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I read an interesting article the other day that stated the reason the Academy added more movies to the best picture race was to help improve television ratings. The thought was, that the more movies that people have seen, the more likely they would be invested in watching who would win.
They also stated it was a ploy by the movie industry itself to make more money, since people would go to the movies in order to be knowledgeable about the Oscar race.
The article stated that more movies are released closer to the Oscars to receive a bump in theater attendance than they ever were before.
I feel like they sort of had it right, but missed the most obvious fact.
People aren't as invested in the Oscars because they haven't seen all of the movies. Plain and simple. If the goal is to increase television viewers of the Oscars, then the obvious way to do this is to stream or provide a way for people who can't go to the movies to see the movies before the Oscars.
I, like so many others, can't go to the movies. My reason is because of my back. I can't sit in the movie theater that long. Therefore, no movies for me. Other people can't go because of the incredible cost of going to the movies. Also, it truly is way more enjoyable to see a movie at home. Still, others can't go because they have small kids who aren't old enough to even go to the theater, old enough for the content, and/or small kids then require obtaining a babysitter just to go to the movies -- which is far to expensive.
If those involved really want a spike in viewership, then the industry needs to release the movies so more people can watch them. Fine, charge more to stream the movie. I don't think that is fair, especially since the reason it's not available for home viewing is because the industry wants to force you to the theater to pay theater prices. Yet, at least it would be available.
I have downloaded and Netflixed every movie I could so far. That means I have only seen Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, and Blue Jasmine.
The movies I can't see? Gravity, 12 years, Nebraska, Philomena, American Hustle, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
I like to be able to pick and root for the people I think deserve it the most. But how can I? I'm not able to see most of the movies.
If the industry wanted more viewership it's simple. Release the movies sooner. Otherwise, unless you really like an actor, you probably won't watch.
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