In case you haven’t been following, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Academy made a few HUGE announcements on April 13th regarding the 93rd Academy Awards . The three big ones are as follows:
- For This Awards Year Only, Streamed Films To Be Eligible for Oscars®
- Going forward, the sound mixing and sound editing awards will be combined into one category: Best Sound.
- …the 93rd Oscars telecast is scheduled to air Sunday, February 28, 2021, on ABC
Even with these new rules, there’s still a big chance that we’ll see films in the coming days, weeks and months change their release dates to later this year, like THE FRENCH DISPATCH, SOUL, MULAN, TOP GUN: MAVERICK, NO TIME TO DIE, some moved to next year, like IN THE HEIGHTS, ETERNALS, KING RICHARD, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, and some are going straight to streaming, like ARTEMIS FOWL, SCOOB! and WORKING MAN.
Now if studios decide to move their films to streaming platforms to be able to contend for Oscars, movie theaters are done. They will be a thing of the past.
Let’s say that Disney, the biggest blockbuster studio decides to release BLACK WIDOW and ETERNALS straight to Disney+, instead of giving them theatrical runs, that is bad bad news, because I believe movie theaters cannot survive without these big blockbusters.
Films like JOJO RABBIT, Little WOMEN, PARASITE, even Tarantino films, those are simply not enough to sustain a movie theater in today’s world. So now that this rule exists, now that The Academy has given studios permission to skip a theatrical run, and go straight to streaming, why wouldn’t they?! It could be argued that it’s the smart move financially! Trolls World Tour made nearly $175 million, and Universal is making more money by sending it straight to digital, than if it had the same numbers and it went to theaters! AND, they are now eligible for the Oscars! So if I use that model, and I’m a studio, and I have the option to compete for an Oscar, AND make more money by sending my film straight to streaming, and the only disadvantage is that movie theaters will close… I’m nervous that it’ll be about the money, and convenience.
This is why I was hoping that the Oscars would postpone, because I am so nervous that studios will instead start to fall in line, and go straight to digital, and that will just continue until movie theaters have no possible way of re opening.
Now, there is the possibility that studios will keep pushing it back to give audiences the full experience of seeing a film the way it was intended, which will give the Academy even more to think about, and there’s also the possibility that studios go straight to streaming FOR NOW, and then when the world isn’t a hot mess, they go back to theaters! But at that point, will theaters even be a thing? I don’t know!
I expect for some big players to make announcements in the coming weeks regarding whether or not they’re changing their release dates, or if they’re going straight to digital, SO much is about to happen. But whatever happens, I just hope that going to the cinema is still a thing when this is all over.
But assuming that the Oscars still happen on Sunday, February 28th 2021, that means there are predictions to be made! Obviously, this can all change any day, and there are still a handful of films where we don’t know who will be lead vs supporting, original or adapted screenplay, only time will tell!
What are YOUR predictions? Do you agree with mine? Do you agree with the decision The Academy made?
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