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Producers Guild Nominations

by Nathaniel R

The PGA have announced their nominations for 2018. True to form they've leaned into big hits and crowd pleasers rather than pure critical acclaim. It's important to note straightaway that in the modern era of the expanded Best Picture list the PGA list has never exactly matched the Oscar list though it has ONCE included all the nominees (plus an additional film since PGA has 10 where Oscar is on a 5-10 system that's so far only delivered 8 or 9 nominees each year). Last year the two lists were markedly different, though, with 4 of the 10 titles dropping off when the Oscar list was announced, and two different titles popping up in their place.

After the jump all of the PGA nominees this year (in multiple film and television categories) and to show you how important box office success is to the PGA, the number in parenthesis is where that film ranks (currently) on the list of 2018 box office grosses. We'll also discuss what this all means in terms of what could happen with Oscar...

Theatrical Motion Picture

  • Black Panther (#1)
  • BlacKkKlansman (#58)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (#13)
  • Crazy Rich Asians (#16)
  • The Favourite (#108 and climbing)
  • Green Book (#80 and climbing)
  • A Quiet Place (#14)
  • Roma (N/A since Netflix doesn't release box office grosses but it would probably be around #150 or so we'd guess at this point)
  • A Star is Born (#12)
  • Vice (#96 and climbing)


When Oscar includes a title that the PGA ignored it's usually either a small acclaimed indie (like Room or Winter's Bone) or something from across the pond (like an Amour or a Philomena). PGA also likes blockbuster films slightly more than Oscar does.

Both organizations have recency bias but when it comes to last second releases they don't always line up and it's a wash as to which organization makes the better choice in that regard. Last year for example the PGA went for Molly's Game while the Oscars went for Phantom Thread... both were released on Christmas day and expanded in January. Oscar wins that particular match with ease but in 2011 the recency taste battle obviously goes to the PGA which chose The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Dec 21st) while Oscar went for Extremely Loud & Incredible Close (Dec 25th)

As you can see in the lists below, the PGA (which has 10 or 11 nominees each year while Oscar has only tended to have 8 or 9) never fully lines up. The Producers Guild list is nearly always short 1 or 2 eventual Oscar Best Picture nominees which is good news for what we'd consider the five key films that feel like they're in the running still...


  • First Man (#64)
  • First Reformed (#171)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (#185 and climbing)
  • Leave No Trace (#146)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (#24 and climbing)

More on those titles in a minute but first this absolute fact: there's never been a year where the two organizations exactly lined up. One of the PGA nominees is always dropped and last year four titles were axed. The closest the lists ever came to an exact match was in 2016 when Deadpool was the 10th nominee at PGA but Oscar only had 9 nominees.

Differences in PGA to Oscar in recent Best Picture years 

2018: TBA

2017: (PGA only) The Big Sick, I Tonya, Molly's Game, and Wonder Woman
          Oscar replaced with: Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread

2016: (PGA only) Deadpool
          Oscar replaced withAll other nominations matched.

2015: (PGA only) Ex Machina, Sicario and Straight Outta Compton
          Oscar replaced with: Room 

2014: (PGA only) Foxcatcher, Gone Girl and Nightcrawler
          Oscar replaced with: Selma

2013: (PGA only) Blue Jasmine and Saving Mr Banks
          Oscar replaced with: Philomena

2012: (PGA only) Moonrise Kingdom and Skyfall
          Oscar replaced with: Amour

2011: (PGA only) Bridesmaids, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Ides of March
          Oscar replaced with: The Tree of Life and  Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

2010: (PGA only) The Town
          Oscar replaced with: Winter's Bone

2009: (PGA only) Invictus and Star Trek
          Oscar replaced with: The Blind Side and A Serious Man



A Quiet Place, Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Crazy Rich Asians seem the most vulnerable from the ten nominees for various reasons but all of them got big awards campaigns and three of them (not including Vice) were massive non-franchise hits which is something the industry desperately needs lest they one day be churning out only superhero movies. Bohemian Rhapsody feels like the safest bet to continue on to Oscar because it's already surpassed all expectations in terms of box office and awards heat. The other three though...

If Oscar is true to form at least one of those three titles but probably two will drop out. And at least one of the five major "snubs" First Man, First Reformed, If Beale Street Could Talk, Leave No Trace, Mary Poppins Returns  will show up instead. I'm worried for Mary Poppins now though since it's definitely the type of mainstream hit that the PGA would usually embrace. The other four you could see lining up with some of the replacements from history. For example. Darkest Hour was presumed dead after missing the PGA last year but it was a typical "Oscar bait" genre like First Man and resurged with BAFTA nods and then did better than anyone expected with Oscar nominations. The other three First Reformed, Leave No Trace, and If Beale Street all match the "critical darling / acclaimed indie" descriptor and those films nearly always fare better with Oscar than the PGA. 


Animated Picture

  • Dr Seuss's The Grinch (#6)
  • Incredibles 2 (#3)
  • Isle of Dogs (#82)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (#15 and climbing)
  • Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse (#25 and climbing)

Lovers of Mirai and foreign animation shouldn't worry too much about this list. Historically the PGA doesn't care for indie animation or foreign animation, but Oscar very much does to the tune of at least 1 nomination a year.

