Weekly Radar (9 March, 2023)
Will the Top Gun movie soar high enough to be caught on the Academy’s radar?
Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick has soared to rarefied air this year, earning an impressive $2.22 billion at the worldwide box office. It finished $727 million ahead of the second-highest-grossing film of the year, Jurassic World Dominion, without even being released in China. Unless James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water pulls off something truly extraordinary at the box office in the next two weeks, Tom Cruise will own the highest-grossing film of the year.
But with the Oscars approaching, the question arises whether Top Gun: Maverick will be celebrated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, given their track record of not celebrating blockbusters. While the film has earned more at the box office than the past 15 or so best picture winners combined, it’s been almost two decades since the best picture winner crossed the box office’s billion-dollar threshold. Cruise’s likely competition this year includes classic Oscar bait such as Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical film The Fabelmans, Tar, a biopic starring Cate Blanchett, and the black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin.
Although Top Gun: Maverick is considered inferior to other films on artistic merit, it has the potential to generate headlines and attract viewers, given its box office success. And with the Academy’s complicated voting system, the best picture winner might not necessarily be the movie people feel most strongly towards, but rather the film that is most widely liked. In that context, can a film such as Top Gun: Maverick, which has defined 2022, fly through the danger zone and come out on top, winning the Best Picture Award? The Polkamarkets community is not holding its breath over this outcome, with the NO position currently priced at 0.589 GLMR. We will have to wait and see if the Academy will pull the popular card and please the public by awarding the undisputed blockbuster of 2022.
Will the Oscar for Best Leading Actress make history or fulfill a prophecy?
Michelle Yeoh is tipped to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Although most experts are evenly splitting the odds between Yeon and Cate Blanchet, there are plenty of reasons to believe history will be made this year by handing the Oscar to the Asian-Malayan Actress.
Firstly, Yeoh is in a winning momentum and has already grabbed the Golden Globe and, more recently, the SAG Award for Best Leading Actress. The industry has also previously recognized her range and talent, with a BAFTA nomination for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Her flashy and complex role in her latest performance helped her outdo Blanchett’s unsympathetic character in “Tár”. Yeoh’s portrayal of a despondent laundromat owner is both moving and complex, with her deftly navigating various versions of her character. On top of all these reasons, there is also the chance to break ceilings and make history by awarding Yeoh as the first Asian woman to accept the Best Actress Oscar: a distinction that would be a welcome display of inclusivity and diversity by the Academy.
But will all these arguments succumb to Cate Blanchett’s prophecy of winning an Academy Award every nine years? The two-time Academy Award winner of “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013) also leads the pole to possibly win her third for Todd Field’s psychological drama “Tár,” in which she plays a lesbian conductor who begins to lose her grip on power and reality. Her portrayal of Lydia Tár is characterized by extensive research, evident in her delivery of long and complex dialogues that showcase her profound knowledge of orchestral direction.
The race for the Best Actress Oscar couldn’t be tighter, but the Polkamarkets Community is leaning towards Yeoh’s historic win with the Yes position, currently priced at 0.638 MOVR. We are still a week away from the market resolution, so there is still plenty of time for you to land your predictions on who will take home such a coveted award.
Under the Polkamarkets Radar
Will 2023’s ceremony bring the shine back to the Golden Statues and its ratings?
Ratings for the Oscars have been steadily declining for years due to the shift in the cultural conversation and fragmentation of the entertainment landscape. And although the 2022 Oscars drew more viewers than last year’s record-low ceremony, it still fell well below prior years, with a 56% improvement over the 2021 ceremony, which drew an all-time low of 10.4 million viewers and prompted the Academy and ABC to shake up the program in an attempt to woo more viewers.
But insiders hope this year’s show will attract more casual moviegoers. This optimism stems from the inclusion of blockbusters such as “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and “Elvis” in the best picture mix. The highest rating for the Oscars was 55.3 million viewers in 1997, when “Titanic” dominated the box office. This year’s best picture race features two films that have grossed over $1 billion globally: “Avatar” and “Top Gun: Maverick.” In addition, academy leaders have attempted various measures to boost viewership, including proposing a “best popular film” award and launching a Twitter-voted fan-favorite prize.
The recent success of the Grammys, which drew 12.4 million viewers, up 30% from last year, suggests that awards shows may be rebounding. If the Oscars receive a similar bounce, it could attract around 20 million viewers, bringing it close to the pre-pandemic telecast in 2020, which had 23.6 million viewers. So will this year’s ceremony confirm the fading trend of this award show format, or will the Academy slap the face of most skeptics and deliver the excitement we all crave!? We’re still on time to land this question on Polkamarkets.
Polkamarkets is an Autonomous Prediction Market Protocol built for multi-chain information exchange and trading where users take positions on outcomes of real-world events–in decentralized and interoperable EVMs.