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This Day in Oscar History: August 20 (2014)

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This Day in Oscar History: August 19 (2014)

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Aug. 15-17, 2014

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

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This Day in Oscar History: August 18 (2014)

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This Day in Oscar History: August 17 (2014)

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This Day in Oscar History: August 16 (2014)

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Oscar in Box Office History (Week 33, 2014)

Every week, we'll take a look back 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years into the box office past to explore how Oscar's nominees were doing at the box office that weekend historically. All data is taken from Box Office Mojo. The first section under each year is the positioning of all Oscar nominees during that weekend at the box office. The second section is an alphabetical list of those films and the categories in which they were nominated. And to start each week off, we'll be looking at the films releasing over the weekend that have the best chance of getting Oscar nominations and specifying the categories where we think they have the best chance at this stage of the game. Please let us know if you like our new feature or if you want to see more information and we'll see what we can do!

This Year: Potential Oscar Nominees Releasing This Weekend

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This Day in Oscar History: August 15 (2014)

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DVD Profile #200: Alfred Newman

Alfred NewmanBorn March 17, 1901 in New Haven, Connecticut, Alfred Newman was the eldest of ten children in a poor family. A child prodigy, he began studying music at the age of five, walking five miles each way every day to practice on a neighbor’s piano. He was able to supplement his family’s income by traveling the vaudeville circuit as “The Marvelous Boy Pianist”. By the age of twenty, he was conducting Broadway musicals composed by the likes of George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Jerome Kern. In 1930 he accompanied Irving Berlin to Hollywood to conduct Berlin’s score for Reaching for the Moon. He wrote his first of an eventual 200 film scores for Samuel Goldwyn’s production of 1931’s Street Scene.

Working for Daryl F. Zanuck, he composed the fanfare for Zanuck’s Twentieth Century Films which became the fanfare for the combined Twentieth Century-Fox in 1935. Continuing to compose and conduct scores for films, he invented what became known as the Newman System, a method of synchronizing the performances and recording of a musical score with a film which became the industry standard. In addition to composing film scores, he conducted the scores of not only his work, but that of other composers as well. He was said to bring out hidden aspects within others’ scores that the composers themselves didn’t realize were there. In 1938 Zanuck appointed him head of Fox’s music department, an executive positon he held until 1960 when he was succeeded by his brother Lionel. He was said to be happiest when conducting, not composing.

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This Day in Oscar History: August 14 (2014)

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This Day in Oscar History: August 13 (2014)

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This Day in Oscar History: August 12 (2014)

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Aug. 8-10, 2014

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Into the Storm

Eighteen years ago, Jan de Bont helmed an original picture about a team of storm chasers seeking research data with their specially-designed scientific equipment that they need to launch into the heart of a tornado. Twister introduced the world to some of the newest and most dazzling effects depicting weather-related phenomena yet filmed. It was rewarded with two Oscar nominations, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects. It lost Best Sound to The English Patient and Best Visual Effects to Independence Day.

Genre director Steven Quale brings a new story to the screen another film about storm trackers chasing tornadic activity while giving other thrill-seekers and regular townsfolk an invested interest in the impending EF5+++ (not really a measurement on the Enhanced Fujita scale, but that's what it looks like in the trailer) that will wipe out all life and heavy machinery in its path.

The film features a number of superstorm events from firespouts to gigantic tornadoes with effects that wouldn't have even been thought possible when Twister came out in 1996. While the effects in the trailer certainly look impressive, the film isn't looking like a box office behemoth. In a huge field of Best Visual Effects contenders, a box office (and critical hit) might have been necessary to push this one into the realm of Oscar contender. It could still compete and is likely to make the bake-off list, but I suspect there are too many other options this year for it to get one of the five nominations available.

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This Day in Oscar History: August 11 (2014)

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This Day in Oscar History: August 10 (2014)

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