What do Eddie Murphy, Bette Midler, Paul Newman, and Angie Dickinson have in common? No, they all haven't been at the same party at Brett Ratner's house. They are all winners of a Golden Globe. No, Murphy didn't get one for Pluto Nash he got one in 1982 as the New Star of the Year. The what now?
The Hollywood Foreign Press Agency started giving out the Most Promising Newcomer award in 1948, four years after their inception, to the person they thought was going to be hottest new thing to take Hollywood. The first winners were Richard Widmark and Lois Maxwell, people your grandparents might not even remember. From 1954 to 1965 the award was given out to three to four men and women who the European journalists thought were going to take the world by storm. In 1966 the award switched again and went to an actor and actress for a specific movie and, possibly because so many newcomers didn't show any promise, was renamed. The first winners were Robert Redford for Inside Daisy Clover (I'm sure he was!) and Elizabeth Hartman for A Patch of Blue.
Those first winners highlight exactly the problem with this specific category: more often than not the winners wound up being duds. Sure Robert Redford is one of the biggest stars in the world but Elizabeth Hartman? Let's look at 1969 Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were given a pair of trophies for their portrayal of Romeo & Juliet. Whiting retired from films by the mid-'70s and Hussey went on to star in some crappy horror films and then become a crazy agorophobic who had a hard time leaving the house. These are your New Stars of the Year, ladies in gentleman.
By 1983 the Globes were sick of giving this award to turkeys and gave out the final salutes in the category to Ben Kinglsey and Sandahl Bergman. All in all, the awards have a pretty lousy track record. Of the 59 actors and 58 actresses given the honor, I count only 17 actors (Richard Burton, Anthony Perkins, Paul Newman, James Garner, George Hamilton, Warren Beatty, Terence Stamp, Peter O'Tool, Omar Sharif, Albert Finney, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, James Earl Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, and Ben Kingsley) and 14 actresses (Shirley MacLaine, Natalie Wood, Jayne Mansfield, Sandra Dee, Angie Dickinson, Jane Fonda, Ann-Margret, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Tatum O'Neal, Jessica Walter, Diana Ross, Jessica Lange, and Bette Midler) who achieved any sort of lasting modicum of celebrity (gauged by, well, whether or not I know who the heck they are). That's a 28% and 24% success rate predicting the promisenessness of newcomers. You have better odds playing Scratch-a-Millions from your local lottery system.
I reached out to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for a comment on why the category was struck from the record and if they ever hope to bring it back. They didn't return my request for comment. They're probably still embarrassed about just how lousy their crystal ball is.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images]
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At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
The filmmaker, best known for his work on the 1959 surfing film starring Sandra Dee, passed away on Thursday (12Nov09) due to a lung infection following a stroke, according to Reuters.
During Wendkos' 50-year career he also worked on movies Guns of the Magnificent Seven and The Legend of Lizzie Borden, and his first narrative film - The Burglar - helped launch screen legend Jayne Mansfield's career.
Wendkos, who previously served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, is survived by his wife - television producer Lin Bolen - son Jordan, as well as a granddaughter, niece and nephews.
Hollywood got through the first weekend of the new year in slightly better shape than studio insiders expected.
It took just $11.5 million to put Columbia's "Stuart Little" in first place, making it the weekend's only Top Five film to crack double digits. Lackluster tracking scores last week had suggested that the new year might kick off with none of the Top Five films doing better than single-digit grosses.
Columbia's PG-rated family comedy held on to the top spot in its fourth week, still laughing with an estimated $11.5 million (-28%) at 2,979 theaters (+79 theaters, $3,806 per theater). Its total is approximately $95.6 million. Directed by Rob Minkoff, "Stuart Little" stars Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie and Jonathan Lipnicki.
"It'll hit $100 million either Friday or Saturday of next week," Sony Pictures Releasing President Jeff Blake said Sunday morning. "With the holiday week, we won't do far from this figure for the four days. And there are no other kids' pictures coming in until Feb. 11 (Buena Vista/Disney's animated "The Tigger Movie").
"The hard part is getting them (family films) going. Once a picture like this starts rolling, it adds up pretty quick if everything goes well. We're thrilled. We're thinking (it will get to about) $130 million, at this point in time, somewhere in that range."
