Reaching a level of embarrassment usually reserved for post-1983 George Lucas, PricewaterhouseCoopers—the accounting firm in charge of the Academy Awards tabulation—has accidentally allowed the list of this years Oscar results to be leaked to the public. In a statement, PwC said, “We realize the emotional toll this will take on all those rich people in the Academy, and we apologize to all the winners—and the losers, I guess—for not allowing you to have your moment, even though by being nominated, you’ve really kind of had your moment already. But anyway, yeah, our bad.”
Here are the leaked winners that I was able to track down.
Best Achievement in “Well, That’s Quite a Change in Direction”
One of the most praised films of 2012 was Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which told the amazing tale of the iconic President’s struggle to abolish slavery. What you may not know is that, before Daniel Day-Lewis was cast in the title role, Liam Neeson was attached as the star. But for a long while, Lincoln was stuck in development hell, and Neeson eventually withdrew his name from the project.
Come 2012, and instead of starring in the award-magnet Lincoln, Neeson found himself in a much different climate: acting alongside Rihanna in the major-flop Battleship, reprising his role in the silly action-packed madhouse Taken 2, and another turn as Zeus in Wrath of the Titans. But hey, if you can’t get Abraham Lincoln, getting to play the god of all gods isn’t such a bad consolation prize.
Best Achievement in Hollywood Accounting
Men in Black 3
Will Smith came out of hiding to revive this ten-years dormant franchise. And when Mr. Smith gets involved, you know there is going to be a hefty price tag attached. A principal production budget estimated at $225 million, and double that to add in marketing costs, leads you to a total expenditure of $450 million or more. With a worldwide box office gross of about $625 million—of which the theaters keep about half—you’re looking at a profit of about … negative $137 million? Hmm, well, at least the Fresh Prince can still claim to be biggest movie star on the planet … sure?
Best “What Do You Mean No One Wanted To See That Movie?!”
When I saw the billboards around town advertising Dredd, I was certain it was some elaborate hoax. Surely, this is a new take on viral marketing for a different product. But as it turned out, someone thought it would be a good idea to remake 1995’s Judge Dredd, a movie that is more known for its cheesy dialogue and bad acting than anything else. The film—produced for about $50 million—made about four bucks here in the States. Sad Fact: This film was written and produced by Alex Garland, who collaborated with director Danny Boyle on such great films as 28 Days Later and Sunshine. I hope at least he got a big check for this stinker.
Lifetime “Where Have You Gone?” Award
Eddie Murphy is the breakup you just can’t seem to get over, because you just can’t seem to pinpoint why it fell apart. Murphy’s classics of Coming to America, Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop will always remain that: classics. Even the underappreciated, late 90’s hit Bowfinger is a favorite of mine.
But somewhere along the way, Eddie changed. He got rid of his signature laugh and, seemingly, the ability to choose good projects went with it. His 2012 effort entitled A Thousand Words** holds the unique distinction of receiving a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This follows up the anti-power houses of Imagine That, Meet Dave, and Norbit.
Eddie, it’s time to come back home. We know you’ve got it in you, so quit making us wait.
**Sad Fact: A Thousand Words was actually shot a few years prior, but was so bad it couldn’t get released upon completion. When Eddie was set to host the Oscars last year, the studio felt it could get some good publicity for movie due to Eddie’s gig. However, Eddie decided not to do the show, and thus a crummy movie turned into a crummy flop.