Hurt Locker Beats Star Trek For PGA Award – Did Trek Spoil An Avatar Win?

Last night the Producer’s Guild held their annual awards and Star Trek was one of ten films up for Best Feature. Avatar was expected by many to win, but but in the end both films lost out to The Hurt Locker. Could Trek be a spoiler, there is some buzz on that. Details below, plus photos of JJ Abrams from the event.



Trek and Avatar lose out to Hurt Locker
Following suit with the Academy Awards, the PGA expanded their list of Feature film nominees to ten films. "Hurt Locker" beat "An Education," "Avatar," "District 9, " "Inglourious Basterds," "Invictus," "Precious," "Star Trek," "Up" and "Up in the Air."

Avatar was the expected winner, here is how EW’s Dave Karger put it yesterday (before the PGA awards):

After finding itself completely left out of last night’s Screen Actors Guild Award ceremony, Avatar will need to reassert its awards-season dominance at tonight’s Producers Guild Awards. In the last 20 years, the PGA honoree went on to win Best Picture 13 times, a decent 65 percent success rate. Avatar doesn’t have a cakewalk to victory tonight—with District 9 and Star Trek both in the running as well, the sci-fi-spectacle vote could be split, leading to a win for The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, or Up in the Air. But the good news for Avatar is that this prize is (as the name suggests) voted on only by producers, so there are no pesky actors or writers in the voting body to grouse about the film’s relative weak points. If Avatar loses tonight, we have a real Best Picture race on our hands. But I’m not holding my breath.

After Hurt Locker walked away with the win, Awards Daily took a look at the state of the race post-PGA asking “How did that happen“, and had this to say:

Avatar had two big problems heading into the PGAs (and I say this as someone who was thoroughly convinced it would win last night): District 9 and Star Trek.  That is, the Hurt Locker vote was solid.  None of those votes would be stolen by Avatar.  But Avatar’s votes could very well have been stolen by District 9 or Star Trek fans.  If you go by the producers, you have JJ Abrams, who is successful enough to be a threat. And then there is Up in the Air’s Ivan Reitman.  There will be others who vote for the Pixar movie.  With ten movies, the vote is potentially split up all over the place.  Somehow, The Hurt Locker prevailed.

Could it be that Star Trek (and District 9) are splitting the sci-fi friendly vote? The next big test will be the nominations for the Academy Awards, those will be announced next Tuesday.

Iraq war film "The Hurt Locker" takes home PGA Award – did Trek spoil Avatar’s win?

Although he likely didn’t expect to win, Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams did attend the PGA Awards. Abrams’ fellow producer Damon Lindelof was also nominated, but he was out of town and couldn’t make it to the event.

JJ Abrams with wife Katie McGrath arriving at PGA Awards

JJ Abrams inside at the PGA Awards

Guild Awards Scorecard 2 for 3
So far Star Trek has been nominated by most of the guilds. Star Trek has prevailed in 2 out of 3.


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Well not to realy worry. Star Trek has done pretty good in the awards so far. And well deserving too. I say congrats on what Trek has accomplished. A new fan base to add to the core,geek is good. But that’s always been true. And the awards season has not ended. Let’s wait and see.

If I say something about how great Katie looks in that picture, JJ will probably not put me in the sequel, right?

Of course, odds are he wasn’t anyway, so…


You are one lucky man, Mr.Abrams.

Counting awards is fine, counting the $$ is better…

Kathryn Bigelow is an amazing director and I hope she scoops up the Directing awards across the board. Nice to see the Hurt Locker recognized. Where she teamed up with James Cameron in Strange Days, magic happened.

I don’t think the votes are being split on sci-fi. Since when does someone vote on a movie as best picture just because it’s sci-fi? The movie actually has to be worthy of the award in the opinion of the one voting (unless they made the movie, I guess). I don’t care if Battlefield Earth got nominated, I ain’t voting for it. I don’t care how desperately I want sci-fi recognized in the Oscars. People are probably voting with their preferences or the people they associate with. All Star Trek did was not help itself. It wasn’t about miscommunication among some mystical group of people sweating to vote for a sci-fi picture. Hurt Locker is the best directed picture of the year IMHO … award well won, and deserved.

OT: Back home after seeing Avatar. Imho, a vastly overrated movie. The visuals are awesome, but the story and the characters are as thin as a sheet of paper. I’m very disappointed. Overall, Star Trek 09 was a much better movie.

@4. Ironhyde: This was the Producers’ Guild award, NOT the award for best direction.
Since I don’t follow awards nominations I can’t tell you if Hurt Locker is also up for best direction.

As much as I love ST, “Hurt Locker” was hands down the best film of the year.

It sounds like Hurt Locker is THE movie to beat at the Oscars this year. Avatar shoudl get every possible award for technical achievements….despite the box office, it’s not a great MOVIE. It should be acknowledged for the groundbreaking work in CGI and 3D. Best Picture? I think not….in my humble opinion. Star Trek didn’t cost it a win at the PGAs, the membership recognizes Avatar for what it is.

“Did Trek Spil An Avatar Win?”

