Commentary

Streamers May Just Need Popular Vs. Award-Winning Movies

Do we place too much attention on movies winning awards? There is some value as a runner-up or just being in contention.

Our last President, during his initial election campaign, said with him in office, there would be so much winning, “you’re going to say: ‘Please, please, Mr. President, we’re sick and tired of winning.’”

Turns out, we didn’t win much with him at the helm -- and last year, his pandemic handling proved costly.

When it comes to movies and awards -- is it also about winning? Maybe not so much. Lots of nominations may mean something. That can be a win of sorts -- though not the ultimate prize.

However, movie nominations influenced the movie viewing of 70% of survey takers, according to research from USDish, a sales agent of Dish Network. The survey culling data from 57,960 data points to determine which films received the most award nominations.

Take Netflix’s “Mank” as an example. Though not winning a best picture Oscar award this past weekend, it became the one of the most nominated films of all time -- with 35 -- when totaling all noms from the five big award shows: Academy Awards (Oscars), the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Critics Choice Awards.

The downside is that "Mank" had a poor win-versus-nomination rate of return. It won 9% (two Oscars, one BAFTA) of its 35 nominations.

The best result in recent years was “The King’s Speech” in 2010, with 45 total nominations and 15 total award wins -- a 33% winning percentage.

“La La Land” was next, with 43 nominations. But it had a much better conversion rate than “King’s Speech” with 58% wins. That’s seven Golden Globes, seven Critics’ Choice, on SAG award, four BAFTA and six Oscars.

Still, can we derived overall marketing value from this? It would be hard to compare movies of years ago to the 2020 pandemic year, since the theatrical box office had a fraction of its normal distribution.

Theatrical box-office revenue results can also reveal strong streaming and other platform usage. But not this year.

And then there’s the timing of the nominations: Oscar nominations came out March 15; for Golden Globes came February 3; Critics’ Choice came February 8. Yes, nominations are a good thing for a movie. But it’s also good to win.

Still, just for moment, consider Diane Warren, a longtime songwriter who has been nominated for 12 Oscars. She has never picked up a trophy. She’s the most nominated women in Oscar history never to win. What’s her value to movies?

I’d say pretty good. Maybe it’s better to be a veteran game player, performing at a high level. That’s real value.

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