Film studios look to cash in on Oscar nominations

Tue Feb 2, 2010 4:35pm EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sony Pictures led the Hollywood studios in Oscar nominations on Tuesday with 18 nods, but all the studios that made nominated films will likely attract audiences to the box office and sell more DVDs.

Sony Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp, was followed by News Corp's Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Searchlight divisions, which received 14 nominations.

Hollywood studios rely on Oscar nominations to attract a bigger audience to their movies, often adding millions of dollars in revenue and raising the prestige of their company, which helps them draw top talent for future projects.

For an independent studio like Summit Entertainment, its first nods -- nine for Iraq war film "The Hurt Locker" -- can give a studio credibility.

"It shows we have the muscle to do all kinds of movies," said Rob Friedman, co-chairman and chief executive of Summit, which also made the teenage romance vampire films, "The Twilight Saga."

In past years, brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been masters at turning Oscar glory into Hollywood success. This year, even as their Weinstein Co. faces financial troubles, they earned 13 nominations, mostly for "Inglourious Basterds."

Sony Pictures Classics, the art-house unit of Sony Pictures that released coming-of-age tale "An Education," also garnered 13 nominations, while its parent Sony Pictures received five.

"It's something that we worked very hard on, and we're glad that the academy recognized the films," said Tom Bernard, co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics. "And we're positioning the films to hopefully capitalize on the recognition."   Continued...