Oscars 2020: And the Oscar for the best film is for … the box office | Culture



The irruption of streaming In the film business, not only is the rules of distribution changing, but it will alter the viewers’ relationship with the awards. The semi-clandestine movies that only three critics had seen at a festival were over. Today, small films have had audiences of millions of people around the world, just like large ones. And if they haven’t seen them, they can do it right now. It will be the Oscars With more viewers in history.

Several phenomena coincide to make this possible. On the one hand, several of the nominated films have had A huge success at the box office. Four of the nine titles selected for best film had exceeded $ 100 million in collection in the United States when nominations were announced: Joker, Once upon a time in … Hollywood, Le Mans ’66 and Little Women. Korean Parasites, that can only be seen on VOS in the US, has exceeded $ 33 million, a phenomenon with few precedents at the box office for a foreign film, which largely explains that it opts for five more Oscars outside the international film category . Among the five they have raised nearly $ 2 billion worldwide, according to ComScore. All the nominees of last year added had raised 1,200 million when the nominations were announced, and more than half of the money came from Black panther, according to data collected by Variety

There is no guarantee that it will be repeated often, but it is predictable. Because this season the first time the vast majority of the candidates are available at home. This year there are 17 films with two or more nominations. Only four of them —1917, Little Women, The Scandal (Bombshell) Y Star Wars: the rise of Skywalker— were not yet available this week to see in streaming in United States. The four premiered in December or January and the exclusive cinemas exhibition window has not yet finished. The other 13 can be seen from the couch on Netflix, Amazon or Disney +

The biggest driver of this change is Netflix. In just two years, the service of streaming The most popular in the world is at the same time the film studio with the most nominations (24). For the price of a movie ticket, three of the nine films nominated for top prize can be seen on the platform (The Irish, Story of a marriage Y The two potatoes); animation movies Klaus Y Where is my body? the documentaries American factory Y Democracy in danger and the short film Life Overtakes Me. More than 160 million subscribers in the world can see these works at any time and on any screen. Last year, that happened for the first time with a film nominated for the main Oscar, Rome. They were also on the platform The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and two short documentaries.

Tim Hanlon, an analyst at The Vertere Group, a specialist in new media, considers it right to say that the Irish It is surely the most watched movie of Martin Scorsese’s entire career, thanks to its availability on Netflix. The platform does not give figures of reproductions of its content except when it interests you. An estimate by Nielsen in early December claimed that 17.1 million people had seen it in the first five days since it appeared on the Netflix menu.

“The business of the premiere in theaters has changed and they only premiere on the big screens aftermath and franchise movies,” explains Hanlon. “The majority of the audience of rooms is dominated by the so-called movie-events. With exceptions, the film that traditionally aspires to Oscar is smaller and more sophisticated, and does not attract the great masses. The services of streaming create a platform for these movies. ” This year it has become evident and general what last year, with Rome, It seemed an exception. “We witness the collapse of artificial distribution windows. I think you can argue that the streaming it will be the savior of the modest and intelligent movie. ”

the Irish It meets both conditions: it is in streaming and at the same time it is movie-event. It has nothing modest. The impact of availability on Netflix is ​​much more noticeable in another nominated for the best film: Story of a marriage. The film has been released in cinemas to enter the Oscars, but without the platform it would never have achieved the presence it has achieved in the cultural conversation. Thanks to streaming, There are no small unknown jewels. “Documentaries are a very good example,” says Hanlon. “It’s the golden age of documentaries. Before, very few of them came to theaters. But now with him streaming They have more impact and are more economically viable. Documentaries have been reinvented as a business thanks to streaming ”.

The trend will end by changing the premiere strategies for the awards. “This is the beginning of the end of the classic strategy of marketing around the Oscars, “Hanlon explains.” It consisted of releasing small quality films at the end of the year in a couple of cinemas in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for the awards and then, with the nominations, aim for the push allow a wider distribution. Over time, these films are not going to be seen only after the awards, but before and at the same time ”, as is already the case with half of them in this edition.

In this sense, 1917 It may be the last witness of this classic distribution strategy with the Oscar as its objective. Journalists from the Foreign Press Association in Hollywood gave him the Golden Globe on January 5 when almost no one had seen it yet. The premiere in theaters, the following Friday, was a success that would not be understood without that push. The film has won all the important awards since then and arrives as an Oscar favorite. You can now order Amazon Video to see it on-line in the minute it is available.

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