The Avengers Heads Towards $600 Million, Time To Consider it for Best Picture?

I’ve been holding out as long as possible, but The Avengers has come this weekend at number 3 at the box office.  That gives it more than enough juice, joining Titanic and Avatar, to be considered a best picture contender.  One of the ways you judge the viability of a non-Oscar-y contender is if it becomes “too big to ignore.” And The Avengers has become too big to fail? Producers and Editors guild will go for it.  SAG will not.  WGA probably will.  If the Academy goes to five contenders for Best Pic, its chances slip.  But with ten, it’s an easy call.  Everybody loves a winner, unless you just watched the recall vote in Wisconsin. It’s hard to love someone who was bought and paid for by corrupt billionaires.

97 Comments on this Post

  1. Murmur

    I am not so confident about the Best Picture chances of “The Avengers” because it still has its genre to overcome, and I do not think that it is quite good enough or Oscary enough to do so. “The Dark Knight” garnered so much acclaim and was seriously considered for Best Picture because it was so different from previous movies based on comic book superheroes. “Titanic” was an Oscar movie through and through, and “Avatar” had the Oscary “white male saves natives’ asses but he joins their society first so that it looks like they save him instead because we don’t want it to be so obvious that we’re making the White Man the Messiah for minorities” angle going for it.

  2. I’m not entirely convinced. The type of Academy voter who would put The Avengers as their #1 right now will probably shift to The Dark Knight Rises come July. That is unless the rules change again or have changed since last year without me realizing.

  3. Doody

    Lol, no.

    Like past posters have said, this is pure popcorn engertainment. No big weighty themes. Tech categories is where you should be looking for openings.

  4. Telemachos

    Yeah, I don’t think so either, for three reasons:

    – Avengers doesn’t have “Oscar” people involved. Avatar had Cameron, who had already won multiple Academy Awards. Return of the King had Jackson, who had repeatedly been nominated.

    – Avengers isn’t “serious” enough. Titanic was about a famous historical event. ROTK had the prestige of being a famous novel (and a British novel at that!). Even Avatar had its pro-eco, anti-colonialist message. Avengers doesn’t have any of that. It’s just a fun movie.

    – The Academy is only going to nominate one superhero film this year, and the odds are it will be Dark Knight Rises… which not only features a prestigious director (who’s been snubbed before), it’s also (probably) a “serious” movie, and in two months, it’s also gonna become “too big to ignore”. It may not ultimately catch Avengers, but it’s gonna gross something around $500 million or so, and that’s easily big enough to qualify it.

    I think Avengers is going to go the path of the Harry Potters — some tech nominations or wins, but nothing major (and even the final Harry Potter, I’d argue, had more of a chance than Avengers… and it didn’t get a Best Pic nom).

  5. drake

    avengers is a great superhero/action/entertainment movie… the dark knight was a film masterpiece that happened to be a superhero/action/entertainment movie… big difference.

  6. steve50

    Agree with most of the reasons listed above, adding a couple more:
    – they went “lite” last year. This occurs once every decade or more.
    – Comix/action never has never been deemed “worthy”, although the day is coming.
    – And, as you say, Sasha, SAG won’t go for it and they outnumber the rest.

    It’s not how big it is that counts, it’s how you market and campaign. (stole that from the label on a bottle of Hollywood viagra)

  7. Tyler

    The Avengers simply isn’t good enough. If the Academy nominates it, they threaten their credibility.

    Whenever I look at the reviews for The Avengers, I feel like I’m outside of reality. It seems the critics, as a group, think it’s better than The Hunger Games. What? On what planet? Did we see the same movies? It’s not the first time I’ve failed to see eye to eye with critics, but it just seems so ridiculous this time.

  8. PaulH

    Sasha, we respectfully disagree on the quality of The Avengers. It is a prodigious achievement by Joss Whedon who wrote an intelligent screenplay and directed his ass off. Those who knew his work on Buffy and Angel knew they were getting top flight talent. And then the acting nearly matched it. Marketing can only take a movie to a certain point. It’s time for detractors to admit The Avengers is that rarest of birds, a four-quad happening and cultural phenomenon.

    What brought people back again and again to Avatar? Four things: the eye candy (3D), it’s acting, directing, and whether anyone likes to heat this or not, its STORY. On those rare occasions, it needs to be noted and treated with a modicum of respect.

    But worry not, anti-Avenger lobby; AMPAS will ignore this, as they will The Dark Knight, as they will The Hunger Games, because we gotta have 8 or 9 Beasts of the Southern Wilds as our nominees for the 85th anniversary of our assembly. Movies that debut exclusively at film festivals and will make minimal impact at the ticket window. Blockbusters need not apply. And there will be even further disconnect between the Oscars and the average moviegoer.

    As mentioned previously, we screw up sometimes (the success of the Transformers trilogy). This time, we got it right. Twice. And it’s not even Flag Day yet. :)

  9. PaulH

    Added to add “Rises” there.

