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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED JAN 18, 2006 09:06:32 ET XXXXX

STUDIO EXECS PREFER 'BROKEBACK' OVER 'MUNICH'; SPIELBERG SAID DISPLEASED

**Exclusive**

As the first wave of Oscar voting closes, a sibling rivalry between films at UNIVERSAL has turned sour.

The enthusiastic backing of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN by UNIVERSAL chief Stacey Snider has come at the expense of MUNICH, a top source involved with the Steven Spielberg drama tells the DRUDGE REPORT.

"Stacey and her team believe BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is their winner this year," claims a well-placed insider. "The movie has been spoiled, spoiled and spoiled again, with endless promotion and support. MUNICH, on the other hand, has been horribly neglected. Steven has been thrown in the backseat. It has been painful."

MORE

Tensions flared further with news that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN passed MUNICH at the boxoffice in total receipts!

BROKEBACK has been far more profitable, costing only $14 million to make, while pulling in $34 million so far in domestic sales. While MUNICH cost $70 million, with a $33 million return.

MORE

A UNIVERSAL source strongly denies a BROKEBACK preference at the studio.

UNIVERSAL President Ron Meyer is said to be MUNICH's top advocate and supporter, calling it a masterpiece.

"We are behind the movie 1000%, and strongly believe it has a great shot at winning Oscars," says the studio source.

"More money has been spent on TV advertising [for MUNICH]."

Hollywood players watched Spielberg's polite reaction as Ang Lee's controversial western won award after award Sunday evening during the nationally televised GOLDEN GLOBES.

But behind the scenes, a quiet anger has developed over the handling of MUNICH during the award season run-up.

"She says she loves all of her children equally, but Stacey [Snider] and her team have given every priority to BROKEBACK," charges the MUNICH source. "Gay romance is easier to sell to the academy than a complex study of an Israeli assassin."

Developing...

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Filed By Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant
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(c)DRUDGE REPORT 2006
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