The Business of Winning an Oscar

Historically, winning an Oscar has been a big deal.  If a studio received an Oscar, it could seriously up their business and lead to all sorts of new contracts.  Revenue would almost be guaranteed for years to come.  But is that still the case today?  If a studio wins an Oscar now, does that mean they are set for the future and their name is cast in gold forever?  Is it worth their while in investing in getting Oscar voters for their movies or has the hype died down?

A lot has changed and as such, the value of an Oscar has followed suit.  These days it is not as meaningful as it was.  The general public doesn’t seem to be as wowed by a studio getting an award. They want more.  Or, they want something altogether different.  According to Nash Information Services, head of film data, Bruce Nash:

“There’s a risk they just seem a little more irrelevant. There’s a sense that the buildup has been a bit of a mess. “

And the fact that Oscar campaigns are hugely expensive (an average of $15m). industry executives wonder what the value of the award will be for the next generation.  The first century the award was out it indicated peer recognition and had an embedded place in culture.  It’s not definitive if that is still the case.

Indeed, according to Wharton Marketing Professor Jehoshua Eliashberg, more important than winning the Oscar (for financial benefits) is the nomination.  Winning is good too but it seems the nomination is all important.  Plus, it depends who wins.  A studio win is different to a person win as an actor’s salary will increase from an Oscar win.

So while an Oscar win does definitely mean prestige and is exciting to receive, in less cases these days it is resulting in fiscal success.  Getting nominated is still very appealing to those in the industry, but it’s far from a guarantee vis-à-vis financial recognition.