Oscars

Adaptations Rule Oscars 2000-2018

by John Robert Marlow

And the winner is…the adaptation. Movies based on other things have dominated the Academy Awards for decades. More recently (2000-2018), well over half of all “Big Five” Academy Awards have gone to adaptations. (Click here for a definition of “adaptation”.)

The “Big Five” categories are Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Writing. The Best Writing category actually consists of two subcategories: Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay—though as we’ll see, many “original” screenplays (and, therefore, the movies based on them) are actually adaptations. Read more…

Adaptations Are 64% of 2017 Major Oscar Nominations

by John Robert Marlow
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The long-trending dominance of adaptations continues in 2017, with 28 of 44 (or 64% of) major-category Academy Award nominations. This year, 6 of the 9 Best Picture nominees are based on a book, true-life story, play or short story.

The 5 nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay are adaptations—but so is one of the 5 Best Original Screenplay nominees.

Likewise, 4 of 5 Best Actress nods go to performances in movies based on other works. Ditto 2 of 5 Best Actor noms.

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The same goes for 4 of 5 Best Supporting Actress nods, and 3 of 5 Best Supporting Actor nominees.

Finally, 3 of the 5 Best Director nominations go to directors of adaptations.

Last year (2016), 100% of major category wins (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress) were for adaptations, or work on adaptations. (See this post for details.)

Given this year’s numbers, adaptations should make another strong showing on Oscar night. (Details on specific adaptations below.) Read more…

Adaptation Nation: Adapted Works Rule 2016 Oscars and Box Office

by John Robert Marlow
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For more than a decade, Hollywood adaptations have claimed a steadily growing share of box office receipts and Academy Award nominations. This year marks a new high point in this long-trending dominance.

As of March 29, 80% of the top 10 (and 76% of the top 50) highest-grossing films of all time are adaptations. Of this year’s 42 major-category Oscar nominations, 39—or 93%—are for adaptations or work on adaptations. Seven of the eight Best Picture nominees are based on books, true stories, or both—and no. 8 is a remake (or adaptation, if you will) of an earlier movie.

The five nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay are of course adaptations—but so are 3 of the 5 Best Original Screenplay nominees (which are based on true-life stories). Add 5 of 5 Best Director nods and very nearly every acting nomination, and 2016 is already a near-total sweep at box office and Oscars. It’s quite possible that, come Oscar night, adaptations will score 100%.

2016 OSCAR UPDATE: 100% of this year’s major category wins (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress) were for adaptations, or work on adaptations.

With that in mind, here’s a quick look at how this year’s Best Picture nominees—all of them adaptations—made it to the big screen. Read more…

Adaptations Sweep 2016 Oscar Nominations

by John Robert Marlow
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The long-trending dominance of adaptations is now complete. In a
near-total sweep of the top Academy Award nominations (39 of 43 noms), 7 of the 8 Best Picture noms are based on a book or true-life story (or both)—and number 8 is a reboot of an earlier movie (making it an adaptation as well).

Details on the works that spawned all but 4 of this year’s major Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and Director) follow. Read more…