Ever notice how some of Hollywood's biggest and best films never seem to get much love on Oscar night?  So did I.

Every year about this time I wonder, why do we give out awards to movies no one wants to see?  Will the Oscar winner for best picture be the highest grossing picture of the year? Not likely.  Think of five classic pictures.  And by classic I mean truly entertaining, genuine Hollywood blockbusters. Chances are, they were shut out of Hollywood's biggest night.

Here's my list of movies, that despite scoring big with audiences and critics, were totally denied by the Academy.  For comparison, I've also included the picture that won the Oscar that year.  You be the judge of which was more deserving.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

This is a classic.  It was also the top grossing picture of 1981 with over $200 million dollars. The Oscar went to--Chariots of Fire, which grossed under $60 million.

Animal House

This came in third for the year behind “Grease” and “Superman” earning over $120 million.  The Oscar goes to--”The Dear Hunter”.  A fine film in it’s own right, but it only grossed $49 million.  Some of the other movies that brought in more money that year include “Dawn of the Dead”, “Halloween”, “Jaws 2”, “Hooper”, “Heaven Can Wait”, and “Every Which Way But Loose” .  So, (and this seems fitting) if you had a gun to your head, would you pick “The Deer Hunter” over all of those movies?

 Star Wars IV, A New Hope

It has grossed over $775 million world wide.  And the Oscar for that year, 1977, went to: "Annie Hall”.   The Goodbye Girl” came out that year as well, and it was a much better film.

Good Morning Vietnam

I was going to Broadcasting School when this came out so it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Was it the top grosser for the year?  No.  That went to “3 Men & A Baby”.  Did it win the Oscar?  No (actually that's probably a good thing). The Oscar instead went to “The Last Emperor”. The Last Emperor the true story of the last ruler of the Chinese Ching Dynasty Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, covering the years 1908 to 1967 starting when three-year-old Pu Yi is installed in the Forbidden City by the dying dowager Empress Tzu-HsuiaslI:*&&$ FZL:kjfa;p.}{Lg/()Acc;lk!!:LMFfffmmm//...    Oh I'm sorry. I fell asleep on my keyboard just thinking about that boring movie. Let me flush this and get to the next choice.

 

 

Die Hard

This Bruce Willis classic (pretend the other 8523 "Die Hard" movies don't exist) actually came in seventh place in 1988.  The top 6 movies for that year all made over $100 million at the box office, including “Crocodile Dundee 2”, “Twins”, “Big”, “Coming to America”, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Surprisingly, the top grossing film of that year also managed to nab the Best Picture Oscar: "Rainman," a rare exception to the rule.

So, yes, you can have an Oscar winning picture be the top grossing movie, but not that often.  And begs the question, why not?

I'm told it's because Hollywood insiders prefer to thumb their noses at films us seething masses drool over. But that's ridiculous. How many critics would put Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark over such dud Best Picture nominees and winners as Ghost or Shakespeare in Love? 

This years nominees are Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.   Some are already huge box office winnters. Life of Pi has grossed more than $575 million so far; Django Unchained is close to breaking $400 million worldwide. Beasts of the Southern Wild comes in at a mere $12 million, or roughly half of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West plan to spend on personalized diaper bags next year.

So will a film that audiences actually clamoured to see this year come out on top? Or will  be spending another year, scratching our heads and wondering why Hollywood hates to reward big fun. We'll find out this Sunday.

And don't forget to tune in to US105 Sunday for Oscar night. We'll be posting live updates throughout the evening, here on our website and on Facebook. From the first red carpet arrival, to the last statue handed out--make US105 your Oscar night destination.