Cash-Strapped Studios Spend Big on Oscars

Pricey ads run for contenders despite industry layoffs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2008 10:00 AM CST
"It%u2019s like something out of 'My Man Godfrey' or one of those depression era comedies," one Hollywood marketing maven said of 'Benjamin Button's' black-tie premiere. "It could not be more wrong."   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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(Newser) – America's financial crisis hasn't stopped studios from dropping big money in their quest for Oscars, Nikki Finke writes on Deadline Hollywood Daily. Amid layoffs and cutbacks, Paramount took out 7 full-page ads for Revolutionary Road in the New York Times, and Disney spent $675,000 for a Wall-E insert in the LA Times. "So a $675,000 insert is falling out of newspapers sent to 1 in 10 homes in foreclosure," one insider said.

"It's so unbelievably pretentious and self-promoting and self-aggrandizing that I just can't not comment on it," said one recipient of a making-of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button coffee table book. Paramount placed a double-page spread promoting Button in Variety the same day the Viacom layoffs were announced, Finke notes, for a cost of around $250,000—or about 5 assistants' salaries. (Read more Oscars stories.)