A Public Transformed

I wasn’t a huge fan of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and have had some fun arguments with friends about it.  There seems to be a 50/50 like/dislike ratio.

It hasn’t stopped the film becoming a stunning hit at the box-office.  It has opened with $16.3m in its first 5 days in Australia which is bigger than any other film this year (including Star Trek, Terminator 4, Wolverine).  In fact, that’s the biggest four-day weekend since Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King back in 2003.  That’s stunning.  I know the first film was popular but I didn’t this one would generate such intense interest.

The numbers in the United States were just as big.  Transformers took in $201m in its first 5 days over there.  That’s just nuts.  To put that into perspective, Stark Trek (which was loved by most), has only made $246m in its first 8 weeks.  Transformers is on track to beat that within a single week.  If it can maintain its momentum and crack the $400m mark (I’ve got a few doubts), it’ll be in the top 10 of all time chart.

What does all of this mean?  One word – sequels.

Top Of The Pops

Exciting news filtered through with the release of the latest radio ratings in Brisbane.  612 ABC is back in the number 1 spot.  You can view all the ratings on page 3 of the following PDF file - http://www.au.nielsen.com/site/documents/Metro409.pdf.

ABC scored 12.7% in the breakfast timeslot (5:30am to 9am).  Not far behind were Nova (11.8%), B105 (11.4%) and 4MMM (10.8%).  It’s excellent news for Spencer and I’m very proud to be a small part of the show.  In case you’ve forgotten (wink wink, nudge nudge), you can hear my show on Thursday mornings at 6:50am.

I’ll be talking about plenty of big films in the coming weeks including Ice Age 2, Bruno and Harry Potter.  Make sure you tune in… if you’re up at that hour of the morning.

Oscars Newsflash – 10 Best Picture Nominees!

Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced their biggest news in the 15 years that I’ve been covering the Oscars.  From 2010, there will be 10 nominees for best picture instead of just 5.

Why?  Well, up until 1943, there were always 10 nominees for the best picture.  That was the year Casablanca took the honour.  Since then, it has always been just 5 nominees – in line with most of the other categories.  Academy President Sid Ganis said at the press conference that “"Having 10 best picture nominees is going to allow academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.”

News of the change has spread like wildfire across the internet and everyone seems to have an opinion.  Those against the idea proclaim that it will dilute the best picture category.  We have trouble enough finding 5 decent films to include – does such as change mean that mediocre films will creep into the list?

I disagree and am supportive of the idea.  In recent years, the top 5 films have become so predictable.  It’s the same films over and over again at each award show.  The best picture nominees usually receive nominations in the acting and craft categories also – leaving very little room for other movies.  By having 10 films, it creates an opportunity for more films to get a little recognition.  It may be their only nomination but it’s a big one to get.

Also, the best picture list is usually dominated by dramas.  By having 10 nominees, it could allow a few comedies or action films to sneak onto the list.  They’re no chance of winning but when you look at all 10 nominees, it will give you a better reflection of the range of films from that particular year.  For example, a film such as Star Trek or I Love You Man, which would usually be zero chance at a nomination, now have a shot.

When I look back, it’s a shame that this wasn’t introduced many years ago.  Films I have loved such as Billy Elliot, Almost Famous, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Leaving Las Vegas, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, The Ice Storm, Mulholland Drive, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, The Lives Of Others… I could go on forever… could have scored a best picture nomination.

How this is going to play out at next year’s Oscars will be a fun guessing game.  Will the extra 5 nominees be small, independent films with a strong, die-hard supporter base?  Or will they be from big blockbusters?  Since most lead-up award shows only have 5 nominees, it’s going to be much harder from my end to predict.  It’ll be fun though.