You’d be forgiven if you mistook this year’s MTV Movie Awards for another stop on the Oscar campaign trail. An unusually high number of prestige films and performances are in contention. Does that mean we can expect fan voters to turn over a new leaf by siding with the academy? Well, maybe not.
Three out of five Female Performance nominees were also up for Oscars: Amy Adams (“Hustle”), Sandra Bullock (“Gravity“), and winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years”). It’s four if you include Jennifer Lawrence, nominated by MTV for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” but an Oscar contender for “Hustle.”
Four out of the five Male Performance nominees were also cited by Oscar: Bradley Cooper (“Hustle”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Wolf of Wall Street”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years”), and champ Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“).
The deck is pretty well stacked in favor of highfalutin cinema, but that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily see an MTV sweep for “12 Years a Slave.” The last time MTV’s Best Movie winner was among Oscar’s Best Picture lineup was 10 years ago: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”won the top prize at both awards.
An Oscar contender won over the MTV audience six other times prior to that: “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2003), “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2002), “Gladiator” (2001), “Titanic” (1998), “Pulp Fiction” (1995), and “A Few Good Men” (1993).
Most of those were big-budget extravaganzas, and even the ones that weren’t – “Pulp Fiction” had an $8 million price tag and “A Few Good Men” cost $40 million – were big box office hits, but these days even those two films might struggle to find favor with the changing MTV crowd.
Consider the teen-skewing “Twilight” franchise. Those films won Best Movie four years in a row (2009-2012), taking down Oscar fare like “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Black Swan,” “The Social Network,” and “The Help.” Even bona fide blockbusters like “Avatar” and “Inception” were no match for “Twilight’s” tween machine.
Last year the “Twilight” finale, “Breaking Dawn, Part 2,” was snubbed in the top category, but even then the Oscar contenders – “Django Unchained” and “Silver Linings Playbook” – couldn’t get past the category’s biggest hit: the $1.5 billion-grossing “The Avengers.”
This year’s top grossing nominee at the domestic box office is “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” ($423 million, more than any other film of 2013) though the biggest hit internationally is “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” ($922 million worldwide).
Which one of these films will take the prize this year? Sound off in the comments section below.