Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

The Box-Office Spirits: Indie Winners Tied To Ticket Sales (Again)

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik February 24, 2008 at 3:31AM

The Box-Office Spirits: Indie Winners Tied To Ticket Sales (Again)
2

While I've said it before, it's worth stating again in the wake of "Juno's" Spirit Awards sweep over the weekend, Film Independent's prizes perennially go to the films with the most ticket sales. As Film Independent's Dawn Hudson admitted to me in 2005, with some regret, "Films with the highest box office often win." Because the winners are determined by the organization's vast (and let-me-be-elitist-here) all-you-need-to-do-is-pay-up membership, the major awards are basically a popularity contest.

While "Juno's" best pic win was all but certain, look at a category like Best First Feature, which went to Scott Frank's "The Lookout." Not exactly representative of the best first films of the year, "The Lookout" nevertheless beat out the four other nominees, which all had lesser grosses: "Rocket Science," "2 Days in Paris," "Vanaja," and "Great World of Sound."

And while the other big Spirit winners -- "The Savages" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" -- earned $5-6 million (a pittance when compared with "Juno"), if you look at the competition in their category triumphs, you'd see they were the most commercially successful. Oft-nominated rivals including "Starting Out in the Evening," "Lust, Caution," "I'm Not There" and "Talk to Her" all failed to match their box-office numbers.

And in the most egregiously unfair match-up, the best foreign film winner "Once" -- an ENGLISH-language crowdpleaser -- beat out a number of foreign-lingo films that haven't grossed nearly as much (including "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," "Persepolis," "The Band's Visit," and "Lady Chatterley").

Let's face it: the process awards sales as much as craft. You'd think our indie awards would know better.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Bob Connors: The thing to remember is the video has some actual data but it's conclusions are far fetched and inaccurate. This is a Progressive propaghand…

Who is "Politizane" and What's Next for the Income Inequality Viral Video

Mar 21th, 2015 8:47am

By Ostlee: This makes very sad reading - i feel for the people of Maldives. Everyone should boycott the island as a holiday destination until Nasheed…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 13th, 2015 5:35pm

By Ahmed Shahid: Release the first democratically elected president. The only president of Maldives who has reached the people of Maldives, heard them and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 12th, 2015 9:37am

By Hanne Neve: Please take care of your country and the climate by freeing your real selektet president.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 11th, 2015 9:09am

By Iqbal: Please release President Nasheed

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:27pm

By Martha Robertson: I strongly urge the immediate release of Nasheed!

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 9:37pm

By Ned Rollins: Bad business, going to bite you.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 3:47pm

By John Painter: The guy isnt a terrorist.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 12:00pm

By Sofia Vera: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 11:14am

By Margarett R Mulkey: A civilized society is required of the current government of the Maldives. The world is watching injustice and crimes, and many realized thes…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 10th, 2015 10:53am