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Golden Globe win worth millions more than Oscar victory

The Golden Globes are often seen as a trial run for the Oscars. Movie producers spend millions more promoting Oscar campaigns, and relatively little on the Globes. The Globes live up to this reputation to a point, but they are also much more significant.

As it turns out, Golden Globe awards result in a bigger box-office boost than Academy Award wins – $14.2 million per film, on average, versus $3 million, according to my statistical analysis. This might explain the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision last year to move its nomination announcements a few days ahead of the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 13.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the Golden Globe and Oscar races are not just about selling tickets to the films that win. The awards bring opportunities to the winners – and the unquantifiable gratification of victory. However, the total box-office effects of these awards number in the hundreds of millions, and figures like that cannot be ignored. So let’s dig in.

If we look at total box-office receipts for award-winning films over the past 12 years, we find that the Academy Award nominees contribute 27 percent of the total gross, whereas Golden Globe nominees contribute about 18 percent (with significant overlap between the two).

 

Here we can see the expected spike in Golden Globe and Oscar films during the Thanksgiving and winter holidays (weeks 46, 50 and 51). Even though the Academy Awards have a reputation for only rewarding November and December openings, the Globes’ effect is even greater.

Why the Oscars still matter

I’ve been watching the Oscars since I was 11. This required getting permission from my parents to stay up late on a school night, but they knew how much movies meant to me. It was the only night of the year when one could see the biggest stars in Hollywood on the small screen. Audrey Hepburn, Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Taylor didn’t appear on talk shows in those days.

Memories like mine have been shared by a number of excited Oscar winners, who have said how unreal it seems to be standing at that podium, which they never dreamed of when watching the awards show as children.

I doubt the critics questioning the Oscars’ relevance today could recall anyone making a similar speech at the Golden Globes or any of the newly minted award shows that have permeated the pop culture landscape. That’s because these shows don’t have the history, tradition or worldwide impact that sets the Academy Awards apart from the crowd. And while some of these ceremonies have better reputations than others, they all exist in the shadow of the Oscars – the locomotive that drives a massive and increasingly complex Hollywood machine known as awards season.

‘The Lorax’ jumps from page to screen

Dr. Suess tale “The Lorax” comes to the big screen this weekend with Danny DeVito voicing the tree-loving creature in the 3D movie version of the classic children’s book.   Distributor Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp, projects opening-weekend sales upwards of the $38 million domestic opening for the animated “Rango” during the same weekend last year.   The weekend’s other new wide-release movie is comedy “Project X” from Time Warner’s Warner Bros. studio, which forecasts $17 million to $19 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales from Friday through Sunday.   The film about three high-school students who try to throw a party to remember — and which proceeds to careen out of control — already took in $1.5 million at midnight showings early Friday.   Elsewhere, best-picture Oscar winner “The Artist” will expand to 1,756 theaters from 966, as independent film studio The Weinstein Co. tries to spin some of that Oscar gold into green.   Photo Credit: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.

IPad makes prime-time TV debut

America got its first prime-time peek at Apple’s latest gadget on Sunday night, as the company rolled out its first TV commercial for the iPad during the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony.

No surprise, it was a visually slick, 30-second montage of everything the iPad can do, with a finger-snapping soundtrack provided by Danish group The Blue Van. YouTube Preview Image

But Steve Jobs wasn’t on his couch back in Silicon Valley watching it; he evidently journeyed down to Southern California to catch the Oscars in person, and was not too shy to pose for a pic with a fan.

There’s Apple… and there’s Microsoft

It’s a tale of two companies in the technology world on Thursday. There’s Apple, whose quarterly profit beat expectations on strong iPod and Mac computer sales. And then there’s Microsoft, whose dismal earnings sent shockwaves through financial markets.

There should be plenty of interesting questions for CEO Steve Ballmer on the company’s conference call this morning — some of which he likely wouldn’t answer if asked.

Why didn’t Microsoft give investors a warning if the results were going to look so lousy? Why release the results Thursday morning rather than when it was supposed to, later this afternoon? What’s going on with Yahoo? Will 5,000 jobs cuts — the biggest ever by Microsoft — be sufficient? And, seriously, why is Apple doing such so much better?