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List of 80th Annual Oscar Nominees

Complete list of 80th annual Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday:

1. Best Picture: "Atonement,""Juno,""Michael Clayton,""No Country for Old Men,""There Will Be Blood."

2. Actor: George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"; Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"; Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises."

3. Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age"; Julie Christie, "Away From Her"; Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"; Laura Linney, "The Savages"; Ellen Page, "Juno."

4. Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men"; Hal Holbrook, "Into the Wild"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Charlie Wilson's War"; Tom Wilkinson, "Michael Clayton."

5. Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"; Ruby Dee, "American Gangster"; Saoirse Ronan, "Atonement"; Amy Ryan, "Gone Baby Gone"; Tilda Swinton, "Michael Clayton."

6. Director: Julian Schnabel, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Jason Reitman, "Juno"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

7. Foreign Film: "Beaufort," Israel; "The Counterfeiters," Austria; "Katyn," Poland; "Mongol," Kazakhstan; "12," Russia.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Christopher Hampton, "Atonement"; Sarah Polley, "Away from Her"; Ronald Harwood, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"; Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"; Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood."

9. Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody, "Juno"; Nancy Oliver, "Lars and the Real Girl"; Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"; Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco, "Ratatouille"; Tamara Jenkins, "The Savages."

10. Animated Feature Film: "Persepolis"; "Ratatouille"; "Surf's Up."

11. Art Direction: "American Gangster,""Atonement,""The Golden Compass,""Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,""There Will Be Blood."

12. Cinematography: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,""Atonement,""The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,""No Country for Old Men,""There Will Be Blood."

13. Sound Mixing: "The Bourne Ultimatum,""No Country for Old Men,""Ratatouille,""3:10 to Yuma,""Transformers."

14. Sound Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum,""No Country for Old Men,""Ratatouille,""There Will Be Blood,""Transformers."

15. Original Score: "Atonement," Dario Marianelli; "The Kite Runner," Alberto Iglesias; "Michael Clayton," James Newton Howard; "Ratatouille," Michael Giacchino; "3:10 to Yuma," Marco Beltrami.

16. Original Song: "Falling Slowly" from "Once," Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova; "Happy Working Song" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "Raise It Up" from "August Rush," Nominees to be determined; "So Close" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz; "That's How You Know" from "Enchanted," Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

17. Costume: "Across the Universe,""Atonement,""Elizabeth: The Golden Age,""La Vie en Rose,""Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

18. Documentary Feature: "No End in Sight,""Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience,""Sicko,""Taxi to the Dark Side,""War/Dance."

19. Documentary (short subject): "Freeheld,""La Corona (The Crown),""Salim Baba,""Sari's Mother."

20. Film Editing: "The Bourne Ultimatum,""The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,""Into the Wild,""No Country for Old Men,""There Will Be Blood."

21. Makeup: "La Vie en Rose,""Norbit,""Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."

22. Animated Short Film: "I Met the Walrus,""Madame Tutli-Putli,""Meme Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven),""My Love (Moya Lyubov),""Peter & the Wolf."

23. Live Action Short Film: "At Night,""Il Supplente (The Substitute),""Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets),""Tanghi Argentini,""The Tonto Woman."

24. Visual Effects: "The Golden Compass,""Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End,""Transformers."

MPAA Admits Mistake on Downloading Study

Hollywood laid much of the blame for illegal movie downloading on college students. Now, it says its math was wrong. In a 2005 study it commissioned, the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that 44 percent of the industry's domestic losses came from illegal downloading of movies by college students, who often have access to high-bandwidth networks on campus.

The MPAA has used the study to pressure colleges to take tougher steps to prevent illegal file-sharing and to back legislation currently before the House of Representatives that would force them to do so. But now the MPAA, which represents the U.S. motion picture industry, has told education groups a "human error" in that survey caused it to get the number wrong. It now blames college students for about 15 percent of revenue loss.

The MPAA says that's still significant, and justifies a major effort by colleges and universities to crack down on illegal file-sharing. But Mark Luker, vice president of campus IT group Educause, says it doesn't account for the fact that more than 80 percent of college students live off campus and aren't necessarily using college networks. He says 3 percent is a more reasonable estimate for the percentage of revenue that might be at stake on campus networks.

"The 44 percent figure was used to show that if college campuses could somehow solve this problem on this campus, then it would make a tremendous difference in the business of the motion picture industry," Luker said. The new figures prove "any solution on campus will have only a small impact on the industry itself."

The original report, by research firm LEK, claims the U.S. motion picture industry lost $6.1 billion to piracy worldwide, with most of the losses overseas. It identified the typical movie pirate as a male aged 16-24. MPAA said in a statement that no errors had been found in the study besides the percentage of revenue losses that could be attributed to college students, but that it would hire a third party to validate the numbers.