    My idea BP lineup yesterday, today and forevermore is a hybrid of art house festival choices vs. those movies that are popular with critics and fans *alike*.

  10. Glack! I guess I’ll have to see it now…

  11. Question Mark

    Avatar and Titanic both came out in December, thus they were fresh in the minds of Oscar voters right when both films were making loads of money. Avengers will just won’t last long enough in the cultural mindset to make the BP cut, especially since reviews are just very good, not actually great. (Though, I’d argue Avengers is a better movie than either Cameron picture.)

    Look at Hunger Games. When it came out in March, it was a monster hit, got good reviews, had Jennifer Lawrence’s star-making role and already got early Oscar buzz for being such a pop culture icon. Fast-forward just three months later and the film has already settled into the past once Avengers stole its thunder. I’d be surprised to see Hunger Games get anything come nomination day. Avengers just won’t have the legs once the most Oscar-baity films get released, not to mention Dark Knight Rises or Hobbit which will steal the fanboy votes. Can you seriously think Avengers will get enough #1 votes to make the ballot? Doubtful.

  12. Chris138

    When the screeners get sent out for The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers to Academy members, I can see them choosing to watch Nolan’s film over Whedon’s. That’s not a diss to The Avengers, I liked the movie. But I think that after the huge success The Dark Knight (both box office and its 8 Oscar nods/2 wins) it’s something that would be much more on their radar as far as superhero entertainment goes. I honestly don’t see The Avengers getting nominated for Best Picture even with its massive success at the box office. The reviews aren’t strong enough from top critics (69 on metacritic) to be taken seriously enough. The only exception to that rule is Stephen Daldry, but I’m pretty sure Marvel doesn’t have Harvey Weinstein campaigning their movies for them.

  13. I honestly think TDKR is going to be the blockbuster nom, if you think about it’s the most likely block buster the SAG’s are going to support, The Avengers just no, The Hobbit probably too many unknown actors giving hammy performances as the dwarves, TDKR will probably feature oscar worthy performances from Hardy and Hathaway, it doesn’t seems to be carried by only by Bane, which was the case with TDK with the Joker. The only category I’m doubting is directing, those guys just do not dig Nolan, maybe they think his films are too cerebral and pretentious?? TDK and Inception had pacing problems
    and Inception used the actors as tools to advance the plot so maybe that hurted his chances with them, hopefully TDKR solves all this issues and finally give that basterd his nom

  14. DC Remmert

    110% way to premature to say this! The Dark Knight Rises is going to kill these numbers and this buzz.

  15. Devin D

    If (and I mean IF IF IF) someone in it were to grab an acting nomination in the way that Sean Astin didn’t for The Return of the King, who do you think should get it? Mark Ruffalo would have my vote.

  16. Question Mark said it best above. We haven’t even hit the halfway point of the year yet, though it’s fast approaching. Sooooo many things will happen from here till the ballots go out that will shift attention away from this. Blockbusters (a couple of which have a shot at doing the SAME EXACT BUSINESS as this movie *cough* Dark Knight *cough* Hobbit *cough*), weighty indie dramas and period pieces that will command attention. How soon we forget the demographics of the Academy that everybody heard about just months ago. Majority white males in their 50s and 60s are gonna consider The Avengers for Best Picture??????? C’mon.

  17. PaulH

    Chris is right because we need to remember the LA Times’ Pulitzer-worthy piece on AMPAS. But for those who give my comments negative marks here I’d respectfully like to ask you one question. Why in your opinion did the Avengers catch fire the way it did? Because it could have easily been another John Carter in the hands of a less talented director and writer.

    Just answer me that query. Thanks.

  18. Micah

    There’s no way this will be considered for Best Picture…however I disagree with that, but if I know the Academy like I think I do, they prolly wont consider it. Even though it is a Solid movie and it’s got EVERYTHING in it! The Academy is too….old fashioned and think that a movie “has” to be a certain way for it to be considered. For as liberal as Hollywood is, they sure are conservative when it comes to their movie choices. There’s been a few movies over the past few years I knew they would nominate for the simple fact of subject matter. Just because it had an endearing story or whatever, does not mean it should be Best Pic material. i.e. War Horse or Extremely loud and incredibly close. I’m surprised they broadened their horizons with upping the number of nominations for films…anyway, im sure some of you may agree with me, or not…

  19. Micah

    Devin D> i would be down with Ruffalo getting a nom but IF and thats a bigger if then my cap locks can make, they made nominated someone, it’d probably be Downey Jr. I’d personally love to see renner get nominated, but thats cuz he’s my man crush and he’s tearing things up right now as it goes, movie wise. He’s gonna be in 3 movies this year alone.

  20. Craig Z

    Paul, please shut up about film festivals and hating movies (like Beasts of the Southern Wild) that you haven’t even seen. We get it. You didn’t like the Artist and your branching your hate outwards.

