Davidcard[Posted by David Card]

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And I thought last year’s Oscar noms were "obscure." Here’s this year’s list of Best Picture nominations, with their domestic box office $$ according to Box Office Mojo:

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button $104 million
  • Frost/Nixon $9M
  • Milk $21M
  • The Reader $8M
  • Slumdog Millionaire $44M

And last year’s:

  • Atonement $51 million
  • Juno $144M
  • Michael Clayton $74M$49M
  • No Country for Old Men $74M
  • There Will Be Blood $40M

I’m puzzled why Hollywood continues to think quality and popularity are opposed. This year, the top grossing movie was the Warners Batman sequel, The Dark Knight that did $531 million at the box office. Sure it was a superhero movie, but it was on many critics’ Top Ten list (and will be on mine) and delivered a very dark, post 9/11 zeitgeist. If you don’t want grim, a well-loved cheerful alternative could have been Disney-Pixar’s Wall-E that delivered a slightly preachy green message atop a classic all-ages story of love and friendship. Wall-E pulled in $224 million, number five in the US.

I’m trying to say that the industry’s top awardsfest — itself a still-huge entertainment event — should be equally about art and commerce. This is pop culture, people. There is no shame in rewarding classy success.

I’ll be writing about the continuing importance of hits for marketing later this year. Long-tail, bah, humbug.