The news came in not too long ago that Puss in Boots won the box office this weekend. Its $34 million total however wasn't fantastic, although the World Series, Halloween, and a snowstorm probably had an intense effect on its total. This makes me think that it will do a lot better next week, with its only competition coming from Tower Heist and the new Harold and Kumar, both of which are going for completely different target audiences, so probably won't compete too much against each other. So if Puss in Boots rebounds and has legs and does well over the next couple of weeks, will the Academy respond?
Normally I would say no, I mean this really is a spin off of a four-film series, and usually, there is a nice list of well-reviewed animated films that would keep it out of the race. But this year, the only films that have so far made a splash are Rango, Winnie the Pooh, and Kung Fu Panda 2, but none of them were the best films of the year, and none of them have the type of buzz that films like Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wall-E, and others have had in recent years. Plus, while not a critical darling by any means, Puss in Boots has gotten respectable numbers including an 81 at Rotten Tomatoes (86 with Top Critics), 65 on Metacritic, and 77 from the BFCA. Once again, this would normally not be enough for this category, but in this year, I think that it's mild success now makes it at least a contender for a nomination, and if there are enough films for four or five films (under the new system), then I say it has a very good shot of being in the race for the prize. As the 2011-2012 season motto goes: We'll have to wait and see.