With the epic conclusion to the eight-film franchise passing $1 billion at the box office, Warner Bros now has their eyes on an even bigger prize. According to Variety, the studio is going to make a big push for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to snag a Best Picture nomination. Apparently WB is prepared to "absolutely, hands-down, across-the-board" launch a big Oscar campaign for the film to be considered for the honor. The idea is that such a reward would moreso stand as praise for the entire franchise, a concept that is believed to have helped Return of the King at the Academy Awards back in 2003.
The third installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy not only took home Best Picture, but also 10 other Oscars, tying with Titanic for the most for one film. Of course, the question is whether or not the Harry Potter franchise has the quality, prestige and appeal to connect with Academy voters. While I was as moved by the epic finale as every other fan of the franchise, the film doesn't quite pack the same emotional punch as Return of the King, and the franchise as a whole just doesn't have the same consistent quality as Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's classics. While eight films in such a successful franchise is nothing to balk at, I just don't know if Deathly Hallows: Part II will strike the right chord with Academy members.
Either way, a big push for a mainstream summer movie like this to get a Best Picture nod seems like quite a bold one. This is probably the most popular and successful film since The Dark Knight to get an active push for the top prize at the Academy Awards. The good news is that with the Best Picture category allowing for as many as 10 titles (if the crazy new voting procedures lets that happen this year), the chances are fairly good for a nomination. However, Oscar season hasn't even kicked off yet, and there are still plenty of films coming up this fall that will also be looking to land one of those coveted Best Picture nominations as well.
Either way, Deathly Hallows will likely end up with some Oscar noms in visual effects or other technical categories. The franchise has never actually won an Oscar in any category which they've been nominated before, so hopefully this year will give them a bit of Oscar gold. At least that's what they're hoping. Honestly though, as a huge Harry Potter fan, it would be nice to see the entire franchise honored with at least a Best Picture nomination next year. If not, some sort of video montage and/or an appearance by the whole cast at the ceremony might be a nice consolation prize, I suppose.