"Moneyball," the story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane building his low-budget franchise through exploiting market inefficiencies, has made $75 million so far on a relatively paltry $50 million budget. The film also was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. However, despite all of the accomplishments, "Moneyball" still could not wrest the Best Picture Oscar away from "Yankees 2011" — the New York Yankees highlights DVD with a behemoth $200 million budget.
"I am proud of what we accomplished with this movie," said Brad Pitt. "But sometimes it doesn't matter how smart you are or how much you try, a big budget film just destroys everything else."
"Yankees 2011" was directed by James Cameron — his first film since 2009's "Avatar."
"Could the story have been better? Less contrived? Sure," said Cameron. "Was the writing obvious and cliched? No doubt. But the special effects were amazing. Between all of the effects and the marketing that was put behind it, I am convinced that by the end of 'Yankees 2011', the audience actually believed the 2011 Yankees were a great team. Now that's impressive storytelling."
Academy Award voters insist that they are not affected by a movie studio's Oscar push P.R., but it would be hard to remember "Moneyball" in light of the promotional blitz put on for "Yankees 2011." From the Yankees, voters received a baseball signed by everyone on the team, a personal visit from Derek Jeter, free season tickets to every home game at Yankee Stadium and $50,000 cash. From "Moneyball" producers, voters received an e-mail from former A's first baseman Scott Hatteberg.
With the dramatic, well-written "Moneyball" failing to reap awards, the producers say they will try a more broad-market, slapstick comedy approach for a sequel.
"I've been working on the script for years already," says Beane. "It features lots of dumb trades, like shipping Carlos Gonzalez and Andre Ethier away, a string of losing seasons and, to top it all off, signing 40 year-old Manny Ramirez. It's hilarious."