Today the Producers Guild of America unveiled their top ten movies of the year. Just like the Academy Awards, they doubled their normal field of five nominations to ten. The Producers Guild Nominations are usually one of the most accurate indicators of what the Academy will honor in a few months.
While art house independent flicks normally dominate the PGA nominations, this year, science fiction blockbusters scored big with the guild. Star Trek, Avatar and District 9 took three of the ten spots. If the Oscar choices follow the same train of thought, the producers of the Oscar telecast should be very happy. Typically when the Academy honors popular blockbusters, the show gains mass appeal and score bigger ratings.
Generally TV viewership as a whole is declining and the Oscar show isn’t immune to this trend. The telecast is usually able to buck the trend when huge hits are in the running. 12 years ago when “Titanic” swept the ceremony, The Oscars had their biggest audience ever. With Avatar breaking box office records worldwide, expect James Cameron to prove he really is “the king of the world”.
By increasing the field to ten nominations, well reviewed blockbusters have a better shot of securing one of the coveted nominations. While the PGA nominations do a great job of predictions, they are not always on the money. Last year, “The Dark Knight”, 2008’s biggest commercial hit, earned a nomination from the PGA but was snubbed by the Academy.
Now is as good a time as ever to start doing your homework for your Oscar office pool. I guarantee at least 9 of these 10 choices will appear on the Academy’s list as well.