Next year’s Oscars will have double the Best Picture nominees, said Russ Britt in MarketWatch, because the out-of-touch “old folks” in the Academy couldn’t “get over the hump of nominating a film based on a comic-book character,” Batman. This “desperate” ploy is designed to boost the ever-sagging ratings of the Oscars telecast, but all the Academy has to do to get people to watch is nominate good, popular films like “The Dark Knight.”
The hope is to get more blockbusters nominated, said Chadwick Martin in Slate’s The Big Money. When “Titanic,” the top-earning film of all time, won Best Picture in 1997, 57 million people tuned in. When the No. 2 earner, “The Dark Knight,” was passed over, 36.3 million watched. Add in the $6.7 million boost a Best Picture nod brings a film, plus promotion and advertising outlays, and this is “Hollywood’s version of a stimulus package.”
The “marginal boost” a Best Picture nomination gives a studio, said Felix Salmon in Reuters, won’t make up for the “significant devaluation” of the award itself. With 10 films in contention, it could be even easier for the viewership-sinking “small and arty films” favored by the Academy to win, with as little as 15 percent of the vote. If the Academy is smart, this won’t last.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- Hey, grammar nerds! Stop freaking out about 'alot.'
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- 10 things you need to know today: September 1, 2014
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The elusive 'It factor' in presidential politics
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- The keys to succeeding with a job recruiter
Subscribe to the Week