Why did the Harry Potter franchise fail to make it to the Oscars?

It’s a strange fact that over its 10 year history The Harry Potter Franchise has failed to win even a single Oscar. The movies based on the best-selling novel of the same name written by J.K Rowling have failed to work their magic on the Academy. The films were nominated for 12 Oscars over the 10 years in the categories such as art direction, visual effects, make-up, cinematography, costume design and music. However, each time they went away empty handed much to the frustration of the cast and crew who worked on the most successful movie franchise in history.

The last chance to clinch an Oscar came with the final installment “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2” which was released last year and nominated for art direction, make-up and visual effects. In two of the categories it was beaten by Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” while the make-up award went to the Margaret Thatcher biopic “The Iron Lady”. John Richardson, special effects supervisor on the Harry Potter movies stated at the press launch of the new Potter studio tour at Leavesden studios outside London, “I think a lot of us look fairly wryly at the politics of the American Academy (of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), of which I am a member, It does beg the question why did Harry Potter not get recognized at all for the last Deathly Hallows film?”. He further adds that the film got three nominations and was one of the best made and best grossing films of the year, however a Martin Scorsese film which wasn’t as successful won three awards.

Deathly Hallows – Part 2 earned $1.3 billion in global ticket sales according to boxofficemojo.com, making it the third biggest movie of all time and it was a major hit. Richardson said one reason for the Potter films not landing any Oscars could be the voting system where the Academy’s entire active members can select winners in every category during the final ballot stage. The BAFTA’s differ in this case, members can vote on eight main categories, but for every other nomination only those with specialist knowledge of that particular field can participate. Deathly Hallows – Part 2 won the special visual effects BAFTA, however, Scorsese’s film beat Potter in the sound and production design categories. Nick Dudman, in the special make-up effects department agreed that the film was wrongly overlooked, “We keep losing, Potter has been very largely ignored by academies around the world, and it is slightly strange but the work is its own reward in many ways. We make fabulous things, we have a great time doing it” he said.

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