With one of the most crowded fields in Oscar history, and only a maximum 10 slots available for the Best Picture category, it's tough to figure out which films to watch during the next few months. While there are the obvious picks (such as Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge and La La Land), the amount of dark horses this year is insane. So, how do you get a near-perfect ballot in terms of nominations at the Oscars and preceding awards shows? Let's look...
Well, most of it. This thought came up when I noticed the relative underperfomance of the then Best Picture front runner The Birth of a Nation. Although it had been purchased at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year by 21st Century Fox through their Fox Searchlight division for a record $17.5 million. However, the public ignored the film itself due to some rather explicit college campus assault allegations related to the film's director, Nate Parker. Although those said charges were dropped (and since I wish not to talk further about that, you can read into it by searching this on Google), the damage was done. So, why don't film goers give a crap about awards fare? Ask an average film goer about the last few Best Picture winners, and which ones they had seen. Most people probably haven't seen Spotlight or Birdman. Heck, name a Best Picture winner you have actually seen other than Titanic or The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King. Got any answers? No?
Notice anything? Less than half of the Best Picture nominees cracked the top 25. Heck, the Best Picture winner that year, Spotlight, ranked 62nd! People are getting tired of these old geezer guilds and what they have to say about the "best" films of the year. The #1 film in America for the past two weekends, BOO: A MADEA HALLOWEEN, only scored a 22% on Rotten Tomatoes and yet was well received by audiences! The Birth of a Nation cost $8.5 million dollars to make. While that sounds like something you can make back, add on the $17.5 million dollar distribution cost and whatever marketing cost, and the $15.3 million the film has made in the United States to date doesn't break even. So while I am an awards junkie, I feel like the general movie going public would rather watch something like Trolls or Doctor Strange over something like Hacksaw Ridge this weekend. Though that's just my opinion.