Muggle Alert: Oscar Nominations Coming Before the Globes

Yeah, so this is the big news out in muggle land that the date has been changed so that Oscar nominations will now be announced before the Golden Globes hold their ceremony. People might be wondering how this affects the Oscar race, whether it will makes a difference, whether the Academy was trying to cock-block the Globes, or what.

Well, here are a few things to consider. Obviously the Academy wanted a longer period between nominations and final balloting. Why? Perhaps they don’t like how the awards machinery has defaulted to automatic. Perhaps voters complained that there wasn’t enough time to see everything.

The gist of the talk has been this:

CBS News:

Oscar nominations typically come out after the Globes. The earlier date for Oscar nominations could steal a bit of the thunder from the Globes, which are presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

But I think that’s because that’s the way outside audiences see it. They think of the awards race in terms of these two TV shows — or, at most, maybe they work in the SAG Awards, too. MAYBE the Critics Choice awards.

But the truth is that the Oscar nominations, for most people, will be one full day of news. And that’s pretty much it. Unless there is some kind of a crazy upset no one will be talking about the Oscar nominations the next day and that’s because, generally speaking, many of those nominations will be for films the majority of people haven’t yet seen. But if there is some sort of crazy catastrophe or really juicy surprise (The Dark Knight Rises getting nominated, Christopher Nolan getting nominated — in Oscar/muggle terms that’s about as big as you can get) and if that surprise has ZERO to do with what’s happening at the Globes (for instance, Dark Knight Rises being shut out of the Globes) it should have very little negative impact on the Globes. If anything, it helps to hype people up for awards season, which means better ratings for the Globes.

But how does the earlier announcement affect Oscar balloting? That’s really the key question. The Globes function best as PR for Oscar contenders. When a contender wins a Golden Globe it might make people feel good about the win or perhaps make them feel bad about the win. It’s kind of a dress rehearsal for Oscar and it can shape the opinions of pundits and Oscar voters. But the choices by the HFPA themselves don’t seem to have much impact — except in the way that all early awards do, as headlines for FYC ads.

Therefore, the Globes will have an impact for contenders already nominated for Oscars. Since the Globes will announce their nominations before Oscar ballots will have been turned in, those nominations could also effect Oscar nominations. Ergo, nothing really changes in any way, particularly. I see it as a good thing for the Globes. Audiences don’t look at them as opposite teams, the Oscars and the Globes. They look at it all as “celebrity awards season.” It’s all kind of one big long show. So it is never going to be EITHER the Globes or the Oscars. It’s going to be “are Brad and Angie coming to either show? Okay, then, I’ll watch.”

The date change has a HUGE impact in the wonky world of Oscar predicting, however, not that anyone else will care. But for the first time EVER since I’ve been doing this, Oscar nominations will not have the benefit of reflecting any nudge from the DGA, PGA or WGA nominations. That means, we’ll be looking — for the first time ever — at pure Oscar nominations. Not “this is what the DGA did.” In the past, it was easy for Oscar voters not to have to watch the movies because the DGA, PGA and WGA mostly has the good stuff in place before Oscar voters had to lay it down. Time is always the problem for most Oscar voters — cramming all of the screenings in. Now, nominations will have nothing whatsoever to do with the major guilds. That is huge in the Oscarwatching world. As for the Globes, not so much.

The Oscar race dramatically changed back in 2003 when the Oscars were moved to February. Pushing everything back a month impacted how the game was played. The biggest change was that there wasn’t a lot of time for movies to open to the public at the end of the year so that box office success could serve as an indicator of mainstream seal of approval.  Mostly it meant that the whole game was played before movies found their audience.  The Oscars motivated people to see movies that won — they didn’t reward movies that did well.  The date change to February meant, essentially, everyone saw and voted for films at roughly the same time — which is why, for the most part, you had kind of a uniform awards season.

I’ve been writing about the date change for years and don’t feel like rehashing the whole thing now except to say that this new event will change the way the Oscar game is played significantly.  It will put more heat on the critics awards because they will all happen before Oscar nomination ballots get turned in, thus they will be the only precursors/influencers.  An Oscar ad won’t be able to broadcast DGA, PGA or WGA nominations on it to get that film nominated.  But it can put LAFCA, NYFCC, Critics Choice, etc.  It’s shifting everything back even further — what remains to be seen is whether the guilds will also shift things back in order to regain their power in the race. I bet they do.  This year will be a one-off.  It will be a wild and crazy unpredictable year.  Or else it will be just as predictable as it’s always been.

In case you didn’t know–DGA stands for Directors Guild, PGA for Producers Guild, and WGA for Writers Guild.

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20 Comments

  1. September 19, 2012

    If it’s anything like the NYFCC then the guilds will just move back as well. I’m hoping they don’t though, this break from group-think would be refreshing.

  2. September 19, 2012

    The NYFCC have just announced they’re moving their date up even further this year, btw. October 1st. Also, in case they might not be first out of the gate next year too, they’re gonna announce next year’s nominees the next day.

    The PGA have announced too. They’re gonna see how many Best Picture nominations the Oscars have, then match that number.

    The Critics’ Choice are gonna announce their nominations, then change them all when they find out what the Academy did.

    The BAFTAs are gonna go sit in the corner and cry for a while.

  3. September 19, 2012

    I think it’s great. The Globes need a kick in the bum. I think it will be more exciting too.

