The organizers of the Oscars may have scrapped plans for the controversial “popular film” award, but this year’s biggest blockbusters have a chance to duke it out in the visual-effects race, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced 20 contenders in the category Monday.
Upcoming films Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, Welcome to Marwen, and Mortal Engines will advance in the Oscars VFX race alongside Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Christopher Robin, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, First Man, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Mission: Impossible — Fallout, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Paddington 2, A Quiet Place, Ready Player One, and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The list will be whittled down to 10 contenders, which will be revealed as part of the Oscar nominations announcement Jan. 22. The 20 contenders reflect a good majority of the highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office this year, led by Black Panther’s $700 million haul and closely followed by Avengers: Infinity War’s $678 million take (although Infinity War leads the worldwide box office with $2 billion, followed by Black Panther’s $1.3 billion). Notable omissions in the VFX race include Deadpool 2, Venom, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
The 91st Oscars will take place Feb. 24.