The Oscar Nominations Are In And Major Blockbusters Are Up For The Top Award

Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water have both been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

By Douglas Helm | Published

top gun: maverick

At the tail end of January, Variety reported on the nominations for this year’s Oscars, and there were a couple of big surprises in the mix. While indie darlings and critically acclaimed dramas had their usual spots on the Best Picture nomination list, the Academy also nominated major blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water for the night’s biggest award. While it’s certainly not unprecedented to see blockbusters vying for the top spot, it is a bit surprising to see two of the biggest movies of the year up for Hollywood’s most coveted trophy.

Commercial success is always expected from blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water, but critical success doesn’t always translate to wins at the Oscars. While films like these are always a shoo-in for awards like visual effects or sound editing, the biggest awards are usually reserved for smaller movies. While neither film is necessarily a favorite to win, it’s still interesting to see these films garner so much praise from audiences and critics alike.

avatar 2 underwater blockbusters

Along with Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water, the other nominees up for Best Picture include All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Fabelmans, Tar, Triangle of Sadness, and Women Talking. Right now, Vegas betting odds have the wonderful Everything Everywhere All at Once heavily favored to win the award. The film has been picking up quite a few wins at other award shows and is nominated for 11 Oscars, so this isn’t too surprising.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is another film that has been a bit of a surprise this year. The film is a sci-fi fantasy, which isn’t a category you see nominated for Best Picture Oscars too often. The movie is fantastic and the praise is well deserved, but the nominees are certainly a shift from the norms this year.

As for Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water, both films are up for multiple Oscars, so there’s a good chance they win at least one award, if not more. In fact, they’ll be competing against each other a few times. Along with Best Picture, both films are up for Best Visual Effects (unsurprisingly) and Best Sound.

Avatar: The Way of Water is also up for Best Production Design, but Top Gun: Maverick is up for more Oscars overall. The Tom Cruise sequel also has a chance at Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song. Surely, the Academy is going to recognize the two most successful films of the year in some way.

Even if Avatar: The Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick come out of the Oscars empty-handed, the studios probably won’t be too disappointed. Top Gun: Maverick was the top-grossing movie at the domestic box office and made over $1.4 billion worldwide. Meanwhile, Avatar: The Way of Water became the third highest-grossing movie of all time, giving James Cameron three of the top four spots on that list.