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Oscars: 20 Films Advance in Visual Effects Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected 20 films to move forward in the visual effects category for the 90th Academy Awards.

AMPAS made the announcement on Monday. The list is dominated by big-budget tentpole films such as “Blade Runner 2049,” “Dunkirk,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”  “Justice League,” “Spider-Man Homecoming,”  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Thor: Ragnarok,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Wonder Woman,” but also includes South Korean action-fantasy “Okja” and Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War tale “The Shape of Water,” which carries a budget of under $20 million.

The films are listed in alphabetical order below:

“Alien: Covenant”

“Beauty and the Beast”

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

‘‘Ghost in the Shell”

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

“Justice League”

“Kong: Skull Island”

“Life”

“Logan”

“Okja”

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

“The Shape of Water”

“Spider-Man Homecoming”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Thor: Ragnarok

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

“War for the Planet of the Apes”

“Wonder Woman”

The Academy’s visual effects branch executive committee determined the preliminary shortlist. The panel will select the 10 films that will advance to nominations voting later this month.

The top four domestic box officer performers — “Beauty and the Beast,” “Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Spider-Man Homecoming” — are on the list. There are two films that have not yet opened: Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which opens Dec. 20, and Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: the Last Jedi,” which launches Dec. 15.

Last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” nabbed an Academy Awards nomination for the team of John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” also receive an Oscar nomination. The original 1977 “Star Wars” won the VFX Oscar for John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune, and Robert Blalack, as did 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” also received VFX Oscar nods.

The original 1982 “Blade Runner” was nominated for a visual effects Oscar for Douglas Trumbull, Richard Yuricich and David Dryer but lost to “E.T. The Extraterrestrial.”

Nominations for the 90th Oscars will be announced on Jan. 23. The ceremony will be held on March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC.

“The Jungle Book” won the category this year over “Deepwater Horizon,” “Doctor Strange,” “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “Rogue One: a Star Wars Story.” “Ex Machina,” “Interstellar,” “Gravity” and “Life of Pi” are the four previous winners.

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