I have never been a fan of the Oscars. Ever since that pinnacle of mediocrity known as Titanic won 11 Oscars out of 14 nominations (!), including Best Picture, I have turned up my nose in disgust at the whole thing. As far as I’m concerned, the Oscars are nothing more than Hollyweird’s annual opportunity to ignore the real problems in this world and hold the world’s largest popularity contest. Especially in the last decade, it seems like the fashion sense of the attendees receives far more exposure than any of the films being nominated for some insipid award. Judging by the numbers, it looks like the rest of America is starting to agree with me.
So which numbers am I talking about? Basically, all of them. Ratings for the Oscar telecast have left much to be desired over the past several years, and with a new host (Chris Rock) whose previous hosting efforts for other shows have been rather underwhelming, this year doesn’t look promising. The total box office take for this year’s Best Picture nominees is less than half of what it was last year. Sure, I’ll admit, last year’s nominees included the mega-hit (and Best Picture winner) Return of the King, but come on, less than half the box office take this year?! That’s a huge drop. Not only does this year’s list of Best Picture nominees not include a single blockbuster, but none of them has reached the desired $100 million mark so far.
The point of all these numbers is simply that when the nominees are popular, the Oscar ratings tend to be higher. When the nominees are adored by critics but ignored by audiences, Oscar ratings tend to be lower. To put it another way, good box office results for the Best Picture nominees translate into good ratings for the Oscars. This year’s underwhelming box office numbers could be a harbinger of low ratings. The ratings for the recent Grammy telecast were the lowest since 1995. Bottom line, we shouldn’t expect anything spectacular.
I wonder if Britney, Madonna and Christina are available this year… or maybe Janet Jackson.
The Oscars will air live on both coasts February 27 on ABC. There is supposedly no tape delay of any kind. I wonder if the Oscar producers had the chance to see the Golden Globes where the lead singer of U2 got a little carried away during his acceptance speech.