In a lengthy op-ed that was written for The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, the Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein argued that the film industry was sabotaging itself by releasing a vast majority of awards-courting movies during the months immediately prior to year-end coverage and guild nominations. “The fall has become so top-heavy with adult-driven awards releases,” the executive writes, “that it has made it almost impossible for quality films to reach their full potential unless they dare release at another time of year, where they are quickly forgotten come awards season.” Weinstein pleaded with his fellow studio executives to spread their titles across the calendar in order to stop cannibalizing the same box office dollars.”We’re all going for the same audience…and because of that no one is able to make a huge impression.”
He then cited a handful of strong 2015 performances that he fears have already been forgotten.”Lily Tomlin is better than ever in Sony Classics’ Grandma,” Weinstein observes, highlighting an August title from a competitive studio.”But because the film was released over the summer, it gets less attention than it would if it were released during awards season.”
A veteran Oscar strategist known for his ruthlessly aggressive approach to awards campaigning, Weinstein also took the opportunity to plug his own contenders and bemoan the lack of attention being paid to the first half of his 2015 slate. “It’s completely puzzling, and I have to say a bit maddening, to read prognosticator lists of performances that ‘may’ get nominated and not see Jake’s [Gyllenhaal] name included,” he writes, alluding to July’s Southpaw.
Concluding his remarks, Weinstein returned to the thrust of his message, which he extended to executives and journalists alike: “We need to support independent film distribution 12 months a year, not just the last four… Otherwise, our worst fears will be realized, with intelligent, daring adult dramas marginalized and cannibalized, and nothing but tentpoles left in their wake.”