It can also be argued that opted for a Christmas-leaning December 9.But if the 2017 Oscar ceremony taught us anything, it is that nothing at the Academy Awards is certain.There’s a historical basis to suggest isn’t an anomaly in that respect.Over the past decade, studios have been most successful releasing their most promising Oscar fare a bit earlier in the year, rather than saving it for Christmas. Along with is the only other late-December film that has a chance at one of the four biggest awards: Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Actress.All the bolded titles on this chart had a release date of December 15 or later.But a calendar change to the Academy Awards in 2004 ruined this bit of scheduling savvy.Those two months have seen the release of the past seven Best Picture winners — which is a notable change from the traditional, if not totally scientific, definition of prime Oscar movie season as a Christmastime affair.
The number varied by year, but about half the winners in the Big Four awards categories went to movies with release dates from January through September, and half went to movies with release dates from October through December.
There are a number of possible explanations for this apparent disappointment.
opened “so late in the calendar year that it struggled to woo voters for the various industry guild awards (the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild, etc.) to even see the film”; this meant that it “fell off the map” and never was able to gain momentum.
Broadly speaking, the relationship between a movie’s release date and Oscar bona fides has progressed through three distinct phases.
Phase one lasted for roughly the first half century of the Oscars.
As movies with an earlier release date waned in the Academy’s consciousness, Christmastime movies thrived.