Here's a brief roundup of the major stories in film news for Friday, Jan. 17, 2014:
Critics' Choice Awards winners tapped last night -- 'Gravity,' 'American Hustle' and '12 Years a Slave' left as the biggest winners at the 19th annual Critics' Choice Awards. 'Gravity' won a record seven awards (topping the six awards won by 'Inception' and 'Avatar'), including best director, best cinematography and best visual effects. 'American Hustle' took home honors for best comedy and best actress in a comedy (Amy Adams). '12 Years a Slave' won best picture, best supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and best adapted screenplay. 'Dallas Buyers Club' won two acting awards - more than any other film - with wins by Matthew McConaughey for actor and Jared Leto for supporting actor.
Oscar nominees headed back to the theaters -- Several top Best Picture contenders/Oscar nominees are returning to the big screen starting today. Many of these re-released films initially opened in October or November. Focus Features is re-releasing 'Dallas Buyers Clubs,' Sony Pictures is relaunching 'Captain Phillips,' Fox Searchlight will re-release '12 Years a Slave' and Warner Bros. is setting up 'Gravity' for an encore theatrical run. These fall releases join more recently released Best Picture nominees, such as 'Her' and 'American Hustle.' Best Picture nominees typically get a second life in theaters, which often pumps up their box office numbers.
'Best Documentary' Oscar nominees now on Netflix Instant: Netflix is slowly spreading its influence - the video streaming service won its first big awards with Emmy and Golden Globes wins for 'House of Cards.' And now Netflix has its first Oscar nominee with 'The Square.' And with today's Netflix release of 'The Square,' four-of-the-five nominees for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar are available on Netflix Instant: 'The Act of Killing,' 'Cutie and the Boxer,' 'Dirty Wars' and 'The Square.' The only Best Doc nominee not currently available is '20 Feet from Stardom' -- but an arrangement between Netflix and RADiUS-TWC (distributor of '20 Feet') means '20 Feet from Stardom' could soon be available on Netflix Instant.