Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 2014

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
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2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

The Year 2014
Year
Event and Significance
2014
In early 2014, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) announced a year-long global campaign to honor the studio's storied 90-year legacy. Founded in 1924 when theater magnate Marcus Loew bought and merged Metro Pictures Corp. with Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions, MGM and its legendary roaring lion logo signified the golden era of Hollywood to film lovers around the world. Since its inception, the company led the industry in creating some of Hollywood's greatest stars and was home to over 175 Academy Award®-winning films, including 14 Best Pictures. Several of MGM's more recent signature films included The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966, It.), Rocky (1976), RoboCop (1987), Rain Man (1988), and Fargo (1996).
2014
12 Years A Slave (2013) won Best Picture, while Gravity (2013) took home the most honors with seven Oscars. 12 Years A Slave marked the first time in Oscar history that a movie directed by a black filmmaker (Steve McQueen) won Best Picture. 12 Years A Slave joined Argo (2012) and Crash (2005) as the only Best Picture winners in the last 30 years to win three or less Oscars. Interestingly, all three films won Best Picture without winning the Best Director Oscar. Gravity was the first film since Cabaret (1972) (with eight wins) to win seven or more Oscars and still not win Best Picture. Gravity's director Alfonso Cuaron became the first Mexican and Latino to win Best Director.
2014
The Great Beauty (2013) was the 14th Italian film to win the Foreign Language Film Oscar. No other country has won more trophies.
2014
By winning the Best Animated Feature Oscar prize, Disney's hit musical Frozen (2013) became the first non-Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios film to win the Best Animated Feature prize since the category was created in 2001. By springtime of 2014, Disney's Frozen (2013), a loose retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen," became the highest-grossing animated movie of all time. It overtook Toy Story 3 (2010) (the first animated movie in history to cross the $1 billion mark) in the top spot, with its continually-growing estimated worldwide box-office haul of $1.274 billion.
2014
Many have predicted the shrinkage of time between a film's theatrical release and home-video-streaming release. In late April of 2014, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg prophesied that within 10 years, theatrical windows would diminish to approximately three weeks: "I think the model will change and you won't pay for the window of availability. A movie will come out and you will have 17 days, that's exactly three weekends, which is 95% of the revenue for 98% of movies. On the 18th day, these movies will be available everywhere ubiquitously and you will pay for the size. A movie screen will be $15. A 75" TV will be $4.00. A smartphone will be $1.99." Therefore, he concluded that movies would not be a solid growth business in the future.
2014
A multi-platform release strategy for films, meaning that new films were simultaneously available in theatres and also online, proved in some cases that there were no damaging effect on profits. Examples of films that did well in both venues were Margin Call (2011), Arbitrage (2012), and Bachelorette (2012). Many detractors felt that same-day release for on-demand and theatrical viewings would hurt the box-office results.
2014
2014 has been dubbed by some as the year of the "Christian-centric film" - with the releases of Paramount's action epic Noah (2014), the independent Christian film God's Not Dead (2014), Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's flick Son of God (2014) with Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado reprising his role from the hit History Channel's mini-series The Bible, and Sony's Heaven Is For Real (2014). Others included: the faith and family-focused comedy Moms' Night Out (2014), the Christian political drama Persecuted (2014), Nicolas Cage's Left Behind (2014), and Fox's (and Ridley Scott's) extravagant biblical tale Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) starring Christian Bale as Moses.

Hollywood had been impressed by the tremendous success of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004) a decade earlier, and set up numerous branch studios with faith-based divisions (20th Century Fox's FoxFaith and Sony's Cloud Ten Pictures were both short-lived, however). Currently, there is a newfound confidence in Christian-themed content, now that there is less fresh material in mainstream films (evidenced by numerous reboots, sequels, and remakes).
2014
Three notable film deaths occurred early in the year:
(1) versatile and prolific actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman died at the age of 46 on February 2, 2014 of combined drug intoxication
(2) 1930s child star Shirley Temple (Black), one of the greatest screen legends of all-time, died on February 10, 2014 at the age of 85, and
(3) Mickey Rooney died at the age of 93 on April 6, 2014 - he was one of the longest surviving film stars of the classic Hollywood era.
