Major Oscar Contenders Everywhere, and Nobody’s Watching Them (AWARDS 2015)

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In a sudden move, Steve Jobs just got yanked from 2,000 screens across the country. It was the exclamation point on the most underwhelming first phase of an Oscar season in quite some time.

Talk about not living up to the hype. While most of the season’s early Oscar-contenders have been well-reviewed and, therefore, met expectations regarding caliber and quality, the opposite has been true at the box office.

Brent Lang, a film analyst for Variety, breaks down the unexpectedly peculiar Awards season so far (click here). Aside from solid returns by Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies, Lang goes through the laundry list of movies that were supposed to be competing but now, due to empty theaters, have become dark horses or full-fledged long shots.

Moreover, the upcoming crop yet to be released doesn’t look like the type of fare that will break through. That could leave open the once-thought-unlikely possibilities of The Martian, Creed, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens vaulting up from minor awards to competing in all major categories.

For what it’s worth, I expect Steve Jobs to emerge as a major competitor. It should do well with critics groups and The Golden Globes (which announce nominees mid-December), and once we get past the holidays Universal will probably relaunch the film nationally, using critics awards to drive the marketing campaign.

Still, with no obvious front runner (which is usually established by this point), 2015/16 looks to be one of the more interesting and up-in-the-air awards seasons we’ve ever seen.

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