  21. Micah

    One more thing and then im done. I’ve seen some people writing about the Hunger games as if it was a good movie…are you serious? It was terrible, horribly mis-cast, the only decent acting in the move was was Jennifer Lawrence and it still was’nt impressive. That movie, was…good lord…it was God awful. Please Sasha, dont ban me from the site for this :)

  22. Craig Z

    And Tyler, no film will ever make the Academy “lose credibility”. That stupid saying is said about a half dozen films a year and the Oscar world keeps spinning.

  23. Bryce Forestieri

    Ya’ll should post what Nolan told Empire about TDKR. It’s all over the place LMAO talk about rising expectations!

    “I think this is the biggest one I’ve done. The biggest one anyone’s done since the silent era, in technical terms”

  24. Craig Z

    Bryce, he said that he wanted it to be the biggest film not that it was.

    Big difference

  25. Craig Z

    He says

    ” It’s my attempt to get as close to making a Fritz Lang film as I could.”

    Key word attempt. He is just talking about his ambition.

  26. Bryce Forestieri

    @Craig Z

    It’s the quote from Empire. Sue them

  27. Craig Z

    And it’s misleading, if you actually read the article and not just the headline and first paragraph. His interview is quite different.

  28. If you had told me that my neighbor Phil wrote The Avengers, I would have said “I’ll be damned, Phil got Final Draft.”

    The Avengers was fine, but if that’s Wheeeedon’s voice then the dude needs to speak up or something. It was high-grade fertilizer laid out to grow money trees. It’s the Bain Capital of flicks: It makes money without needing to build anything that lasts.

  29. Bryce Forestieri

    I read the whole thing and it all the references he makes to Fritz Lang, Doctor Zhivago, A Tale of Two Cities, etc don’t take away that he clearly stated that TDKR is “the biggest one anyone’s done since the silent era, in technical terms.” He wasn’t talking about his “intent” for it to look like Lang movie.

  30. Bryce Forestieri

    I mean he said it so it must be true. Im expecting no less than “the biggest one anyone’s done since the silent era, in technical terms.” LOL

    Cuz It already is…He said it is

  31. Craig Z

    You said it yourself “in technical terms” which is possibly true. It is one of the most expensive ever made. He said nothing about the quality.

  32. geremy

    Remember how everyone thought HP7p2 was a lock last summer? And then it lost all of its momentum by December. Money alone cannot sustain a film through all of awards season.

    Oh, and I’m not saying I dislike these movies, I actually really enjoyed them, there’s just nothing oscar-baity about them.

  33. Someone

    I sometimes wonder if you are really the “Oscar-watcher”, Sasha. After all those years you still don’t know the Academy at all. “The Avengers” might be only nominated for visual effects or sound mixing/editing. And that’s all. Pure and simple.

  34. nwh2787

    No Sasha, this movie will never get nominated for best picture and if it is; then the Academy has lost all respect from me.

  35. Jack Traven II

    I agree on the impression of so many here that it’s really too early to already talk Oscar regarding “The Avengers” (or “The Hunger Games”). The whole pre-awards season is more like feasting away the night. Come Oscar season we will see what the hangover lets us remember.

  36. I’m finally gonna see this on Thursday with some free passes I got at work. I will come back and let you all know if it’s worthy. Please stand by.

  37. Allie

    I don’t really believe it has that big of a chance, even with 10 slots. It’s an audience movie, not Academy’s. I can’t imagine that many members putting this as their #1.

  38. Jake G!!!

    I’m sorry but The Avengers is no BP nominee! There’s The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit up ahead! Sorry but it aint happening! haha

  39. It won’t happen. They won’t get it. It’s not their sort of thing. I’m only echoing what several others have already stated, but if Harry Potter can’t make it, The Avengers definitely can’t. $600 million has been deemed within reach for The Avengers for a few weeks now – it’s no reason for considering it now if you haven’t already been considering it for Best Picture inclusion. And I won’t consider it until it receives multiple guild nominations and a surprising show of support from critics’ groups.

  40. Mattoc

    I would say no. I see it getting a few tech noms, for which it will lose to the likes of TDKR and/or one of the more lavish productions coming up.

    The visuals were ok I guess, but the giant metal screwdriver thingy mangling buldings is getting old in these CGI heavy films. While it looks impressive on the big screen, it is probably the equivalent of the star wipe in scene transitions (I.e fucking easy to do)

  41. Two words: NO WAY

  42. Bob Burns

    I don’t buy it, and I’m an advocate for including popular movies. If it was good, sure.

    Make better pop movies and award em. Nolan and PJ make award-worthy pop films. Nom em both.

    the art/pop split is bad for everyone.

  43. Tero Heikkinen

    Not happening. Even if it made 800M Domestic. If TDKR and The Hobbit were not coming, then maybe.

  44. Tero Heikkinen

    To add: industry has changed so much in the last two and a half years that 1,5B is the new 1B (worldwide). These 500M+ films will come more often than not. You just can’t start nominating all of them.

