The Academy’s decision to give “popular” movies their own category, independent from Best Picture (as if something that does well at the box office can’t also be, y’know, good), has not gone over well. “The film business passed away today with the announcement of the ‘popular’ film Oscar,” Rob Lowe tweeted the day it was announced. “It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.” (When the guy behind this is dunking on you, something has gone horribly wrong.) Not everyone is against the Oscars embracing separate-but-equal, though.
Jason Blum, the producer of Oscar winners Whiplash and Get Out (as well as the crowd-pleasing Purge series), called it a “step in the right direction,” while Mark Wahlberg thinks Mark Wahlberg should already have Oscars for starring in Mark Wahlberg movies. “Maybe if they’d had the category before, we’d have won a couple of them,” the Mile 22 star told Variety. “We’ve had some really commercially successful films that we think certainly warranted that kind of notoriety. We make films that we want people to enjoy and if we get those kind of accolades, fantastic. If not, we make the movies for audiences to enjoy.”
Wahlberg has been nominated for two Oscars: Best Supporting Actor for The Departed; and Best Picture for The Fighter (he’s listed as a producer). He lost both times, but Wahlberg’s probably not referring to those movies, or his critically-admired efforts like Boogie Nights (which he’s since disowned), Three Kings, and I Heart Huckabees, when he talks about his “really commercially successful films.” If I had to guess, Mark Wahlberg thinks Ted 2 should have an Oscar, or maybe Max Payne, or for sure Transformers: Age of Extinction.
And give Wahlburgers an Emmy while you’re at it, jeez.