Paramount Pictures is going to walk away empty-handed at this year's Oscars.
According to The Wrap, the Viacom-owned company is the first major studio—or studio-owned indie division—to get zero Academy Award nominations since 2003. It’s a pretty notable snub considering Paramount had a banner year in 2017, earning 18 Oscar nods spread out over seven films, including 13 Hours, Arrival, Fences, Star Trek Beyond, and Florence Foster Jenkins.
So, what exactly happened? After all, it’s not like Paramount didn’t have any viable contenders. The studio released a handful of films that were expected to be awards contenders based on pedigree alone. Mother!, starred Oscar magnets Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, while Suburbicon was directed previous winner by George Clooney and starred Oscar stalwart Matt Damon. Damon also toplined Downsizing, a timely meditation on the environment directed by the critical darling, Alexander Payne. Meanwhile, An Inconvenient Sequel failed to live up to its predecessor, the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Well, for starters, the aforementioned films flopped at the box office. Paramount only grossed about $534 million in 2017, coming in at No. 7 among the highest-grossing distributors. And since Oscar love usually correlates to commercial success, Paramount was shooting blanks from the jump.
It also didn't help that Mother!, Suburbicon and Downsizing were among the worst reviewed movies of the year. Without the requisite love from critics or audiences, Paramount had little to no chance at Oscar glory.
Fox Searchlight found itself on the other side of the coin, leading all studios with 20 nominations, including 13 forThe Shape of Water and seven for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Universal’s Focus Features and Warner Bros. tied for second place with 14 nominations apiece. Disney rounded out the top three with 10 nods.
Other notable 2018 Oscar snubs included Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for The Post; Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman; Holly Hunter for The Big Sick; Tiffany Haddish for Girls Trip; and James Franco for The Disaster Artist.
The Oscars air on Sunday, March 4 at 8 PM ET on ABC.