  45. Tero Heikkinen

    One thing about the amount of BP nominees. No way they are going back to 5 in the year of TDKR when its predecessor was the reason they increased the number in the first place (Academy will not admit it, though). So, at least for one more year, we are looking for “up to 10″.

    As a Summer movie, The Avengers also has one more obstacle. It gets released on DVD/BD in September and that’s way too early for Academy. TDKR will be released on home entertainment in December (or something like that) and The Hobbit is IN theaters (right on top when ballots are being mailed).

  46. tonyr

    Avengers is going to end with 600-605mil domestic. Due to 3D and inflation, that’s less tickets sold than The Dark Knight, so it’s not really on the same level as Titanic or Avatar. And even if it was, it wouldn’t matter. Avengers is great popcorn entertainment, but that’s all it is. No weighty themes, no social issues, just good acting, decent writing (not great…yes it’s witty, but the plot is pretty formula), lots of humor, and lots of big pretty action sequences. That’s not enough for a Best Picture nomination, even in a 10-slot year.

  47. rufussondheim

    Avatar got nominated because it was a Great Leap Forward in terms of technology. The Avengers is not.

    I think the Dark Knight would have been a shoo-in for a nomination under the current rules. I think that sufficient Academy members are probably annoyed it didn’t get a nomination and will vote for Dark KNight Rises automatically (unless it sucks.) With these new rules, I just don’t see where the votes for The Avengers comes from.

    What’s more interesting to me is if both Dark Knight and The Hobbit are critical successes (and box office too) is whether there will be enough votes to go around for both to get nominated.

  48. Sorry to say this but this WONT HAPPEN!!! i really hope Academy considers TDKR is its as good or even close to TDK but The Avengers is too much generic movie and if they didn’t went with the whole seriousness of TDK and how epic it was, Academy wont even consider a much funnier if epic superhero comic book movie. Come on Iron Man and Spider Man 2 were awesome too right?? Superb critical acclaim and everything but they weren’t nominated as well. Box Office is not a problem for the Academy nor they consider a movie that out grosses every other movie that year, The Hurt Locker for example and success of both Titanic and Avatar with the Academy wasn’t the money but the other obvious reasons … a phenomenal tragic event and the whole Heroic White Men thingy!!

  49. Aaron B

    Like others have said, only way it gets in is if The Dark Knight Rises disappoints. That said, I don’t see a problem with having it on the tracker at this time. Can always bump it off if The Dark Knight Rises amazes us, right?

    I personally think it’s better than Harry Potter 8, a series that clearly the Academy never really cared for that much, so I’m not counting it out solely because of Harry.

  50. Jason B

    Is anyone else on here, other than Sasha, think The Avengers has a shot for Best Picture?

    I have not seen it yet so I withhold judgment on the film, but I feel it may be a tough fight since I do not think the Academy will nominate TWO superhero movies and the Academy got a lot of hate for passing up The Dark Knight last time.

  51. Walter

    Hmmm. I noticed The Hunger Games was removed from Best Picture consideration. I still think it deserves to be on that list. I watched it a second time a while back and it’s actually better second time around. So I think it deserves to still be on that list.

    Also, I loved The Avengers and do believe it deserves some credit. However, yes, it will be a tough sell for Best Picture.

  52. PaulH

    Bob Burns: “the art/pop split is bad for everyone.”

    Why, exactly? Is it more fair for 80% of the nominees to be box office bombs like the Artist and The Hurt Locker? Films that people never heard of or sometimes have been seen around the country before nomination day *coughAlbertNobbscough*? With 3 or 4 art house vs. 3 or 4 critic/fan approved movies, people thus become invested in the awards instead of the inevitability of the last 4 years running?

  53. steve50

    “Is it more fair for 80% of the nominees to be box office bombs…”

    @PaulH – From Film Comment to MTV, every group that gives film awards has their own criteria as to what is the “best.” AMPAS tries (albeit unsuccessfully most of the time) to balance business with art, usually to nobody’s satisfaction.

    Oscar is not an award based solely on box office receipts. Box office success is its own reward. Sometimes a blockbuster will make the cut an win, but only because AMPAS voters see somethng else at work (LOTR, Titanic). Sometimes they don’t care if a film is a hit or a bomb – if they like it, they vote for it. It’s all a matter of what catches their eye or what they think they should vote for, whatever the reasons.

    I hope you’re not saying that small art films should be ignored, because they are as much a part of the movie business as the popcorn fare, and it is an industry award. This makes it a frustrating crapshoot for everyone except for the players like HW.

    Hope your cough is getting better – summer colds are the worst.

  54. bobeau

    Paul H. – I don’t think we disagree. Sorry that I was not more clear in my writing. I just want better pop films and for the Academy to recognize them when they are good.

    ….not to fluff the Oscar TV ratings, but because it is a much bigger accomplishment when film makers successfully deliver high quality to a mass audience.

    There are plenty of prestigious awards for art films. Oscar should be for films that accomplish more and have a societal presence. I want more films with huge artistic ambition – not junk for the masses and good stuff for the elites. The split is hurting quality at both ends, IMO.

