2019 Oscar Nominations for Best Popular Film: Ten for the Canceled Category

Reporting live from an alternate reality where the new category wasn't immediately canceled.

HOLLYWOOD, EARTH 2 — The 2019 Oscar nominations were revealed on Tuesday morning, and for the first time in Academy Awards history that includes the controversial Popular Film category. When changes to the awards show were first announced in 2018 the initial response was critical, but now that the nominations have arrived this gambit seems to be paying off with a diverse group of movies sparking excitement for the 91st Academy Awards. After Lana Condor posted on Instagram about the nomination for her Netflix movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, the Academy’s Instagram account saw an influx of over one million new followers, most of them high school students.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before leads a list of 10 exciting movies competing for the first ever Best Popular Film (or as some critics have called it, the Disney and Netflix award).

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix)

This Netflix original didn’t even screen in theaters, which would normally disqualify a movie from the Academy Awards. But the Oscars are taking a more relaxed approach to the Popular Film category, which is full of straight-to-streaming hits.

Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The new Popular Film award turned out to be Crazy Rich Asians saving grace after the critically acclaimed romantic comedy was snubbed in all other categories. The movie broke new ground by proving that an Asian cast could still be a big draw at the box office. Can it repeat that success at the Academy Awards?

Bird Box (Netflix)

This horror movie starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich made history as the most popular movie in Netflix’s short history as a film studio. Despite facing criticism for basically being a worse version of A Quiet Place, Bird Box cemented it’s spot among the nominees thanks to 45 million views (according to Netflix), countless memes, and a viral internet challenge that led to real-life car crashes.

Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel/Disney)

The Popular Film category is Disney’s to lose, and the entertainment behemoth’s clear frontrunner is Avengers: Infinity War. The Marvel Studios movie set the record for highest opening weekend ever and kicked off a year of speculation over how the sequel will bring back all our favorite superheroes after Thanos turned them to dust.

Set It Up (Netflix)

Lucy Lui stars in the movie that kicked off a summer of Netflix rom-coms, proving that no company knows what we really want better than the streaming giant.

Venom (Sony)

Venom proved that you don’t need Spider-Man to make a great Spider-Man movie — you just need a crazed Tom Hardy doing a bad New York accent. Despite missing everyone’s favorite web-slinger, Venom proved to be a hit, partially because of its success in China where the movie was marketed as the romantic comedy between Venom and Eddie Brock (Hardy) that we all know it truly is.

Destination Wedding (Regatta)

In a category full of surprises, Destination Wedding may be the biggest shock. The rom-com starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder got a direct-to-video release and a measly 48 percent from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes. However, a 62 percent aggregate score from fans may have it into Oscar range.

Mission: Impossible — Fallout (Paramount)

Agent Ethan Hunt returned last summer to lead the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) on another globe-trotting adventure. Fallout proved that we still haven’t tired of Tom Cruise’s antics, and even if this movie doesn’t win the Best Popular Picture award, Paramount will have two more chances with two more Mission Impossible sequels already planned for 2020 and 2021.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (Netflix)

Could a cheesy movie sequel from Netflix win an Oscar? Usually we’d say no, but thanks to the new Popular Film it might just happen.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Solo might be the first flop in Star Wars history, but it’s still a Star Wars movie. That said, the prequel’s chances at actually clinching the Oscar aren’t high, but Lucasfilm will return with a stronger entry in late 2019 with Star Wars: Episode IX.

The 91st Academy Awards air Jan 22, 2019 on ABC and will be hosted by Ali Wong (Editor’s note: In this alternate universe Kevin Hart was never even offered the job).

Media via Netflix, Marvel, Inverse, Paramount, Warner Bros.