Fox dominates Oscar nominations, with strong showing from Universal

Fox dominates Oscar nominations, with strong showing from Universal
Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones appear in a scene from "The Shape of Water," released by Fox Searchlight. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Fox scored the most Academy Award nominations of any Hollywood studio on Tuesday, led by its indie film label, Fox Searchlight, which released "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." Both movies received multiple nods, including best-picture nominations.

The studio received 27 Oscar nominations, with Searchlight accounting for a whopping 20 of those recognitions. Universal came in second place with 18 nominations, led by its own specialty division, Focus Features, which released "Phantom Thread" and "Darkest Hour."


Rounding out the major studios were Warner Bros., which received 14 nominations thanks largely to "Dunkirk"; Sony, with 11 nominations; and Walt Disney Co. with 10. Paramount received no nominations.

Fox's strong showing comes amid uncertainty about the future of the studio and its specialty film division. Disney recently acquired most of 21st Century Fox in a historic $52.4-billion deal that was announced last month. But the acquisition is still subject to regulatory review and hasn't officially closed.

Fox's nominations haul included two nods for Steven Spielberg's "The Post" and one for the superhero movie "Logan," both of which were released by 20th Century Fox. The company also received nominations for the animated movies "Ferdinand" and "The Boss Baby," the latter of which was a DreamWorks Animation production.

"Each of these films represented risks taken, and all involved were rewarded for that courage. We couldn't be more proud to be in business with these incredible filmmaking talents across our studio," said Stacey Snider, chairman and chief executive at 20th Century Fox Film, in a statement.

Universal received a significant Oscar boost from "Get Out," the horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele. The Blumhouse production, which received four nominations, was released in February, making it one of just a handful of first-quarter releases to receive a best-picture nomination. Other movies to notch this achievement include "The Silence of the Lambs," "Erin Brockovich" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Blumhouse has made more than 20 movies with Universal, many of them horror or genre films. "We have a real comfort with them. They were the strategic drivers behind the campaign," said "Get Out" producer Jason Blum.

The awards campaign included screenings and other industry events to help keep the movie on voters' minds. A slew of critics prizes also kept the film in the spotlight. "Get Out" was a sleeper hit that grossed more than $175 million domestically.

Netflix put in its strongest showing with eight nominations. The streaming entertainment giant has riled Hollywood with its day-and-date strategy of releasing movies simultaneously on its online platform and in a handful of cinemas. "Mudbound," which Netflix released in November, received four nominations.

Rival Amazon Studios, which last year made history with six nods for the acclaimed drama "Manchester by the Sea," received only a single screenplay nomination for "The Big Sick," which it released with Lionsgate.

Indie distributor A24 continued its Oscar streak with seven nominations, driven by Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird." The New York-based label took home the best-picture Oscar last year for "Moonlight."

Sony's 11 nominations came largely from its specialty label, Sony Pictures Classics, which distributed "Call Me by Your Name." Sony also co-financed "Blade Runner 2049," which received five nominations in the technical categories (the film was distributed domestically by Warner Bros.).

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" received four nominations. The Disney release was the year's top-grossing movie at the box office.

For the first time in more than a decade, Weinstein Co. received no nominations. The New York indie production and distribution company was an Oscars powerhouse for years, racking up nominations for movies including "Lion," "Carol," "The Artist" and "The King's Speech."

But Weinstein Co. is currently mired in the sex scandals surrounding co-founder Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of assaulting and harassing numerous women over three decades. Weinstein has repeatedly denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.



1 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Fox.

12:50 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details. including information about the film "Get Out" and the indie production company the Weinstein Co.

This article was originally published at 10:20 a.m.