  55. Bob Burns

    btw… to comment on what’s right under our noses….that still is really ugly.

  56. The Academy is too dense to even consider The Avengers as a Best Picture nominee. It’s outstanding box office success may garner some tech award nominations, but that’s all. In their snobbery, they completely fail to embrace comic book or sci-fi theme films. And it’s a damn shame.

  57. Singinghotdog

    Avengers for Best Picture. Wow, I actually took this blog as half way serious, but not after that comment. Avengers for Best Picture is a joke!!!! There have been lots of big money makers that are what they are…loud action popcorn movies, and there is nothing wrong with that. Other than Robert Downey Jr the rest of the acting was mediocre to terrible. Anyone remember Transformers….huge money-maker….Oscar consideration, yeah right!

  58. PaulH, I continue to fail to understand your aversion to the nomination of films which people haven’t heard of, such as Albert Nobbs. It is AMPAS that votes on the Oscar nominations, not the public. If they have seen the film and it is eligible, why should it not be nominated? Many might disagree with me, but I believe that it deserved all three of its nominations – Best Actress, Supporting Actress and Make-Up, hardly a category which the majority of people could care less about. The MTV Movie Awards are the people’s awards, and no doubt The Avengers will perform tremendously with that group, but will I complain? No. So why complain about films geared towards Academy members which inevitably prove popular with those members?

    Also, classifying The Artist and The Hurt Locker as ‘box office bombs’ is inaccurate. A film does not need to make a lot of money in order to be considered a success. Both have earned their budgets back at the domestic box office; The Hurt Locker has earned more than triple its budget worldwide, and The Artist almost nine times its budget. They have both been box office successes.

  59. I’m holding off until I see what the rest of the Summer blockbusters do. It is entirely possible that TDKR passes The Avengers box office total, and there is no way both get in, right? It’s one thing when something visionary like Avatar, or grand like Titanic, brings in that much money. It’s something entirely else when a comic book movie does it. If TDK didn’t get in, there is no way The Avengers does. TDKR could if as good as TDK, IMO. It would be a way to reward the series, knowing it is the last one.

  60. Harmonica

    I remember at the beginning of 2012 when I was looking at this year’s possible BP contenders and thinking to myself “This could be one of the most blockbuster-filled lineups of all time”. Many of the (theoretical) big contenders of the year have great potential to become box-office hits.
    -TDKR and The Hobbit are going to be massive;
    -Brave is another sure thing;
    -Django Unchained could very well be Tarantino’s highest grosser, even considering its subject matter;
    -if Les Miserables maintains a fraction of its Broadway following, it will be one of the year’s biggest hits
    And many other films, while if not reaching blockbuster levels, will most likely make tons of money. Lincoln, Life of Pi, The Great Gatsby, Gangster Squad, Moonrise Kingdom… It’s all shaping up for a very different scenario from last year’s lineup, where only one movie crossed the U$100M mark.

    And it pains me not to include Prometheus into the mix, as its lukewarm reception has pretty much killed whatever chances it had. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and it’s still my most anticipated of the year, but I have to say that all this negative talking has got me kinda devastated.

  61. himynameiscole

    i’m not sure why everyone is knocking so hard on sasha’s thoughts that this could be a best picture contender due to its high gross and high consumer/critic ratings, even given the comic book content, but whatever.

    i definitely see it coming strong in tech categories, and it wouldn’t surprise me if whedon pulled out an adapted screenplay nom. given the pacing of the movie and the amount of information and characterization he had to include, he did a hell of a job.

    and as some people have pointed out in the argument against it getting a nom, im going to use for it possibly getting one. we haven’t seen the rest of the year’s pictures, and have been disappointed many times before, so never say never. if (hopefully not) the dark knight rises is not good, it could definitely sneak in. i think it’s an interesting argument and would possibly be good for blockbusters if it got in. maybe they will stop shitting out blockbuster movies like transformers and battleship, and work on putting more characterization and less explosions in them.

  62. No. It’s not a Best Picture contender.

  63. Nope

  64. I agree with telemarchos above.

    Right now, the logic in having it be nommed is solid.

    Good reviews, agreeable movie, nice techs, made lots of $$.

    Plus, we all know that many big Oscar movies will fail.

    But by the time Dec/Jan rolls around, you just KNOW they’ll find other films to make that cut (with more respected pedigree).

    I wish The Avengers the best, but don’t quite see it happening.

  65. I know this is an awards site and all, and I love coming here to talk about great films in general, but last year was the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of me believing for even one moment that the Academy Awards are to be taken at all seriously as any barometer of quality.

    They are a barometer of the sensibilities of a very niche group of people who don’t really reflect the real world as it stands in 2012. As such, I count on them to reward the safest, most middle of the road choices that are presented to them and they deliver every year.

    It’s fun to see the pretty people looking extra pretty, and maybe every once in a while you feel happy for an underrated actor to get one because what it really means for them is more work and more money, but they aren’t to be taken seriously.

