Sunday, February 24, 2008

If Box Office Strongly Correlated With Academy Award Nods

Last year I entertained the tought, "what if Academy Award nominees for best Actor strongly correlated with the domestic box office."

That led last year's best actor nominees based on box-office stats something like...

Johnny Depp (Pirates 2), Ben Stiller (Night at The Museum), Hugh Jackman (X-Men: The Last Stand, unless he was campaigned supporting), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), and Tom Hanks (Da Vinci Code).

2007's box office leads would place the following men in the top 5 best lead actors:

  • Tobey Maguire, Spider Man 3
  • Shia Lebouf, Transformers
  • Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean at World End
  • Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
  • Will Smith, I Am Legend

Interestingly enough Depp has scored a real nod, but for Sweeney Todd...but I imagine people will of course make complaints tonight during the Academy Awards and for all eternity that nominated actors aren't from "popular movies," or "real movies," or "movies that any one on the planet earth really cares about." And frankly that's crazy. This year had some excellent movies and some excellent stars.

I can understand, but do not endorse the complaint. This year's best Actor nominees do come from movies with weaker box offices, and the Women nominee's have even weaker box offices (but you can't blame the women...there simply were so few strong quality roles for women in 2007). The highest grossing movie that stars an academy nominated male is Sweeney Todd (currently at $52 million, the lowest Tommy Lee Jones' in the Valley of Elah with $6 million...Michael Clayton, Eastern Promises, and There Will Be Blood all fall between those two pics in box office grosses)

But the better question at hand is which of the following 5 top male movie leaders deserve credit for their acting and pushing these films to box office success? While Depp and Smith have received academy nods before will these other three guys ever receive Academy recognition, or will they only show the heat in the big box-office?

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