With the calendar year winding down, some are already looking ahead to figure out what movies might be up for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards. While most of the big awards-season movies don't hit theaters until November or December, some fans are hoping that this summer's blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road will get some Oscar love when the nominations are announced in January. The film was both a critical and commercial hit, earning an impressive 97% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while taking in $153.6 million domestic and $374.7 million worldwide, from a $150 million budget. As it turns out, Warner Bros. is giving Mad Max: Fury Road an awards campaign, with critic Mike McGranahan spotting the studio's "For Your Consideration" ad.
The ad reveals that the studio is pushing Mad Max: Fury Road to be considered for Best Picture (producers George Miller, Doug Mitchell and P.J. Voeten), Best Director (George Miller), Best Actor (Tom Hardy), Best Actress (Charlize Theron), Best Supporting Actor (Nicholas Hoult) and Best Original Score (Tom Holkenborg, a.k.a. Junkie XL). Warner Bros. is setting up "for your consideration" screenings in late October and early November in Los Angeles for Academy voters. We won't know how the Academy voters will respond to this action-thriller, so we'll have to wait and see.
The Academy has a long history of shunning big-budget genre movies, with the exception of The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King, which won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Picture. Other blockbusters such as Avatar, District 9, Inception and Gravity have been nominated for Best Picture in recent years, but all of those have come after 2009, the first year that the Academy expanded the Best Picture field to include up to 10 nominees. It's possible that Mad Max: Fury Road could have a shot at Oscar gold in these categories, but that may depend on whether or not the Academy decides to keep its existing Best Picture rules in play.
Back in March, just a few weeks after the 87th Annual Academy Awards, a report surfaced that the Academy members were considering shifting back to five Best Picture nominees for the 2016 Oscars. This came after the ratings for this year's telecast were the worst since 2008, the year where Warner Bros.' blockbuster The Dark Knight was snubbed and lead to the Best Picture expansion. The Academy hasn't officially announced whether or not this change will happen yet, but a "significant fraction" of the Academy's 6,000 members have reportedly been pushing for the shift back to five nominees.
Much like Avatar, District 9, Inception and Gravity before it, Mad Max: Fury Road was widely beloved by critics and performed rather well at the box office, but they all came up empty in the major awards. Do you think Mad Max: Fury Road has any shot of scoring Oscar nominations this January? Check out Warner Bros.' Oscar consideration ad below, and stay tuned for more details.