Oscar 2008: Slumdog Millionaire Prospects

January 12, 2009–Sweeping the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay, positions Danny Boyle's original film as the frontrunner for the Oscars.  Nominations will be announced next week, January 22, 2009.


You may recall that Fox Searchlight had acquired the Bollyhood-Hollywood picture from Warner, a studio that had too many releases last year and might not have been confident about this particular one.  "Slumdog Millionaire" was actually a production of Warner Independent Pictures (WIP), which folded over a year ago.


Thus, Warner could have had three of the Best Picture contenders this season, if it kept the film.  The other two are Chris Nolan's "The Dark Knight," and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which Warner shares with Paramount in releasing it internationally.

After playing with great success the Telluride and Toronto Film Fesivals in September, "Slumdog Millionaire" was released on November 7, 2008 in a limited run, in a platform pattern used for other specialty and arthouse features.  As of today, Danny Boyle's movie, which plays in only 600 theaters, has grossed the impressive figure of $34.1 millions. 


Fox Searchlight has done a brillinat job of positiong and marketing "Slumdog Millionaire," though, admittedly, they had "good thing" to work with.  A day after the Oscar nominations, on January 23, the movie will be showing in 1,300 venues, and the number could go higher.


"Slumdog Millionaire" may not make the numbers of the Oscar-nominated and Osca-winning "Juno," last season's indie feature (also released by Fox Searchlight), which grossed over $130 million domestically.  But it definitely merits the label of this season "Small Movie That Could."


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