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Which titles could contend for the new Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film category?

HOLLYWOOD HEROES™: This new Oscar category has been on my mind. First of all, I’m curious if it’s truly going to be a slate of nominees, or if it might turn out to be something closer to the Honorary Academy Awards that are given out each year. Frankly, if it’s that, it would be less of an issue. If the Academy wants to hand out an Oscar to one blockbuster a year for a special contribution to cinema, that’s totally cool. It’s the whole category thing that potentially diminishes Best Picture. That’s a debate to continue at another time though. Today, I’m going to make a quick detour and look at what 2018 movies might actually compete in this category.

Assuming they have an actual list, like with any other category, the possibilities are endless. For the purposes of this article, we’ll make that assumption. From there, we can start to consider actually titles. Is it only a situation where giant blockbusters succeed? Is there an effort to not only embrace franchise films and sequels? Could Oscar bait that also makes bank get love too? These questions will be complete unknowns until literally the moment when the nominations are announced. For now, this is my best guess, with a tiny bit of reasoning, but keep this in mind…these are just shots in the dark.

Here are the five most likely “popular movies” to become the inaugural nominees:

1. Black Panther – Arguably the reason why this new category exists, this massive blockbuster is the third highest grossing film of all time. It was already considered a potential Best Picture nominee, so now we’ll have to wonder if it’ll be an either or situation. If this Marvel Cinematic Universe effort gets into this category, would Picture be easier or harder to get into as well? Time will tell. For the moment, this is the frontrunner in this category, by any measure.

2. Avengers: Infinity War – Another one of the biggest movies ever, this feels like the other big title, suggesting that the category could be a haven for the MCU. Disney has to be doing cartwheels over this. If the giant superhero team up doesn’t win this year, there’s always next year as well…

3. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – On everyone’s mind right as this announcement was made, the latest Tom Cruise showcase is more or less what this award would be made for. Then again, we have no idea how the Academy is actually thinking with this. Anything is possible, right?

4. A Quiet Place – Another case study in if this category will cite the “right” contenders is this surprise smash. A slot really should be reserved for this one, but again, who knows what voters will do this inaugural time out? We shall see, and John Krasinski certainly hopes that this original effort will be embraced.

5. Mary Poppins Returns – Never underestimate a Disney classic. The Mouse gets another bite at the apple here, in case they don’t go for Marvel (if they do, Ant-Man and the Wasp is right there for a nomination as well). Plus, in case you want an alternate, they have Pixar effort Incredibles 2 that has a great shot. For now, there’s a chance that Marry Poppins is a smash hit, so thats where the final spot goes to today.

Next in line would be these five contenders, to make up a top ten in the newly created category:

6. Incredibles 2
7. Deadpool 2
8. Ant-Man and the Wasp
9. Aquaman
10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Finally, 20 more possibilities, so we have a top 30 list:

11. A Star is Born
12. First Man
13. Crazy Rich Asians
14. Creed II
15. Ready Player One
16. Bohemian Rhapsody
17. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
18. Ocean’s 8
19. Ralph Breaks the Internet
20. Solo: A Star Wars Story
21. Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
22. Hereditary
23. Alita: Battle Angel
24. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
25. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
26. Peter Rabbit
27. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
28. Bumblebee
29. The Meg
30. Venom

Stay tuned to see what happens with this category!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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