What's old was new again at the 2012 Academy Awards. The Weinstein Company's 'The Artist' — a black and white movie about the "golden age" of film — was the first silent film to be named best picture since 1927. Sweeping the awards with five statuettes each were 'The Artist' and 'Hugo,' Martin Scorcese's 3-D film about the origin of film, from Paramount, which both won five Oscars.
Not only is the whole Oscar celebration an advertisement for the movie business, but the awards singled out two movies that are an advertisement for movies. It's a snake eating its tail circle that may have left the rest of America confounded, or worse, bored.
Once again, there is a massive disconnect between what's successful at the box office — i.e. appealing to mainstream America — and what wins awards. 'The Artist' has one of the lowest box office tallies for any film to win 'Best Picture' — just $32 million. And 'Hugo,' has grossed less than $70 million in the U.S., though it reportedly cost more than $150 million to make. Both the Weinsteins and Paramount should benefit from a post-Oscar boost. But these are simply not blockbusters.