As AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER settles in for a long winter’s nap at the box office with no real competition for about six weeks, its release plan is well suited to driving it for Oscar consideration.
WATER is now the bright new shiny awards object to focus on after many months when other titles struggled to get into the early Oscar conversation and stay there. As WATER flows through the winter weeks with its cume escalating, awards voters will have an ongoing awareness of its success.
Because the Academy’s new far-flung globally diverse members typically ignore mainstream hits when they nominate best pictures, WATER’s timing is particularly good. Falling ratings for awards telecasts are now so serious a problem that awards givers realize they need something competing for the best picture that viewers have actually seen and will root for.
When WATER was still under wraps, media pundits called TOP GUN: MAVERICK the right kind of film — critically acclaimed & a box-office giant that kept theatres alive this year — to get the best picture nod. Later, some analysts also suggested GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY, despite its streaming roots.
Now with WATER, there’s a contender that actually straddles the worlds of art (with auteur filmmaker James Cameron — pictured) & money (with over $660M worldwide & growing daily). A best picture nom for WATER could be seen as the best solution to putting a mainstream movie in Oscar’s top race.