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Lionsgate/Summit hosts Golden Globes mixer promoting 2012 releases

The Impossible was among the films pushed for awards recognition by Lionsgate/Summit.

The annual Lionsgate Releasing Companies’ Golden Globes party kicked off on a recent Friday night in Beverly Hills, occasioning a flood of celebrities and press to the Four Seasons Hotel for cocktails and promotional chatter.

Publicists ushered their clients back and forth between journalists and photographers in admirably frantic attempts to optimize schmoozing, an exhausting but potentially rewarding process with which Hollywood rings in every new year. At this particular gathering, Lionsgate hosted the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the 83-person body that bestows the Golden Globe Awards, giving voters a chance to mingle with the cast and directors of a few awards-hopeful films. Among the projects highlighted this year were Arbitrage, The Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Impossible, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

Although not all of the films have been released in the U.S. yet, and others have not gained major U.S. box office traction, some of the actors advertised impressive overseas victories – fitting for an event dedicated to the foreign press.

Ewan McGregor, star of The Impossible, arrived to the soirée late and straight from the airport after a flight from Oklahoma where he had just wrapped a shoot. Flustered as he was, and looking rugged with his full beard and worn boots, the actor enthusiastically noted that the film has broken records in Spain as the biggest movie “ever,” likely bolstered by the prominence of Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona, who previously directed the overseas smash The Orphanage. Indeed, The Impossible has already surpassed the record for biggest four-day opening in Spain, and is poised to break the record for highest grossing Spanish film in its home market. McGregor noted that the haul is particularly remarkable given the country’s current economic crisis. The film is based on the true story of a family struggling through the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Director of the financial thriller Arbitrage, Nicholas Jarecki, cheekily boasted that his film hit #1 in Abu Dhabi where it opened the city’s film festival. Though it is in some ways an American story, with star Richard Gere’s role characterized by many as a takeoff on a Bernie Madoff-esque corrupt mogul, Jarecki said that people all over the world were responding well and connecting to its themes. For his part, he’s not letting the success of his directorial debut get to his head. Jarecki independently financed Arbitrage and said he plans to complete subsequent projects the same way, aiming to prevent any corporate meddling or corruption of his next vision.

Despite the pressure to work the awards circuit, the talent enjoyed some lighter moments as well. Actor Kellan Lutz of the Twilight series was thrilled to find himself getting swarmed by fans of an uproarious recent television cameo on 30 Rock, maybe more so than for the film he was there to promote. In the guest spot, Kellan plays the inexplicably dashing nephew of the show’s resident slob, John Lutz. “It was so perfect!” Kellan gushed. “I was so happy to do it.”

Kellan’s guest stint on the veteran sitcom was timed serendipitously, as 30 Rock star and creator Tina Fey will host The Golden Globes ceremony Jan. 13 along with Amy Poehler. That judgement day looms, but for now, on with the pre-show fun as the 2012-2013 awards season mayhem continues.

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