    And I doubt they’d ever nominate The Avengers for best picture.

  66. alan of montreal

    I’m not saying it’s an equivalent film by any stretch, but I think just because a film does boffo box office doesn’t automatically qualify it as Oscar material. In the top 15 all-time box office are Shrek 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Spiderman, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. II, Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, none of which received a nomination. If expanded to 10, possibly Shrek 2 would have made it, but Harry Potter couldn’t do it with 10 available slots, and I would argue that AMPAS would be much more likely to vote for that than the Avengers. Unless the rest of the year is full of absolutely atrocious films, which I find highly doubtful, I don’t think The Avengers stands a chance.

  67. Erik Anderson

    The Avengers could make a billion domestically and it still wouldn’t be a Best Picture nominee. Its money will be its reward.

  68. Jake G!!!

    In the latest TDKR interview, Chris Nolan says. “This is the biggest film I’ve ever done, the biggest epic film anyones ever done since the silent films. Your not used to seeing this. Its a historical Epic, its a revolutionary epic, looking back at the grand scale epics of the past. I’ve been watching a lot of silent films with my kids on bluray. Its a mould of Doctor Zhivago and A tale of Two Cities, which is a historical epic with all kinds of great storytelling going on during the French Revolution.” Wow that just gets me even more pumped. Plus, this film is 2 hrs. and 45 mins. EPIC Written all over it.

  69. Tero Heikkinen

    If TDKR is on par with TDK or even better, I would be so happy if it even WON Best Picture. Very unlikely, but at least the nomination is a certainty (and there are still people who doubt this).

    I mean, in 2008 (2009 in Academy world) TDK was a deserving winner.

  70. HahaLives

    Sasha, what you are completely forgetting is the GIGANTIC bias against comic book movies within the Academy. I don’t even think The Dark Knight Rises will get in.

  71. Denni

    If the Avengers wanted to be considered as a Best Picture Contender, it would’ve changed it’s story where Captain America falls in love with Thor and they would have a nude/sex scene together then one of them gets killed by Loki……

    That’s just wishful thinking :-)

  72. Lenny

    Not buying it, no matter how much money it makes. It’s not winning any major critics prizes. It’d be lucky to get anything from the Golden Globes. Its best chances would come with the PGA because of how much money it’s making, CAS, VES and MPSE. I’m not betting on guild love spreading for this film so ACE, ADG, and CDG are long shots in my book. Forget the DGA, WGA and ASC. SAG will prolly give it stunt ensemble but still, I’m not buying it for anything major at the Oscars probably a few technical nods maybe an editing nod if they loved the film but that’s it.

  73. Douglas J. Bender

    “It’s hard to love someone who was bought and paid for by corrupt billionaires.”

    Like Obama, with Soros. I feel you.

  74. ^
    better your pain than mine then.

  75. rufussondheim

    That quote from Nolan about his own film is disturbingly atrocious.

    Chris Nolan says. “This is the biggest film I’ve ever done, the biggest epic film anyones ever done since the silent films. Your not used to seeing this. Its a historical Epic, its a revolutionary epic, looking back at the grand scale epics of the past. I’ve been watching a lot of silent films with my kids on bluray. Its a mould of Doctor Zhivago and A tale of Two Cities, which is a historical epic with all kinds of great storytelling going on during the French Revolution.”

    Is it possible for him to be more full of himself?

  76. alan of montreal

    @ rufussondheim–I don’t know. There’s so much hyperbole in that statement I can only think he was making a joke.

    I looked back at my original posting above, and I realize that my first sentence must look quite confusing. I had originally intended to make a statement about the Transformers, which could have been interpreted as a comparison with The Avengers, but then I changed the focus of my point, but forgot to revise the beginning of that sentence, so my apologies for that oversight.

  77. If the 5% of number 1 persists, forget about it. They may even put The Dark Knight Rises in number 1 (guilty factor for what they did in 2008), there could be enough 1s for Brave (there could be 5% that decide to back an animated film… tough but possible), for The Hobbit (the return of LOTR, which they loved so much), but The Avengers… With 10, maybe, but this year looks crowded.

  78. Plus: The Avengers has at least two things going agains it in comparison with Titanic and Avatar.

    – Both Titanic and Avatar were though to deal with noble, with important themes: one of the biggest tragedies of all time and environment/sustainability, respectively.
    – The Avengers has absolutely no tech innovation. Titanic and specially Avatar would rank high on a “most influential” visual effects films of all time. They were both visually astonishing and innovative. They had a huge support from the tech branches.

  79. I remember Sasha offering similar commentary to Apes last year. While Apes was not nearly as successful financially, I’d say Avengers chances aren’t much better, if at all. The thinking is similar, and I understand why it’s worthy of discussion, but I don’t think it’s worthy of much more than that.

  80. RLS: “I know this is an awards site and all, and I love coming here to talk about great films in general, but last year was the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of me believing for even one moment that the Academy Awards are to be taken at all seriously as any barometer of quality.

