News Corp's Fox leads Hollywood studios in Oscar nods

Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:08pm EST
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By Ronald Grover and Sue Zeidler

Los Angeles (Reuters) - News Corp's 20th Century Fox led the Oscars race among Hollywood studios by scoring 31 nominations, including best picture nods for both "Lincoln" and "Life of Pi," setting the stage for the box office bounces that selected films often get.

The coveted nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards, to be held on February 24, will trigger new and frenzied marketing efforts for the highlighted films, as studios jostle to take advantage of the buzz before Hollywood's biggest night.

The high scorecard for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp marked yet another triumph for the media company which has seen its stock almost double from a panic-driven sell-off in 2011 in response to a phone hacking scandal that engulfed its British newspapers.

Its Fox film unit earned 12 nominations on Thursday for "Lincoln," a U.S. Civil War-era movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis that took home more nominations than any other film. Fox co-financed the film and distributed it internationally.

"Lincoln" was produced by Dreamworks and distributed domestically by Walt Disney, ranking third among studios in nominations, with 17 nods, including 12 for "Lincoln."

Sony Pictures Entertainment, which was second with 24 nominations, earned nods for "Zero Dark Thirty," "Skyfall" and "Amour," with five nominations each.

Fox also earned 11 nominations for "Life of Pi," among them best picture, best director and adapted screenplay, while its Fox Searchlight unit scored four nods for independent film "Beasts of the Southern Wild," including best picture and best director.

"We couldn't be more thrilled to have such a diverse range of films recognized by the Academy," said Jim Gianopulos, CEO and Chairman 20th Century Fox Film. "And it's been equally gratifying to see how audiences throughout the world have embraced these pictures."   Continued...

An Oscar statue is seen at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following the 85th Academy Awards nominee announcements in Beverly Hills, California January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Phil McCarten