On the town's first day back at work, the WGA told the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. -- in no uncertain terms -- to forget about any chance of an interim deal that would allow NBC to air the Golden Globes.
Despite pressure from the HFPA and Dick Clark Prods. for a deal like David Letterman's, the WGA said Wednesday that it remains committed to picketing the Jan. 13 kudofest at the Beverly Hilton.
"Dick Clark Prods. is a struck company," the WGA said. "As previously announced, the Writers Guild will be picketing the Golden Globe Awards."
The move, announced Wednesday afternoon, underlines the commitment by WGA leaders to use bare-knuckles tactics via the strike to cause as much pain as possible for the Hollywood establishment.
The HFPA had hinted earlier Wednesday that it may accuse the guild of favoritism if no waiver's forthcoming. The WGA didn't immediately respond to questions about favoritism and whether there's any chance of a waiver.
INDIE MOVIE BUSINESS SLOW IN 2007
Sequels had their day in the sun in 2007, but specialty films found dwindling auds. Among studio specialty arms, total box office receipts for 2007 were down 4% from 2006, according to Rentrak. That's despite a 5% overall box office bump.
Traditional market leaders Fox Searchlight and Focus Features both saw drops in B.O. from last year, although Searchlight finished the year No. 1 in market share.
Why were so many high-profile niche films passed over by moviegoers? Auds stayed away from a bumper crop of films dealing with the post-9/11 world and geopolitics, turning instead to more entertaining fare.
The specialty biz has enjoyed a year-end surge, with Miramax's "No Country for Old Men" and Searchlight's "Juno" turning into cross-over hits. Neither is a topical film. Among artier fare, Focus' period pic "Atonement" is also enjoying a strong early run.
Another factor was an overcrowded marketplace. In the fall, the marquee was packed with specialty titles on virtually any given weekend, providing little or no room to grow. That took its toll. The top 15 specialty unit and indie distribs -- including MGM and the Weinstein Co. -- posted domestic box office receipts of $1.03 billion, down slightly from the $1.04 billion collected in 2006.