"Stuart Little" stands to turn into a franchise for Sony. "I know they're working hard at 'Stuart Little II.' And I think that's effort well spent," Blake said.
Paramount's R-rated drama "The Talented Mr. Ripley" moved up one notch to No. 2 in its third week of release with a respectable estimated $9.8 million (-21%) at 2,316 theaters (+7 theaters, $4,231 per theater). (Earlier estimates last week placed it at No. 5, then No. 2 and finally at No. 3.) Its total is approximately $54.6 million. Written and directed by Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient"), it stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Cate Blanchett.
"Ripley" appears to be a prime candidate for Oscar nominations, having received five Golden Globe nominations -- best picture/drama, best actor/drama (Damon), best supporting actor ( Law), best director (Minghella) and best score (Gabriel Yared).
"I think this one really depends on the (Oscar) nominations," Paramount Distribution President Wayne Lewellen said Sunday morning. "I've got it at $80-90 million. But if we get (Oscar nominations for) Best Picture, Director and, maybe, one of the actors and, of course, if we win something, it could get to $100 million (or more).
"With a picture like this, it can be very helpful."
Asked who the audience for "Ripley" is, Lewellen replied, "It's older females, primarily, but obviously they bring the men with them. It's more female than male.
"But it's playing pretty well across the board."
Warner Bros. and Castle Rock Entertainment's R-rated prison death row drama "The Green Mile" was a close third in its fifth week, up one notch with an estimated $9.7 million (-17%) at 2,678 theaters (-197 theaters; $3,622 per theater). Its total is approximately $91.3 million.
Written and directed by Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption", it stars Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan. Where will "Mile" get to in domestic theaters? "Probably $130 million," Warner Bros. Distribution President Dan Fellman said Sunday morning.
Warner Bros.' R-rated drama "Any Given Sunday" rose one peg to fourth place in its third week with an estimated $9.02 million (-23%) at 2,505 theaters (theater count unchanged, $3,599 per theater). Its total is approximately $59.5 million. Directed by Oliver Stone, it stars Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Where is "Sunday" heading in domestic theaters?
"It just is going to depend on the next few weeks -- somewhere between $80-100 million," Warners' Fellman said.
Rounding out the Top Five was DreamWorks' PG-rated sci-fi fantasy comedy "Galaxy Quest," up one peg in its third week with a surprisingly strong estimated $8.3 million (-14%) at 2,450 theaters (+8 theaters; $3,388 per theater). Its total is approximately $38.8 million, heading for $60 million to $70 million in domestic theaters. Directed by Dean Parisot, it stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman.
Buena Vista/Disney and Pixar's animated blockbuster "Toy Story 2" finished sixth in its eighth week with a still jolly estimated $7.5 million (-39%) at 2,752 theaters (-350 theatres, $2,733 per theater). Its total is approximately $220.1 million, heading for a domestic theatrical total of $260 million to $270 million. Directed by John Lasseter, it features the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, Wayne Knight, Laurie Metcalf, Estelle Harris and R. Lee Ermey.
"It is now the second-highest-grossing animated film in our history (after 'The Lion King')," Buena Vista Distribution President Chuck Viane said Sunday morning. "And it's the third-highest-grossing picture we ever released -- behind 'Lion King' and 'Sixth Sense.'"
Looking ahead, Viane said, "Based on this, we'll probably be at $228-$230 million by the time we come out of the Martin Luther King weekend. And then it'll just go and go until it's over."
New Line's R-rated drama "Magnolia" went wide in its fourth week, placing seventh with a promising estimated $6.57 million at 1,034 theaters (+1,025 theatres, $6,359 per theater). Its total is approximately $7.5 million.
"Magnolia's" per-theater average was the highest for any film playing in wide release. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, its ensemble cast is headed by Tom Cruise, William H. Macy, Jason Robards and Julianne Moore.
"Magnolia" received two Golden Globe nominations, including best supporting actor (Cruise) and original song ("Save Me," music and lyrics by Aimee Mann).
