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With most major releases indefinitely delayed, film festivals postponed, and studios dropping their theatrical releases on digital left and right due to the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis, awards season is going to look very different by the time it rolls around in the fall. And no, it won’t be Bloodshot and Sonic the Hedgehog gunning for best picture, as many online have joked.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is making significant changes to its long-standing rules for the Golden Globes awards eligibility that expands the formats where an eligible film can be first released, including subscription streaming services, subscription cable channels, and broadcast TV. With these changes to the Golden Globes eligibility rules, other awards bodies like the Academy Awards, will likely soon follow.
Deadline reports that the HFPA announced that it would be altering its rules for Golden Globe motion picture eligibility and screenings for this year, which would — for the first time in history — open up the films eligible for the top best picture prizes drama and musical/comedy to those that were first released on streaming services, cable, and broadcast TV. However, producers and studios must still prove they had a “bona fide theatrical release planned to begin in Los Angeles during the period from March 15 to April 30 2020.”
This is a change that would likely have come at some point anyway, with the rise of streaming platforms who have become awards heavy-hitters like Netflix, Amazon Video, and Hulu, but has been expedited by the coronavirus epidemic, which has forced the shuttering of theaters across the country and delayed film releases and productions.
“The HFPA’s reminders list committee will consider application of this suspension of the rules on a case-by-case basis when compiling the annual Golden Globe reminders list in the fall,” the HFPA says. “The HFPA will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on motion picture and television distribution and exhibition and may extend these suspensions of the Golden Globe award rules and/or may make other temporary variations to those rules as it considers appropriate in the future.”
Exhibition requirements have been temporarily suspended, except for the rule that films must be released seven days prior to midnight on December 31 of the qualifying year. The HFPA has broadened eligible feature film release platforms — previously only pay-per-view services and theaters — to the alternate formats like streaming services, subscription cable channels, and broadcast TV. But this expansion opens up a whole host of questions: what does this mean for the Golden Globe categories dedicated to TV movies that are dominated by HBO? Could a film that premiered at a film festival but picked up by a cable channel now be...
During the current worldwide pandemic, movie studios are no longer providing box-office figures, mostly because theaters have been shut down around the nation and the world. Because we are less interested in the actual figures themselves and more interested in what people are watching over the weekends, each week I will dive into the Bestseller, Most Popular, and Most Streamed Lists on Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu to pinpoint the weekend’s most watched films.
Last weekend, in the traditional rental market, the release of Jumanji: Next Level and Knives Out dominated, but there’s been some movement. Jumanji has held its own in the top three, while Knives Out has fallen a spot to make room for 1917, the phenomenal Sam Mendes’ Best Picture nominee, although I can’t imagine it’s nearly as good on an iPhone or laptop. Those huge flat screen TVs you bought on Black Friday will come in handy now. Bombshell, Frozen II and Spies in Disguise, meanwhile, appear to be the other three most popular titles among traditional rentals.
Beyond the traditional rentals, things get a little weird, because several movies forced out of theaters by the pandemic have taken a different tact. Some of the titles are being offered for digital purchase at around $20, while several others are being offered as $20 rentals, which I suppose means that viewers will have to shell out another $20 in a few weeks if they want to buy it. Pixar’s Onward, which will be on Disney + next week, leads digital sales, followed by Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Birds of Prey, and Matthew McConaughey’s The Gentlemen. Ben Affleck’s The Way Back, which only had two weeks in theaters before most shut down, is also being offered for digital purchase at $20-$25, but it’s not ranking particularly well. That’s a shame; it’s a solid movie.
Meanwhile, among the “home premieres,” which is what Google Play is calling movies being kicked from theaters and being offered for $20 rentals, Invisible Man continues to lead all others by what appears to be a wide margin, and it is absolutely worth the price of a home rental. The next three are different depending on the service: On Google Play, it’s The Hunt that lags behind Invisible Man, followed by Emma and I Still Believe, which are way down on the list. On iTunes, however, it’s The Hunt that’s lower on the list, while Emma and I Still Believe are faring better. I don’t know what that says about their respective audiences. I would love to know the actual figures on those. All I know at this point is that Invisible Man, which was made for only $8 million and earned $124 million worldwide in its limited theatrical run, is adding a lot gravy in its digital release.
Hulu still says that it’s most popular movie is Big Time Adolescent, the coming-of-age film starring Pete Davidson....
Welcome to another week in quarantine! As we continue to find ourselves sequestered in our domiciles, there’s never been a better time to block out the horrors of the real world and kick back with some movies. And while streaming is great – and convenient – you just can’t beat the quality of physical media, folks. So, without further adieu, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a huge step down from The Last Jedi, and an unsatisfying conclusion to what was on its way to being a strong trilogy. Still, it’s not a complete wash. The actors are all giving it their best – Daisy Ridley remains a wonderful actress who can convey so much emotion just with her eyes, and Adam Driver keeps Kylo Ren compelling, even as the script does not. And there are plenty of great action beats. But every time The Rise of Skywalker starts to seem like it’s finding its footing, it ends up stumbling again. The story is nonsensical, the return of the Emperor makes absolutely no sense, and despite clocking in at 2 hours and 22 minutes, the proceedings seem rushed. Still, it brings the saga to a close, and that counts for something.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
Look, I’m a completist. I own the first two films in this trilogy, so of course, I’m going to own the third, even though I don’t like it. That said, there are things to enjoy about this release. Specifically the feature-length documentary The Skywalker Legacy. This making-of feature is quite wonderful, and doesn’t totally shy away from the behind-the-scenes issues that plagued the film. In the end, this is a better conclusion to the saga than the movie itself.
Special Features Include:The Skywalker Legacy – The story lives forever in this feature-length documentary that charts the making of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Pasaana Pursuit: Creating the Speeder Chase – Dive into the making of the movie’s epic landspeeder chase and discover how this spectacular sequence was brought to the screen. Aliens in the Desert – See what it took to create the Pasaana desert scenes, from the sheer scale and complexity of the shoot to its colorful details. D-O: Key to the Past – Explore the ship that connects Rey to the mystery of her missing parents and get to know the galaxy’s newest, irresistible droid. Warwick & Son – Warwick Davis, who played Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, dons the Ewok costume once more; this time joined by his son Harrison. Cast of Creatures – The team behind the film’s memorable creatures reveal the puppetry, makeup, prosthetics and digital magic that bring them to life! 1917
1917 got a lot of press for being a...