    But if there is some sort of crazy catastrophe or really juicy piece of news (The Dark Knight Rises getting nominated, Christopher Nolan getting nominated — in Oscar/muggle terms that’s about as big as you can get) and if that news has ZERO to do with what’s happening at the Globes (for instance, Dark Knight Rises being shut out of the Globes)

    I would totally pee my pants if that happened. :D

    The Critics’ Choice are gonna announce their nominations, then change them all when they find out what the Academy did.

    This. lol

  4. steve50
    September 19, 2012

    This will be a big plus, I’m hoping. Usually the most recent news AMPAS members have to help them complete their ballots of unseen films are the Globes and a couple of guilds. This time, the critics awards will be flooding in, along with the guilds. Any well-promoted critics’ darling will be a sure thing to get a nod.

    I can hear the pandemonium at the home now:
    A: Did you fill out your ballot? It’s due tomorrow.
    B: What’dya mean tomorrow – wasn’t it just New Years? I need to see what the Globes say.
    A: We’re on our own this time. The Master just won in NY and LA; maybe I’ll just put that down.
    B: Isn’t that the movie version of 50 Shades of Grey? There must be a penis in it and we didn’t go for that last year.
    A: No, it’s with that odd Phoenix kid. The guy that made it – PT Barnum or something – is the same guy that made that oil movie with Lincoln and Boogie Nights.
    B: Boogie Nights! Well that had a penis in it.
    A: Yeah, but it wasn’t real, thank god.
    B: What about the Beasts in the South, or whatever it’s called. The little girl needs a comb-thru, but I hear it’s OK.
    A: Nah, I’m sticking with that movie with that nice-looking Bradley Cooper and Jennifer..Jennifer… There are too many Jennifers. What’s the name of that?
    B: Silver Linings Playbook
    A: The Silver Linings Playbook? What the hell is that?
    B: No, just Silver Linings Playbook – oh – here comes the attendant with our dinner.

  5. rufussondheim
    September 19, 2012

    it’s funny cuz it’s true

  6. Carolina
    September 19, 2012

    “It will be a wild and crazy unpredictable year. Or else it will be just as predictable as it’s always been.”

    WOW!!!! Really????? Who would’ve thought that?????

  7. Niles
    September 19, 2012

    I don’t think its much of impact, the Academy Awards will still pick the same movies. So whats the big deal?

  8. unlikely hood
    September 19, 2012

    comments = funny

  9. keifer
    September 19, 2012

    I think it’s going to make for a more unpredictable year altogether . . . which is, after all, more exciting!

    I think it’s ridiculous, however, that NYFC is announcing on October 1st. How can they declare a best picture with two months of the supposedly “better” films about to be released in November and December? The studios always pull out their big guns for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Announcing even before Halloween just doesn’t make any sense to me.

  10. menyc
    September 19, 2012

    ““It will be a wild and crazy unpredictable year. Or else it will be just as predictable as it’s always been.”

    I actually thought that was a hilarious line.

    I think any pot-stirring is a good thing for awards season. Hoping this adds a little diversity and excitement.

  11. Jake G!!!
    September 19, 2012

    @steve50 lmao

  12. Jdefr
    September 19, 2012

    I think it’s ridiculous, however, that NYFC is announcing on October 1st. How can they declare a best picture with two months of the supposedly “better” films about to be released in November and December?

    Absolutely. Even Argo won’t be in theaters by that time.

  13. jms67
    September 19, 2012

    I think AMPAS is doing a little cock-blocking here. Well, actually, a lot of it. As someone who prefers more unpredictability on Nomination Day, put me down in favor of this move. It’s probably going to be bad for studios who insist on release their Oscar-baity favorites in late December. Then again, we’ve had an accelerated Oscar season of sorts since 2003, and in many cases, studios have gone right ahead with Christmas Day releases and crapped out on noms — so maybe they don’t care or it doesn’t matter. Either way, I like it.

  14. MYS
    September 19, 2012

    That was a joke. NYFCC definitely isn’t announcing that early.

  15. unlikely hood
    September 19, 2012

    The problem will be for those little films that in years past would have come out in two theaters literally on New Year’s Eve weekend. A lot of foreign films fall into that category, as well as the tinier American indies. Those guys gotta move their dates earlier into December or the Oscar lineup will be about as indie as a Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence movie.

  16. JFK
    September 20, 2012

    Simmer down folks, there’s no way NYFCC will push back noms that early–it was a joke. Haha. LMFAO

    Seriously though, in favor of the AMPAS move and love that the Oscars are on my birthday every year. Now let’s work on the number of films to be nominated!!

  17. Bob Burns
    September 20, 2012

    Glad prediction are getting a shake-up. Karger’s the main precursor now.

  18. September 20, 2012

    I think it’s ridiculous, however, that NYFC is announcing on October 1st.

    Absolutely. Even Argo won’t be in theaters by that time.

    SUCKAAAAAAS!

  19. December 17, 2012

    As an obsessive movie lover but still just a member of the public, I’m getting truly tired of these early nominations and top ten lists before the year is even over. Remember when the Academy Awards were held in March? I honestly believe it affects the ratings for the show when the majority of the nominees are films that almost no one has had a chance to see or ones that were in the art houses in the early part of the year and then consigned to disappear in the fog of Pay Per View. When you top that off with a minimum of $50 for a family to go to a show and expect them to see four or five in one month, we might as well combine the Oscars and Emmys into one show and never require that people actually attend a theater ever again.

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