No Way Home’s Oscar Buzz owes to the darlings of the superhero movie that came before it

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If the argument for a “No Way Home” nomination is all about its box office success, then we might be wasting our breath. Even before being in the midst of a global pandemic, big box office returns didn’t really correlate with Oscar winners. The last Best Picture winner to surpass $ 100 million at the box office was “Argo” of 2012 and the last time the highest grossing film of the year entered the category was “Avatar” of 2009. It turns out that money isn’t synonymous with art – what an intriguing revelation. But this is not the question ; it’s less about the money than the people it represents. Sony boss Tom Rothman featured this case in a recent THR piece, arguing,

“Quality marketing is really hard to do. ‘No Way Home’ is a great movie. And that’s what the Academy needs to stay connected to.”

Marvel chief Kevin Feige added:

“It’s a Well thing when people are in a theater and they stand up and clap. It’s a Well thing when people wipe away tears because they think back to their last 20 years in the cinema and what it meant to them. It is, for me, a very good thing – the kind of thing the Academy was founded, at the time, to recognize. “

The bigger issue could be the Oscars themselves and what they’re supposed to recognize, especially since the show’s relevance has been in question for some time now. Aside from a few annual peaks, viewership has declined steadily since 2000 and dropped to an all-time low in 2021. Last year’s ceremony drew 9.23 million viewers, a 51% drop from to the 18.69 million viewers for 2020. This is partly attributed to the lack of audience for the films in the running; / The movie’s Ryan Scott went into depth about this in a separate post that explores this year’s low box office favorites:

“A lot of the films that are going to win big awards have been seen by a terribly small number of moviegoers, relatively speaking, and that’s not good.”

So what about movie people are seeing? Because, based on the numbers, it aggressively refers to “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Okay, part of the uproar around “The Dark Knight” was that it’s an incredible movie that doesn’t deserve to be recognized. And I’m not trying to be rated on Twitter, so this isn’t a place to start comparing the merits of “No Way Home” versus “The Dark Knight”. It’s not even worth discussing whether the two are comparable (cough they are not) because this is all a matter of personal opinion and unfortunately I am not in charge of the Oscars (because if I were then Amy Adams would be crowned queen of the ceremony and “Titanium” would be the only one. nominated 2021 film). And anyway, if “Spider-Man: No Way Home” isn’t nominated, what’s the difference? Those box office numbers always tend to be staggering, the movie will be fine.

But what about the Oscars? Closing a movie with such a wave of support and enthusiasm can be seen as an indicator that the Academy is doing as it often does – staying the same. And if they don’t grow or change, then they might not survive either.

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