One key problem that the Academy needs to address is viewership for the telecast. To be more specific, they need to regain interest with the general public, as the last two broadcasts have been by far the lowest-rated in the history of the Oscars. 2021’s ceremony brought in a record low 10.4 million viewers, with 2022 doing better-but-still-not-great, with 15.36 million people tuning in. Prior to that, the low was in 2020, with 23.6 million. Viewership is trending down — and the slide is happening rather quickly.
This year, though, movies like “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Top Gun: Maverick” are both up for Best Picture, among many other prizes. Not to mention hits like “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” scoring nods in other categories. So the question is, can the inclusion of more popular films lead to an increase in viewership? It certainly can’t hurt matters, that’s for sure. Especially given that we also have a movie like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” that is incredibly popular with people who are A) likely to tune into the Oscars and B) head to the theater to buy a ticket for that kind of movie.
The other question is, will the nominations boost ticket sales for the other nominees? Can “Women Talking” generate more interest now? Will “Tar” be released in more theaters again against a presumed rise in interest? Could “The Fabelmans” now get some legs that it desperately needs to justify the investment by Universal? With the much healthier moviegoing numbers we’ve seen in early 2023 already, the rising tide could very well lift these other acclaimed boats as well, so to speak.
The 95th Academy Awards are set to take place on Sunday, March 12 on ABC.