Back when perennial Oscar bridesmaid Bob Hope used to host the show, he’d quip, “Welcome to the Academy Awards–or as it’s known at my house, Passover.”
The Oscars aren’t passing over Hope anymore–he’s gone on to the great back nine in the sky. And increasingly, we’re the ones doing the passing over, both on Oscar night itself, and at the box office, based on the returns of the films the award show is championing. As screenwriter Andrew Leigh notes:
Best Picture prediction? It doesn’t matter, nobody’s going to be watching. The average box office for the Best Picture nominees is the lowest since 1984. And Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show has half the ratings of Conan O’Brien. So we have an Oscar broadcast celebrating movies nobody saw, hosted by a TV host nobody watches. My prediction: The lowest ratings in 20 years.
Meanwhile, Evan Coyne Maloney notes a recent change in Hollywood’s message:
I think George Clooney is great for Hollywood. For years, Hollywood churned out films with embedded political messages, but nobody wanted to admit it. Now, George Clooney and affiliated production company Participant Productions are quite explicit that their goal is to produce films that encourage left-wing activism. So, going from denying bias to admitting it is a step in the right direction.
Absolutely–and it’s worth noting, as we did early in 2004, that the news media has been increasingly more willing to admit its biases. It’s good to see entertainment joining them.