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Most of the public skipped Oscar season; Will 2022 be a sequel ?: Peter Bart – Deadline

Here’s the question that haunts Hollywood about the Oscars show: why expect next year to be any different?

Anthony Hopkins’ no-show put a dent in the series last Sunday, but it was the nominees list that represented the biggest ‘hole’. Films intended for the public – films that record on a certain scale of notoriety – were on the missing list. But will that change?

The majors are clearly panting to release their budding blockbusters like Black Widow and A Quiet Place, Part II – costly projects that were postponed this year. Indies (those who survived) are also nervously awaiting theater openings and confirmed festival dates. “Pipelines are bulging right now, but delivery systems are still uncertain,” observes a seasoned distributor.

The number of viewers at the Oscars reaches 10.4 million in final figures; Remains the least watched and lowest rated of all time

Hollywood is trying to determine what kind of product will define majors in 2022, given their shifting hierarchies and redefined business models. Plus, will the independent filmmakers who fueled awards season in recent years be able to cope with the blur between films and streamers? Will they and their representatives understand how to present to the business leaders who chair “re-aligned silos” with divisions called General Entertainment Content? How would a marketer explain Parasite or Amadeus to someone whose job depends on patching the fallout for Game of thrones?

The only consensus: Hopkins’ absence was a fitting epitaph for an Oscar show that just didn’t work out, with all of its good intentions. The fact that the star of The father didn’t do the scene was a reminder of Norma Desmond’s complaint in Sunset Boulevard that “it is the images that have become small.”

“Our love of cinema got us out of this,” proclaimed Regina King at the start of an Oscar that drew her biggest applause for an octopus. Laura Dern then spoke passionately about filmmakers, but it was Fellini that she praised, not Steven Soderbergh, her producer.

Father Nomadland

(LR) “The Father” by Sony Classics and “Nomadland” by Searchlight
Sony Pictures Classics; Projector Pictures

Hollywood may be preparing for its awakening, but important elements of it can be left out. The Netflix brand kept jumping from the lips of acceptors on Sunday, but the two geriatric labels responsible for the big winners – Searchlight (Nomadland) and Sony Classics (The father) – seemed forgotten. Fittingly, Searchlight’s Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula chose Oscar week to announce their retirement rather than continue as Magic Kingdom assistants.

The restructured Disney, now an intimidating corporate conundrum, has decided to clarify its roadmap by creating divisions like Disney General Entertainment Content, which encompasses Walt Disney Television (Hulu Originals snuggles into it) and Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution ( Disney + is its goal). The goal is to help filmmakers “make the right show for the right platforms for the right audiences,” a press release said.

Filmmakers and their agents may still feel confused where “the right audience” resides. The re-aligned assets of the AT&T empire are also now integrated into centralized groups that guide development and production. According to the new corporate lexicon, the goal is to focus more intensely on the “business”, separating content managers from the business-oriented teams responsible for growth and expansion. The new structures seem more evocative of Silicon Valley than of the Hollywood studio system. As a result, at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, familiar programming gurus like Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly have vanished from corporate rankings.

At the heart of the new jargon is “IP” – code for branded material with everything that derives from those magic letters. Game of thrones HBO has six spinoffs in development. The success of Disney + with The Mandalorian inspired seven live-action Star wars series encumbering the pipeline. But the biggest news on the intellectual property front, of course, is Netflix’s $ 440 million deal to build a mega-factory around. Knives Out. Rian Johnson’s thriller cost just $ 45 million to produce and grossed $ 311 million worldwide.

Netflix is ​​also planning a big budget series around The witcher with Henry Cavill, with a prequel already in the works. Not to be outdone, Amazon has committed $ 250 million to acquire the television rights to the Lord of the Rings. The original 2001 film based on JRR Tolkien’s world was consistently turned down by studios and networks until Robert Shaye intersected an eleventh hour contract.

Given the scale of the IP shootout, independent filmmakers are understandably concerned with the care and nurturing of their passionate projects. Oscar winners over the past decade, whether Birdman or Moonlight, have become more and more delicate in their themes and restricted in their audience. Fifty years ago, a small entity like United Artists gave the green light Midnight Cowboy because he coveted young creative elements and could structure a platform version to lend him a four-week airstrip. Would he survive as a streamer’s pitch?

The Oscars show was originally conceived as a sort of prequel for a possible international feature film winner Another round – an excuse for industry leaders to get drunk and celebrate their survival. Considering the show’s skeletal numbers and its overall irrelevance, this might just be an appropriate scenario for its future.

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