In his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column complaining that "the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ignored the most popular movies of the year in favor of R-rated box office wimps as their nominees for Best Picture," Ted Baehr writes:
Only "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" slipped in under the bar with a PG-13 rating. Accordingly, it's made more money than all the others combined, even though it was only released on Christmas Day.
At the close of business in 2008, the Best Picture nominees ranked as follows:"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" (38th)
"Slumdog Millionaire" (103rd)
"The Reader" (205th)
Aside from making the fallacious assumption that a movie's box office take is directly proportional to its quality, Baehr is making an apples-and-oranges comparison between the Oscar-nominated films.
Yes, "Benjamin Button" "made more money than all the others combined," but that's because, according to Box Office Mojo, it received a wide opening-weekend release, on 2,988 screens. By contrast, here are the widest 2008 weekend release numbers for the remaining contenders:
- "Slumdog Millionaire": 614 screens
- "Milk": 356 screens
- "Frost/Nixon": 205 screens
- "The Reader": 116 screens
Baehr also smears most of these films; "Milk" and "Frost/Nixon" are denigrated as "obligatory R-rated panderings to the radical left" (with "MIlk" being further called a "gay propaganda film" -- yeah, watching a gay man get shot to death is a useful recruiting tool) while "The Reader" is summarized as being "a pornographic tale about an escaped, female Nazi war criminal seducing a 15-year-old boy!" Baehr seems to have missed the point of all of those movies. "Slumdog Millionaire," though, seems to have escaped Baehr's offhand, uninformed denigration beyond its rating.