Academy members finish voting Feb. 27 and we'll know the results Mar. 4, but will anyone but the Oscar winners really care?


The Oscars, themselves, are now the last car on a long awards railroad that's been chugging along since last fall's film festivals. By now we've seen so many similar red carpet arrivals and passionate acceptances that the Academy's own show is something of an anti-climax.


Overwhelming media coverage of all those lesser awards elevates them to event status. With the same films, filmmakers and stars having dominated the season, there's little likelihood of huge Oscar surprises.


Moreover, most of the top contenders are small indie films that haven't been seen by enough moviegoers nationwide to create real excitement about who will win. That's a recipe for soft Oscar ratings as are the political and cultural protests that have dominated recent  awards shows and made them less glamorous.


None of this is likely to change. The other awards shows aren't going to go away nor is the Academy likely to end its love affair with critically driven indie dramas. What Oscar needs is a new category to celebrate mainstream studio hits.




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The boxoffice came back to life with "BLACK PANTHER," but the question now is whether there's life after "BP?"


Last weekend saw a hefty hold for Disney/Marvel's "BP" with $108M (-47%). With $400M domestic and $304M internationally, its global cume is $704M.


Ticket sales, per comScore's Paul Dergarabedian, were $192M, up 54.5% from $124.3M last year. 2018's up 12.7% from 2017 vs. up 6.1% a week ago.


There aren't any "BP" size events until Disney/Marvel's "AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR" arrives May 4, but some likely hits are on the way, including:


MARCH: Fox's R spy thriller "RED SPARROW" with (pictured at London premiere) Jennifer Lawrence (3/2 at 2,900 theatres); Disney's PG family fantasy "A WRINKLE IN TIME" with Reese Witherspoon (3/9); WB's PG-13 action adventure "TOMB RAIDER" with Alicia Vikander (3/16); Universal's sci-fi action adventure sequel "PACIFIC RIM UPRISING" with Scott Eastwood (3/23); and WB's PG-13 sci-fi action fantasy "READY PLAYER ONE" from Steven Spielberg (3/29).


APRIL: Universal's horror thriller "TRUTH OR DARE" from Blumhouse Productions (4/13); and WB/NL's sci-fi action adventure "RAMPAGE" with Dwayne Johnson (4/20).