Producers Guild Celebrates the Hits With More Industry Nominations to Come

Friday, the Producers Guild of America joined what will soon grow to a blaring chorus of year-end nominations announcements from guilds and industry groups next week. The results weren’t entirely shocking, as the PGA — which has historically shown an affinity to box office successes — rallied behind films like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “A Quiet Place” while eschewing contenders like “First Man” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

The only true surprise was the exclusion of “Mary Poppins Returns,” which may have met with a mixed-to-positive critical reaction, but has been doing steady business and is, after all, a big, rousing movie musical, the kind of extravagant production that producers can admire.

Generally the PGA is one or two, sometimes more, films off from the Academy’s ultimate lineup. Last year, for example, “Darkest Hour” and “Phantom Thread” failed to score with the producers, while “The Big Sick,” “Molly’s Game,” “I, Tonya,” and “Wonder Woman” — all passed over by the Academy — made it in. You’re talking about different memberships as well as different voting timelines, so it stands to reason things wouldn’t be flush. “Darkest Hour,” for instance, may have benefitted from the British Academy contingent of voters, while “Phantom Thread” buzz was late-breaking just as Oscar nomination ballots were arriving.

With that in mind, and remembering that films like “If Beale Street Could Talk” and even “Eighth Grade” and “First Reformed” do have passion bases that can rally them to nominations, this is by no means game over for any player. But it does start to draw attention to the season’s survivors. The films that have now been nominated by the PGA and SAG-AFTRA (for the ensemble prize) are “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “A Star Is Born.” Those are strong credentials, and you can add best-picture bids at the Golden Globes for each as well.

Then again, films that have received both SAG-AFTRA ensemble and PGA nominations but failed to secure spots on the best picture Oscar lineup include “The Big Sick,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Bridesmaids,” “Dreamgirls,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Almost Famous,” “Billy Elliot,” and “Waking Ned.” So bear that in mind.

Next week we’ll hear from the art directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, film editors, makeup artists, sound mixers, and writers as the industry’s lens on the season’s offerings really starts to come into focus. The Directors Guild’s announcement on Tuesday will be particularly crucial, firming up the circuit’s true frontrunners.

New year coming in hot!

More Film

  • Peter Rabbit trailer

    Australia Box Office Recovers, Grows 3.8% in 2018

    Gross theatrical box office in Australia grew by 3.6% in 2018, to $890 million (A$1.25 billion). The score was propelled by a rebound in the performance of the top local films. Data from the Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia published Tuesday showed aggregate cinema revenues recovering after a dip in 2017. While the 2018 [...]

  • Megan Mullally70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Arrivals,

    Q&A: Why Megan Mullally Won't Talk Politics While Hosting the SAG Awards

    Megan Mullally is funny. The “Will & Grace” star can also sing and dance. While she’s not picking up the Oscar hosting gig after the Kevin Hart fiasco, Mullally will take center stage on Sunday, Jan. 27 when she makes her debut as the host of the 25th annual SAG Awards. Variety caught up with [...]

  • Glass trailer

    'Glass': Five Box Office Takeaways From M. Night Shyamalan's Thriller

    With his fifth No. 1 box office opening, M. Night Shyamalan has plenty to celebrate. “Glass,” the conclusion to a trilogy that consists of the 2000 cult hit “Unbreakable” and 2016’s box office sensation “Split,” topped the box office last weekend — though its win comes with a few caveats. James McAvoy reprised his role [...]

  • Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama

    Berlin: Patra Spanou Picks Up Panorama Title 'Family Members' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Patra Spanou has picked up world sales rights to “Los miembros de la familia” (Family Members), which will world premiere in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section. Variety has been given an exclusive first look of the film’s trailer. The film is the second feature from writer/director Mateo Bendesky, and is produced by Agustina Costa [...]

  • Great Point Media, The Development Partnership

    Great Point Media, Development Partnership Join Forces on Slate of Movies

    Great Point Media and The Development Partnership, the development and production arm of the talent agency the Artists Partnership, are joining forces to develop, package, and co-produce multiple films, kicking off with three projects, including “Chasing Agent Freegard,” starring James Norton (“War & Peace”). “Chasing Agent Freegard,” which is being produced by “Captain Phillips” co-producer [...]

  • Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’

    Berlin: FiGa Acquires ‘Landless,’ Drops ‘Hormigas’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s Miami-based FiGa Films, a leading sales agent on the independent Latin American scene, has announced the acquisition of Brazilian doc “Landless,” and released a trailer for the Costa Rican-Spanish drama “El despertar de las hormigas.” Both features will play at this year’s Berlinale Forum and come from young Latin American filmmakers making their [...]

  • Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to

    Ryan Reynolds Cancels Arm Surgery to Promote 'Deadpool 2' in China

    Ryan Reynolds canceled surgery on his arm to fly to China and charm “Deadpool” fans in Beijing on Sunday ahead of the franchise’s unexpected China theatrical debut. Just last week, Fox suddenly announced that a re-cut, PG-13 “Deadpool 2” would hit Chinese theaters starting this Friday – the first time the notoriously blood-splattered and foul-mouthed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content