When Sony picked Christmas Day for the release of Concussion, many believed the timing had less to do with making money and more to do with positioning lead actor Will Smith for consideration in the next slate of Oscars.
“Will Smith is poised to return to the Oscars as a nominee for the first time in nearly a decade — and, in a year without a clear frontrunner, he could even take home the prize,” declared The Hollywood Reporter in November.
The movie has neither made much money ($31 million domestically through January 12, less than its production budget, which doesn’t include an extensive marketing campaign) nor will it win an Oscar for Will Smith, or anyone else. The nominations for next month’s ceremony, announced earlier today, include none for the film about the discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy by Dr. Bennet Omalu and the NFL’s resistance of it.
Those who envisioned Concussion as a potential mainstream tipping point for the sport of football believed that, even if it got lost in the holiday shuffle (it did), it would get a bump from the Oscar buzz. Now, the movie won’t make a ripple until the DVD is released, presumably as the 2016 regular season approaches.