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Critical and Popular Success 'Seabiscuit' Continues Impressive Winning Streak, Receiving Seven Academy Award(R) Nominations, Including Best Picture

Press Release

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- "Seabiscuit," previous OscarŽ nominee Gary Ross' motion picture adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling novel, continued to garner critical acclaim when it received seven Academy AwardŽ nominations earlier today. During the early morning announcements at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, "Seabiscuit" -- the co-production of Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment which was enthusiastically embraced by audiences and critics alike -- was bestowed with a total of seven OscarŽ nominations, including: Best Picture; Best Adapted Screenplay (Gary Ross); Best Art Direction (Art Direction - Jeannine Oppewall; Set Decoration - Leslie Pope); Best Cinematography (John Schwartzman); Best Costume Design (Judianna Makovsky); Best Film Editing (William Goldenberg); and Best Sound Mixing (Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Tod A. Maitland).

The Oscar nominations represent the culmination of a distinguished awards period for the film, which has been previously honored with a far-ranging number of nominations across the artistic guilds, societies and associations.

"We're both thrilled and humbled at 'Seabiscuit's' continuing track record," stated Stacey Snider, chairman, Universal Pictures. "From the beginning, this was a story that truly moved us. And we all feel that Gary wrote and directed an amazing film version of Laura's inspired book. We believed 'Seabiscuit' was a winner from the start, and it's such a joy to see that belief borne out, first with the audiences, then with the critics, and now with the accolades this film has received from such esteemed organizations."

"Obviously I feel great personally, best picture and the writing, but I really feel great that my entire crew was recognized," said filmmaker Gary Ross. "To recognize everyone who worked so hard, helping me every day, would make any director proud."

Added producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, "We are absolutely ecstatic to see our film recognized in this way. It is extremely rewarding to have everyone's contributions acknowledged."

The story of the little horse that inspired a nation turned into the story of the film that became a hit with moviegoers in its initial release and again when launched on DVD/home video. Debuting in theaters on July 25, "Seabiscuit" went on to take in more than $120 million in domestic box office receipts. Within the first six days of its December 16 DVD/home video release, "Seabiscuit" sold a record-establishing 5 million units, making it the year's best-selling drama; when it topped 6.5 million units after four weeks, the film became the best-selling drama on DVD of all time.

To date, "Seabiscuit" has appeared on more than 50 influential critics' lists (including the National Board of Review) of the Top 10 films of 2003 and has been singled out for nominations by an array of professional organizations, guilds and nominating bodies, including:

* Directors Guild of America (Outstanding Feature Directorial Achievement - Gary Ross)

* Writers Guild of America (Best Adapted Screenplay - Gary Ross)

* Producers Guild of America (Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures - Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Gary Ross)

* Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture, Drama; and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - William H. Macy)

* Screen Actors Guild (Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Chris Cooper; and Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture - Elizabeth Banks, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, William H. Macy, Tobey Maguire, Gary Stevens)

* American Society of Cinematographers (Outstanding Feature Film Achievement)

* American Cinema Editors (Best Edited Feature Film, Dramatic)

* Art Directors Guild (Excellence in Production Design Award - Period or Fantasy)

* Cinema Audio Society (Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Feature)

* Costume Designers Guild (Excellence in Costume Design Period/Fantasy for Film)

* Hollywood Makeup Artist & Hairstylist Guild (Best Period Makeup, Feature)

* Motion Picture Sound Editors (Best Dialogue Editing in a Feature Film and Best Sound Editing in a Feature Film - Sound Effects and Foley)

Additionally, Gary Ross was presented with the USC Scripter Award, bestowed on the year's best filmed adaptation of a book or novella (a prize shared with "Mystic River's" Brian Helgeland).

From Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment, "Seabiscuit," an American epic of triumph and perseverance set during the Great Depression, is based on the best-selling book that was one of the most popular and widely read non-fiction books of recent years. It is the story of three men -- a jockey (Tobey Maguire), a businessman (Jeff Bridges) and a trainer (Chris Cooper) -- and the down-and-out racehorse that took them and the entire nation on the ride of a lifetime.

The 76th Annual Academy Awards Presentation from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & HighlandŽ will be televised live by the ABC Television Network on Sunday, February 29, beginning at 5:30 p.m. (PST), with a half-hour arrivals program preceding the presentation ceremony.

Universal Pictures / DreamWorks Pictures / Spyglass Entertainment Present A Larger Than Life / Kennedy/Marshall Production of A Film by Gary Ross: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges and Chris Cooper in "Seabiscuit," starring Elizabeth Banks, Gary Stevens and William H. Macy. The casting is by Debra Zane, C.S.A. The music is by Randy Newman. The costume designer is Judianna Makovsky. The film editor is William Goldenberg, A.C.E. The production designer is Jeannine Oppewall. The director of photography is John Schwartzman, A.S.C. The executive producers are Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Tobey Maguire, Allison Thomas and Robin Bissell. "Seabiscuit" is based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Gary Ross and Jane Sindell. "Seabiscuit" is written for the screen and directed by Gary Ross. The film is distributed worldwide by Universal Pictures. (C) 2003 Universal Studios.

Universal Pictures is a division of Vivendi UNIVERSAL Entertainment (VUE) ( ), the U.S.-based film, television and recreation entity of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.