News In Brief

Oscar by the numbers: Facts and figures from the Academy Awards

Matt Berger Feb 24, 2011
News In Brief

Oscar by the numbers: Facts and figures from the Academy Awards

Matt Berger Feb 24, 2011

The 83rd annual Academy Awards show blows through Hollywood this weekend and everyone from dress makers, to Facebook, to the movie box-office industry is cashing in. The above illustration highlights some of the big (money) winners that you won’t see Sunday night at Kodak Theater in Hollywood. We also scoured the web for a few more Oscar facts and figures:

Gold fever
In 2008, a 40 percent increase in the price of gold led to a $100 bump to the cost of an Oscar statuette. The president of R.S. Owens & Co., the firm that produces the coveted award statue, told the Seattle Times the price increase was the result of gold’s accent to $950 an ounce.

This year, gold is up to $1,416 an ounce, but Noreen Prohaska, who has been managing the Oscar account for last 20 years, says that the company no longer comments on the cost of the statue at the behest of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. She did, however, tell us over the phone that the price of the heavy-plated gold statuettes is tied to the market: “When gold goes up, gold goes up.”

Big bucks from Madison Ave.
A 30-second spot during the Academy Awards broadcast this year costs an average of $1.7 million, Forbes reports. That is expected to net ABC as much as $80 million in ad revenue for the entire broadcast. That’s up from $71 million total last year when ad spots sold for an average of $1.4 million per spot, according to industry research firm Kantar Media. This year’s expected revenue total is about the same as the 2008 peak when Oscar ad spending hit $81.1 million.

Oscar meets Facebook
In 2009, social media and Internet usage during Oscar night emerged as a major force for celebrity commentary and buzz. According to AdWeek, more than 1 in 10 people watching the Oscars that year did so while logged onto the Internet. Facebook captured the most visitors (even more than IMDB). Meanwhile, an estimated 100,000 messages were sent via Twitter during the broadcast — that’s more than 400 message per minute, or nearly 7 per second.

The ‘Oscar bump’
Best Picture Oscar winners over the last four years reported an average bump of $34.3 million in box office revenue after their nomination, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. Nominees who didn’t win earned an additional $24.6 million on average.

The price of getting dressed
The average cost of a gown worn during the Academy Awards ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, according to one celebrity stylist. But that’s just a small part of the total cost of getting dressed for Oscar night. Stars who hire a stylist to pick out an outfit will cough up between $1,500 to $6,000 per day for that service.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.