Saturday, March 04, 2006

A humble prediction: Tomorrow’s telecast of the ‘Academy Awards’ will be the least watched in decades

Why? Because relatively few people have seen or are interested in the five films nominated for best picture (the possible exception is Brokeback Mountain). Even after the films were nominated their box office revenue continued to plummet (the stats are here).

If one takes all of the major motion pictures that were playing in and around the release of the nominated pictures (there are 21 such pictures) the total gross US revenue for all of those pictures including the five nominated was $1.95 billion. The combined total of the grosses for the five nominated films is $231 million (12%). Looking at the weekly sales, for every ten people buying a movie ticket only one person chose to go to any one of the five nominated films (in many weeks it was 1 in 15).

Moviegoers have already voted once with their wallets and I believe they’ll cast the same vote again with their remote.

An interesting offshoot of all this is watching those who write about Hollywood and the movie industry trying to put lipstick on the pig.

David Germain, AP’s movie writer, offers Big Studios to Sit on Sidelines at Oscars
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- No matter who wins Sunday, Hollywood can both brag about an unusually daring crop of Academy Awards films and hang its head in embarrassment that hardly any came from the studios that dominate the movie business. [Ed. – Yeah, embarrassed all the way to the bank]

The Oscars are as establishment as it gets in the entertainment world. So it's a triumph of art over commerce that low-budget, fierce dramas such as the cowboy romance "Brokeback Mountain," the ensemble tale "Crash," the Truman Capote story "Capote" and the Edward R. Murrow saga "Good Night, and Good Luck" are the awards darlings this time over the escapist blockbusters that often rule.

"It doesn't have anything to do with the budget of the film. It has to do with the scope and scale of ambition, and the skill that people brought to it to realize that ambition," said James Schamus, a producer of best-picture front-runner "Brokeback Mountain."

"None of these films is small in what they're trying to accomplish," he said… [Ed. – In other words, money schmoney - the propaganda value is what matters]

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