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Sean Hood

Sean Hood

Screenwriter, Professor, Blogger, Artist at Undergrids.com
  • So, Spielberg is arguing that Netflix movies, and other movies that are seen primarily via streaming are “TV movies” and as such shouldn’t be nominated for Oscars. I think that’s absurd, and that the argument is based on an old paradigm.

    In 1979, all five Oscar nominees for Best Picture were wide releases

    So, Spielberg is arguing that Netflix movies, and other movies that are seen primarily via streaming are “TV movies” and as such shouldn’t be nominated for Oscars. I think that’s absurd, and that the argument is based on an old paradigm.

    In 1979, all five Oscar nominees for Best Picture were wide releases and all top 20 at the Box Office. Heaven Can Wait and The Deer Hunter each had nine nominations each, and both were top ten at the Box Office. Almost all the major nominations (actor, supporting actor, director, etc.) went to films in the top twenty (with exceptions like Woody Allen nominated for directing Interiors.) Oscar nominated films accounted for a robust percentage of all theater tickets sold.

    By contrast The Favorite and Roma led Oscar nominations this year with ten each. The Favorite was number 86 at the box office, and Roma didn’t make the top 200 grossing films. The major nominations generally went to films not in the top 50.

    Check out the lists from 1979 and 2019 that I attached below. I marked movies that were nominated for best picture or some other major award. Most moviegoers had seen Heaven Can Wait or The Deer Hunter in theaters when the Oscars were broadcast.

    Black Panther, A Star is Born, and Bohemian Rhapsody were Oscar films that fit the old paradigm. But the vast majority of major nominations went to films that fewer than .1% movergoers had seen (or will see) in theaters.

    Award winning movies from Midnight Cowboy to Days of Heaven to Annie Hall to Taxi Driver and Raging Bull couldn’t get released today (and in the future) without a model like those used by Netflix or Amazon.

    99% of the people who see 2019’s best movies will stream them. I agree that a minimal theatrical run should be required for an Oscar (as is currently the case,) but Spielberg trying to differentiate between “TV movies” and real movies with a wide theatrical release is absurd.

  • I find browsing at well curated independent bookstores to be one reliable joy. I’m not sure I’m sorry to see the big chain finally go down, but I’m sad that so many people are losing access to the one bookstore left in their area.

  • I am new to The Quartz community, but I immediately notice that there are thoughtful responses on this story representing a range of political views. I am far left, but it important for me (all of us) to read “outside of the bubble,” whatever bubble we find ourselves in.