We don’t usually note when a studio breaks a billion dollars at the box office – most of the major studios do it on a fairly regular basis.
However, when Warner Brothers Pictures breaks the billion dollar mark today, it will be for the record fifteenth consecutive year.
Another impressive aspect of this year’s numbers is that the billion was reached via a wide array of genres – war movies (American Sniper), Fantasy (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), disaster movie (San Andreas), post-apocalypitic thriller (Mad Max: Fury Road, and R-rated comedy (Get Hard) among them.
Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t brilliant for most of his first evening hosting the Oscars®, but when he picked his spots he definitely sparkled – his few comments on the lack of diversity in the Academy’s selections (‘…celebrating Hollywood’s best and whitest, sorry, brightest;’ Oh, sure ! You like them now!’) may not have been many, but they were perfect – making the point and then moving on (from that first dig right into a stunning eight-minute song and dance number that dropped him into classic movie scenes).
Once again, the Oscar® nominations are unveiled and, once, again, there are some moments of controversy. This year, more than most, the concept of a Best Film nominee apparently directing itself will spark a ton of controversy – making the argument that the nominee list for directors should be expanded to match that of Best Film.
Also once again, a lot of the nominees are films that haven’t been seen by anyone outside the academy and residents of Los Angeles and New York City who felt inclined to see them over the holiday crush.
For now, though, here are the nominees and a few thoughts that wandered lonely across my mind as I encountered them for the first time.