Monday, February 25, 2008


So in this strike-ridden blessing of a Hollywood season, nobody cared to watch the Oscars. Viewing figures were at an all-time low with 34 million viewers. Given that the population of California is 36 million, only the Californians bothered to tune in. The darling of the event was a movie that only grossed $61 million. Given the $10 million cost of a movie ticket these days, this movie was seen by only 6.1 people. I'm not saying that high gross makes a good movie but if you actually want people to watch your awards shows, then you need find a way to incorporate movies people have actually seen into your show. It's no coincidence that the Oscar viewing figures were highest when a Lord of the Rings movie won awards. That doesn't mean you should make Transformers the Best Picture but it does mean that you should probably mention good movies that out-earned the Best Picture tenfold.

But I guess that might upset the haughty-taughty Oscar-phile types who have their Oscar Parties and want to seem sophisticated by believing that they know something the rest of us don't. They think of the rest of the movie-watching world as uneducated rubes. They'd rather sit around drinking wine, bemoaning football, complaining about how George Clooney should've won more awards this year, and analyzing movies that have no business facing much scrutiny than they would just enjoying something for what it is.

The Oscars are simply catering too much to their hardcore fans and not enough to everyone else. Then they complain that nobody watched their show. Contrast that to the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is as inclusive an event as it possibly could be. Given the viewing figures, there are a lot of people who could care less about football who are watching that game. It's an event that has little to do with actual football. Usually, it's a boring blowout-of-a-game. Maybe if the Oscars could learn a little bit about inclusion they could get decent rating on years where the critics and the viewers don't see eye to eye on whatis good.


Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

There are Oscar-philes out there? Where? I've never even heard of something like that.

But then again, I don't get out much anymore...

Dante said...

I used to live with one. You may remember photos of him looking a bit like a chicken. On UGA campus, there used to be a lot of them at Meyers.

the lady said...

While I wouldn't call myself an "Oscar-phile", I do watch them every year. This year included. And I am personally glad that they don't cater to people who don't like to watch the show. What kind of morons would that make these writers who just worked so hard to get back to work and get what they deserve? This year was no different than any other. Jon Stewart did an excellent job keeping things light and the winners suprised me in a few cases. While I don't care who designed their clothes or who did their hair, I am all for providing accolades for people who throw their heart and soul into their work. If only the rest of us had jobs like that where we could get patted on the back for doing something we love.
So I say, keep going another 80 years Oscar!