Producers Guild Awards Go for Big Hits: ‘Avatar,’ ‘Top Gun,’ ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Elvis,’ ‘Everything Everywhere’

20th Century/Paramount/Disney/Warner Bros./A24

The box-office hits “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Top Gun: Maverick” have all been nominated for the top feature-film award by the Producers Guild of America, whose nominations championed commercial successes in a year in which the industry is hoping to get viewers back into theaters.

“Avatar” and “Top Gun” have passed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, while “Black Panther” has grossed more than $800 million, “Elvis” has made almost $300 million and “Everything Everywhere” is indie A24’s biggest hit ever at more than $100 million. The Producers Guild Awards routinely filled its slate of nominees with $100-million-plus films in the past, but the slowdown in theatrical business during the pandemic meant it only had one such nominee, “Dune,” over the last two years.

Other nominees for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures are “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “The Fabelmans,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” “Tár” and “The Whale.”

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The last of those films, Darren Aronofsky’s dark drama about a severely obese man struggling to reconnect with his estranged daughter, was the biggest surprise among the PGA nominees. So far this awards season, it has received attention for Brendan Fraser’s lead performance, but has not been on most lists of expected Best Picture nominees.

Among the notable films not nominated by the PGA are “Women Talking,” “Babylon,” “The Woman King,” “She Said” and “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

In the drama-series category, PGA voters bypassed the large-scale new shows “House of the Dragon” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” in favor of nominating “Andor,” “Better Call Saul,” “Ozark,” “Severance” and “The White Lotus.” Nominated comedy series are “Abbott Elementary,” “Barry,” “The Bear,” “Hacks” and “Only Murders in the Building.”

The Producers Guild Awards have been one of the most reliable predictors of Oscar success since both groups expanded from five to 10 best-picture nominees in 2009. Since then, almost 90% of all Oscar nominees have first been nominated by the PGA, though most years at least one film lands an Oscar nom without one from the guild. (Last year, the PGA went for “Being the Ricardos” and “Tick, Tick … Boom!” while the Oscars chose “Drive My Car” and “Nightmare Alley” instead.)

The PGA also announced nominations in animated feature, limited series, TV movie, nonfiction television, variety and talk television and game/competition television. The full list of nominees is below.

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Winners will be announced at the 344 annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The nominees:

Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
* Avatar: The Way of Water
* The Banshees of Inisherin
* Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
* Elvis
* Everything Everywhere All At Once
* The Fabelmans
* Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
* Tár
* Top Gun: Maverick
* The Whale

Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
* Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
* Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
* Minions: The Rise of Gru
* Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
* Turning Red

Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama
* Andor 
* Better Call Saul 
* Ozark 
* Severance 
* The White Lotus

Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Comedy
* Abbott Elementary 
* Barry 
* The Bear 
* Hacks 
* Only Murders in the Building

David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Limited or Anthology Series Television
* DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
* The Dropout 
* Inventing Anna 
* Obi-Wan Kenobi 
* Pam & Tommy

Award for Outstanding Producer of Televised or Streamed Motion Pictures
* Fire Island
* Hocus Pocus 2
* Pinocchio
* Prey
* Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television
* 30 for 30
* 60 Minutes 
* George Carlin’s American Dream 
* Lucy and Desi
* Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy

Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment, Variety, Sketch, Standup & Talk Television
* The Daily Show with Trevor Noah 
* Jimmy Kimmel Live! 
* Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 
* The Late Show with Stephen Colbert 
* Saturday Night Live

Award for Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television
* The Amazing Race 
* Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls 
* RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 
* Top Chef 
* The Voice

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