Art and Experience:

Zack Snyder’s zombie action movie “Army of the Dead” won the fan-favorite Oscar, a brand new category, during Sunday night’s award show. Snyder also took home the new “Oscars Cheer Moment” award for “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”

The Academy introduced the award as a way to honor more mainstream, popular movies and box-office hits that Academy members may have overlooked — and to attract more viewers and boost the slumping Oscars ratings. From Feb. 14 through March 3, Twitter users voted for their favorite film of 2021, even if it didn’t receive a single Oscar nomination.

In fifth place was “Tick, Tick … Boom,” followed by “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in fourth, Johnny Depp’s “Minamata” in third and “Cinderella” starring Camila Cabello in second place.

 

 

In late February, the Academy revealed the top 10 films in the running for the fan-favorite award. The other films in the running were James Wan’s horror “Malignant,” the animated musical “Sing 2” and James Gunn’s DC superhero film “The Suicide Squad.” Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune” and Jane Campion’s Western “The Power of the Dog,” both of which secured multiple Oscar nominations, were also on the fan-favorite leaderboard.

 

It makes sense that “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” which crossed $800 million domestically this weekend, and “Dune,” the highest-grossing best picture nominee with $400 million worldwide, would wind up as fan-favorites, but other selections seemed odd. Since the votes were tabulated by Twitter, super fans’ social-media prowess were likely at play. Snyder, Depp and Cabello all have large, passionate fan bases that were willing to flood Twitter with votes, as Variety’s Adam B. Vary wrote after the top 10 films were announced.

The Academy and Twitter also partnered on the “Oscars Cheer Moment” category, where voters chose their all-time favorite movie moment. The top winner was from “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” where Ezra Miller’s Flash taps into the Speed Force. That scene was followed by the Spider-Men team-up in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” the final battle in “Avengers: Endgame,” Jennifer Hudson signing “And I’m Telling You” in “Dreamgirls” and Neo dodging bullets in “The Matrix.”

The Snyder love was strong at the Oscars, where a plane flew a banner demanding that Warner Bros. and Discovery restore Snyder’s version of the DC Comics universe.

Three lucky Twitter users who participated will be selected for an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to present an Oscar award at next year’s award show. Five additional people will also receive tickets to a full year of free movies in a theater of their choice, streaming subscriptions and exclusive items from the Academy Museum Store.

This year’s fan-voted categories aren’t the first time the Oscars have experimented with awarding more mainstream movies. In 2019, the show tested the waters with a “most popular film” category that was envisioned to bring in more commercial films to the awards race. However, it was short-lived and removed after pushback from critics and Oscar voters.

Source: Variety