"We take this error very seriously and have taken strong and immediate action to both investigate the root cause of this problem as well as substantiate the accuracy of the latest report," the group said in a statement.

Terry Hartle, vice president of the American Council on Education, which represents higher education in Washington, said the mistakes showed the entertainment industry has unfairly targeted college campuses.

"Illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing is a society-wide problem. Some of it occurs at college s and universities but it is a small portion of the total," he said, adding colleges will continue to take the problem seriously, but more regulation isn't necessary.

Blu-ray could win high-def battle

The two remaining studios backing HD DVD could switch sides soon, ending the high-def format war instantly. Daily Variety has confirmed that Universal's commitment to backing HD DVD exclusively has ended. And Paramount has an escape clause in its HD DVD contract allowing it to release pics on Blu-ray after Warner Bros.' decision to back that format exclusively.

Neither studio is ready to throw in the towel immediately, however. On Thursday, Universal broke its silence about the matter to say that it plans to keep supporting the format for the time being, a pledge Par made earlier in the week. And in any case, U is committed to a series of HD DVD promotions in coming months.

Should Toshiba concede defeat on the format, the decision to drop HD DVD would be made for both studios. But Toshiba doesn't appear ready to do that. At the Consumer Electronics Show, the manufacturer reaffirmed its commitment to the format, noting strong sales during the fourth quarter and indicating it would continue marketing its hardware through 2008.

But retailers may force the HD DVD camp's hand: They're unlikely to keep devoting premium shelf space to a dying format, and at this point, the odds are not in HD DVD's favor. With Warners' defection, only Par and U remain in the HD DVD camp; Sony, Disney, Fox, Lionsgate remain ardent Blu-ray backers. Warner sister companies New Line and HBO are also shifting allegiance to Blu-ray.

Last summer, Blockbuster also threw its weight behind Blu-ray, though some HD DVD discs remain in stores. And Warner will continue to release HD DVD discs for the next few months to honor its previous commitment to Toshiba, which extends through May 31. Paramount's HD DVD deal, which covers DreamWorks releases, was to run through this year.

HD format war seen dragging on

The high-definition DVD format war has not been won, at least not in the minds of the retailers. Last week, Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros studio said it would exclusively release high-definition DVDs in Blu-ray format instead of Toshiba Corp's competing HD DVD technology.

While the announcement was seen as tipping the balance of power in favor of the Blu-ray format, retailers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week did not see the announcement as a definitive sign of a clear winner.

"I don't think we're in a position to go out and declare a winner," said Steve Eastman, Target Corp's vice president of consumer electronics, in an interview.

As long as there are two standards competing in public, consumers will stay away, he added.

"Until it settles completely I think we're going to continue to see consumers sitting on the sidelines," Eastman said.

That is bad news for the development of a much-needed multibillion dollar industry. U.S. sales of DVDs, which are crucial to Hollywood studio profits, fell 4.8 percent to $15.7 billion in 2007, the first significant drop since the format was introduced, according to preliminary Adams Media calculations.

"It would be our hope that by this Christmas there would be a clearer choice for the customer, instead of battling back and forth" between the formats, said Gary Severson, senior vice president in charge of electronics for Wal-Mart Stores Inc's U.S. stores.

DVD feels first sting of slipping sales

For the first time since the format was launched in 1997, consumers spent less on DVDs than in the previous year.

Total sales and rentals of DVDs amounted to $23.4 billion in 2007, about 3% lower than in 2006, according to industry figures that the Digital Entertainment Group will release today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The largest factor in the dip? Economic hurdles that challenged the home-video industry just as it did other businesses, says Amy Jo Smith, the group's president. "Consumers have less disposable income, but they still choose to buy and rent DVDs," she says.

Consumers spent $16 billion buying DVDs, about $600 million less than in 2006. But rentals matched last year's total of $7.5 billion.

Hollywood shipped 1.7 billion discs about 30 million more than in 2006 a sign that DVD remains strong, Smith says. "There is a natural progression to lower price points due to the maturing market," she says. "But there are still titles big blockbuster releases, collector sets and, mostly, TV DVD compilations that are generating high price points." The average selling price of a DVD dropped 0.5% to $14.63.

Despite the downturn in DVD sales, the $23.7 billion total spending on home video dwarfs Hollywood's $9.6 billion box-office total for 2007. Overall, about 90 million homes have a DVD player, 2 million more than in 2006. "But some lower-income homes rent DVDs because they don't have the income to build a big library," says Wade Holden, an entertainment industry analyst at research firm SNL Kagan. "Where the growth is really coming is subscriptions like Netflix and Blockbuster Online."

He estimates that in 2008, such subscriptions will increase from $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion. Another area of growth: the movie download market, which is expected to double from $689 million in 2006 to $1.6 billion in 2008, SNL Kagan estimates.

