erik lundegaard

What Recent Blockbuster Should've Been Nominated Best Picture?

Since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences settled on five Best Picture nominees in 1944, there have been only six years in which no nominee was among the year's top 10 box office hits: 1947, 1984...and the last four years in a row. I wrote about this last January.

So the question: What recent top 10 box office hit has been worth nominating? Here are your choices:

2004
1.    Shrek 2
2.    Spider-Man 2   
3.    The Passion of the Christ   
4.    Meet the Fockers   
5.    The Incredibles   
6.    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban   
7.    The Day After Tomorrow   
8.    The Bourne Supremacy   
9.    National Treasure
10.   The Polar Express

2005
1.    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith   
2.    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3.    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
4.    War of the Worlds   
5.    King Kong
6.    Wedding Crashers
7.    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory   
8.    Batman Begins
9.    Madagascar
10.  Mr. & Mrs. Smith

2006
1.    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
2.    Night at the Museum
3.    Cars   
4.    X-Men: The Last Stand   
5.    The Da Vinci Code
6.    Superman Returns
7.    Happy Feet   
8.    Ice Age: The Meltdown   
9.    Casino Royale
10.   The Pursuit of Happyness

2007
1.    Spider-Man 3
2.    Shrek the Third
3.    Transformers
4.    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
5.    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix   
6.    I Am Legend
7.    The Bourne Ultimatum   
8.    National Treasure: Book of Secrets
9.    Alvin and the Chipmunks   
10.   300  

Of these, the only movies that had a shot at a nom, really, given the Academy's traditional predilections, are "Passion of the Christ" in 2004, "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Pursuit of Happyness" in 2006, and... that's about it. "Passion" didn't make it because, some may argue, it was too political in the wrong way. I'd argue it just wasn't good enough. "Da Vinci Code"? Again, not good enough. Same director and star as "Apollo 13" but no "Apollo 13." "Happyness"? Who knows? Probably should have been nom'ed, though — over "Babel" certainly. It's one of the few films over the last five years in which art and commerce blended well enough to create the happy medium that is usually the very thing the Academy honors. But they ignored it. Or, more precisely, it didn't make their top 5. Might've been no. 6.

Non-traditional arguments can be made for "Spider-Man 2," "The Incredibles" and "Casino Royale," but each would be unprecedented (superheroes, superhero cartoons, Bond), and it still doesn't answer the question: Whatever became of the happy medium of films like "Dances with Wolves" and "Apollo 13"? Has Hollywood changed? Has the Academy? Have we?


Posted at 11:25 AM on Tue. Dec 02, 2008 in category Movies, Movies - The Oscars, Movies - Box Office  
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Michael B wrote:

(system isn't letting me log in, so I'm going another route to post this)

2004 -- The Bourne Supremacy (Spider-Man 2, though, is a close second)

2005 -- Batman Begins

2006 -- Casino Royale

2007 -- Harry Potter #5

An example of the average moviegoer (in my opinion) -- Chris Rock telling the Oscar audience that producers settle for Jude Law

An example of the average Academy voter (in my opinion) -- Sean Penn criticizing Rock by telling/reminding the audience that Jude Law is one of "our finest actors".

In the era of blockbusters, I believe Hollywood has changed more than the moviegoer.
Comment posted on Tue. Dec 02, 2008 at 05:07 PM

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