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There’s an irony in this. With its gross of $400 million worldwide—earned while being simultaneously available on streaming (and therefore pirating sites)—Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was the biggest non-sequel box office success story of last year. Sure, Spider-Man, No Time to Die, F9, and Shang-Chi all earned more, but Dune was not a follow-up or extension of a popular shared universe. And with its six Oscar wins, which also included Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound during the telecast, it won more awards last night than any other film.

However, if you tuned in, you might have missed that fact since so many important categories, including editing, were largely edited out of the ceremony beyond truncated clips shown at the beginning and end of commercial breaks. So instead of international audiences seeing one of the most internationally popular films of the year get decorated, the Academy and ABC instead ran 42 minutes past 11pm EST to show things like… the #OscarsFanFavorite category.

As one of the worst ideas the Academy has had in a long time, the #OscarsFanFavorite publicity stunt allowed Twitter users to “vote” for their favorite movie of the year by using that hashtag as many times as they’d like—they could similarly pick their favorite moment in movie history via the #OscarsCheerMoment.

The concept was likely designed to find more ways to include clips of popular movies that were not nominated for major awards. In other words, a chance to recognize Spider-Man: No Way Home—or on the off-chance it lost, then surely another popular global blockbuster. Perhaps Daniel Craig’s final James Bond picture or, well, Dune? Instead the Academy demonstrated a complete obliviousness to how social media works with fans and stan accounts spamming their hashtags to vote for movies with their favorite stars and directors.

By showing fans’ “top five” favorites, the Academy was still able to show a few No Way Home clips, but the Spidey epic finished second in “cheer-worthy moments” and fourth in favorite movie of the year. What did it lose to? In the cheers category, the scene where Ezra Miller’s Flash runs really fast in Zack Snyder’s Justice League was dubbed the greatest moment in cinema history; in the Oscars Fan Favorite category, it lost to Snyder’s Army of the Dead, as well as the Camila Cabello-starring Cinderella and Johnny Depp’s Minamata.

If you haven’t heard of the last film, it’s understandable. The movie was abandoned in the U.S. when it was released into one market last December; worldwide it only grossed $1.5 million. However, Depp has a huge cult of personality following on Twitter, and those fans organize and tweet. Hence, according to the Academy’s much publicized Twitter poll, Minamata is a more popular film than No Way Home, even though Spidey grossed $1.9 billion. It’s also apparently more popular than Dune, too, since Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic didn’t place in these fan polls. How could it when the Snyder fanbase was able to organize so well that the Academy was forced to show an extended clip of Dave Bautista battling a zombie from Army of the Dead?!

Source: Den of Geek

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