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Variety-EDI kudos go to $100 mil grossers

The Reel Awards, honoring films grossing more than $100 million in domestic box office receipts, will be presented by Variety and Entertainment Data, Inc., at 7 p.m. Monday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

A record 14 films released in 1996 reached the $100 million milestone. In addition, two films released in 1995 that surpassed the $100 million mark after last year’s awards ceremony will also be honored.

This is Variety’s first year as co-sponsor of the Reel Awards, which have been presented annually by EDI since 1989.

Kurtz, Frakes host

Held for the first time in Los Angeles, the evening’s festivities will be co-hosted by actress Swoosie Kurtz and actor/director Jonathan Frakes.

“Variety has joined in the Reel Awards to help make them the preeminent acknowledgment of box office achievement,” said Charlie Koones, associate publisher of Variety. “In today’s competitive industry, reaching $100 million in domestic box office is a reflection of marketing and distribution teams realizing the full potential of a film.”

Marcy Polier, president of box office reporting service EDI, added, “The Reel Awards honors the business of the business by applauding the marketing, distribution and producing efforts that combine to bring the movie experience to the public.”

The honorees

The films honored at the event will be New Line’s “Seven” and TriStar’s “Jumanji” (the two holdovers from ’95), MGM/UA’s “The Birdcage,” Warner Bros.’ “Twister,” “Eraser” and “A Time to Kill,” Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible” and “The First Wives Club,” Buena Vista’s “The Rock,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Phenomenon,” “Ransom” and “101 Dalmatians,” Universal’s “The Nutty Professor,” 20th Century Fox’s “Independence Day” and Sony’s “Jerry Maguire.”

In addition to this year’s recipients, Variety and EDI will honor Miramax’s “Trainspotting” as the highest-grossing film in limited release and First Look Pictures’ “Antonia’s Line” as the top-grossing foreign-language film.

Buena Vista will receive a special acknowledgment for its worldwide box office success.

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