We don’t know whether Get Out or The Shape of Water will be the film that finally breaks the 14-year cycle of genre movies walking away from the Academy Awards without a Best Picture statue. But thanks to Fandango, we do know that a lot of people who buy movie tickets would hand Guillermo del Toro's fishy fantasy the Oscar (two Oscars, in fact) in a heartbeat.
In a massive poll of more than 7,000 moviegoers held in late February of 2018, Fandango asked viewers’ opinions not only on which movie should win Best Picture, but also who should take home the shiny hardware in the five other major awards categories: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.
The result? Not only did The Shape of Water appear in all but one of those (what — no love for Doug Jones as the fishman?); it owned the two biggies: Best Picture and Best Director. Get Out came in a close third for Best Picture, while director Jordan Peele likewise finished third in the popularity contest for Best Director.
“Fandango moviegoers give a slight edge to the beautifully-realized fantasy, The Shape of Water, and its visionary director Guillermo del Toro for top honors, for an unexpectedly uplifting romance with a lot of heart and even more imagination,” Fandango Managing Editor Erik Davis said in a release announcing the results.
What’s interesting is the overwhelming portion of moviegoers who acknowledged just how much weight an Oscar nomination has on their own viewing habits. “When surveyed about the impact of the Oscars on their movie-going decisions, 87% of film fans said that Academy Award recognition made them more interested in seeing the nominated pictures,” Fandango reported.
Get Out and The Shape of Water each has a shot at owning real Academy Awards this year, since both films — and their directors — are up for top honors. If either movie snags Best Picture, it’ll manage a feat that no genre film has pulled off since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King collected a dizzying 11 Academy Awards to rule them all — all the way back in 2004. For the record, though, The Shape of Water has even more to gain or to lose: It's nominated for 13 Oscars.
The Shape of Water scored big across the board with the audiences Fandango surveyed. In addition to the top two prizes, del Toro’s love story also showed up somewhere on viewers’ lists for Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins), and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer). Get Out, meanwhile, also landed Daniel Kaluuya in second place on the Best Actor list.
As for the real Oscars, we’ve only got a little time left to argue about which film should win — before the clock strikes midnight and we’ll all be arguing instead over which film should have won. So get to it! Let us know in the comments if you agree with the Fandango audience — and why.
The 90th annual Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday, March 4, with the ceremony airing at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.