Commercial vs. Critical Success: Oscar Edition

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Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, a box office favorite but a long shot for many Oscars.

In what’s now become typical of the Academy Awards, the nominees don’t exactly reflect the year’s top box office picks. CNN Money pointed out that if you went by ticket sales, then American Sniper would win nearly all the awards — it knocks out Best Picture favorite Boyhood by a whopping $281 million — but few are predicting it to do so.

It can sometimes be a similar story in live entertainment. As Jim said in his post Quality Is What People Say It Is:

“In live entertainment, quality is less about some objective standard of excellence and achievement, but more about who feels that it’s excellent and worthwhile, and how enduring that belief is. … Don’t get stuck on the idea of quality. Try to do great work, definitely, but remember that people define quality however they want.”

Balancing popular favorites with Academy picks is always a difficult task, but do you think it matters whether the winners are also box office successes?

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