Golden Globes is introducing a best cinematic and box office achievement category

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Starting next year, Golden Globes will introduce a new category which will celebrate a “best cinematic and box office achievement”. 

The Golden Globes announced two new categories yesterday: best performance in stand-up comedy on television and best cinematic and box office achievement. 

It’s great that stand-up is finally getting its own category, but what’s really interesting is the cinematic and box office achievement one. Variety dubbed it the “best blockbuster movie” category in its headline and it’s right. 

The idea behind the category is to acknowledge films that have made a lot of money but are still artistic. There will be eight nominees, chosen “from among the year’s highest-earning and/or most viewed films that have gained extensive global audience support and produced exceptional creative content.”

A film is eligible for the category if it has grossed at least $150 million at the global box office and if at least $100 million of that is from domestic box office “and/or obtain commensurate digital streaming viewership recognized by trusted industry sources.”

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in Greta Gerwig's Barbie.

Credit: Warner Bros

The winner will then be decided by voters based on “excellence”. A film that is nominated here is still eligible for other categories. 

“We are proud to recognize the hard work and innovation that goes into making a film that is both a blockbuster and artistically exceptional,” said Helen Hoehne, Golden Globes president.

It’s certainly an intriguing introduction. Golden Globes has obviously been struggling to stay relevant for years and has been embroiled in controversies, so perhaps this is its way of trying to win back some of its lost audience. Awards obviously aren’t everything, though, and in no way a true measure of a film’s artistic merit. 

“The new Cinematic and Box Office Achievement award is more than just rewarding the year’s top earning and most viewed motion pictures,” said Tim Gray, Golden Globes’ executive vice president. “These films have typically not been recognized among industry awards, but they should be.”

In all fairness, there has been chatter about a similar category for the Oscars for years now. It all appears to come down to a strange divide in what people believe to be art and what is just commercial fodder. It seems that the category was created with something like Greta Gerwig’s Barbie in mind. It’s currently the highest grossing film of the year and likely to be in the awards discussion – but perhaps its mainstream appeal might also hurt its chances of becoming a winner. 

Green Book. Credit: Universal Pictures

Naturally, it’s important to remember that all of these awards mostly recognise mainstream films. Green Book was memorably named Best Picture at the Oscars in 2018. This isn’t to say that Green Book was less deserving of a nomination than any other film that year, but was it truly the most ground-breaking work of art of its year? Probably not – and it definitely bordered on offensive in its depiction of race. 

Funnily enough, this comes during the same week that Martin Scorsese has begged filmmakers to save cinema from franchises. Marty’s comments have (once again) been received with controversy. Personally, I think Marty can say whatever Marty wants and he’s also completely correct. He’s speaking of overcrowding the market with only franchises, not specifically about superhero films – so if everyone could calm down, that would be swell. There needs to be room for all kinds of films!

But could the new category allow for a greater inclusion of films to be nominated at these awards? At the end of the day, winning a Golden Globe or an Oscar can open a lot of doors for filmmakers, so regardless of whether you believe them to be culturally significant or not, they can give you a little boost in the industry. 

There are also plenty of people who feel like certain types of films have long been shut out from the awards. Should Robert Downey Jr. have been nominated for his performance as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame? Did Chadwick Boseman deserve a nomination for Black Panther, which was the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Picture? Maybe, maybe not, but it seems like we are getting closer for all kinds of films to be recognised by awards bodies, which still hold at least some relevance in the industry, especially in Hollywood. 

The Golden Globes are set to take place on 7 January, so we’ll have to wait a while for what films are nominated in the new category and even longer to see what film takes the first ever “blockbuster” award. 

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