Entries in Oscars (4)


Kodak Theatre, Home to the Oscars, Renamed Dolby Theatre

LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The home of the Academy Awards has a new name.  The former Kodak Theatre will now be known as The Dolby Theatre in honor of Dolby Atmos, a new surround sound technology for theaters.

Dolby Laboratories announced Tuesday that the Hollywood landmark would receive a new enhanced sound system "to create a world-class showcase for Dolby's current and future technologies, beginning with the new Dolby Atmos."

The change will keep the Oscars at the facility for at least the next 20 years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Breaking Down the Business of the Oscars: Who Has the Most Stake?

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- When the stars hit the red carpet on Sunday night for the 2012 Academy Awards show, most of the focus will be on the glitz and glamour of Hollywood at its best. Gowns will be discussed before the show and acceptance speeches will be analyzed later. But as much as the Oscars are about artistic achievement, they are also about business.

An Oscar win can mean big bucks for the winning film. IBIS World says that Best Picture nominees see an average 17.7 percent boost at the box office and the winner can get as much as an additional 15 percent boost after that.

But there's often more at stake than just box office. An Oscar win can do a lot for a studio or actor's reputation and a loss can sometimes hurt. Here are five things to be looking for at Sunday's awards ceremony that could affect the business in the coming year.

1. George Clooney Win or Lose

Clooney used to have a film-making motto: One for them, one for me. That meant that he would do big-budget films like Ocean's Thirteen to help pay for his smaller movies like The Good German. But lately, Clooney has been focusing solely on the smaller films. He had two movies this year, The Ides of March, which he directed and co-starred in, and The Descendants. The Descendants was the more successful film. It earned $144 million at the global box office and a Best Actor nomination for Clooney. If Clooney wins on Sunday (as he's widely expected to do) that could embolden the star to keep going with the lower-budget movies.

2. The Weinstein Machine

It's hard to remember that as little as two years ago Harvey Weinstein had almost been written off for dead. A string of poorly performing films, non film investments and debt were crushing his company. Now he's once again the king of awards, thanks to 2011’s The King's Speech which won four Oscars including Best Picture, and The Artist which is now nominated for ten awards.

3. The Help

The Academy had the opportunity to nominate up to 10 films this year for Best Picture but only nominated nine. The idea was to get more widely popular films onto the list but the only film that was a box office hit on the list of nominees is The Help which earned $206 million at the global box office. If The Help does walk away with a bunch of statues, it will be a victory for mass-market crowd-pleasing films over artsy fare.

4. Twitter

The social networking site is playing a bigger role than ever in predicting the 2012 Oscars and it's not going with the films that most pundits think will win. Analysis from USC's Innovation Lab shows that Twitter is predicting a Best Picture win for Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Banyan Branch, a social media agency out of Seattle, is finding that The Help is getting the most love on Twitter and Facebook. If it turns out that social media is a better predictor of Oscar winners than the pundits, some folks might find themselves out of jobs.

5. Billy Crystal’s Ratings

The 2012 Oscars were supposed to be edgier with Eddie Murphy hosting and action director Brett Ratner producing. But after the duo's film Tower Heist bombed at the box office (and Ratner said, "Rehearsals are for fags") they both dropped out. Hollywood established players, Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal stepped in to put together what will likely be a much more proper show. This is the ninth time Crystal has hosted the event. Ratings for the show peaked in 1998 with 55.25 million viewers when Crystal was the host, according to Horizon Media. Can he bring back some of that ratings magic in 2012?

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oscars Theater No Longer Named Kodak?

LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Cameras are certain to flash and stars to flood the streets of Hollywood for the Oscars a week from Sunday, but the name of the theater where the stars will gather is unclear.

That’s because a court on Wednesday authorized to The Eastman Kodak Co. to end its sponsorship of the Kodak Theatre, the venue for the Oscars. It was unclear Thursday when the sponsorship would cease and the name of the theater would officially change.

“Kodak is a company that has been transforming,” Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda told ABC News. “It was part of the bankruptcy court proceedings. We are taking a number of actions to reduce the cost that we undertook.”

The 20-year sponsorship agreement was signed in 2000 and was worth $72 million. New York bankruptcy court judge Allan Gropper turned down the plea by CIM/H&H Media, the landlord of the theater, to force the Eastman Kodak Co. to continue the contract.

ABC News contacted CIM but the company declined to comment.

Kodak filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January, and has since made cuts to save money. This month, it released a statement announcing “plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business -- comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.”

The push to end the theater sponsorship was another move to cut back while the company tried to rebound from debt. If it had stuck to the contract, Kodak would have had to pay about $3 million each year.

The Kodak Theatre laid out the red carpet and opened its doors at the Hollywood and Highland complex in November 2001. Since it opened, 10 Oscar ceremonies have been held there.

Veronda insisted that although the sponsorship had to end, Kodak’s relationship with the entertainment industry will continue.

“Kodak is proud of its important role in the entertainment industry and our longstanding relationship with filmmakers,” Veronda said. “We continue to play a big role in the entertainment industry.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Unions and Wall Street at the Oscars

Wally Pfister speaking after accepting the Academy Award for best cinematography on the film "Inception." Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Academy Awards was mostly show business as usual following three weeks of union protests at Wisconsin's capital. Although the Hollywood film industry is brimming with dozens of unions, from the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America to the American Federation of Radio and TV Artists, there were only a few shout-outs in support of collective bargaining, which the governor's budget proposes to limit.

The best cinematography winner, Wally Pfister, thanked his union crew for their work on Inception during his acceptance speech.

"I think that what is going on in Wisconsin is kind of madness right now," Pfister said. "I have been a union member for 30 years and what the union has given to me is security for my family. They have given me health care in a country that doesn't provide health care and I think unions are a very important part of the middle class in America -- all we are trying to do is get a decent wage and have medical care."

ABC News reports that Pfister expressed further shock at Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal backstage after his speech.

Gary Rizzo, who won best sound mixing for Inception, thanked "all the hard-working boom operators and utility sound people that worked on the production crew. Union, of course."

There seemed to be only one declaration about the financial meltdown onstage. The director for best documentary, Charles Ferguson, was one of the only winners who mentioned the financial crisis. His film, Inside Job, depicted Wall Street in a harsh light while examining the origins of the financial crisis.

"Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that's wrong," Ferguson said.

The website Bloginity reported Ferguson said during a backstage interview that the reason nothing has been done about these alleged financial crimes is that "the financial industry has become so politically powerful that it is able to inhibit the normal processes of justice and law enforcement."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio