Blockbuster Movies That Were Robbed At The Oscars

Earlier this year, the king of blockbusters #JamesCameron claimed that the Academy Awards Voting Block contains an inherent bias against blockbuster features.

As far as Cameron is concerned, the Academy only gives #Oscars to movies that nobody really wants to see because these films reaffirm an actor’s ego instead of acknowledging the groundbreaking advances a blockbuster film can achieve.

It may be easy to dismiss Cameron’s words as a case of sour grapes, but closer examination of what the Academy has deemed to be worthy of the Best Picture award reveals his claim has more than a little truth embedded within. Blockbusters rarely get the Oscars love they deserve, even if they had a large impact on viewers and changed the world of filmmaking years after opening night.

It’s a problem that is overwhelmingly experienced by the #SciFi genre, which occurs so often we put together a separate list recognizing the best films that were overlooked by the Academy Awards.

The following are seven additional popular #blockbuster movies from various genres that were robbed of the highest of Academy Awards glory, the Oscar for Best Picture.

1. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ [Credit: Paramount Pictures]
  • Year Of Release: 1981
  • Directed By: Steven Spielberg
  • Box Office: $389.9 million
  • Should Have Won: Best Picture, Best Director

The modern action movie owes a lot to Harrison Ford’s famous fedora-wearing professor, #IndianaJones. Spielberg’s love letter to the serial adventures of his childhood days changed the way action movies told stories and proved to be so popular that it spawned three sequels, all of which accumulated over $900 million at the box office.

However, the Academy gave the Best Picture award to Chariots Of Fire. Indy’s first outing cemented the action hero’s place in the imaginations of a generation and pop culture relevance, while Chariots is often remembered for one particular scene that was parodied way too many times.

Watch the action-packed trailer for Raiders Of The Lost Ark below.

Spielberg’s talents as a blockbuster director would be overlooked time and time again, including his outstanding work on, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan which mirrored the fate of Raiders. It would take his Holocaust drama, Schindler’s List, for his unparalleled skills to finally be recognized by the Academy.

2. Dead Poets Society

'Dead Poets Society' [Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution]
‘Dead Poets Society’ [Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution]
  • Year Of Release: 1989
  • Directed By: Peter Weir
  • Box Office: $235.8 million
  • Should Have Won: Best Picture

#DeadPoetsSociety was a box office surprise in the year of its release. Even if it was a relatively simple biopic made for only $16 million, Dead Poets Society clicked with audiences and earned more than ten times its budget. Its main character, John Keating, became one of Robin Williams’ most beloved roles, earning him a nomination for Best Actor in the 1990 Oscars race.

But possibly because of its message of seizing the day and defying painfully outdated traditions, Dead Poets Society lost the Best Picture race to the more conservative Driving Miss Daisy. The latter has been criticized for its backwards views of race relations and has been accused of pandering to the older white members of the Oscar voting bloc. Dead Poets Society, on the other hand, is often quoted up to this very day, with the words spoken by #RobinWilliams ringing in many people’s ears:

“Carpe… Hear it?… Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Listen to Keating’s iconic speech again below.

3. Pulp Fiction

'Pulp Fiction' [Credit: Miramax]
‘Pulp Fiction’ [Credit: Miramax]
  • Year Of Release: 1994
  • Directed By: Quentin Tarantino
  • Box Office: $213.9 million
  • Should Have Won: Best Picture

#PulpFiction is the second and arguably most influential film from director #QuentinTarantino. Not only was Pulp Fiction a strong follow-up to his directorial debut Reservoir Dogs, but it was a genre-defying film that redefined what a movie could do for big screen storytelling.

Pulp Fiction quickly secured it’s place in popular culture and spawned countless imitators. However, the movie lost the Best Picture race to Forrest Gump in one of the biggest missteps committed by the Academy. Forrest Gump is by no means a bad movie, but compared to Pulp Fiction, it pales in comparison by being a by-the-numbers Oscar favorite.

The only award Pulp Fiction took home was for Best Original Screenplay – the sole Oscar trophy Tarantino can seem to win in spite of his continued cultural impact and the undying relevance of his films.

Relive one of the most memorable moments from Pulp Fiction below.

4. The Dark Knight/ Wall-E

'The Dark Knight' and 'Wall-E' [Credit: Warner Brothers/Pixar]
‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Wall-E’ [Credit: Warner Brothers/Pixar]
  • Year Of Release: 2008
  • Directed By: Christopher Nolan/ Andrew Stanton
  • Box Office: $1.005 billion/ $533.3 million
  • Should Have At Least Been Nominated For: Best Picture

In 2008, audiences were treated to a pair of films that changed the respective genres they reside in. Nolan’s second #Batman movie, #TheDarkKnight, transformed the superhero movie into a legitimate form of character study while #WallE from #Pixar showed the emotional power of animated visual storytelling.

The only reason why these movies are mentioned in the same breath is because they were released and snubbed in the same year. Not only were they given the token nominations for technical accomplishments, but these films were barred from the Best Picture race even though viewers and critics regarded them as game-changers. In their place were the usual biopics and dramas.

Because of the outrage from this dual mishap, the Academy’s hand was forced. The Best Picture list was then expanded to ten nominees, now with more room for blockbusters.

Watch an intense clip from The Dark Knight below.

5. Inception

'Inception' [Credit: Warner Brothers]
‘Inception’ [Credit: Warner Brothers]
  • Year Of Release: 2010
  • Directed By: Christopher Nolan
  • Box Office: $825.5 million
  • Should Have Won: Best Picture

The Academy gave Christopher Nolan’s #Inception eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture. As expected, Inception won the four technical achievements it was nominated for, but lost in every other creative category, including Best Original Screenplay. Nolan wasn’t even nominated for Best Director.

Inception not only became a pop culture juggernaut, but it is often credited for helping spark new life and interest in modern Science Fiction. However, the Oscar for Best Picture in 2011 was given to The King’s Speech – a historical biopic about two men talking about how to talk.

Watch the trailer for Inception below.

6. The Lego Movie

"First try!" 'The Lego Movie' [Credit: Warner Brothers]
“First try!” ‘The Lego Movie’ [Credit: Warner Brothers]
  • Year Of Release: 2014
  • Directed By: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
  • Box Office: $469.2 million
  • Should Have At Least Been Nominated For: Best Animated Feature

Even before its release, #TheLegoMovie seemingly had everything going against what many thought would be just another glorified advertisement for toys. The end result was a clever animated movie that made millions at the box office, and proved that there was more to the title than product placement.

The Lego Movie was not only ignored for the Best Animated Feature race, but also the competition for Best Picture. The Lego Movie doubled as a homage to the Lego legacy and a satirical stab at pop culture and society, and this innovation may have rubbed the traditionalist Academy voters the wrong way.

Upon hearing of the movie being ignored by the Academy, director Phil Lord refused to sulk and made his very own Oscar. The movie may have lost the race for the Best Original Song (the only Oscar nod it received), but at least its director will be happy with his very own home-made trophy.

— philip lord (@philiplord) January 15, 2015

7. Straight Outta Compton

'Straight Outta Comptoon' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
‘Straight Outta Comptoon’ [Credit: Universal Pictures]
  • Year Of Release: 2015
  • Directed By: F. Gary Gray
  • Box Office: $201.6 million
  • Should Have At Least Been Nominated For: Best Picture

Based on the lives of the members of the influential rap group #NWA, the biopic #StraightOuttaCompton was the surprise hit of 2015. Not only did it become the highest earning biopic based on a musician’s life, but it also became the top grossing film directed by a black filmmaker in America.

Straight Outta Compton was nominated for Best Original Screenplay – the only Oscar nod it received. This was questionable for some observers, since for a movie that empowered African Americans, the only nomination it got was the one for the predominantly white screenwriters. Alongside other movies with diverse casts and crews, Straight Outta Compton was ignored by the Academy, sparking the movement known as #OscarsSoWhite which demanded equal representation in the Oscars.

Ice Cube, who was a part of NWA, wasn’t affected by the backlash the movie caused. During his guest appearance on Wendy, Ice Cube had this to say:

Ice Cube at the premier [Credit: New York Daily News]
Ice Cube at the premier [Credit: New York Daily News]

Ice Cube: I’m not pissed. I’m not surprised. It’s the Oscars, they do what they do. The people loved the movie, the people supported the movie. It was No. 1 at the box office, over $200 million worldwide. I can’t be mad, you know.

'The Oscars' [Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]
‘The Oscars’ [Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences]

As prestigious as the Oscars may be, the awards ceremony does not have the final say on a movie’s lasting legacy and impact. Some of the most beloved popular movies never won a single Oscar trophy, let alone received a nomination. On the flip side, some of the biggest winners on Oscar night have faded into obscurity a few months after sweeping the competition.

The movies listed above are only some of the many other popular yet important films that were overlooked and some would consider their nominations to be nothing short of a miracle. At the end of the day, the number of awards films such as these won or lost bears little on their overall impact on viewers, and the Oscars they did bring home can be seen as consolation prizes.

What other blockbusters do you think have been unfairly snubbed by the Academy?

[Source: The Daily Beast]

What's Your Reaction?

Cry Cry
Cute Cute
Damn Damn
Dislike Dislike
Lol Lol
Like Like
Love Love
Win Win

Comments 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blockbuster Movies That Were Robbed At The Oscars

log in

Become a part of our community!

Don't have an account?
sign up

reset password

Back to
log in

sign up

Join BoomBox Community

Back to
log in
Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Trivia quiz
Open List
Ranked List