Despite the presence of a troika of web slingers past and present and a bonanza box office, Spider-Man: No Way Home was nowhere to be found amidst today’s Oscar nominations unveiling. Even with a vigorous campaign to try to win over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire starrer just wasn’t able to overcome the enduring bias against superhero movies among voting members.
Released on December 17 last year, the Sony-distributed and Jon Watts-directed No Way Home proved a double threat. First of all, the movie was much more widely praised by critics than the usual superpowered Hollywood effort. Additionally, ending the cinema drought that encompassed the past 18 months, the Spidey flick drew audiences back into theaters and smashed pandemic box office records to hit a worldwide haul of nearly $1.8 billion. It was a result that saw No Way Home swing up to the heights of being the top movie of 2021 and the sixth highest-grossing film ever.
Propelled by its acclaim and surging bottom line, the Zendaya and Benedict Cumberbatch co-starrer had looked like a fair bet to replicate the Best Picture perch that fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe flick Black Panther achieved in 2019. However, unlike the multiverse-themed Spider-Man film, the Ryan Coogler-directed tale of the late Chadwick Boseman portrayed T’Challa centered on crucial issues of racism, colonialism and geopolitics, to name a few.