Walt Disney Pictures is mounting Oscar campaigns for their Marvel Studios releases Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Marvel’s already successful year at the movie box office continues Friday with the release of Thor: Ragnarok, the third Thor solo film that the studio is touting as the “best reviewed Marvel movie of all time.” Beloved by critics and earning a stellar “fresh” rating of 93 percent by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film is also destined to be a blockbuster hit with audiences worldwide, having already earned more than $100 million overseas last weekend and is projected to pull in more than $100 million+ domestically this weekend.
Thor: Ragnarok is coming out a mere six months after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which was one of the biggest winners at an otherwise sluggish summer movie season box office. Also praised by critics, the film earned a solid 82 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and pulled in more than $863 million globally during its theatrical run.
With such high praise from critics and reception from audiences, Disney is proceeding with awards season campaigns for both Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and have established “For Your Consideration” pages for the films on its official Awards 2017 website. The pages ask for consideration of nominations by not only critics groups and industry guilds – such as the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America – but for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which concludes every awards season by handing out the Oscars.
For Thor: Ragnarok, Disney is campaigning for several nominations including Best Picture, Best Director for Taika Waititi, Best Adapted Screenplay, and several technical categories including Best Visual Effects. In addition, Disney is pushing for a Best Actor nomination for Chris Hemsworth, Best Supporting Actor for Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo and Jeff Goldblum, and Best Supporting Actress for Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson.
Disney is also pushing for a Best Picture nomination for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, along with Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations for James Gunn. In addition, the studio is also campaigning for Chris Pratt for Best Actor, along with Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff in the Best Supporting Actress category, and Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel for Best Supporting Actor. Like it’s doing for Thor: Ragnarok, Disney is also asking for voters to consider nominations for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in several technical categories.
It’s hard to measure the odds for nominations for either of the films, but given the Motion Picture Academy’s stinginess for recognizing sci-fi, horror and fantasy movies in the major Oscar categories (generally, superhero films nab recognition in the technical areas), they each could be facing an uphill battle. This year could be a bit different, though, considering a two-time Oscar winner with Blanchett is in the mix for Thor: Ragnarok; and that Gunn and fellow filmmaker Kevin Smith made it known that they’d love to see screen veteran Rooker honored with a Best Supporting Actor nomination.
With Disney pledging support for both Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the studio has made it loud and clear than every genre of film should be considered for top honors, and you have to believe at some point, they will make a breakthrough. This year the Motion Picture Academy will have at least four superhero films consider, given that Warner Bros. has started an awards season campaign for Wonder Woman and Fox sent out screeners for Logan; and given the reception of Justice League, perhaps even one more will enter the race.