‘John Carter,’ ‘Cloud Atlas’ Oscar vfx finalists

'Skyfall,' 'Life of Pi' also eligible in bakeoff

Disney’s much-maligned tentpole “John Carter” received some measure of redemption from the Acad on Thursday with the news that it’s made the list of 10 pics set for the Oscar visual effects bakeoff.

By including “John Carter” and Warner’s “Cloud Atlas,” the vfx branch continued its record of recognizing strong vfx works in movies with tepid grosses.

Other pics making the bakeoff are Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Skyfall”; Warner’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”; Fox’s “Life of Pi” and “Prometheus”; Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman”; and Disney’s “The Avengers.”

The omission of U’s “Battleship” is a mild surprise, since the pic featured extensive water simulations from Industrial Light & Magic, and ILM has had considerable sway in the vfx branch’s executive committee in years past.

Among studios, Paramount is notably absent from the list: with Marvel having ankled to Disney, Par was without a vfx-driven tentpole in 2012.

Because vfx contenders are often box office leaders, it’s a bad sign for a studio’s B.O. year when it can’t get a single pic into the top 10 — and Par has indeed had a weak year (Daily Variety, Nov. 27).