The Oscars snubs this year were glaring, but the 2019 box office shows why Hollywood's future is bright
- The Oscars snubbed many women and people of color, and the movies they made, when nominations were announced on Monday.
- Jennifer Lopez lost out on a nomination for her performance in "Hustlers" and no women were nominated in the directing category, for instance.
- But the good news is that many of these movies, from "Hustlers" to "The Farewell," have performed well at the box office and will no doubt open up new opportunities for those involved.
- If filmmakers like Greta Gerwig ("Little Women"), Lulu Wang ("The Farewell"), and Jordan Peele ("Us") keep making buzzy, non-franchise movies with diverse casts, the Oscars could look very different in the future.
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The Oscar nominations were announced on Monday and, like every year, there were major snubs.
Among the most egregious snubs: Jennifer Lopez wasn't nominated for best supporting actress for her role in "Hustlers"; Lupita Nyong'o wasn't nominated for her dual role in Jordan Peele's horror-thriller, "Us"; Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was completely shut out, even from the actress category after Awkwafina won a Golden Globe. And, once again, no women were nominated for best director - not even Greta Gerwig, whose update of the literary classic "Little Women" scored a best-picture nomination.
The snubs sparked controversy over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - the Oscars voting body - overlooking women and people of color (Cynthia Erivo was the only acting nominee of color, in lead actress for "Harriet").
But while the omissions were glaring, the future is still bright for Hollywood.
Why? Hollywood is still a land ruled by the box office, and those aforementioned snubbed movies were some of the biggest breakouts of 2019.
- "Us," Peele's followup to "Get Out," was the highest-grossing original movie of 2019 in the US, with $192 million domestically. It earned $255 million worldwide off of a $20 million production budget.
- "Hustlers," directed by Lorene Scafaria, scored $157 million worldwide and was made for $20 million. It's the rare non-franchise movie to gross over $100 million in the US.
- "The Farewell" was produced for just $4 million and made nearly $20 million.
- And "Little Women" is surging at the box office. It's made $75 million domestically and over $100 million globally. It was made for $40 million and its will surely get a boost from its Oscar nominations.
Their success not only suggests a bright future for the filmmakers - all of whom are women or people of color - but that low-to-mid-budget, non-franchise movies are still alive and well. Other snubbed films - like the anxiety-inducing "Uncut Gems," starring Adam Sandler, and Rian Johnson's murder-mystery, "Knives Out" - are also examples of this.
"Uncut Gems" was completely shut out despite critics raving about Sandler's performance and "Knives Out" only managed a screenplay nod, even though it was in the best-picture conversation. But the former has grossed $43 million and is on its way to becoming the indie studio A24's biggest movie ever. And the latter has scored $265 million globally off of a $40 million budget.
They are wins for original films despite the Oscars overlooking them, which is ultimately a good thing for Hollywood.
While 2019 was a year dominated by Disney franchise movies at the global box office, it also showed that audiences will go to the theater for exciting original or non-franchise movies with diverse casts and buzzy word-of-mouth.
Because of that, filmmakers like Lulu Wang, Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele, Lorene Scafaria, and more will likely be able to get the financing necessary to keep making these kinds of movies for years to come. And the Academy will (hopefully) pay attention next time.
Despite the Academy's choices, audiences in 2019 showed that Hollywood's future is bright.
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