Film: Can 'best' = 'most popular'?

October 28, 2008
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Interesting stat in today's New York Times: The last four winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture ("No Country for Old Men," "The Departed," "Crash," and "Million Dollar Baby") combined didn't bring in the box office money of 2003's winner "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Yes, it's already Oscar season--the time of year when "prestige" films pack the release schedule. But the Times sees something changing this time around. This year, it seems, Hollywood studios are going back to pushing some of their more popular films as potential Oscar winners. These include "Wall-E" (which could be the first Best Picture nominated animated film since "Beauty and the Beast"), "The Dark Knight," and "Iron Man."

Does this feel like a push to sell out to the moneymakers and drive up ratings? Certainly Batman vs. the cute robot would attract more eyeballs than last year's low-viewership match-up between "No Country for Old Men" vs. "There Will Be Blood."

Or have the best films so far this year just so happen to also be the biggest at the box office?  

Looking backwards, is it embarrassing that popular hits "Titanic" and "The Greatest Show on Earth" won Best Picture (and "Ghost" and "Love Story" were nominated)? Or are these justly rewarded films that happened to bring in lots of money?   

Your thoughts?
  • Maybe there should be an award for highest money making film of the year. This would be like New York best seller or a record going platinum. It wouldn't matter if it was up to Oscar standards, just as long if it made money.
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King was a great movie, full of pathos. Just because it made beaucoup bucks doesn't mean it was a lesser film than the other mentioned.
  • As a film viewer, amateur creator, and critiquer, I believe very rarely does the most popular film equal the best film. Being married and busier I don't always get to see the more critically acclaimed films anymore since my wife prefers more entertaining fare than artistic films (I haven't seen any of last years best pic nominees yet). This might be one of the few years that popular=best. If a film maker can combine art and entertainment - they should win best picture. Wall-E, Dark Knight, and Iron Man are all solid movies, both for entertainment and art and deserve to be considered for best picture. Box office should not indicate what are the best films, etc., then again, popularity contests shouldn't either.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.