"We're happy," New Line Executive Vice President, Distribution, David Tuckerman said Sunday morning. "Some people are going to have us (estimated) lower. The difference is the last three weeks -- our second Sunday was bigger than the Saturday that weekend, and the Sunday the first weekend was 90% of the Saturday, and the Sunday the third weekend was over 90% of the Saturday.
"So everybody's figuring us at like sixtysome percent. Sunday should be almost what Saturday is (for this film)."
Like other three-hour films, "Magnolia" tends to do well on Sundays because people have the time available that day to see something that long.
"You have to make a commitment to see a three-hour movie," Tuckerman said.
Who is the audience for "Magnolia"?
"I sat last night and watched it in Santa Monica," Tuckerman said. "You're basically getting the mid-20s and above. Both (males and females). We didn't do exit polls the first three weeks because we figured we got (Anderson's) fans. We're doing them tonight, so we'll be smarter (Monday)."
Asked if people like the film, Tuckerman said, "They come out stunned. Half of them love it, and half of them hate it. And then they talk about it the next day. The ones that hated it talk about it -- and you can tell they've changed (their opinion)."
Will New Line go wider with the film?
"I think we're going to wait to see what next weekend brings," he said. "I have to tell you, every market that this picture opened in, there's huge pockets of strength. The 'white bread' towns didn't work as well. But within those markets (there is strength). Seattle didn't look good, then one of the best runs in the country came out of Seattle. It's really strange. In Canada, they love it."
Buena Vista/Touchstone's "Bicentennial Man" was eighth in its fourth week with a quiet estimated $5.2 million (-37%) at 2,612 theaters (-155 theate s, $1,992 per theater). Its total is approximately $47.1 million. Directed by Chris Columbus, it stars Robin Williams.
Buena Vista/Touchstone's R-rated youth-appeal comedy "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" was ninth in its fifth week with a less funny estimated $5 million (-13%) at 2,066 theaters (-96 theaters, $2,403 per theater). Its total is approximately $54 million. Directed by Mike Mitchell, it stars Rob Schneider.
"I have hesitated to say this, but I think now it's probably a $70 million picture," BV's Viane said. "The one picture we would like to emulate is 'Ace Ventura,' which did $72 million. The minute we hit $60 million (after Martin Luther King weekend), that's the number we'll be chasing."
Rounding out the Top 10 was Universal's PG-13-rated drama "Snow Falling On Cedars," which went wide in its third week with an unexciting estimated $4.01 million at 1,150 theaters (+1,147 theaters, $3,490 per theater). Its total is approximately $4.2 million. Directed by Scott Hicks ("Shine"), it stars Ethan Hawke, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins, Youki Kudoh, James Rebhorn, Sam Shepard, Rick Yune and Max von Sydow.
Last weekend saw no new arrivals in wide or high-profile platform release.
Last weekend saw no national sneak previews.
On the expansion front, last weekend saw Miramax's PG-13-rated drama "The Cider House Rules" go wider in its fifth week, placing 13th with an OK ESTIMATED $3.28 million at 816 theaters (+484 theaters, $4,013 per theater). Its total is approximately $8.4 million. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, it stars Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd and Michael Caine.
"With the addition of 484 screens this weekend, we only dropped 14% on a per-screen basis," Miramax Senior Vice President, Marketing, David Kaminow said Sunday morning. "We were hoping for $3,000 a screen this weekend, and the fact that we did $4,000 is great. Even more encouraging are theaters that are in their third, fourth and fifth week, dwelling on this. It's taken a little time for the movie to get its legs, but (that's what we're seeing now)."
Kaminow pointed to a number of examples, including, "in New York, the Angelika, in its fifth week, is up 73%. In L.A., in Century City, we're up 136% in Week 5. The Sunset Five (in West Hollywood) is up 53% in Week 5. The Lido in Newport Beach is up 30% in Week 5. In Pasadena, the Playhouse is up 16% in Week 3.
"This is what's going on around the country. The movie's really taking hold and receiving great word of mouth."
Universal's R-rated drama "The Hurricane" expanded in its second week, placing 14th with an encouraging estimated $2.45 million at 159 theaters (+148 theaters, $15,405 per theater). Its total is approximately $3.1 million. Directed by Norman Jewison, it stars Denzel Washington as wrongly imprisoned boxing champion Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.
