Weinsteins win big on Oscar night with 'Artist'

Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:34am EST
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar gold shined again on independent film mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose studio took home eight Academy Awards including best picture honors for "The Artist" on Sunday.

The New York-based Weinstein Co triumphed over the deep-pocketed major studios with wins for "The Artist," "The Iron Lady" and documentary "Undefeated." Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures was second among the studios with six awards for "Hugo" and "Rango."

Studios mount months-long, multi-million dollar campaigns for Oscar wins to earn prestige and jumpstart ticket or DVD sales for their films. Some experts estimate a win can boost sales by as much as a third.

The studio led by Bob and Harvey Weinstein went into the night with 16 nominations. "The Artist" won awards for best picture, actor, director, costume design and original score.

"The Iron Lady" took home trophies for Meryl Streep's portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and for makeup.

"Undefeated," an inspiring story about a struggling high school football team in a poor Memphis neighborhood, won the award for best documentary feature.

"Artist" producer Thomas Langmann, speaking to reporters backstage, credited Harvey Weinstein for embracing the black-and-white silent film.

"I could tell that he really cared and he believed that we could maybe be here today. I think he's the only distributor, even with this special movie, that could take it to where it is today," Langmann said.   Continued...

Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company arrives at the 84th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, February 26, 2012.   REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson