Fox Searchlight celebrates those who survive '127 Hours'
Fox Searchlight isn’t growing lightheaded from all the fainting spells its “127 Hours” is generating. Instead, the studio has decided to have fun with how difficult some moviegoers find watching director and co-writer Danny Boyle’s account of how Aron Ralston (played by James Franco) amputated his own arm following a Utah hiking accident.
On Thursday, the studio will launch the website www.ikeptmyeyesopenfor127hours.com. Fox Searchlight also is sending out promotional T-shirts with the website’s logo and is distributing free pins carrying the same message in about 200 theaters showing “127 Hours” this weekend.
Among the contenders for the best picture Academy Award, “127 Hours” has sparked visceral reactions at its earliest screenings, with a number of people people keeling at its initial screenings at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Although the movie has drawn steady box-office business, with a cumulative gross of $8.5 million through six weeks of release, "127 Hours" is running about 50% behind the pace of “Slumdog Millionaire,” Boyle’s last, Oscar-sweeping effort.
It's unclear how much the amputation scene -- which somehow feels more graphic than it really is -- can be blamed for the performance. But now Fox Searchlight is trying to see if the film's potential liability can cut the other way.
-- John Horn