Comments on: The Best Picture Oscar gets even less important http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Nathan http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3180 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:17:38 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3180 Ann Althouse posts an e-mail pointing out a manner in which this might actually increase the chance of a blockbuster winning the actual award here:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2009/06/now -there-will-be-10-nominees-for-best.html

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By: Bob Montgomery http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3172 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 15:19:51 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3172 Tyler Cowen pointed out that they nominated 10+ movies for best picture during the 1930s and early 1940s and it wasn’t obviously disastrous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Awa rd_for_Best_Picture#1920s

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By: Jason http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3167 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 13:58:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3167 I couldn’t care less who wins or gets nominated for an Oscar, but it seems to me that some of the other commenters here are on the right track. Viewership numbers for the Oscars depends on the nominees, not the eventual winners, which aren’t known until after the telecast. Having more mainstream nominees will help viewership numbers, at least on the margins.

So I disagree with you conclusion. This is good news for the Oscars, bad news for the studios.

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By: Craig http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3166 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 13:53:33 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3166 The Academy Awards have been an artistic sham from the word jump; it’s hard for me to get worked up about this. Back when we used to have Oscar parties (it’s funny to think we used to need an excuse to have a cocktail party), the recurring joke was that you didn’t have to study the Documnetary entries at all–you just waited for the clips and voted for the one about the Holocaust. (Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, anyone?)

To say nothing of the ultimate marketing effort to the jury that resulted in the Best Picture nomination of Chocolat. Or the generational phenonemon of the big, beautiful, expensive movie that wins awards by the wheelbarrow load, but just isn’t very good in the cold light of morning: Ben Hur for our parents, Titanic for us. Who remembers James Cameron’s moment of supreme assininity, when he asked us all to feel our pulses and made like he was sharing the most profound truths about life? Because of Titanic?!?!

The show itself is scentifically designed to inflict the greatest possible pain on an audience without driving them to change the channel, and the best Oscar moment I can remember is the bitter, classless, sour grapes editorial Annie Proulx wrote after Brokeback Mountain lost to Crash. That one is well worth Googling. Oh, and there was that American Indian woman who refused Marlon Brando’s award, for reasons that are still a bit unclear, and went on to pose naked in Playboy. Only in America.

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By: a http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3164 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 11:20:14 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3164 I’m not sure how much the studios have won. Their marketing costs – because one a film is nominated, they have to spend cash to promote it – have just gone up. And still only one film wins.

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By: ajay http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3161 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 09:04:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3161 Yes, I’m with Bridgie… argument doesn’t seem to make sense here.
Plus, previous best picture winners have included lots of high-grossing films – it’s been ages since the Academy picked something that wasn’t a roaring commercial success. (Amadeus, maybe?)
In fact, I’d argue that this is a good thing for Oscars viewership – people won’t watch because their favourite wins, because they don’t know in advance, but they’ll watch if their favourite is nominated (and by that I mean a film they really loved, not just ‘the best one I’ve seen recently’). This doubles the number of people whose best-loved film gets nominated, so it doubles the viewership.

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By: dWj http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3152 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 01:48:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3152 Felix, my first thought, too, was “they’d better drop the first-past-the-post system for choosing a winner”. The mechanism by which nominees are selected is more or less designed to collect a similar number of votes for each nominee; your 15% isn’t just an extreme hypothetical, but is fairly likely.

If they used a Condorcet method or something else to mitigate this problem, they might get more popular winners. If that doesn’t work, though, blame the voters; there’s only so much a good voting system can do.

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By: Somebody http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3149 Thu, 25 Jun 2009 01:20:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3149 In 2009 they had a good chance to improve their ratings, giving a nod to “The Dark Knight”, instead, they did the same ol’ thing and nominated dark horses like “Doubt” which weren’t going to win anyways.

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By: Bob Montgomery http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3145 Wed, 24 Jun 2009 22:47:56 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3145 Somewhat echoing Bridgie, just glancing at the last 10 years’ worth of best picture nominees and winners, it looks to me like the winner was very seldom a small/arty film, though many (most?) of the nominees were.

Since 2000, the lowest-ranked winning film was 2005’s Crash, which was 49th in total gross that year. Next was No Country For Old Men (36th in 2007), then Million Dollar Baby (24th in 2004). But all the others were top-20, which doesn’t seem small to me.

LOTR was 1st, Gladiator was 4th, Chicago was 10th, A Beautiful Mind was 11th, The Departed was 15th, and Slumdog Millionaire was 16th.

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By: Bridgie http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/comment-page-1/#comment-3138 Wed, 24 Jun 2009 19:57:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2009/06/24/the-best-picture-oscar-gets-even-less-important/#comment-3138 But wait – in 2004, nobody knew who would get the award until the very end of the show. How on earth could that affect ratings for the whole program?

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