A quick glance at studio slates and box-office charts tell us Paramount execs have plenty to be happy about this summer (Indy 4, Iron Man, and a piece of the Panda). Universal shareholders have less to celebrate (Wanted, The Incredible Hulk, Mamma Mia!) but can rest easy knowing they still have Changeling and Frost/Nixon up their sleeve for year-end prestige.
This points up something significant about Warner Bros. Though WB co-financed Benjamin Button with Paramount, the only other major awards contender they have in their 2008 line-up is Body of Lies (which I expect will be an exciting movie, but it doesn’t feel like Oscar to me at this point.) So, what will Warner Bros be doing with all its FYC budget this season, I wonder? Actually, I don’t wonder at all, do you?
With Changeling and Frost/Nixon looking solid, why should Universal be in any hurry to release Green Zone in December? But if not December, then when? I’m not sitting in a plush corner office, but I think if I’d been dealt Ron Howard and Paul Greengrass, I’d be looking to build a winning hand around my politically relevant Ace of Spades instead of my
Opie Jack of Clubs. (Whatever happens, Joker’s wild.)
Anybody else care to play Studio Oscar Poker with me? (for the record, my theory about what went so horribly awry with Into the Wild and The Assassination of Jesse James… is that they were the unlucky discard children in the game of Studio Sophie’s Choice. But then, I don’t trust this hinky anthrax frame-up either.)