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February 28, 2008

Raise the Titanic

Nobody saw the movies. Really, nobody.

A full 75% of those who watched the Oscars on Sunday night had not seen any of the nominated movies.

Twenty-three point seven percent of the viewers had seen one of the five best picture nominees -- of those, 15.3% had seen "Juno" and the numbers drop off a cliff beyond that, with the smallest audience, 3.8% having seen "There Will Be Blood."


So says a study by Bay-area research firm Integrated Media Measurement Inc., which would seem to suggest a certain inherent allure to the Academy Awards telecast that's sure to warm Sid Ganis' heart. But perhaps more important to the studios and their flop-sweating investors: it could mean a solid upside for DVD, pay-per-view and such for this crop of boxoffice losers ("Juno" excepted).

Pete Sealey, a marketing guru (both Hollywood and consumer brands) and IMMI board member, said he deserted his balcony seat at the Oscars after about an hour because he was bored out of his skull. And sure he has a snazzy idea or two about how to juice up the works, but that'll cost you, Sid.

He thinks women are the key to blockbuster (or basement) Oscar ratings and this year's lineup didn't just not attract them -- it repelled them.

"That's why the show with 'Titanic' had the biggest ratings of all time. Love story! Record-breaking boxoffice! This bunch of movies was bloody and downbeat, not the kind you tune in to root for. That drove women away."

Bring back the chicks and lure the young influentials -- tall order for a creaky old institution. Is Oscar up for the challenge? Discuss.


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Whaaa.... When i read this I am really scared for the future of cinema. "No country" and "Blood" were one of the two best movies ever, ones that lovers of cinema will talk about in years, masterpieces that don't happen often... And you suggest that Academy Awards shouldn't have recognized them because they are "box office loosers" ?
Artistic beauty and BO are two things completly different and Oscars are here to recognize movies that didn't be recognized by the audience. Or you could only make Spidermans, Shrecks or Pirates of Carribean movies... But we would have to stop saying that cinema is an art and call it by its real name: business.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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