Monday, January 31, 2011

2010 Releases of Oscar Contender Films

One of my hopes when the change over the past couple years with the Oscars having a 10 film race is that Oscar-worthy films wouldn't all be sandwiched into release dates all in the last six weeks of the year.

Here's a look at the non-festival US release dates for this year's 10 films at an idea of what award season with a 10 film race was this year. Like last year when I compiled this list it is pretty clear that award season even in a 10 film race won't start until Summer, although it is worth looking at both the big studio films and the Indy films that come out even in the summer.

I like how this picture indicates the potential for a longer award season though, and hope that studios will consider a wider range of calendering possibilities for their award-worthy films.

Winter's Bone (June 11, 2010)
Toy Story 3 (June 18, 2010)
The Kids Are All Right (July 9, 2010)
Inception (July 16, 2010)
The Social Network (October 1, 2010)
127 Hours (November 5, 2010)
The King's Speech (November 26, 2010)
Black Swan (December 3, 2010)
The Fighter (December 10, 2010)
True Grit (December 22, 2010)

(Pictured above Jennifer Lawrence from the critically acclaimed and best picture nominated film Winter's Bone.)


Derek Armstrong said...

One thing I think is interesting to note is that the movie usually needs to come out by Christmas in order to make the short list. It seems like five or ten years ago, the studios were cramming in Oscar contenders that didn't go wide until mid-January, and they were still getting nominated. For example, I remember that Million Dollar Baby didn't go wide until the beginning of 2005. No longer does a film that gets a token release in LA and New York before December 31st really seem to have a shot at a best picture nomination. And I think that may be a conscious thing -- as much as any decision made by a large body of people can be said to be "conscious" -- to try to tap into the zeitgeist a bit more with the list of contenders. You'd think that having ten nominees would allow them to sneak in a few late movies (things like The Way Back and Biutiful this year), but speaking only anecdotally, it doesn't seem like that's happening.

RC said...

That's true - I've noticed that as well in some sense and questioned whether that's a worthwhile strategy, especially with so many awards group recognizing films beginning early December and those late limited release films not getting traction with those groups.

How much more successful would have Biutiful or The Way Back (or even Rabbit Hole) had been as September or early October releases?

Derek Armstrong said...

Not sure, but Rabbit Hole was in my top 10 for the year, so I hope that the reason it hasn't been more recognized (other than Nicole Kidman's performance) is that it got lost in the shuffle. I haven't seen either of the other two, although I will say that Peter Weir's film didn't look all that great to me, other than it being directed by Weir.