Live Updates: The 2023 Oscars

‘Avatar: The Way of the Water’ was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, but most tipsters don’t expect it to win. (Courtesy of 20th Century Studios)

The Oscars were never exactly predictable, but Hollywood’s biggest night was consistently rewarding crowds. But over the past two decades, the Oscars have largely avoided awarding the blockbuster films that once dominated the awards.

Earning a nomination – and possibly winning – an Oscar is no mean feat, and many of the year’s biggest box office hits have no chance of getting the best picture. And if they are nominees, like “Avatar: The Way of the Water,” tipsters don’t expect them to win.

Here’s why, according to film and awards experts:

The vote for the best image does not reward risks: For each Oscar category except Best Picture, the nominee with the most votes wins. But Academy members use a ranked ballot when voting for the top prize, ranking the nominees in their preferred order. Ballots are reduced and films are eliminated until there is one consistently ranked film on a multitude of ballots. Polarizing films have a harder time winning the best image with this system.

Blockbusters have changed: It’s not that Oscar voters are anti-blockbuster — it’s just that today’s blockbusters are less original than “ET” and “Titanic.” Instead, there are more sequels, reboots, prequels or other variations on familiar IP (intellectual property), experts tell CNN, making the Academy less likely to reward them. .

Oscar voters tend to reward “significant” films: Movies that end up being nominated for Oscars don’t have much in common these days. Some have a veneer of prestige based on creative teams or source material, while others have independent credibility or overwhelming public approval – but Academy voters tend to reward “significant” films, said Dave Karger, host of Turner Classic Movies and Entertainment Weekly. corresponding to the price. These films “talk about the times or offer some sort of social message,” he said.

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