The Oscars, or the Academy Awards, are the most prestigious Hollywood awards. However, it seems as though tech and media giants are really hampering the ‘box office’ performance.
The battle is brewing and questions swirling about this year’s show capture the tension and transformation underway in the entertainment industry.
Usually, it is expected that the top awards will be bagged by the front-runners at the box office that year. However, this year we noticed something completely different. With troubles at the box office and the rise of anytime-anywhere streaming services, this year’s Oscars fell at crossroads for the movie industry.
With so many movies from streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu gaining nominations, added to the fact that the box office is down 24 percent year-to-date on tough comparisons with last year’s hits, it seems as though this is an ongoing battle between Hollywood production houses and streaming services.
Netflix’s January report about the popularity of its movie “Birdbox” has fueled concerns that streaming options are keeping consumers home, rather than out spending on movie tickets.
2017 Academy Award ratings declined 19% to an all-time low, putting pressure on the Academy and the show’s broadcaster ABC to deliver a turnaround. But for months ahead of the telecast, the production has been rife with controversy.
Netflix has invested billions of dollars on content and has already drawn big-name filmmakers and TV show-runners. But this year, the streamer gained the highest Hollywood acclaim: the best picture nomination, for black-and-white, Spanish-language “Roma,” which tells the story of a Mexico City family in the 1970s.
“Roma” has a total of ten nominations, tied for the most with Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite.” Netflix also spent a reported $25 million on its Oscar campaign. In addition to billboards sprinkled across Los Angeles, the studio has sent Academy voters glossy coffee table books and branded chocolates.
If this year was tough on the box office, it is safe to say that it is only going to get worse.