All around Hollywood, awards pundits are battling over the Oscar chances of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and Gold Derby’s website staff editors think they know the answer. In lieu of light sabers, we bring something even more fearful to our new Best Picture predictions slugfest: our opinions. Watch our new video focused on this seventh film in the “Star Wars” franchise below, and then be sure to make/update YOUR Oscar predictions.
“We know that in general, franchise films do not do well,” reminds Gold Derby’s editor-in-chief and president Tom O’Neil. “There are exceptions, of course. ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’ ended up winning, ‘The Godfather Part 2’ won. But this also has the curse of sci-fi against it. To this day, no sci-fi movie has ever won Best Picture.” See Tom’s updated Oscar predictions.
“Star Wars” shattered box office records this weekend, making a staggering $238 million for Disney in its first four days. That outpaces all-time box office champ “Avatar,” which won three of its nine Oscar bids back in 2009 but lost Best Picture to “The Hurt Locker.”
However, when comparing “Star Wars” to “Avatar,” senior editor Daniel Montgomery makes note of their differing critical scores. “‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ actually has a much higher score at Rotten Tomatoes than ‘Avatar’ did. It’s in the mid-90s for ‘Star Wars’ and I think it was in the low-80s for ‘Avatar,’ which sort of indicates that film was a little bit more divisive.” See Daniel’s updated Oscar predictions.
“The original got nominated for Best Picture back in 1977,” remarks executive editor Paul Sheehan. “Well, guess what, gang? Lots of Oscar voters now were probably members of the academy then. This is an older group. They are gonna go to this ‘Star Wars’ with their grandchildren and they’re going to be so nostalgic.” See Paul’s updated Oscar predictions.
One person who didn’t care for the original trilogy, senior editor Marcus James Dixon, has become an overnight fan thanks to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” “I think that’s really important because you guys who liked the originals like this one, and then there’s cynical me who also liked this one. I don’t know how they did it, but they got old fans to come back and they got new fans to appreciate it for the first time.” See Marcus’ updated Oscar predictions.
Managing editor Chris Beachum concludes, “I’m thinking about the fact that it is going to be all through the Oscar period the single most discussed movie. I’m also thinking about how we normally rely on things like Golden Globes and SAG Awards, but they didn’t have a chance to see it … just like last year with ‘American Sniper,’ which did get into Best Picture at the Oscars.” See Chris’ updated Oscar predictions.
All of our editors have updated their Oscar predictions to include “Star Wars” in their individual Best Picture lineups. And while they still give “Spotlight” leading 9/2 odds to win the Oscar, “Star Wars” has jumped into their sixth position (11/1 odds) on our Best Picture chart ahead of “The Big Short” (14/1 odds), “Brooklyn” (16/1 odds) and “Bridge of Spies” (20/1 odds). See more of our editors’ Oscar predictions.
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“Star Wars” logo and characters: Disney