Anthony, you’re clearly on to something in noting that one of the key aspects of success, historically, with Best Picture winners is some modicum of box-office success. The great William Goldman summed it up best when he likened the Academy Awards to the American automotive industry. Imagine, Goldman posited, that Ford, Chrysler, and GM gathered at the end of each year to hand out prizes to celebrate the best cars in production. How often would they shower praise on a Toyota model? Or on some small, niche model of their own?

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