Who Stands to Gain the Most From Oscar's Best Picture Bombshell?

It's the biggest news to hit the Oscars since, well, probably ever: The 82nd Academy Awards will feature 10 Best Picture nominees, doubling the standard upheld since 1944. This should be cause for celebration around most of Hollywood today, none more jubilant than that of the interested parties you'll find after the jump.

· The Media: Easily the biggest potential beneficiaries of the expanded Picture category, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, both the New York and Los Angeles Times, and a few dozen of the Web's higher-profile movie blogs will now have maybe three times the "for your consideration" ad buyers come October, and twice the ad pool by the time nominations are announced Feb. 2. Even with recession- (and Slumdog-) era Oscar spending dropping up to 40 percent last year, that would still amount to a roughly $90 million pie that requires splitting. I never thought I'd have the chance to legitimately say this, but: We want to thank the Academy!

· DreamWorks/Paramount: On the other hand, 10 nominees makes The Lovely Bones looks more automatic than ever, meaning the divorced superpowers won't have to spend a dime on Oscar campaigning until January at the earliest. Double win.

· Pixar: You could probably just call this expansion the WALL-E Bump, and you wouldn't be too far off. This virtually guarantees Up a spot at the adult's table next winter, thus initiating a new era of whining by Pixar loyalists about Oscar's supposed bias against animation winning it all.

· The Weinstein Company: Assuming Harvey's not bankrupt by November, Nine is in.

· 20th Century Fox: Avatar might very well have been on the bubble with only five slots, but sci-fi or not, at these prices (and with James Cameron's ego) the studio will milk its groundbreaking epic for every drop of prestige it can find. And those extra five slots have never made it look easier.

· Mini-majors: Fox Searchlight also would have been in the mix anyway with Mira Nair's biopic Amelia, but Focus Features instantly goes from being a 2009 dark horse to a legit contender with the Coens' A Serious Man. Sony Pictures Classics can nurture similar hopes for An Education, as can Lionsgate (Precious) and Summit (The Hurt Locker). Sorry Miramax, I don't know what to tell you about this new Clive Owen movie you've got. There's always 2010, or maybe you'll get lucky at the...

· Toronto Film Festival: Crash, Juno and Slumdog Millionaire sprung to Oscar glory from their launching pads in Toronto. Don't expect 2009 to unfold any differently; debuts, deals and reputations will be made north of the border.

Academy president Sid Ganis offered his own two cents to Movieline as well, but before you check that out, tell me: Who did I miss?



Comments

  • Juancho says:

    I notice you guys didn't mention The Road, but I think that's going direct-to-video or something.

  • Furious D says:

    Great, another excuse to avoid the Oscars again.

  • Vegas. The house is going to clean up.

  • Old No.7 says:

    All I know is that it's going to be a technical nightmare for the production crew to get ten camera shots squeezed back on screen at the same time during the awards ceremony.

  • Colander says:

    So pretty much, when movies are announced it'll be easier to guess who's getting an Oscar.
    For example, the Facebook movie will at least be nominated (and so on...).

  • Jay says:

    I'm sure more comedies will start getting best pic nominations. Bruno, if it is as hilarious as previews suggest, could sneak a spot this year. However, I think the prestige of truly great pics will be somewhat diminished by being nominated alongside movies that are vastly inferior and somewhat less deserving of their nomination.

  • At first I thought that upping to 10 was a good thing. Then I remembered how long the awards show typically runs.

  • weetiger says:

    I have to agree with Jay. There will be years when it is a blessing, when there are films that will get the recognition they deserve but wouldn't before. But there will also be years when it is a struggle to fill ten slots with "best of the year" contenders.
    A better move would have been to follow the GG's lead and divide into Drama and Comedy categories.

  • Datadog says:

    Best Academy news in a long time. Every time I see the top five nominees, I always wonder who the next five runner-ups would've been.

  • Ray A. says:

    If this means cutting more dumb musical numbers out of the ceremony to make room for the extra five BP nominees, then I'm all for it.

  • Craig says:

    I wouldn't call this the "Wall-E Bump" so much as the "The Dark Knight" bump. For was good a movie as it was, Frost/Nixon was inferior to The Dark Knight in many ways but because the Best Picture category has been reserved for "serious" movies, there was no room for a film about a superhero. For too long fringe films which have been great in their own right have been avoided due to genre or even popularity. This might open the door for films like Iron Man or Spider-Man 2, or other genres such as horror and comedy. I was not a fan of Wall-E, nor have I seen up, but I wouldn't be surprised if an animated movie gets a look next year given this expansion.

  • Riley says:

    couldn't agree more with craig - this will probably go down in history as the Dark Knight Bump. the main thing you missed in your list is Big Studio Blockbusters like DK, which would've gotten a chance for sure if this had happened last year. unfortunately, none of our blockbusters this year look to be as great as DK, so we probably won't see any of them, except maaaaaybe Star Trek if it's a really weak year. but i can definitely see it being difficult some years to fill up 10 great films.
    cheers
    KZ

  • blkbandit says:

    All this means is that more Holocaust films will be nominated.

  • dfree says:

    or The Dark Knight Bump....

  • Bret Sheeley says:

    They don't need more nominees to the Best Picture category. They need a new award: The 'Best "Actually Good" Movie' award. Where the artsy crap can battle it out for 'Best Picture', movies in tune with 'The Dark Knight', 'Star Trek', 'Naked Gun', or 'South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut' can go after the B"AG"M award instead.

  • ZZzzzzzz says:

    With every new year I just find less and less interesting about the Oscars, The overlong campaign period with way too much money spent grubbing for the statue, unoriginal, uninspired ads for marginal movies nominated for best picture (but using nebulous wording trying to make sound like it won the award already)really make it seem like the one who spends the most for the visibility is likely to take the statue home and why set the number of nominees? if there are 3 really outstanding flicks just nominate 3..if there are realistically 15 then nominate 15...but worthy from a technical, cinematic, craft standpoint not just popularity..

  • stretch65 says:

    GOODY! Land of the Lost has a chance
    CHAKA! CHAKA! CHAKA!

  • Eric Cooper says:

    I would love to see a film like Adventureland get a Best Picture nomination. It was perfect and definitely deserves a place. This is the type of film that would never get a nomination before, but maybe now....

  • Hollywood should have to make 5 great films a year before it widens its net to 10 nods. I'm of the minority opinion that 'Dark Knight' was overrated (the film itself gained from the 'promising actor struck down in the bloom of youth' bump) but is it worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of 'Benjamin Button'? Certainly.

  • elle says:

    There are people who feel they must see every nominated film before the awards, as if they actually have to vote on them. These people could potentially "need" to see five more films this season. As a movie theater employee, let me just say "YAY!" and hope these people buy soda or some popcorn as well. Perhaps my little movie theater won't be going out of business after all.

  • the joe says:

    the actioneer is wrong. how was the dark knight overrated, it wasnt even nominated (this is an oscar discussion page and not a general opinion page, right). he is right that it deserved to be nominated, but he was wrong in that it should have won. the oscar is a pretentious award used as an excuse for artsy people to pat themselves on the back. After TDK wasnt nominated i will be celebrating my second consecutive year of not watching them. YAY ME.

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