Does the box office predict awards?

Don’t confuse a successful box office movie with an award-winning movie.

It seems like some people are thinking that a movie that made a lot of money at the box office in 2022 is the best movie of 2022 so it will win a bunch of awards.  They’re predicting that movies like “Top Gun: Maverick”, “Avatar: The Way of Water”, and “Glass Onion” are going to get Academy Award nominations, and a few are predicting that they could even win an Academy Award.  While there have been a few Academy Award winners that have also had success in the box office, I don’t see that happening this year.

“Top Gun: Maverick” – The #1 domestic box office movie of 2022 (“Avatar: The Way of Water” managed to slip by it to be the #1 worldwide box office movie of 2022 – although some say it passed it on Jan 1 or 2 in 2023).  

So far it has received a lot of nominations plus a few wins for “Best Picture” (including the National Board of Review), and a bunch of wins for “Best Cinematography”.

While I enjoyed this movie a lot, I disagree that it’s one of the best movies of 2022.  It’s essentially just a remix of the original movie.  There are so many scenes that are reminiscent of the original movie.  There’s even a scene with some guys playing on the beach – although this movie adds a couple women to the scene.  I ended up wondering why there wasn’t a cameo from Meg Ryan or Kelly McGillis.  The main thing that’s different for this movie is the storyline, which looks suspiciously like the final moments of “Star Wars” (the original movie – now known as “Episode 4 – A New Hope”) when they’re trying to blow up the Death Star.

I will agree that this movie definitely has some great cinematography, however I completely disagree with this movie even being suggested as the best movie of the year.

“Avatar: The Way of Water” The #1 International box office movie of 2022 (around $1 billion internationally on the final day of 2022) and most people say it’s the #1 worldwide box office movie of 2022.  

So far, it has also received a lot of nominations including a couple “best film” awards and a bunch of “best visual effects” awards.

I have never seen the first movie and I probably will never see this movie.  There’s just something I don’t like about it.  To me, the trailers I’ve seen make this sequel look like a video game.  Also, I haven’t seen or heard anything that says this is the best movie of the year (other than the people predicting the award nominations/winners).

I do agree that this movie is a lock to win best visual effects awards.  I don’t think there is a movie that can come close to the visual effects in this movie.  However, visual effects alone don’t make a great movie.

Glass Onion” (After the writer/director of the movie said that he doesn’t like the “A Knives Out Mystery” tag, I just call it by its actual title).  I don’t know of a list of the biggest streaming movies of the year because how would you rate that.  The only thing you can rate is how many times the movie has been streamed (and every time could be 1 person watching or it could be 25 people watching).  However, if there was a way to rate it, I believe this movie would be high on the list of movies from 2022.  

So far, it has received some awards and nominations.  Mostly for best supporting actress and/or best adapted screenplay.

I have seen this movie 3 times so far.  Once in a movie theater when it played a limited run in movie theaters for 1 week during Thanksgiving.  A second time on Netflix.  Then, after reading about all the “best supporting actress” and “best screenplay” nominations I watched it a 3rd time just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I concluded that I didn’t miss anything.  I don’t think this movie has a good screenplay.  The 3rd time I saw it I was actually thinking that the storyline is even worse that I remembered it.  I could imagine this being nominated for best adapted screenplay because it takes a lot from the somewhat generic storyline that Agatha Christie and other mystery writers have made famous.  A group of people are isolated somewhere (maybe a train, or a boat, or in this case an island) and one of them gets killed.  

I wouldn’t be surprised if Janelle Monae gets a nomination for best supporting actress.  Not sure if she’s good enough to win but I think she is good enough to get nominated.

If you look back to a year ago, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was the #1 Domestic, International, AND Worldwide movie of 2021.  In fact, it’s currently higher than “Top Gun: Maverick” domestic gross (it’s the #3 all time domestic gross with $858 million vs #5 with $718 million) and currently higher than “Avatar: The Way of Water” (it’s $1.1 billion internationally vs $1.075 billion current internationally – worldwide it’s #6 with $1.9 billion vs #9 with $1.56 billion current internationally).  I remember a couple predictions that it could be nominated or even win – although not as much as this year’s predictions.  However, it only received 1 Academy Award nomination.  

Also, the #1 Domestic box office movie – “Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens” with $936 million domestic total – received 5 nominations (mostly for sound, editing, and visual effects) but didn’t win any Academy Awards and the #1 Worldwide box office movie – the original “Avatar” with $2.92 billion and $2.14 billion international box office – got 9 Academy Award nominations but only won 3 – best cinematography, visual effects, and art direction.  At the time, A LOT of people saying that movie would sweep the Academy Awards like “Titanic” did.

Unlike some other award shows, the Academy Awards are not a popularity contest.  That’s why the television ratings for the show are declining.  Viewers will often say that they haven’t seen any of the movies that were nominated and/or won.  However, most people consider them the most important award show because the people who vote for the awards work in the industry (or have worked in the industry in the past).  They’re voting for the actors, directors, writers, editors, etc. that they think made the best movies of the year.  Sometimes, the best movies of the year are also the biggest moneymakers of the year.  Other times – like in 2022 – they’re not.