    They are a barometer of the sensibilities of a very niche group of people who don’t really reflect the real world as it stands in 2012. As such, I count on them to reward the safest, most middle of the road choices that are presented to them and they deliver every year.”

    This, +100

  81. Chris138

    I agree that the quote by Nolan is a pretty bold statement to make, and seems rather out of character for him, but Ridley Scott did compare Prometheus to 2001. That’s also a pretty bold statement to make.

  82. Huge blockbuster, critically lauded, “event movie”, possibility of lots of nominations, would get viewers, would give the Academy cache with some (derision from others), a niche director breaks mainstream is a marketable hook for a nominee. Then there’s the best reason… it’s a great movie.

  83. Dennis

    No. The Avengers will not be nominated for Best Picture.

    Neither will The Dark Knight Rises, for that matter.

    I mean, really.

  84. Goodvibe61

    This is dumb. There is simply no way that Avengers could be nominated for Best Picture of the year. The movie is lacking in almost every way other than the tech categories, and there are plenty of opportunities for this movie to get those nominations.

    Having sat through the film, there’s just no way the film can get nominations in any major category. Not the writing. Not the direction. Not any of the performances.

    The Academy has steadily lost credibility over the past several years. Nominating this film means game over for the Academy. It would only accelerate the demise of the Oscars. What’s next: 21 Jump Street made 125 million dollars domestic. It has Oscar nominee Jonah Hill in it. Maybe it should get a Best Picture Nomination.

    God Help us all.

  85. Jesus Alonso

    Would I like to see it winning? f*ck yeah! It wouldn’t hurt a reminder that pictures can also be just fun. And this one is a milestone on its genre.

    Do I see it being nominated? No. I don’t think it will be nom’d at all, unless TDKR underperforms – which I don’t think. Whatever they think of The Avengers, they still “owe” Nolan big time, and both aren’t going to get in. And we’re still pending on what will happen with Spiderman, to make things even more complex.

    When fall arrives, and awards season, we’re gonna be so distracted with Lincoln, Django, Batman, Miserables and so on, that this will become a longshot…to my regret, ’cause I do love the film…

  86. rufussondheim

    I beg to differ witht those who say the Academy has lost credibility recently. Other than the unfortunate blips of including The Blind Side and Unfortunately Nominated and Little Seen the academy has bee doing pretty well. The wins for The Departed, No Country for Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, The Artist are solid choices for Best Pic. All of them were major successes with critics and were amongst the top 3 most well received pictures of the year. The King’s Speech is a minor bleep in this current streak. But it was still a very popular film with the critics, not nearly as bad as choices from a decade or so earlier.

    This streak started in 2006 and seems a direct result of the choice of Crash over Brokeback Mountain, which did severely damage their credibility. And that came at the end of a pretty bad streak of choices which included Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, among others.

    The Academy’s credibility is probably better than it has been in the past. If you think today’s nominations are bad, go look at their choices for the early 1970’s.

  87. Kelly

    The Hunger Games > The Avengers.

    But those two films are also different beasts. One is an adaptation of a young adult novel whereas the other is an adaptation of a comic book. To me, those things aren’t exactly equal.

    Those who think The Avengers is a well-made movie worthy of top honors at any awards-show other than the MTV Movie Awards are kidding themselves. The direction was ok. I like Joss Whedon’s work – particularly Firefly and Serenity. But he made a pop-corn action movie of the Avengers which is exactly what it needed to be. Almost all of the previous installments, in my opinion, were better suited to awards consideration in the major categories.

    I spent so much of the time wondering why everything in the movie was being chewed up and dominated by Robert Downey, Jr. Sure, he’s a great actor, but the other actors had successful franchises as well. Iron Man was the most popular of all the preceeding films, and I guess that’s why this film was dominated by him, but I felt like there was some serious actor politics going on. Notice how everyone was dressed down so that Downey, Jr. could still compete? Particularly Chris Hemsworth, undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s current Hotties du Jour.

    Also, the bad guys were lame. Really LAME. Loki was good, but those alien guys were a mess. Their leader looked like the love-child of Skeletor from 1987’s Masters of the Universe and the Emperor/Senator Palpatine from Star Wars.

    This movie was good. I even went twice. But it should not win or even be considered for Best Picture. Or anything other than maybe some tech awards, which I’m sure it will.

    I’m still holding out for The Dark Knight Rises. If it’s anything like the last installment, I believe it’ll smash The Avengers box-office and also be a shoo-in for the major categories.

  88. K. Bowen

    I hated The Avengers, but I can see why some people might think it’s fine. People who think it’s great need to see more movies.

  89. Pauly

    This could be the most ridiculous article I’ve ever read on this site.

  90. To answer your question quickly. . .”No.” Enjoyable summer flick? Yes. BP worthy in any way, shape or form? No. Not at all.

  91. Skasis_Paradigm

    rufussondheim – That quote has a crucial comment omitted. You’re misrepresenting the statement. He said it was as vast as those films “In technical terms”.