Maybe “The Hurt Locker” is just a really amazing movie about real people and real emotions and not some shallow pretentious exercise in techno-wankery.

#8, who knows how producers vote, I mean what is the criteria? Which film made the most money for the producer by spending the least? I mean that’s what producers do!

I also don’t believe Star Trek ever was a threat to Avatar, for the main reason that whether my facetious jab at the producers criteria is accurate, or more likely they recognize quality, District 9 was a much better movie than Star Trek in line with what did win: The Hurt Locker. In fact it wins on both counts.

Considering Avatar is winning so much critical recognition, and I believe it is a better film than Star Trek, but not by much, I suspect that Avatar got a fair amount more votes than did Trek … it was always a long shot in my opinion. But I can’t prove it, so there you go.

But if any film kept Avatar from winning (if indeed it had any chance to begin with), it was District 9, not Star Trek.

Hurt Locker deserves the win. I’ve said to friends that the only film I’m happy with beating AVATAR is Hurt Locker (not that I don’t love Trek, but I never really expected it to win). The Oscars will be between Hurt Locker and AVATAR for best pic. The fact that we’re talking about Trek even being nominated for PGA or even Oscar is a HUGE win for Trek overall. I will be jumping for joy if it gets an Oscar nom for best pic. Who would’ve ever thought just 4 or 5 years ago that Trek would be among the most honored films of 2009? It is, indeed, an honor just to be nominated.

Avatar is overrated. Star Trek was the better film. I have yet to see The Hurt Locker but have heard great things about it.

Avatar has some stunning visuals, no doubt, but all the depth of a Disney movie. From the 1950s.

#9: “Maybe “The Hurt Locker” is just a really amazing movie about real people and real emotions and not some shallow pretentious exercise in techno-wankery.”

The hell you say! :) (or in other words: yes)

#10: “District 9 was a much better movie than Star Trek in line with what did win: The Hurt Locker. In fact it wins on both counts.”

Not only yes, but heck yes. There. I said it. HECK YES.

Anyone who still hasn’t seen “The Hurt Locker” should do so immediately.
It deserves any awards it is nominated for.

I don’t know whether the sci-fi vote caused Avatar to lose, but I’m glad The Hurt Locker won. I’m also glad that the way the Best Picture Oscar votes are tabulated, any argument that the sci-fi vote is split will be somewhat diminished.


It had 1/5th of Star Trek’s budget and no veteran actors. For those reasons alone, I’d say District 9 was an amazing achievement. As with every other film made about the Iraq War, American audiences avoided Hurt Locker as if it were some contagious disease. But the lack of interest will probably boost its chances at the Academy Awards.

“The Hurt Locker” had a realistic portayal of soldiers. No one wanted to be in Iraq. Soldiers had vulnerabilities. Nobody was going all “Rambo” on the bad guys. In fact, there wasn’t really a bad guy in the movie. Kathryn Bigalow brought a different perspective to the genre. A perspective that a lot of male directors don’t have. The movie played out more like a documentary showing us that soldiers laugh, cry and get scared.

As much as I love Star Trek I am glad The Hurt Locker won as I am EOD myself.

For some reason I have a feeling that this is going to turn into a 1999 situation where Spielberg won Best Director for Saving Private Ryan but the film unfortunately lost Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love (so to make the parallel to this year, Cameron wins Best Director, but The Hurt Locker wins Best Picture).

But I’m still rooting for Avatar to win both Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron because I believe it deserves both wins (should it be nominated in both categories as it’s expected to be).

I just hope Star Trek is among one of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture. That would be wonderful.

And to be honest, I really didn’t find The Hurt Locker to be all that special. Sure it’s a good film, but I’m surprised at all the critical praise it’s been getting. I thought Up in the Air was superior.

My top five films from 2009 — in varying order depending on my mood :) — are Avatar, Up, Inglourious Basterds, The Hangover and Star Trek (with District 9 and Up in the Air also favorites).

Why is JJ’s wife taller then him and doesn’t have the same last name?

#20: When people accuse me of “trolling” for daring to say unflattering things about a piece of fiction, you will help provide perspective :)

#20. Are those serious questions? 1) Because she’s taller than him. 2) Because lots of people keep their maiden names.

Never heard of Hurt Locker!

@20: Because these days celebrity marriages usually don’t last long. And it’s really annoying to change your name every few years (months for some) :-)

Never watched the hurt locker. Another film nobody went to see winning awards which is typical of award shows. The top grossers never win because they are seen as garbage popcorn entertainment.

Seen Star Trek, want to own avatar on dvd as well. War movies about real life wars and politics crap not so much.

Who cares about Avatar winning? That movie was $#it. The Hurt Locker totally blows it away, as does District 9.

All through Avatar, I felt like I was watching a Pixar film.

#26: uhhh….yeah….a film that ‘nobody’ went to see is usually a great film that doesn’t appeal to the masses of idiots like you. Films that everyone sees are designed to appeal to the broadest audience possible, mostly those people like you who have no idea what makes a film great.

