James Bond and Abraham Lincoln both were very impressive at the box office this weekend but they also killed at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with packed turnaway crowds, certainly among the biggest of the year there and a good omen for their Oscar chances.
At Saturday night’s Lincoln screening the 1,012 seat Samuel Goldwyn Theatre was already full with Academy members by 7:10 and the smaller theatre in the building that seats about 80 was also at capacity just a few minutes later. In a rare moment for these official Academy screenings about 50 to 60 were turned away. One member who didn’t make it in and regularly attends almost all the Acad member weekend showings told me it was the first time in all the years he has been going that he wasn’t able to get in. The film reportedly played extremely well with a standing ovation for star Daniel Day-Lewis at the Q&A which also included director Steven Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, screenwriter Tony Kushner, composer John Williams and co-star Sally Field. I was also told that virtually everyone stayed for the Q&A which often isn’t the case. This intense interest bodes well for the film’s Oscar prospects down the line. An earlier all-Guild screening at the Westwood Bruin also drew a capacity crowd and strong response at the Q&A. (more…)