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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Do Oscar nominations affect your desire to see a film?

Earlier this week, Patrick Goldstein at his Los Angeles Times blog wondered “What happened to the fabled ‘Oscar bounce’?” In the midst of a tremendous box office boom, the films nominated for Oscars have not benefitted — in fact, they’re being all but overlooked by moviegoers, for the most part. Writes Goldstein:

Here’s one perspective on how little the best picture nominations have meant this year. Even without a best picture nod, “Doubt” has outgrossed three of the five best picture nominees, while “Defiance” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which barely registered with Oscar voters–earning one major nomination between them–have outgrossed both “The Reader” and “Frost/Nixon.” The latter film is the most striking commercial failure of the season. Losing more theaters each week, “Frost/Nixon” only made a paltry $473,000 this weekend, giving it a total of $16.3 million after 11 weeks in the market, nearly 60% of its overall grosses coming before the Oscar nominations were announced.

Goldstein offers a lot of intriguing analysis after that as to how and why the Oscar bounce may have disappeared, and how the movie marketplace is changing overall, and it’s well worth a read. But my question to you today is simpler:

Do Oscar nominations affect your desire to see a film? If not, why not? If so, are you more likely to see that film in a theater, or will you wait till DVD?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)

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  • bitchen frizzy

    Oscar nominations don’t sway me.

    An Oscar win can influence my choices when going through movies at the library or video store, especially movies from a long time ago that I’ve never gotten around to seeing.

    Oscar wins don’t influence my moviegoing.

  • JoshDM

    Yes. I’m racing to the theatre to see the Oscar Nominated for Best Comedy film, “Paul Blart : Mall Cop”.

  • Bill

    Not at all. Especially if the movie is in a genre for which I don’t care.

  • Althea

    I used to want to see the Oscar movies, but that’s gone the way of all movies. IT COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY! I only see big special-effects movies in theaters now, and only a few of those – and only the bargain matinees. “The Dark Knight” and “Twilight”, I think, were the only ones I went to last year. So far this year I’m only expecting to see “Watchmen” and “Harry Potter”.

    Having said that, yes, I try to catch up on Oscar movies after they come out on DVD. Maybe a long time after. I get almost everything from the public library for free, so everything is fair game. I just watched “Hancock” and “Burn After Reading” last week. Got “The Prestige” checked out now. Waiting for “The Mummy 3” now.

    And having said that, I know the moviegoing experience is special in a theater. I miss it. But I can’t afford it. Period. So someday, yes, I’ll see “Benjamin Button” – “Man On Wire” – “The Reader” – maybe “Frost/Nixon”, dunno. For free. On DVD.

  • Ryan

    It depends really. I really do try to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the Oscar. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t have seen such movies as Michael Clayton, Frost/Nixon, Munich, and Good Night Good Luck. Though I’ve only been trying to do this the past few years.

    I’ve actually been great this year. I’ve seen all the films nominated for the big awards (Picture, Director, Acting, and Screenplay) with the exception of Changeling and Frozen River. And most of those films I saw BEFORE the Oscar nominations. I think the only films I saw after the nominations were Doubt, The Wrestler, and Frost/Nixon.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Not really. I see a lot of films, so law of averages says I’d probably end up seeing a lot of the major nominees. As it turns out, I’ve seen all the front-runners this year, but my reasons were more likely to be “It’s directed by Danny Boyle/David Fincher/Tom McCarthy” or “It stars Kate Winslet/Sean Penn/Michael Sheen” than “It’s got a lot of Oscar nominations”.

  • Althea

    I did notice one thing that matters: All the Best Picture nominees were released in December or thereabouts. That further discourages me from seeing them, since if I think it costs too much in the first place, I’m not going to run out and see 5 of them in rapid succession.

  • I agree with Bitchen Frizzy:

    I don’t run out to the video store the day (or even month) after the Oscars to snatch up the latest picks. That said, if I’m looking for a movie to rent/buy – or a movie comes on TV – and it has garnered a few accolades, then I’m more likely to give it a shot. Just a few nominations is often enough to sway me, because the selection of the One True Winner is subject to tastes.

  • Paul

    Althea rightly implied that only big specials movies really need to be seen in a theater. A lot of serious movies, and even romantic comedies, can be enjoyed just as much on TV, rented for the family for the price of one movie ticket or less.

    The author of the article also pointed out that Hollywood had changed it’s disturbation cycle, so that it released more “blockbuster” type movies during the time of the normal Oscar bump, which suggests to me that there was never an actual Oscar bump, but rather at that a dearth of fun movies to attract viewers away from Oscar nominated movies.

  • t6

    Yes, Oscar noms do effect my movie watching habits.

    Specifically, I try to see as many of the nominated films in the major categories (Best Film, Director, Lead, and Supporting) before the Oscars actually happen. I don’t usually meet my goals. But in the lead up to Awards seasons, I’ll start trying to put those Oscar/Golden Globe flicks on my ToDo list.

  • Katie Dvorak

    If I want to see a movie I’ll see it. Whether or not it got nominated for an Oscar doesn’t affect me at all. Though like some of the others, it might make me more inclined to consider renting it. Maybe.

  • JasonJ

    I could give a rip about the Oscars. The only thing that makes me want to see a movie is if it interests me, not someone else’s opinion.

  • JasonJ

    I could give a rip about the Oscars. The only thing that makes me want to see a movie is if it interests me, not someone else’s opinion.

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