"Hurricane," which is generating Oscar buzz, received three Golden Globe nominations -- best picture, best actor/drama (Washington) and best director (Jewison).
Columbia's R-rated drama "The End of the Affair" expanded in its sixth week, placing 18th with an unromantic estimated $0.65 million at 92 theaters (+34 theaters, $7,065 per theater). Its total is approximately $2.4 million. Directed by Neil Jordan, it stars Ralph Fiennes, Julianne Moore and Stephen Rea.
"We're intending to go wide to about 700 or so theaters on Jan. 21," Sony's Jeff Blake said Sunday. "We're certainly performing (as) one of the better limiteds consistently, so hopefully we'll be ready to go on Golden Globe weekend."
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 for the weekend - took in approximately $93.79 million last weekend, up approximately 11.04% from $84.46 million for the comparable weekend last year.
Last weekend's key film gross was down approximately 15.4% from the $108.31 million that key films took in during the prior weekend.
Last year, Buena Vista's third week of "A Civil Action" was first with $15.16 million at 1,802 theaters ($8,415 per theater); and Universal's third weekend of "Patch Adams" was second with $12.69 million at 2,770 theaters, $4,580 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $27.9 million. This year, the top two films grossed an estimated $21.3 million.
STUDIO MARKET SHARES
Based on business by key films, last weekend's top six distributors were the following:
Warner Bros. was first with two films ("The Green Mile" and "Any Given Sunday") grossing an estimated $18.72 million or 20% of the market.
Buena Vista (Touchstone and Disney) was second with three films ("Toy Story 2," "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" and "Bicentennial Man") grossing an estimated $17.7 million or 18.9% of the market.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia, TriStar) was third with two films ("Stuart Little" and "The End Of the Affair") grossing an estimated $12.15 million or 13% of the market.
Paramount was fourth with two films ("The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Sleepy Hollow") grossing an estimated $10.95 million or 11.7% of the market.
Universal was fifth with four films ("Snow Falling On Cedars," "The Hurricane," "End Of Days" and "Man On the Moon") grossing an estimated $10.83 million or 11.5% of the market.
DreamWorks was sixth with one film ("Galaxy Quest") grossing an estimated $8.3 million or 8.8% of the market.
(11) "Anna and the King"/Fox: Theaters: 2,004 (-125) Gross: $3.55 million (-35%) Average per theater: $1,771 Total: $30.9 million
(12) "Man On the Moon"/Universal: Theaters: 2,065 (-14) Gross: $3.5 million (-35%) Average per theater: $1,695 Total: $30.4 million
(13) "The Cider House Rules"/Miramax: (see EXPANSIONS above)
(14) "Hurricane"/Universal: (see EXPANSIONS above)
(15) "The World Is Not Enough"/MGM: Theaters: 1,317 (-395) Gross: $1.76 million (-39%) Average per theater: $1,335 Total: $120.8 million
(16) "Sleepy Hollow"/Paramount: Theaters: 1,070 (-422) Gross: $1.15 million (-26%) Average per theater: $1,075 Total: $94.8 million
(17) "End of Days"/Universal: Theaters: 813 (-250) Gross: $0.87 million (-32%) Average per theater: $1,065 Total: $64.6 million
(18) "The End of the Affair"/Columbia: (see EXPANSIONS above)
(19) "Being John Malkovich"/USA Films: Theaters: 235 (-14) Gross: $0.47 million (-1%) Average per theater: $1,000 Total: $19 million
(20) "Mansfield Park"/Miramax: Theaters: 139 (-9) Gross: $0.37 million (-12%) Average per theater: $2,660 Total: $3.1 million
(21) "Liberty Heights"/Warner Bros.: Theaters: 109 (-6) Gross: $0.28 million (-34%) Average per theater: $2,570 Total: $2.7 million
(22) "The Bone Collector"/Universal: Theaters: 427 (0) Gross: $0.20 million (-45%) Average per theater: $460 Total: $64.1 million
(23) "Cradle Will Rock"/BV: Theaters: 38 (0) Gross: $0.17 million (-15%) Average per theater: $4,429 Total: $1.0 million
(24) "Girl, Interrupted"/Columbia: Theatres: 9 (0) Gross: $0.15 million (+21%) Average per theater: $16,206 Total: $0.7 million
