TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Doug Krizner: The Oscars are this Sunday. Since the nominations were announced, the five contenders for best picture have raked in another $97 million in total domestic tickets.
Let’s bring in Mike Speier of Variety. Hey Mike, is Hollywood expecting a big bump in box office after these awards?
Mike Speier: A lot of these movies for best picture have already really played out, and they’ve fairly hit their plateau. I mean, only one has made more than $100 million, and that’s Juno. And it doesn’t look like there’s bound to be much more of an expansion in these films, because they’ve opened for awhile and they’ve already kind of done the business that they’re supposed to. That said, it’ll be somewhat of a bump, just not a huge one.
Krizner: But what about the market for DVDs? I would imagine that, you know, a lot of people that have not seen these films will find it more convenient either to buy the DVD or to rent it or whatever. I’m sure there’s a little revenue stream there, right?
Speier: Absolutely. And that’s really where, once a movie wins best picture, or let’s say it wins a few awards, then it comes out on DVD, and all of the sudden their marketing campaign revolves around what they won and the buzz it hit. And that combination usually leads to some good financials.
Krizner: While we’re on the subject of DVDs — big news this week where Toshiba kind of surrenders to this format war over HD DVD and Blu Ray. What is this going to mean for the business?
Speier: Well at the very least, it means that you can only go forward if everyone’s on board one format. I mean, we learned that 30 years ago, with Beta Max and VHS — nothing really happened until everyone jumped on one train. That’s happening again this year, and now it’s up to the studios to get their libraries in order and make this thing work.
Krizner: Back to the Oscars before we go — who do you think’s gonna win?
Speier: It feels like No Country For Old Men. That’s the one that’s been winning all the recent awards, it’s the one that’s getting the most kind of mojo from the critics, from the public. But this is, of any years for their to be a surprise in best picture, this is the one, because all of them have some kind of following.
Krizner: And given the fact that this is radio, do you have an idea of who might win for best song?
Speier: Best song — a category this year that seems to be under the radar. Three songs are up from the movie Enchanted, but they probably go against each other and cancel each other out. You might see a very little movie called “Once” has a song that people like called “Falling Slowly,” and that seems to be the one people are talking about, but you never know in these categories.
Krizner: Mike Speier is executive editor at Variety here in LA. Always a pleasure.
Krizner: As we wrap up, here’s the song “Falling Slowly,” from the movie “Once.” In Los Angeles, I’m Doug Krizner. Thanks for listening.