Episodic Television Drama

  • The Americans (S6)
  • Better Call Saul (S4)
  • The Handmaid's Tale (S2)
  • Ozark (S2)
  • This Is Us (S3)

Episodic Television Comedy

  • Atlanta (S2)
  • Barry (S1)
  • GLOW (S2)
  • The Good Place (S3)
  • The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (S2)

Limited Series Television

  • The Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Escape at Dannemora
  • Maniac
  • The Romanoffs
  • Sharp Objects

The Romanoffs. That's a surprise since many people hated it. 

Televised Motion Pictures

  • Fahrenheit 451
  • King Lear
  • My Dinner with Hervé
  • Paterno
  • Sense8: Together Until the End

Non Fiction Television

  • 30 for 30 (S9)
  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (S11/S12)
  • Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (S3)
  • Queer Eye (S1/S2)
  • Wild Wild Country (S1)

Live Entertainment and Talk Television

  • The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (S24)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (S5)
  • The Late Show with Steve Colbert (S4)
  • Real Time with Bill Maher (S16)
  • Saturday Night Live (S44)

Competition Television

  • The Amazing Race (S30)
  • America's Got Talent (S13)
  • RuPaul's Drag Race (S10)
  • Top Chef (S15)
  • The Voice (S14/S15) 

Short Form Program

  • Biography: History, Herstory (S1)
  • Carpool Karaoke: The Series (S2)
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (S5)
  • Her America: 50 Women, 50 States (S1)
  • Kevin Hart: What the Fit (S1)

Sports Program

  • Being Serena (S1)
  • E60 
  • Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns (S13)
  • Real Sports with Bryant Gumble (S24)
  • SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt  (S4)

Children's Programming

  • Fuller House (S4)
  • PJ Masks (S2)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (S2)
  • Sesame Street (S48)
  • Teen Titans Go! (S4)

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Reader Comments (21)

Nat, you have Roma pictured twice in the graphic accompanying this story. I almost had a heart attack thinking A Star Is Born missed until I read the article....

I am glad to see Crazy Rich Asians made it. It totally deserves a PGA nod, and I would love to see it nominated for Best Picture (but would be shocked by it just the same).

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Tell me...what makes Crazy Rich Asians a great movie. It's a good one, particularly for its genre, but there's nothing about it that screams greatness at all.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTr

Poor First Man! First in our hearts at least.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

I was pleasantly surprised for the CRAZY RICH ASIANS inclusion! Good for them! And lest anyone forgets, it's sitting at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes so it's not exactly the critically loved film like Bohemian Rhapsody (62%) or Vice (63%).

The big miss here was probably MARY POPPINS as you say.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

@ Paranoid Android

Speak for yourself.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

A really good year and all we get is this mediocre list.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I really wish we had 5 BP nominees this year. Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Roma, A Star is Born, and The Favourite would be a just fine list. Rhapsody and Vice wouldn't get a sniff.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Sawyer, I like the way you think. Great choices. I still hate the 10-pic field. Sigh.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

What happened to "First Man" ? It's a very well produced movie

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Everything is so weird since they expanded to 81 nominees.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Agree that Poppins missing is the biggest surprise and I think I'm taking it out of my BP picks after this. (Honestly, not sure I wanted to hear people whine about it for months anyway.) Not at all surprised Beale Street missed - I feel like the directors will stand up for that movie more than anyone. In fact, I still think Jenkins will surprise in the last Director slot because of the film's ambitious nature.

Vice, sadly, is going to get in. Globe leader and showing here? Yeah.

I do wonder about the other three. Crazy Rich and Bohemian have really shown up everywhere, and after that Blunt nod at SAG I can't tell how much fan support there is for A Quiet Place.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I hate this roster.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

This year really feels like we only need 5 nominated films in Best Picture.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDg

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY nominated by the Producers Guild. The film that had to fire its director after he fought with the star and walked off set and then couldn’t even credit the new guy they got to finish the movie. One of the year’s best in production, apparently!

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Excuse me while I vomit into this bowl.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

Remember, producers are all about the money, honey, so Bohemian Rhapspdy,, as revolting as it is, isn’t all that surprising here. Hopefully, AMPAS has better sense...for the sake of art at least.

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I’d have trouble even finding 5 worthy Best Picture nominees at this point

January 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

A Star Is Born is probably my favorite on the list. I can easily name 10 English-language films I like better: The Rider, Leave No Trace, First Man, The Death of Stalin, Ben Is Back, Mary Poppins Returns, Widows, The Wife, Chappaquidick, Boy Erased. I fully realize only First Man and Mary Poppins even had a ghost of a chance, and they were both omitted for trash like Bohemian Rhapsody, A Quiet Place and (gawd) Crazy Rich Asians. Don't worry, I know where I'm not wanted, so barring some surprises on nomination morning I'm outta here this year.

January 5, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s

@Glenn Dunks - also, the finished product...

I'm glad to see Blackkklansmen still in there, I think it's pretty much a lock for BP and it didn't seem that way about 2 months ago. I am still in awe at the way it wildly veers between tones, but is totally in control of what it's doing.

January 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

First Man is so bad.
And it's dead now as are Mary Poppins and Leave No Trace. But I agree that Beale Street and First Reformed might still surprise.
A Quiet Place won't be nominated.

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone

And this year really sucks.
"A Star is Born" and "BlacKkKlansman" are pieces of crap, to be honest.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" surely should not be here.
"The Favourite", "Roma", "First Reformed" and "The Rider" are the only movies that deserve the Oscar noninations this year and two of them even don't have a chance to get them.
The worst year in the Oscar history?

January 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSomeone

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