And The Winner Is: Will African Americans Win Big During This Hollywood Awards Season?

November 19, 2012  |  

It’s not quite Oscar time, but the awards season has already started.  Before that ultimate awards ceremony, there are a number of others such as Critics’ Choice Awards (Jan. 10, 2013), the Golden Globes (Jan. 13, 2013), Screen Actors Guild Awards (Jan. 27), and The Independent Spirit Awards (Feb. 23, 2013). There’s also the African-American Film Critics Awards, which last year held its awards ceremony in December. We didn’t see an announcement on their website for this year, but it should be around the same time. The awards season culminates with the Academy Awards on February 24th, 2013.

What does this mean for Black Hollywood? While nominations and awards have been increasing for black actors, they’re still few and far between. To be exact there have been just 27 blacks who have won an Oscar in the awards’ 84 years. Maybe one of the upcoming black films we reported on recently could be a contender.

Last year the awards season was all abuzz with The Help. And again this year actress Viola Davis is being talked about as a possible Oscar contender for Best Actress her role in Won’t Back Down. Jamie Foxx is in a film that has already taken home an award: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which took screenplay honors at the Hollywood Film Awards.

One sure contender is Lincoln, featuring Gloria Reuben, S. Epatha Merkeson, and David Oyelowo. Geoge Lucas’ Tuskegee Airman saga Red Tails has also been mentioned in Oscar talks; Nate Parker, Terence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelly, Ne-Yo, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan all starred. Some critics are saying Whitney Houston should be considered for a supporting actress award for her performance in  Sparkle. Cloud Atlas, with Halle Berry, may get an Oscar—but for her co-star Tom Hanks.

One indie that has been getting lots of attention is Middle of Nowhere. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Ava DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win the Best Director Prize for her second feature film. And it may be well on the way to win more awards.

And Beasts of the Southern Wild, a fantasy about a six-year-old (played by Quvenzhané Wallis) set in the Louisiana bayou, has already won at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. There’s talk that Wallis could be nominated for an Oscar, which would make her the youngest winner ever if she took the prize. She was five in the movie and is only nine years old now.

Money is what makes these awards so critical. According to stats, when a film takes home an award, tickets sales go up, especially if the award is an Oscar. “Best Picture winners typically earn an additional $14 to $15 million in box office revenue,” reports the Business Insider. It also means more money for the actors, may see a 20 percent boost in pay for their next film if they win the award for Best Actor or Actress.

Just being nominated is a big financial win as well, especially for indies which have a limited release. After a nomination, films usually get a wider release, and more theaters equals more box office money. “During the four years from 2007 through 2010, movies that were nominated but did not win, on average, netted an additional $20 million before the awards ceremony and $5 million afterwards,” writes Business Insider. Out of the theater sales even increase as more people rent films that have received nominations or awards.

Who do you think will win?


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