The Oscars Miss the Point Completely by Adding New “Popular” Category

The Oscars Miss the Point Completely by Adding New “Popular” Category

By Ben Kayser, Managing Editor, and Tess Farrand, Contributing Writer

The Academy of Arts and Motion Sciences, which produces The Oscars, has increasingly been criticized for a lack of diversity in their nominees. Last year, many were shocked when WONDER WOMAN received zero nominees, a movie that received high praise both critically and from audiences. Instead, the Academy nominated smaller independent movies, most of which were edgier or perverse. Unsurprisingly, the telecast’s ratings recorded an all-time low.

Answering the call to include movies that are more crowd pleasers and hopefully increase their ratings, the Academy has created the category, “Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.”

This raises all sorts of questions, however. Is the Academy admitting they rarely nominate “popular films” for Best Picture? Also, what constitutes a “popular film?”

There once was a day when “popular,” crowd-pleasing movies were nominated for Best Picture, and would win often. In fact, if you look at the top grossing movies of all time domestically, adjusted for inflation, nine out of ten were either nominated for Best Picture, or won (all the movies below with the exception of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS)

Rank

Title

Studio

Inflation Adjusted

Not Adjusted

Year

  1.

Gone with the Wind

MGM

$1,872,953,700

$198,676,459

1939

  2.

Star Wars

Fox

$1,651,168,600

$460,998,007

1977

  3.

The Sound of Music

Fox

$1,320,190,500

$158,671,368

1965

  4.

E.T.:  The Extra-Terrestrial

Universal

$1,314,989,700

$435,110,554

1982

  5.

Titanic

Paramount

$1,256,546,800

$659,363,944

1997

  6.

The Ten Commandments

Paramount

$1,214,370,000

$65,500,000

1956

  7.

Jaws

Universal

$1,187,290,600

$260,000,000

1975

  8.

Doctor Zhivago

MGM

$1,150,735,700

$111,721,910

1965

  9.

The Exorcist

Warner Bros.

$1,025,254,300

$232,906,145

1973

10.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Disney

$1,010,430,000

$184,925,486

1937

Usually, movies like these are family-friendly AND innovative, making them prime candidates for Best Picture. For example, biblical epics like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS took studio productions to new heights with screen technologies and grandiose production values. GONE WITH THE WIND was groundbreaking for the time it was released and did win Best Picture in 1939.

It used to be that Best Picture nominees often were broad audience movies the whole family could enjoy. Timeless movies like the SOUND OF MUSIC, E.T. and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. In recent years, this hasn’t been the case. In the past five years, of the 43 Best Picture nominees for the Oscars, only one is family friendly (HIDDEN FIGURES). The last two Best Picture winners, THE SHAPE OF WATER and MOONLIGHT attack traditional Christian values and ethics, displaying bestiality and homosexual agendas. No wonder the ratings have been so low.

By all means, the Academy should nominate more popular blockbuster style movies, because these movies tend to have strong positive, Christian values in them. However, by creating a completely separate category, is the Academy saying that a movie like BLACK PANTHER can’t compete for Best Picture, like many were hoping for? Are they saying that INCREDIBLES 2 or MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT are less artistic than THE SHAPE OF WATER by their standards?

To make matters more complicated for the Academy, the announcement also stated intentions to officially approve a three-hour long telecast of the awards show. To make room for this new award, some of the awards that may receive less viewers and interest from the public, like Best Editing or Best Documentary Short Film, may be given on commercial breaks during the ceremony.

The Academy is short-circuiting innovation for popularity or rather that popularity is innovative. This addition seems to go against the basis for an award show in the first place. They preach inclusivity but seem to practice exclusivity.

The Oscars keep going downhill by promoting their political bias and world ideology. This doesn’t shock us. At Movieguide®, we’re happy to celebrate the talents of Hollywood personnel who care about uplifting messages, regardless of budget.

How do the Movieguide® Awards differ from THE OSCARS? You can read all about that here

Sources:  The Hollywood Reporter, 08/08/18, and Box Office Mojo.