  92. PaulH

    Didn’t Ryan tweet that The Avengers has a 91 rating from the BFCA (Broadcast Film Critics Assn)? I’ll take that number over the metacritic one any day. In a idyllic world, blockbusters that critics also like don’t get the “well, the money they made is their reward” , rather recognition by their peers in every award guild’s gathering. Heck, I want a trifecta of Hunger Games, Avengers and TDKR. I’d be organ-asmic on Oscar nomination day. I also know better that this isn’t an ideal world. And that 60+ year old fogies would rather fling themselves in front of a red line train at the Hollywood and Vine rail station than give any of those aforementioned movies their due.

    It’s just the way it is.

  93. rufussondheim: “The wins for The Departed, No Country for Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, The Artist are solid choices for Best Pic. All of them were major successes with critics and were amongst the top 3 most well received pictures of the year. The King’s Speech is a minor bleep in this current streak. But it was still a very popular film with the critics, not nearly as bad as choices from a decade or so earlier.”

    Imagine what would have happened if Oscar went and honored these choices. instead of the ones they went with:

    2007: Juno (with a mad-skillz performance by Ellen Page which should have won her Best Actress as well);
    2008: The Dark Knight
    2009: Avatar
    2010: Inception or The Social Network
    2011: Moneyball

    It would show the Academy recognized the zeitgeist of each of those years. Audience ratings hovering around 50 million, perhaps for the Oscar telecast.

    “This streak started in 2006 and seems a direct result of the choice of Crash over Brokeback Mountain, which did severely damage their credibility. And that came at the end of a pretty bad streak of choices which included Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind, among others.”

    I hope you don’t consider Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as a bad choice. It was the *only* choice that year, perhaps except for Lost in Translation. One of the best movies of the decade, and released, sadly in the same year of ROTK. Otherwise, Sofia Coppola would’ve been the first woman to win a best director Oscar.

    “The Academy’s credibility is probably better than it has been in the past. If you think today’s nominations are bad, go look at their choices for the early 1970′s.”

    And 1977. :) (sorry, had to scratch that itch).

  94. Kelly: “I spent so much of the time wondering why everything in the movie was being chewed up and dominated by Robert Downey, Jr. Sure, he’s a great actor, but the other actors had successful franchises as well. Iron Man was the most popular of all the preceeding films, and I guess that’s why this film was dominated by him, but I felt like there was some serious actor politics going on. Notice how everyone was dressed down so that Downey, Jr. could still compete? Particularly Chris Hemsworth, undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s current Hotties du Jour.”

    I thought Whedon handled said politics with aplomb. Downey tore it up, but also Hiddleston as Loki, Hemsworth and especially Mark Ruffalo, the best Hulk, movie or TV ever, may Bill Bixby rest in peace. He was that spot-on. So much could’ve gone wrong, but thanks to him, it didn’t IMO.

  95. The Hunger Games will join the $400m club this weekend as it’s just a shade over a million away ($398,974,636 as of Wednesday). Avengers is at $559,076,546.

  96. rufussondheim

    PaulH. I did not like Lord of the Rings, parts 2 and 3 at all. Neither, I thought, delivered on the promise of the first. Of the films nominated, Lost in Translation would have gotten my vote easily. With that said, I don’t consider it a bad choice in that streak since it clearly was loved by many, many people, critics and the masses alike. For me, Heavenly Creatures is still far and away Peter Jackson’s best film (It’s just wonderful!)

    With that said, your list from 2007 until today is unlike what I would pick.

    2007 – Into the Wild (I know it wasn’t nominated, but of the films in the major categories I have seen, which are very few that year – I was busy – that was easily the best). Juno was cute.

    2008 – Still busy, but less so, I have seen most of the top contenders and none of them were good enough for the win, in my opinion. The Dark KNight has some great elements, but I still think Nolan copped out when he chose not to blow up one of those boats. Made me dislike a film that was really quite great until that point.

    2009 – The Hurt Lock was a fine choice.

    2010 – The Social Network is a great film, would have been #2 on my ballot. I would have voted for Winter’s Bone. (But Animal Kingdom would have been #1 on my nominating ballot) Apparently I have a thing for poor families destroyed by low-level crime. I thought Inception was unwatchable, the characters were one-dimensional and I didn’t care about their plights, plights they have only themselves to blame, by the way – I got halfway through on three different occasions before I finally came to my sense and realized it was a bad movie.

    2011 – I still haven’t seen all the choices, but of those I have seen, The Tree of Life is an easy winner. Moneyball is a good choice, and I might find it to be the winner, but it dumbed down the baseball enough to make it confusing at times (specifically, the choice not to label the playoff series properly.) Also, for a movie that wallows in statistics so much, I would have like to see some of the final statistics of that season for the players under discussion. A simple endnote before the final credits would have been sufficient. Such an exclusion makes you wonder if the decisions Brad Pitt made regarding personell were the right ones.

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