The Broadcast Film Critics Association has made an unexpected, but not unprecedented, move adding Star Wars: The Force Awakens to its list of Best Picture nominees.
Every year, the association makes ten Best Picture nominations and already made them earlier this year. The move adds the science fiction sequel to a list that includes The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Sicario, and Spotlight. The association said they made the decision to add the movie after an overwhelming number of its members said they didn’t vote for the film because Disney offered a very limited number of critic screenings. The association made a similar decision in 2000 for Cast Away.
The decision will make for a much more crowded pool of best picture Oscar nominees. Last year the Academy’s nominations closely followed that of the Critics Association. While the Academy nominates anywhere between 5-10 films for their Best Picture award, they typically include one or two blockbusters or box office hits in their nominations. The majority opinion appears to be that Mad Max: Fury Road will fill that spot but the Critics Association’s decision puts that assumption in question as Mad Max, while well regarded, wasn’t a financial hit by any standard.
The Force Awakens continues to be a box office juggernaut. Most recently the movie broke the Monday box office record by pulling in $40.1 million dollars.
We’ll have more on awards nominations and wins as the 2015 awards season kicks into high gear.