With essentially only the Oscars left to lavish praise upon 2012's films, it seems the opaque, askew nature of Paul Thomas Anderson's “The Master” has left voters with just acting nominations to fully commend. Not that Harvey Weinstein hasn't put his entire support behind the picture to garner more; quite the opposite, but according to him, awards recognition is not the only realm the film will come up short.
Thus far, “The Master” has only taken in $24 million worldwide — nowhere near a runaway success for PTA — and in a Sundance chat with Deadline, Weinstein confirmed just as much. When asked if the $30 million-budgeted film will make any money for The Weinstein Company or anyone else, he responded, “Probably not, and I just feel bad for [Annapurna Pictures'] Megan Ellison on that. I think it's a great movie and god bless her for bringing these great movies into the world.”
He then admitted he “probably could have marketed it better;” an interesting comment based on the fact that PTA himself cut the striking marketing materials, a move which may have stayed true to the film's tone, but also perhaps a financial detriment as well.
Weinstein also thought audiences “needed to be guided and eased into it,” and reflecting upon his close role in PTA's post-production process, pondered whether “being a devil's advocate instead of a cheerleader” would have brought the film better business.
“I seem to do better when I'm playing devil's advocate,” Weinstein concluded, but I do think the film will stand up and have a long life down the line.” We might stand to agree, but we'll see if “The Master” finds new eyes when its packed Blu-ray hits stores February 26th.