Avatar sucked. Star Trek sucked. They didn’t win, nor did they deserve to. The Hurt Locker was a great story with great acting, great character development, a lot of tension, and almost no CGI. And it was totally original. Avatar was the most unoriginal movie of the decade.

whatsup from afghanistan! thanks anthony for updating the site like you do. i’m not the only trek fan in my unit so we appreciate the hard work. for my 2 cents, trek is great, and avatar was visually cool but hurt locker is the best movie of the year. it won because it’s that good, and thats pretty much the only reason why. oorah!

Avatar? Meh. Why wouldn’t I enjoy a film that depicts the American military as viscous, heartless, unethical killers trying to steal from tree-huggers whose skin tone is Democrat Blue? Sounds like the feel good movie of the season! Not so much. Heavy-handed liberal crap.

Trek? Awesome. I’ve only recently heard about Hurt Locker and had planned to see it before I even heard it was up for this award. I’m hopeful.

#28- I tend to agree.
Missed Hurt locker. Need to see it.
Cameron, however, if you look at what he accomplished, DESERVES a Best Director Oscar for Avatar.
Best Picture? No. But it’ll probably get it anyhow.

I hope Star Trek gets nominated! That might be the greatest validation of the franchise in the mainstream ever. It just took the rest of the world 40+ years to recognize what most of us have known since the beginning.

Will it win? Not a snowball’s chance on Vulcan.

But I hope Avatar doesn’t. I don’t know why it matters to me, but that honor should go to a classic example of truly remarkable filmmaking. Avatar is a remarkable TECHNICAL achievement…but not a great film. Despite all the cash it’s raking in, the Oscar should be awarded for the holistic experience of the movie. (Not that it always is….too many spiteful egos in Hollywood.) It’s just mind boggling to me that Avatar, with it’s 2-dimensional characters and simplistic, derivative plot, has proven so appealing.

To restore my faith in how quality/success in filmmaking is judged…and inspire creative teams to ALWAYS aspire to a better product, not just commercial success…I hope a better FILM wins.

I haven’t seen Hurt Locker yet…but at least one other movie that I have seen is clearly heads and tails above the rest….UP.

I hope to god District 9 or Hurt Locker win best picture at the Oscars… Star Trek should at least get a nomination as apart from it being one of the true stand out films this year, it would provide vindication for a franchise that has been sorely overlooked in the past.

AVATAR will and should get most of the technical awards though I would love to see Michael Giacchino win for his score on Star Trek.

But if AVATAR wins best picture at the Oscars, then God will detonate some red matter in Earths core, by which hopefully, I’ll be the first to die so I dont have to remember for very long that Avatar won something it dosent deserve to…

—Morchievo to USS Black Sun… Beam me up—


Ever seen a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly?

If Avatar’s message is as you say – and I am not staking a position either way – then it is certainly no detriment to the movie’s popularity. Thus far, foreign returns account for over 1.3 billion of Avatar’s total (1.9 billion). Unlike Star Trek, which did not generate much interest outside of the United States, Avatar is a big hit with overseas audiences. And it has stayed on top of the box office in markets that Hollywood usually has a hard time wooing, including China, Brazil, and Egypt.

I would not vote for Avatar as “best picture” if I were a member of the Academy, though I think it deserves some technical awards. Then again, I am not Spike Lee, Tom Hanks, or Annette Bening – so my opinion does not count.

Your title:
“Hurt Locker Beats Star Trek For PGA Award – Did Trek Spoil An Avatar Win?”
“Hurt Locker” beats them both, but you credit “Avatar’s” loss to “Star Trek”? Hahaha… I disagree. Since “Avatar” came out second after “Star Trek”, I would say “Avatar” spoiled a “Star Trek” win for this award. Or, “Hurt Locker” kicked both of their buts around the world. Nice try with putting a spin on this.

TrekFreak you are quite the troll of the week arent you? Did you even read the article? The ‘trek spoil’ thing is coming from Entertainment Weekly and Awards Daily, this site is just reporting their buzz. Why dont you go troll EW now and attack them for ‘spin’ but please go away

“Avatar” and “Star Trek” do not deserve to win “Best Picture” awards. They’re good movies, but far from the best this year. Someone needs to sit down with “Avatar” fans and very gently explain to them that “selling the most tickets” does not mean “it is the best movie”, anymore than “selling the most hamburgers” means McDonalds makes the best hamburgers.

“The Hurt Locker” is a better movie, period.

That’s my opinion, your mileage may vary.

I’ve always been of the opinion that the movies that win the most awards usually want to make me slit my wrists. Look at the Academy Awards. Half the movies that win best picture make me wonder if the voters aren’t clinically depressed. I mentioned on another board that I love Alfred Hitchcock movies, arguably one of the best directors that ever lived. Only one of his films won an award (Rebecca) and he never won for best director. So whether Star Trek wins for best picture or not, in whatever award ceremony there is, will not make a difference to me.

Actually, if Star Trek were to win an Academy Award for best picture, I’d probably be worried, LOL.

Clarification for my #36–Rebecca was Hitchcock’s only film to win the best picture at the Academy Awards. Some of his films did win other awards.