AureliusJoined:Dec 17th, 2019Topics:Posts:March 16, 2023 at 5:34 pm #1205354758
A common refrain among pundits, influencers, the public, and Hollywood – and, given the online fake fan awards last year that were an attempt to get No Way Home in the ceremony, the producers of the show themselves – is that the Oscars’ declining ratings are due to them not nominating the most popular films. Now, I don’t deny that going super indy and arthouse would not help their ratings, and I think great blockbusters are nomination worthy and no one should have some anti-populist knee-jerk reaction against them. However, I’m just not convinced that it will help their ratings beyond a marginal amount.
In 2018, the Academy nominated nine films for best picture, with a domestic box office of $708.5 million combined. It also received the lowest rating for the Academy Awards since ratings were measured, at only 26.5 million viewers.
The next year, 2019 the Academy nominated nine films, but one of those, Roma, didn’t have a wide theatrical release. Nonetheless, thanks to huge hits Black Panther Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star Is Born, the combined domestic box office was a whopping combined 1.349 billion domestic – a 90% increase in the box office total. The ratings, however, increased only to 29.56 – a mere 12% increase.
The next year, 2020, the domestic box office total was a combined $747.2 million – much lower than 2019, but still 5% higher than 2018, and that was with only seven of the nominees having theatrical wide releases (and at least the Irishman had pretty solid streaming numbers on Netflix). The ratings however fell to 23.64 million – a 12% decrease from 2018.
Even this year, when Avatar 2 alone made more than all the 2022 nominees combined and it wasn’t even the highest domestic grosser nominated for Best Picture, ratings rose by only 12% to 18.7 million – still millions lower than 2018, despite the fact that Top Gun Maverick single handedly outgrossed every BP nominee from that year combined.
People keep saying the issue is a disconnect between the Academy and what regular people like, but with dramatically more popular movies being nominated resulting in only marginal ratings improvements, I think it’s clear that this narrative – constantly being pushed in the media – just isn’t true. I think the overall decline of network tv ratings, decline of Hollywood’s reputation (deserved in some cases – Weinstein scandal, Oscars so white, etc., undeserved in others – QAnon conspiracy theories about Tom Hanks etc.), decline in celebrity culture due to social media, and social media letting people instantly find out the winners rather than sitting through the show have all had a bigger effect. I don’t know how the Oscars can fix their ratings decline, or even if they need to (it’s still relatively highly rated as far as TV programs do, and the highest rated awards show by far), but I don’t think making their list of nominees look like the PGAs, or even more populist, will do the trick. Voters shouldn’t feel influenced to vote for popular movies just out of some desire to boost the ratings.Reply
eddienowJoined:Jan 31st, 2023Topics:Posts:March 16, 2023 at 5:58 pm #1205354779
The telecasts used to be where you could see so many celebrities or high fashion in one place, catch behind the scenes footage & appreciate how something technical was made. It’s no longer the only place to see all that outside of VHS rental.ReplyCopy URL
AureliusJoined:Dec 17th, 2019Topics:Posts:March 17, 2023 at 7:45 am #1205355300
The telecasts used to be where you could see so many celebrities or high fashion in one place, catch behind the scenes footage & appreciate how something technical was made. It’s no longer the only place to see all that outside of VHS rental.
Yeah, I don’t know how they could recapture that magic.ReplyCopy URL
Rachel615Joined:Sep 20th, 2018Topics:Posts:March 17, 2023 at 8:06 am #1205355324
There is a huge decline in ALL TV ratings; this is not unique to the Oscars. In 2022, just under 50 million people watched the Super Bowl on TV– it was the lowest rated Super Bowl ever. Ten years earlier, in 2012, over 112 million people watched the Super Bowl on TV. American football hasn’t become much more “woke” in the last decade– it’s the same game. The reason for the difference in ratings for Super Bowls AND the Oscars is the same: fewer people watch network and broadcast TV now than did ten years ago.ReplyCopy URLNot now
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