2014
Two more startling deaths occurred during the summer:
(1) the stunning apparently-suicidal death of 63 year-old Robin Williams on August 11, 2014, a wild and talented comedian who soared to popularity with the Happy Days TV spin-off Mork & Mindy in the late 1970s to early 80s, and also starred in many powerful dramatic roles, such as Garp in The World According to Garp (1982), Vladimir Ivanoff in Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), John Keating in Dead Poets Society (1989), Parry in The Fisher King (1991), Daniel Hillard / Mrs. Doubtfire in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Alan Parrish in Jumanji (1995), Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting (1997) (with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar win), Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come (1998), Patch Adams in Patch Adams (1998), Andrew Martin in Bicentennial Man (1999), and Seymour Parrish in One Hour Photo (2002).
(2) the death of 89 year-old Lauren Bacall on August 12, 2014, a star from Hollywood's Golden Age. Her first film was opposite her future husband in mid-1945, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not (1944), and she also appeared with him in The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948). Other diverse roles included How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), Written on the Wind (1956), Designing Woman (1957) and The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).
2014
The summer box office was dismal - slumping with domestic totals down 25% from the summer of 2013 at the same time. It was the largest single summer decline in more than 30 years. No film by early August was able to cross $300 million - the closest was Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) at $257 million. By the end of the summer, the two biggest films of the year were The Lego Movie (2014) (a winter movie released in February) at $258 million, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) (a spring movie released in April) at $260 million.
2014
Comic book superhero movies should have excelled in the summer of 2014, but none of them did. Aside from the # 1 summer hit Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) at $257 million, there was only X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) at $233 million, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) at $203 million.
2014
2014 was the first year since 2005 that no animated film was in the top five films of the summer. The closest was How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) at $172 million. Even comedies, usually very successful during the summer months fizzled in 2014. The best two summer comedies were the sequel 22 Jump Street (2014) at $190 million, and Seth Rogen's Neighbors (2014) at $150 million. Two summer musicals/music dramas flopped: Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys (2014) at $47 million, and Step Up All In (2014) at $14 million.
2014
Building upon the previous year's introduction of a new film rating (using the Swedish Bechdel test) to measure gender bias (or lack thereof), the 2014 Bath Film Festival (their 24th annual) introduced a new film rating - F (for feminist or female). It was awarded to films that complied with the Bechdel test (with strong female characters) and employed a significant female crew (especially directors and screenwriters). They tried to recognize the ongoing problem of under-representation of females in the film industry (in Hollywood, only 4.7% of films were directed by a woman). And the new rating would encourage films which featured women who were not just on screen to boost the male lead, and films which addressed women’s issues. This marked a possible trend in the creation of customized ratings (beyond the traditional age ratings) for specific audience niches.
2014
A new free iPhone app named Cameo, a video editor and movie maker app by Vimeo, was advertised as a means to "create beautiful short films on your phone." It offered a convenient way to shoot short digital video clips (two minutes or under) - and then edit them with its cloud video platform. Cameo tauted features including HD recording, collaborative editing, and the ability to record and share videos.
2014
Mike Nichols died at the age of 83 on November 19, 2014. He had an amazing and triumphant career spanning six decades. His works ranged from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), The Graduate (1967), Catch-22 (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Day of the Dolphin (1973), The Fortune (1975), Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), Working Girl (1988), Postcards From the Edge (1990), Regarding Henry (1991), Wolf (1994), The Birdcage (1996), Primary Colors (1998), What Planet Are You From? (2000), Closer (2004), and Charlie Wilson's War (2007). He was only one of very few individuals who won the EGOT - an Emmy (4), a Grammy (1), an Oscar (1) and a Tony (9). His sole Academy Award for Best Director was for The Graduate (1967). His films accumulated a total of 42 Oscar nominations and seven awards.
