20th Century Fox is going to give War for the Planet of the Apes a shot at awards season by going all out on its Oscar push, including a push for a Best Picture nomination. Fox relaunched their acclaimed Planet of the Apes franchise (again) in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Thanks to the advances in technology - specifically motion and performance capture - the franchise was given new life, with Andy Serkis laying the groundwork for the franchise as its lead. This new trilogy wrapped up this summer with War for the Planet of the Apes, a film that received stellar reviews.
Leading up to and following its theatrical release, the film's Oscar potential has continuously been debated. Many have long proclaimed Serkis deserves recognition for his work, while War boasts beautiful cinematography, a great score, and is arguably one of the best films of the year. Thankfully for all those involved, the studio is going to do everything they can to make sure they receive proper recognition.
Deadline has revealed that Fox is planning an awards push that they describe as being "like no campaign ever before in the half century." The studio will have to put a good deal of money into such a campaign, but they appear ready to do so with a Best Picture nomination being just one of the categories they plan to target. However, they are not only looking at the Academy to give War its due, but will also target critic specific awards events (such as the SAG awards).
With awards season only just beginning, War for the Planet of the Apes will still have to wait out the onslaught of "Oscar-bait" films set to release this fall and winter. Not only that, but as a blockbuster/franchise, it already has stiff competition if this is going to be the tentpole film that the Academy decides to recognize with its biggest award. Logan, Wonder Woman, and Dunkirk all have supporters that think each has a real shot at garnering attention come awards season.
Even if a Best Picture nomination does not happen, War could still be a film that has a big presence at the 90th Academy Awards. This article details that Fox's hope for a Best Picture nomination will come from them potentially landing several other nominations for War, as its production design, cinematography, costumes, music, sound, visual effects and makeup will all be targeted categories. Not only that, but they will once again try to get Serkis some recognition for his performance, either from a Best Actor nomination or even a special recognition thanks to his mastering of performance capture over the years.
If Fox does plan to sink more money into War, it further shows that the low worldwide gross it accumulated is not seen as a concern. After Rise made $481.8 million worldwide and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes leaped to $710.6M, War dropped significantly and has only made $359.9M worldwide to this point. Getting awards recognition would be one way to further give War the praise it deserves, even if it wasn't the financial hit Fox hoped for.