In 2009, Hugh Jackman presided over one of the greatest song-and-dance openers in the history of the Oscars, beginning with a pleading question: “Why don’t comic-book movies ever get nominated? How can a billion dollars be unsophisticated?” He shame-facedly confessed to having skipped one of that year’s best-picture nominees: “The Reader,” Kate Winslet’s dreadful slog through the Holocaust. “I really meant to see ‘The Reader,’ ” he sang. “I even went down to the theater, but there was a line — all the people seeing ‘Iron Man’ a second time.”

The academy, it seems, has finally come around to Jackman’s point of view: It has announced the creation of a new Academy Award, this one for “outstanding achievement in popular film,” i.e., Best Picture That People Actually Went To See. The film snobs have scoffed, and one can understand their

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