The Film Biz: A Weekend Review

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So…while you obsessed over the Golden Globes, what else in our film world went on this weekend?

LA Critics

Story continues below.



Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams

If you want to count Thursday night as the weekend, which most partiers do, then we’ll report that the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards transpired.

Best picture award found Michael Haneke’s “Amour,” plot of an elderly couple coping with dementia. Paul Thomas Anderson received the best director award for “The Master,” his film about a Scientology-like group, according to the BBC.

Joaquin Phoenix (best actor) and Amy Adams (best supporting actress) were also honored for their work on “The Master.” The best actress prize was shared: Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”).

Female Directors Move Forward

The New York Times reports that 9 percent of the top 250 movies at the domestic box office in 2012 were made by female directors, nearly double the 2011 figure of 5 percent. Martha Lauzen – the San Diego State University professor whose annual Celluloid Ceiling report tracks the employment of women in the movie industry – said the 2012 figure was the highest since 2000 (11 percent). The percentages were based on the year’s top 250 films according to boxofficemojo.com.

Paramount Settles Massive Fraud Lawsuit

Paramount Pictures has resolved a massive fraud lawsuit brought by Melrose II investors, according to The Hollywood Reporter. On Friday, an attorney for the studio filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court indicating the entire case had been settled and a dismissal motion would follow.

Asner Tortures ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Ed Asner told The New York Times he and fellow actors Martin Sheen and David Clennon planned to join in a letter, drafted by Clennon, asking fellow members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to factor in matters of conscience when casting votes for the Academy Awards. Asner was speaking specifically about the political flare-up around “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“I would like to condemn the movie” for making it appear that torture was effective in obtaining information and finding Osama bin Laden, Asner offered. A draft of Clennon’s letter noted, “We hope that ‘Zero’ will not be honored by Academy (or Guild) members.” His reference to “Guild” evidently refers to awards from the directors’, writers’, and actors’ guilds.

Amy Pascal, the co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is releasing “Zero Dark Thirty,” responded in a statement, “To punish an artist’s right of expression is abhorrent.”

Foreign Box Office Likes ‘Pi,’ ‘Hobbit’

Ang Lee’s Life of Pi topped the international box-office chart for the second consecutive week, collecting $33.2 million from 9,347 situations in 67 markets, elevating its foreign total to a mighty $357.4 million. This from The Hollywood Reporter.

Warner’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey placed second, garnering $26.1 million from more than 10,000 screens in 63 markets. It passed the $600 million mark in international box office ($608 million).