Academy Awards, another low?


Do entertainers really know all that much about entertainment?

This year’s Academy Awards will be long on politics and short on movies. This year’s movie with the most nominations is LaLa Land, a movie seen by as many people as saw the last Bills, Cleveland Browns game.

As much as they love to blame the MC’s at the Oscars, the viewership is movie driven. The biggest audience of all time, 55 million, was the year Titanic won.

Last year, Spotlight won, “a brave” movie about sexual assault in the Catholic church. Spotlight had a total WORLDWIDE gross at $88 million and the Academy Award show had the smallest audience in modern history, 33 million. The Passion of the Christ, a movie with a worldwide gross of $611 million, the top grossing non-fantasy in 2004, wasn’t nominated and largely panned by Hollywood. In fairness though, 2004 was stacked with great movies… Lord of the Rings, Sea Biscuit, Master and Commander, but Passion was clearly a better movie than Lost in Translation and Mystic River.

If you look at the top grossing movies, they had the biggest Academy Award audiences. Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind and Braveheart. If you look at the small audiences, they’re La La Land, Birdman, Chicago, No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire, not especially bad movies, but not movies that draw wide audiences.

LaLa Land isn’t just a movie, it’s Hollywood’s mindset. LaLa Land the movie represents the way Hollywood thinks about itself. Disney and Warner Brothers are making a killing on movies that would never be best pictures, such as (In order of box office) Avatar, Star Wars the Force Awakens, Jurassic World and Marvel’s the Avengers. Avatars box office was 12X LALA LAND. ($2 Billion versus $174 million) But these movies don’t feature actors, or should we say, their over aggrandized ego’s.

It doesn’t seem to occur to Hollywood that although people may agree with them politically, very few people want to see movies they call artistic. People don’t go to movies to be “educated” and they don’t watch the Academy Awards to get CNN type commentary. They get enough of that crap on TV.

My guess is, a middle of the road “blockbuster” combined with endless leftist politics will make the Academy Awards for the third straight year unwatchable. As usual, Disney movies, which have the biggest box offices and the largest number of actual artists (versus actors who call themselves artists) will be relegated to cartoon status. The majority of content creators will get their awards before the cameras roll, we’ll be fed with another hour of overdressed, red carpet ego’s and they’ll again, blame the MC for the small audience.

In reality, what Hollywood is, is a distribution monopoly. As a friend of mine in the business told me, if you’re an independent producer, you chances of being seen are near zero. Total movie viewership has fallen almost 20 million since 2007. The audience has other choices now. They can go to Netflix and Amazon where ego’s aren’t worth squat.

This year’s host is Jimmy Kimmel. He’s rated third out of three late night shows at 2 million. That’s about 1/4th the daily audience of Judge Judy. Add the endless politics and unrelenting insults of Trump viewers and this one should be a real barn burner.


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