Entertainment Industry

« Previous | Company Town Home | Next »

Many theaters refuse to book "Hurt Locker" despite Oscar win

Bigelow Even a best picture Oscar isn't enough to get theaters excited about playing a movie already on DVD.

On Monday, the day after their movie "The Hurt Locker" won top prizes at the Academy Awards, Summit Entertainment chief executive Rob Friedman and his team worked the phones trying to expand the Iraq war drama's run beyond the 283 theaters where it played last weekend. The independent studio was hoping to capitalize on its victories, which also included the director prize for Kathryn Bigelow, and enhance the picture's paltry $14.7-million domestic box-office total.

But most of the nation's major exhibition chains refused to give Summit more screens, citing a policy of not showing films that are already available to watch at home. Two of the three biggest, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark, agreed to play the movie at just a handful of theaters, according to a knowledgeable person. However, Regal Entertainment, the biggest theater circuit in the U.S., won't show the film at all, the person said.

Regal did not immediately respond for comment.

Because exhibitors want to discourage studios from releasing films on DVD before they finish playing in theaters, they generally refuse to re-book a movie after it's available in home entertainment formats. They do occasionally bend that rule, however. For example, Warner Bros. has re-released 2004's "The Polar Express" several times during the holiday season, as has Walt Disney Studios each Halloween with "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

In total, Summit was only able to book 35 new theaters for "The Hurt Locker" in the U.S. this Friday, bringing its total to 318. Most are independent theaters or part of small chains.

After coming out on DVD Jan. 12, "The Hurt Locker" has continued to play at just a few hundred theaters, some of which don't typically play first-run films.

In Los Angeles, "The Hurt Locker" is already playing at several theaters, including ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood and The Landmark in West L.A.

"The Hurt Locker" has performed well in the home entertainment market. Through Saturday, Summit sold 780,000 DVDs and electronic downloads. In addition, the movie has been rented 5.4 million times by consumers. That's a relatively high number for a movie that has grossed less than $15 million.

It will likely get a further boost in DVD sales and rentals this week following the Oscars.

The last Oscar best picture winner that was already on DVD was "Crash," which took the prize in 2006. Lionsgate was only able to book the movie in about 200 theaters after it won. Over four weeks it generated $1.2 million in additional box-office receipts.

--Ben Fritz and Claudia Eller

Photo: Director-producer Kathryn Bigelow holding her two Oscars for "The Hurt Locker" at Sunday's ceremony. Credit: Gabriel Buoys / AFP / Getty Images.

 
Comments () | Archives (27)

a Harvey Weinstein or a Troy Duffy could find a way to get this into more theaters. How about a director's cut?

"... most of the nation's major exhibition chains refused to give Summit more screens, citing a policy of not showing films that are already available to watch at home."

This alleged policy is nothing more than a cover for petty politics, especially since major chains have been known to re-release Oscar nominees and winners in hopes of generating more box office dollars.

See, people are waking up and smelling the Coffee :)

I don't believe Bigelow's Oscars Will Change Hollywood because it was the Hollywood which fixed these awards. Ask any sane person about it or search on the Internet or conduct a nation wide public poll. I bet, The Hurt Locker will NOT win a single major award. This years Oscars are a big bore with such a stupid show (irrespective of 5 year high viewership) and its prestige is going down year by year....thanks to the silly Academy voters!!!

Who cares? It's a mediocre movie.

Remember when the bullies in High School would push you into the lockers when they walked by? That hurt!

I wish it were 1964 all over again.

Bottom line, Summit f***ed up.

Another disappointment for fans... how Avatar didn't win is in my opinion just another case of the Academy disrespecting films with science fiction. The most successful film in history now, didn't get votes from it's own peers because of the smugness of the industry. Fortunately fans already voted with their wallets. Same of old thing every year...

If it was a movie lots of people really wanted to see now, the theaters would show it. It won the Oscar probably only because the director was a female and the PC voters thought it was time to vote for a female.

How many people would pay to see a movie in a theatre if it's already available on DVD, unless it's a big epic and is showing on a big screen? "Hurt Locker" mediocre? How about "Avatar"? Typical Cameron schlock, much like "Titanic": good special effects with thin story line and horrible, hackneyed dialogue. The fact that it made tons of money may say more about the viewing public than about the film as compared to "Hurt Locker."

Rigged Oscar--no kidding! The Hurt Locker's fully clothed shower scene that ends with an adrenaline junky curled up in the corner, the alcohol laced “blowing off some steam” barracks rough-housing, tiresome industry FX gasoline explosions (that look even worse in slow motion) which do nothing to portray the landscape decimating and internal organ liquefying effects of what a 22,000fps IED explosion, that a sniper with steel sights and standard military rounds is a better shot at distance than a professionally trained American solider on a 50-cal sniper rifle, that the good guys on the 50cal sniper rifle can’t hit a stationary target but can nail that same target when it gets up and runs away, the portrayal of a troubled soldier so nearly continuously fixated by random death as to be a liability in the field, a “hero” who’s indifference to risk makes him a write-off for any emotional investment by the audience….what a bore it all was. I had few expectations of this movie (given the director) and was left dumbfounded by the films silliness with its arsenal of clichés, countless inaccuracies, one dimensional characters, bad effects, yada yada yada...