2014
In 2014, the popular free video platform YouTube (started in 2005) reported recent usage statistics. They received 100 hours of new content per minute, and they had more than 1 billion unique users visits to the site each month. Their two most popular categories of channels were "film" and "entertainment" - hinting that they could function as a primary platform for filmmakers to distribute their product. Some film-makers currently use YouTube as a means to provide video-extras (behind-the-scenes, 'making of' clips, interviews, etc.) to create interest and provide further marketing to a fan base. In late 2013, YouTube launched their own annual film festival, the Buffer Festival, entirely dedicated to YouTube content. Buffer Festival was a publicly-attended theatrical showcase that presented digital video content from the most prominent creators on YouTube. [Note: YouTube was already functioning as the venue to view established film festival content (usually short films), for Sundance and the Toronto Film Festivals.]
2014
The LEGO Movie (2014), the 4th highest-grossing (domestic) film of the year, was also the most commercially successful animated film made by Warner Bros. Pictures. Its success, in part, could be attributed to a new trend called mini-content marketing. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Vine platforms were used to keep in personal, up-to-the-minute contact with the film's fan base.
2014
Some in the industry predicted that old-fashioned celluloid, 35 mm filming would soon be completely replaced by digital filming - the format chosen by many studios for their cinematic releases.
2014
One way that film-makers provided an enhanced cinematic, theater-going experience was to schedule pricey special showings (with memorable, immersive, in-theatre audience participation), beyond the traditional movie-going trip to the multiplex. One example was the showing of Wes Anderson's comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), which in some cases included dress-up in 1930s style attire, requests to bring an alpine postcard or pink flowers - and even requests to learn how to waltz.
2014
Traditional fund-raising and grass-roots financing for films has now moved online, dubbed crowd-funding, as a new way for independent films to be funded. The website Kickstarter has become the world's largest funding platform for creative projects (for film, music, design, photography, etc.). For example, the detective TV show series Veronica Mars (cancelled in 2007) was revived as a 2014 feature film due to record-breaking funding with Kickstarter (at the time, it was the all-time highest-funded project in Kickstarter's Film & Video category, raising $5.7 million in 2013). Co-director/writer Charlie Kaufman's stop-motion film Anomalisa, yet to be produced, had almost 6,000 funders-backers and raised over $400,000 (203% of its original goal). In 2014, Zach Braff’s crowd-funded comic-drama Wish I Was Here (2014) was inspired by Veronica Mars' success in fund-raising. Braff took the same approach in 2013 - the original goal of $2 million was easily surpassed in a month, raising over $3 million with over 46,000 backers.
2014
Netflix, the on-demand internet streaming media provider, became a game-changer in the way films were released and distributed, moving from its original distribution platform of videos to an acquisition and production platform. It has been seen that VOD (or Video-on-Demand) and online streaming have grown enormously in the last few years, exemplified by Netflix's pre-eminence. Netflix's business plan has been to partner with established production studios to create its content, and then to provide content to its subscribers. Netflix has aggressively pursued increased original content (such as House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, and Marco Polo), and has been able to successfully bypass standard distribution channels. [Note: Its Oscar-nominated documentary The Square (2013), about the ongoing Egyptian Revolution of 2011, marked the first nomination for a Netflix production.]
2014
Late in the year, the FBI confirmed that North Korea was behind cyber-attacks on Sony Pictures. Sony was hit by hackers (dubbing themselves 'Guardians of Peace') on November 24th in response to the planned release of Columbia Pictures' (owned by Sony) satirical comedy on Christmas Day, The Interview (2014), about a plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. (The movie featured actors James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who were granted an audience with the North Korean leader, and then were enlisted by the CIA to assassinate him.) The Sony Pictures' breach rendered thousands of its computers inoperable (caused the leak of personal employee data and some embarrassing emails by company executives), forced the company to take its computer network offline, disrupted the company's business operations (i.e., by releasing digital copies of yet unreleased films), and ultimately forced a cancellation of The Interview's release in major US national theatre chains in the wake of threats from North Korea and its supporters. Sony was expected to lose as much as $100 million on the film as a result of the state-sponsored attack. Some critics called the move to censor the film a violation of First Amendment rights and freedom of creative expression - the right of a movie studio to make any movie they wish. Other past films which have used North Korea in their plots include: Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Red Dawn (2012), Team America: World Police (2004), the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002), Shiri (1999, S. Korea), and The Rescue (1988).


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