Potter just skipped past a billion dollars worldwide, seems paced to narrowly beat out TF3 as highest-grossing film of the year in the States, and has generally concluded the WB franchise with the only kind of dignity Hollywood values: gobs of fucking cash, and the promise of more forever. Hoping to cap things off with real style, it’s apparently been officially decided that WB will be “pulling out all the stops” and going full-retard with their awards campaign for the film. There seems to be no shame from Variety’s source for stating that Return of the King is their model. Even if they can’t replicate that kind of 11-Oscar success, they hope to land a Best Picture nod and perhaps a few other high-value awards noms, rather than being simply relegated to the tech achievements (which the franchise has consistently accumulated nominations from for years). Considering the financial success, generally favorable response to the series conclusion, and the tendency of the Academy to play ball with awards that represent psuedo-lifetime-achievements awards, they may well pull some of this off.

Again, it’s unlikely they’ll replicate the kind of sweep that ROTK enjoyed, but it’s enough to grab some more cash and nice titles for their crown gem franchise. A completely predictable move maybe, but it also comes with the much more interesting word that some of Warner Brothers other upcoming films will be spotlighted by big campaigns as well. This includes films like Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (which has a superb, if plot-happy trailer), the 9/11 tale Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and the J. Edgar biopic that stars Leo Dicaprio under Clint Eastwood’s direction. AlsoHappyFeet2butfuckit.

It’s nice to hear they have Oscar confidence in those films, as they’re all ones I’m interested in at one level or another. Of course, the news means little for the inevitably-pushed Eastwood flick, but that they see statue possibility for Contagion, and will be taking Soderbergh’s latest all the way, is a fine thing.

Of course all of these titles, in terms of Best Picture, will have to contend with the new rules that make the number of nominations for the big award a fluid total. This time around a film will have to be the number one choice on a significant number of ballots to get a shot at a nomination, which will make it harder for the smaller or more genre-focused movies to make it in than with the flat 10 nomination system. It remains to be seen how tough that will be for the more populist choices like Potter, but supposedly there would have been an average of about 7 nods had the system been in place in past years. Voters may change how they rank films in light of the new system though, so it’s hard to predict an outcome based on past behavior. Many months and many prestige releases yet to go…

Going to back to Potter… think it has a shot? Where will the other mentioned films end up fitting in to all this? If you’ve got opinions (and I know you do) twitter is the place, the comments are the jam, and the boards are the joint. Make words happen!