True life, but boring move, I watched this on Tivo download last week.

Its a boring story line. Sure, soldiers are saving lives and we can watch all their bravado, but there is little in the way of actual story you want to watch.

It reminded me of "Good Morning Vietnam" in that the beginning was all exciting and fun, Soldiers fighting, Officer are poor leaders who hide in the fort, Colonels all Rough Riders, then the filmmakers dragged us through hate and dead bodies.

Not even sure why it got an Oscar nomination other than some strange need for "Hollywood" to make the rest of us, i.e. the buying Public, be dragged kicking and screaming into their "better" view of live.

Funny, isn't that the same thing they were crying about, their grumbling about the US invasion of Iraq. (Sorry, got a bit political there...)

But, its a mediocre War movie we a few cool scenes. It does not compare with "Kelly's Heroes", or "Gone with the Wind" or perhaps even "Porky's". It lacks suspension of belief and is a poor storyline. Boring to watch.

Boring awards...........who cares?

Good. I bet they are really doing it because
A) They can make more money showing new movies
B) Hurt Locker was a boring, predictable grind of a film.

This was the worst best picture in a long long time.
How did this movie win.
Lot of Academy dummies hate Cameron, and Tarantino, must be the reason.

It's an anti-war movie about Iraq. It won prestigious Oscar noms and wins. Exit to the left.

Mediocre movie??!! Obviously you haven't seen it, or you've seen it on DVD. In Connecticut, where I live, I had to track it down to the ONE theater playing it, pre-Oscars, in the state. I found it to be, as the father of a seriously wounded Iraq War veteran, an almost religious experience. It ought to be required viewing for any college student taking a political science course.

Yes, I agree that the Oscar show was awful in its length and pace. But the Academy members appear to have voted with their minds this year, and I'm certainly grateful that this motion picture got the accolades it deserved.

A major chain would have to want to guarantee an empty theater if they book this movie. If I can get in on demand via my cable provider or get the DVD, what incentive do I have to pay twice as much just to see it on a bigger screen. With a 60"HD at home, there are few movies worth the cost & hassle of the multiplex experience.

Dr. Sunil Naidu, You may not like The Hurt Locker. That does not mean the Oscars were "fixed." These are not the People's Choice Awards, but reflect the opinions with the Academy, which this year pretty much coincided with critical consensus (they don't always match up). Don't believe me? Go to IMDB.com and check out the awards page for The Hurt Locker. It's a lengthy list of nominations and prizes.

Theater owners have already heard about audiences laughing themselves into stitches while watching the bogus looking sniper scene from this amateurishly made flick.

Just another war movie, big deal.

From a Vietnam Vet:
Glorifying war in this way does a disservice to those who sacrifice everything to protect us not to mention it is way over the top. A good film--yes. An effective recruiting tool for the military--no. Read more about the comments, blogs & posts from the people who actually do this kind of work in a war zone instead of from politicians with an agenda. Then you will get a better idea of the real pain incessant war creates.

The Green Zone comes out this week. I hope the entire movie is not like the trailer, but with Matt D playing the starring role it seems the status quo will prevail. A lot of high profile movies lately are profiling violence as commonplace and desensitizing. Do writers, directors & producers drive mindset or does reality enlighten the consequence. The line is too blurred to formulate an opinion. Maybe that is the intent.

Perhaps Summit Entertainment can work a deal for a traveling live show: "The Hurt Locker on Ice."

From a Vietnam Vet:
Glorifying war in this way does a disservice to those who sacrifice everything to protect us not to mention it is way over the top. A good film--yes. An effective recruiting tool for the military--no. Read more about the comments, blogs & posts from the people who actually do this kind of work in a war zone instead of from politicians with an agenda. Then you will get a better idea of the real pain incessant war creates. The movie was not over-hyped or widely distributed so why would theaters even want to dedicate space to show something anyone can watch on DVD or the internet? Theaters are a business and generating a profit is their goal. This movie is just politics with an agenda.

The Green Zone comes out this week. I hope the entire movie is not like the trailer, but with Matt D playing the starring role it seems the status quo will prevail. A lot of high profile movies lately are profiling violence as commonplace and desensitizing. Do writers, directors & producers drive mindset or does reality enlighten the consequence. The line is too blurred to formulate an opinion. Maybe that is the intent.

It's an Iraqi anti-war film .. It won the admiration and votes of the Academy. Exit left.

How was "THL" an anti-war film? I am against the Iraq war, but it made me appreciate the dangers faced by our military.

On the contrary, one of the reasons I really liked this film was because it was a war movie with no political agenda. It's about time!

I voted. It's not as if every Academy member agreed with the final outcomes. All films selected were good films. Does that mean Hurt Locker was the best picture of the bunch? Not all of us thought so. Results are not land-slide, Sunil. Nor are the Oscars fixed. It is about appreciating an art form. What always drives me mad is the fact that people with nothing more than an audience perspective, feel they could do better... So do better if you can naysayers. Be warned however: Believe me when I tell you, film-making is NOT easy. Most fail developing a cohesive script before any other process begins. Oscars are awards FOR filmmakers BY filmmakers. Make a film if you don't like it . Until then, attend film festivals and vote with your people's choice ballots.

 
1 2 | »

Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


Photos: L.A.’s busiest filming sites

Video





Categories

Companies


Archives