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For better or worse, the Oscars can still make or break a movie. For all the non-blockbusters out there, even an Oscar nomination will drive audiences to theaters. It can mean the difference between a loss or a profit for the studio. That, in turn, determines whether they’ll take similar risks in the future.
That kind of clout is especially important for films made by and about minorities and women. Those films already have an uphill battle just getting made, but they’re also statistically less likely to win awards.
During the pandemic, when the future of movie theaters is already uncertain, the new Oscar inclusivity guidelines are challenging the status quo. Whether it will be a good thing remains to be seen.