, which opens March 27.
Penguins was made for $132 million and it has earned $358 million worldwide since its release Nov. 26, not enough to show a profit given marketing expenses and box-office splits with exhibitors. Peabody was made for $145 million and earned $273 million since its release nearly a year ago.
The financial results also come as the studio recovers from disappointment at Sunday’s Oscar show, where Disney’s Big Hero 6 took the award for best animated feature even though DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 was widely considered the favorite in that category.
On Tuesday, Katzenberg said the studio will at least break even this year as long as Home breaks even or earns a profit. He also boasted of having delivered 40 episodes of TV shows to Netflix so far and he expressed enthusiasm for a DreamWorks Animation TV channel that will launch in countries across Asia this year. The company expects up to $250 million in TV-only revenue this year.
In the fourth quarter, DreamWorks Animation said $131.3 million of its revenue came from feature films, the biggest contributor being How to Train Your Dragon 2. Revenue from TV was $50.7 million and revenue from consumer products was $22.1 million.
The company also introduced a new segment, “new media,” which is where its 75 percent interest in Awesomeness TV will now reside. Revenue in the new segment was $24.9 million in the fourth quarter.
“Although 2014 was a challenging year for our company, I am confident that our recent announcement to restructure our feature film business will enable us to deliver great films and better box-office results,” Katzenberg said.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,767 fans sign in as the news of their backstory gets pummeled by Wall Street as DreamWorks’ underperformance continues.
Check out Cartoon Network’s Thursday night lineup as everything gets serious, from Teen Titans Go, to Regular Show. See you soon for another edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.