With the 85th Academy Awards over and done with, it's clear who the winners of the show were. Argo, Life of Pi, Django Unchained and Les Miserables won big, and rightfully so, but just as important as the winners of the Oscars were, it's just as important to look at who was snubbed.
The Avengers, was the the undisputed box office king of 2012 having pulled in approximately $623,357,910, which makes it the most profitable comic book movie of all time. The next highest grossing movie was The Dark Knight Rises, which was also a comic book movie. The next nerd movie on the list was the Hobbit at #5, The Amazing Spider-Man (7), and Prometheus (23). This major surge from 2011's box office earnings list (which didn't have comic book movie until #10) shows that nerd is the new normal, and more importantly, is where the money is. So why aren't these films being represented at the Oscars?
A common argument against the proliferation of sci-fi blockbusters at the Oscars is that, despite a movie making a ton of money, it may not necessarily be a good movie (see Transformers). However, The Avengers holds a 92% "fresh" rating on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, which means that The Avengers was rated higher than every single Best Picture nominee excluding Argo, Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, and it tied with Silver Linings Playbook. The Avengers, a movie only nominated in one category, was declared by critics to be better than 6/10 Best Picture nominees, so where was the Oscar love for The Avengers? Oh right, it was in the Best Achievement in Visual Effects category, and it didn't even win. The biggest blockbuster of the year, and a critical darling failed to win the only Oscar that it was nominated for.
This coming year may be the breakout year for truly legitimatizing sci-fi and comic book movies for the world of cinema. With releases such as: Man of Steel, Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3, Elysium, Pacific Rim, Oblivion and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 2013 is going to be a good year for any sci-fi or comic book nerd. The real bonus that these films have going into this upcoming film (and subsequent Awards) season is that there is real legitimacy behind these films. Pacific Rim boasts the talents of Guillermo del Toro, Elysium has Matt Damon, Oblivion features Tom Cruise and Man of Steel, Star Trek, and Iron Man 3 already have a decent pedigree preceding them.
So this very well may be the year that the Academy chooses to acknowledge all excellent films, especially sci-fi films which have been historically snubbed. The Academy may also be forced into ending the exclusion of sci-fi movies by the revival of the Star Wars franchise which will undoubtedly be a heavy favorite in the 86th Academy Awards (unless, of course, it ends up looking like Episode II: Attack of the Clones).
The Academy Awards in 2014 may have the slew of nominees that nerd culture deserves. Until next year, there is no way to know for sure, but I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing the results of love and effort.