(25) "Tumbleweeds"/Fine Line: Theaters: 156 (-151) Gross: $0.10 million (-59%) Average per theater: $640 Total: $1.2 million
(26) "The Best Man"/Universal: Theaters: 144 (-9) Gross: $0.087 million (-45%) Average per theater: $605 Total: $33.7 million
(27) "Angela's Ashes"/Paramount: Theatres: 6 (0) Gross: $0.060 million (-3%) Average per theater: $9,996 Total: $0.3 million
(28) "Titus"/Fox Searchlight: Theatres: 4 (+2) Gross: $0.040 million Average per theater: $10,003 Total: $0.2 million
(29) "Topsy-Turvy"/USA Films: Theaters: 1 (0) Gross: $0.036 million (+35%) Average per theater: $36,004 Total: $0.2 million
(30) "Play It To the Bone"/B V: Theaters: 1 (0) Gross: $0.004 million (-5%) Average per theater: $3,709 Total: $17,000
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 28, 2000 - Jacqueline Susann was the queen of flashy trash -- the first literary pop star of the modern p.r. age. And Hollywood is putting her in the spotlight today with the opening of "Isn't She Great," a Susann biopic starring Bette Midler. It's a comic look at the woman behind "Valley of the Dolls" -- the once-shocking novel filled with every tawdry Tinseltown element its author could muster.
"Dolls" was published in February 1966, replete with pill-popping, sex-crazed movie stars in a tragic vein (a central trio transparently based Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Ethel Merman). Susann's husband, former radio producer Irving Mansfield (played by Nathan Lane in the film), put together a whirlwind promotional tour which sent the book to the top of the New York Times bestseller list by May. "Valley of the Dolls" held that No. 1 position for 28 consecutive weeks.
Susann, who died in 1974 of cancer, once said: "All the people in my books, the ones who are glamorous, or beautiful, or rich or talented -- they have to suffer, see, because that way the people who read me can get off the subway and go home feeling better about their own crappy lives, luckier than the people they've been reading about."
In honor of Susann's grasp of the glamorous and the tragic, here's a quick list of fateful film figures, both in and out of the pages of author Jacqueline Susann. The real-life "Valley of the Dolls," per se:
Few celebrity deaths ever generated as much noise as Monroe's apparent suicide at the age of 36. Her body was discovered in the bed of her Brentwood home, where she had succumbed to a massive dose of sleeping pills.
Thanks to the big MGM family, Garland began playing with "dolls" in her teens: she used pills to go to sleep, pills to stay awake, and even more pills to suppress her appetite. Is it any wonder she began seeing psychoanalysts at the age of 21? Or that her death in 1969 at age 45, officially described as accidental overdose of sleeping pills, came in the wake of a number of suicide attempts?
MGM producer Paul Bern took his own life barely two months after marrying the "blonde bombshell" in 1932. His death note read, in part: "Dearest Dear: Unfortunately this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and to wipe out my abject humiliation. You understand that last night was only a comedy." Harlow died five years later, of cerebral edema, after becoming seriously ill during the filming of "Saratoga."
Was the casting of Hayward in the film version of "Dolls" hitting a little close to home? In 1955, she received hospital treatment after taking an overdose of sleeping pills. She died in 1975 at age 56 after battling a brain tumor for two years.
Famous for her peek-a-boo bangs, Lake shot to the top of Paramount's female roster in the early 1940s, but faded quickly when she cropped the style in support of the nation's war effort. By 1951, Lake had declared bankruptcy. At the low point of her career, in 1962, the New York Post spotted Lake, with hair pulled back, working as a barmaid at the Martha Washington Hotel in New York.
LILLIAN "PEG" ENTWHISTLE
She's probably the least known of tragic Hollywood figures, but her life played out just like the quintessential Hollywood tragedy. A stage actress who couldn't make a go of it in the movies, Entwhistle climbed to the top of the "H" in the Hollywood sign and leapt to her death.