While there’s often a difference between what movie titles are popular with the average person and what movie titles are popular with the average Academy Award voter, it’s not as often that we hear an actual person associated with the Oscars blatantly knock on a populist title.
That’s not true this time, however, as an anonymous Oscar voter gave a lot of really blunt opinions about Best Picture nominees, including taking a jab at the Avengers-based movies, which he feels do not deserve an Oscar. He said:
First Man should have been nominated for Best Picture — it probably came in ninth or tenth — and its visual effects are pretty amazing. I think they were produced more on a stage — with models and old-school stuff — than the other nominees', which relied more on CGI, and I really respect that. There's just no way on earth that I will ever vote for anything with the word Avengers in the title; like a lot of people in the Academy, I don't respect money-grabs.
THR is the outlet that spoke with the voter, and from what we know about the unnamed person, he’s a dude and a director who votes as part of the 519-person director’s branch.
It’s interesting because there are often conversations about the differences between the critics and the audience, but this puts the lack of respect from some awards voters about what Disney and Marvel put out with the first 22 franchise movies right at the forefront.
When the 2019 Oscars nominations were officially announced, Avengers: Infinity War was largely absent except for a nod for Best Visual Effects. Marvel’s Black Panther fared better, nabbing a Best Picture nomination and other nods in numerous categories.
Black Panther ended up winning for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score, but it missed out on the coveted Best Picture Award, which went to Green Book. Marvel Ceo Avi Arad would go on to say he was “heartbroken” about the loss. Clearly, though, this director voter doesn’t feel the same way.
Ultimately, this sort of goes to show you that the people who are making the decisions during awards season are not always on the same page as people who are actually going out and spending money on tickets. So far, for example, Avengers: Endgame has made over $2.7 billion at the box office. Given this year's awards haven't been voted on yet, there's still a chance Endgame could earn nods at the 2020 Oscars, too.
Just the fact that Black Panther earned a Best Picture nod was a step in the right direction for superhero movies to be taken seriously, but it may be some time before one of those “Avengers” movies gets a nod, particularly given we don't know very much about the direction Marvel's Phase Four is headed in.
Outside of this anonymous director, however, there are plenty of people who do feel movies like Black Panther deserve nominations on the biggest movie night of the year. As time passes, we'll have to wait and see whether or not enough minds are changed about the prospect.