Avatar and Top Gun lead a rare Oscar year where big movies are Best Picture material

14 days ago Polygon

The 2023 Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, and the most popular movies of the year by box-office standards, Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick, both earned nominations for Best Picture. Remarkably, given how rare it is otherwise, this feat also happened again in the 1970s when massive hits The Sting and The Exorcist both earned Best Picture nominations in 1972. Perhaps most surprising was in 1970, when four of the top five movies got Best Picture nominations with Love Story, Airport, M*A*S*H, and Patton, which eventually won the award. And in those days there were only five slots in the Best Picture category. Elvis also took home eight nominations, including Best Picture, and made over $151 million at the domestic box office.
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