Sony Pictures emerged as the studio with the most Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, tallying 21 in all. Eleven of those were attached to a pair of films associated with heavyweight producer Scott Rudin: six for the Brad Pitt vehicle "Moneyball," on which Rudin was a producer, and five for the David Fincher adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," on which Rudin was an executive producer.
Eight of Sony's nominations came from its Sony Pictures Classics label, home to the Woody Allen film "Midnight in Paris" (four nominations) and the Iranian film "A Separation" (two), among others.
Paramount followed Sony with 18 nominations, 11 of which were for "Hugo," which led all films. Three of Paramount's nominations came from an unlikely source, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects), and two were courtesy of DreamWorks Animation, with whom Paramount has a distribution deal set to expire this year.
The Weinstein Co. nabbed 16 nominations, largely on the strength of the near-silent film "The Artist" and its 10 noms, as well as the biopics "The Iron Lady" and "My Week With Marilyn," which earned two apiece.
Disney received 13 nominations, though it has DreamWorks to thank for 11 of them, having distributed the DreamWorks pictures "The Help" (four nominations), "War Horse" (six) and "Real Steel" (one) under its Touchstone Pictures label. Disney's two other nominations were for animated short and original song.
Fox came away with 10 nominations in all (eight under its Fox Searchlight division), while Universal had seven (five from its Focus Features division), and Warner Bros. had five.
At the 2011 Oscars, two big-name producers, Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin, battled in the best-picture race, with Weinstein backing "The King's Speech" and Rudin behind "The Social Network" as well as "True Grit." This year, it's the same situation, with Weinstein pushing "The Artist" and Rudin behind "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" (via Warner Bros.) and "Moneyball."
— Oliver Gettell
Photo: Actress Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announce the nominees for best picture. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images