As for high-definition discs, so far they amount to about 1% of the home-video market (about $300 million). But many industry watchers expect that Warner Home Video's decision to go exclusively with Blu-ray discs could end the nearly two-year-long format war with rival HD DVD and spur consumer spending.

Phil Swann, publisher of TVPredictions.com, expects Warner's move "to spark talks between Sony (Blu-ray)and Toshiba (HD DVD) for a negotiated settlement for a single format. With one format, the industry can promote Blu-ray to the masses."

HD DVD vs. Blu-ray: Will the War End With Two Losers?

The holiday selling season has come and gone, and the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD war is still on.

The HD DVD camp came out strong with a hard jab when Toshiba's Latest News about Toshiba HD-A2 DVD players sold for a rock-bottom price of US$98.97 at Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) Latest News about Wal-Mart and other outlets like Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) Latest News about Best Buy in late October, but since then prices have remained well over $200 for both HD DVD and Blu-ray players -- and many models still cost much more. What are consumers waiting for? Is price alone keeping them from even approaching the category, or are potential buyers waiting for HD DVD or Blu-ray to become an obvious standard?

"I think those that are aware are waiting for a single standard to emerge," Mike McGuire, a vice president of media research for Gartner (NYSE: IT) Latest News about Gartner, told TechNewsWorld. "Certainly, the cost associated with any new device is a challenge, especially when the benefits might not be totally obvious to most consumers. And the dual-format players are just too expensive," he added.

The major movie studios in Hollywood aren't exactly helping the format war. Most studios have aligned themselves with one camp or the other, which means that a successful animated movie like "Ratatouille" -- which would typically be played and replayed by children in a family -- is limited to a Blu-ray audience Over 800,000 High Quality Domains Available For Your Business. Click Here.. So even a high definition movie that would likely see a lot of living room big-screen TV use is unavailable to a parent who bought an HD DVD player.

Warner Bros. releases movies for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, but it's the only major studio doing both. DreamWorks, Paramount and Universal are entrenched in HD DVD, while Columbia, Disney, Fox, Lionsgate, Miramax, New Line and Sony are burned into Blu-ray.

"I think the consumers are sitting back and waiting for something less risky that won't make the consumers look stupid in front of friends and family," Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld. Plus, existing up-converting DVD players that boost standard DVDs into near-HD quality are good enough for most consumers, Enderle noted, especially when those consumers already have large libraries of standard DVDs.

Does the average consumer understand or care how cool HD DVD and Blu-ray is? Other than eye-popping graphics, which come with both formats, HD DVD's angle is connection to online content associated with the movie. For most consumers, that's the biggest differentiator, because both formats come with amped-up features wrapped around the basic movie -- like multiple camera angles. With the studios aligning themselves with one format over the other, are they doing enough to market the richer movie experience that consumers can enjoy with Blu-ray or HD DVD? Can Hollywood excite passion in consumers to leap to high-definition players?

"The problem is their efforts tend to negate each other," Enderle explained. "Blu says, 'Buy Blu;' HD says, 'Buy HD.' The promotions are blocking each other, and so they aren't particularly effective, and all of the movies are available on regular DVD, which then becomes the safest choice."

If standard DVDs, especially when used with inexpensive up-converting DVD players, are good enough -- especially when played on up-converting DVD players -- what's next for HD DVD and Blu-ray? Can either format ever truly win? Even if one camp folded up its tents and went home, would consumers care? Would they rush in and buy the winner?

The question may be moot because few people in the industry seems to believe that either camp is willing to give up. Dual-mode players that can play both HD DVD and Blu-ray may give buyers the most flexibility regardless of how the format war plays out, but dual-mode players are running around $1,000, nowhere near the more consumer-friendly $100 price point.

"There is a chance these dual mode drives will get cheap enough by the end of the year to effectively make the war not matter," Enderle said. "But overall, Apple, Microsoft, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) See the HP Proliant DL380 G5 Server with Systems Insight Manager - Click here. Latest News about Intel, AMD, HP (NYSE: HPQ) Latest News about Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and others seem to have moved their focus to downloads, and the services are consolidating, suggesting that downloads will likely be the next big play."
Two Losers?

If the market and industry is moving toward HD downloads to a growing number of consumers with broadband Internet access, the outcome for Blu-ray and HD DVD doesn't look particularly sunny.

"Just as we've seen with audio, where audiophiles tend to prefer analog LPs or tape to digital downloads, we could see Blu-ray or HD DVD discs being the province of cinephiles," McGuire said.

"The problem with that is the cost associated with maintaining a niche format. Ultimately, though, downloads and streams [will likely] win out, and I think what you find is that the majority will opt for the temporary ownership of a movie or TV show," he added.

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