Seven years ago, the Academy increased the number of Best Picture Oscar nominees from five to between eight and ten . . . so they could highlight more of the movies that people have actually SEEN.
Well, it isn’t really working out that way.
According to a new poll, 55.3% of America hasn’t seen ANY of nine movies nominated for Best Picture this year.
That makes sense, because only two of them have made over $100 million at the box office in the U.S., “La La Land” and “Hidden Figures”.
Three have cleared $50 million: “Arrival”, “Fences”, and “Hacksaw Ridge”. But the other four . . . “Moonlight”, “Hell or High Water”, “Manchester By the Sea”, and “Lion” . . . have even made $50 million.
Now, you might be thinking . . . well, some of these movies are just now getting exposure, and the movie that WINS will get a post-Oscar bounce. But that’s not really true.
In the poll, only 13% had seen last year’s winner “Spotlight”. Only 20% had seen the previous winner, “Birdman” . . . and only 26% had seen the Best Picture before that, “12 Years a Slave”.
So, most Americans don’t give a crap about Oscar-winning movies.
And the data backs that up. The survey asked people to select the things that influence their decision to see a movie, and the #1 answer was: The ACTORS who are in it. 71% said that’s important.
62% said the quality of the trailers influence them . . . 48% said friends’ recommendations . . . 39% said critics’ reviews . . . and just 35% said winning an Oscar matters, while 34% said an Oscar nomination might sway them.
43% said an Oscar win has ZERO influence on whether or not they see it.
Still, a lot of people tune in to the ceremony. Last year, about 34.4 million people watched it . . . and for better or worse, that was an eight-year low.
Perhaps some of that DOES have to do with the lack of blockbuster movies included. The last “big” movie to win Best Picture was probably the last “Lord of the Rings” movie, “Return of the King”, which won in 2004.