This Sunday, the 87th Academy Awards ceremony takes place. While this year’s nominees include films with big budgets and even bigger box office returns (American Sniper leads the way with $58.8 and $307 million, respectively), there are many other interesting financial figures you might not have heard about.
How do Oscar nominations and wins affect the box office numbers, the actors, and more? And what are the costs involved in getting an Oscar nomination in the first place?
Here are the answers to these questions and more, as we examine the 2015 Oscars by the numbers.
Box Office Value of the Best Picture Award? $14 million
No surprise—this is the most valuable category in terms of its impact on increasing the box office take of a nominated film. A nomination is good, but winning Best Picture is worth about $14 million.
Aside from the Best Picture award, several other categories still count for something. A Best Director award is worth $11 million. Best Actress is worth $2.3 million and Best Actor about $1 million.
Not all wins count, though. The Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories reportedly have zero impact at the box office.
Boost in salary for the Best Actor? $3.9 million
When a film wins, so does just about everyone involved in its production. But it’s not just the film’s box office take that sees extra money.
Both the Best Actor and Actress stand to earn more too— although there’s a big difference in how much. For winning Best Actor, the amount is about $3.9 million more per film following a win. The Best Actress winner can expect to see just a small bump in pay, worth about $500,000 after her Oscar victory.
The reason for the difference isn’t clear, but one study found that actresses are paid less after age 34. That’s less than they got when they were younger and less than their male counterparts of the same age.
Value of the “swag bag” at this year’s awards ceremony? $125,000
Win or lose, no nominee goes home empty-handed. This year, they’ll each get over $125,000 worth of goodies, according to Variety.
Several of the more exciting items included?
- A $14,500 luxury train ride through the Canadian Rockies
- A three-night stay at a resort in Tuscany, worth $1,500
- $1,500 worth of French Mediterranean sea salts
It’s not all luxury items and trips, though. Slightly less than one-fifth of that value is a $20,000 gift certificate for a personal session with Enigma Life founder Olessia Kantor.
The total cost of all Oscar promotional campaigns? $100 to $500 million
While this is largely an unknown value, $100-$500 million is the range one expert puts the total cost all Oscar contenders combined each year.
A Hollywood studio reportedly spent about $15 million to promote Shakespeare in Love for the Oscars. Another studio for The Hurt Locker reportedly spent $5 million in 2009.
So where does all that money go? About $3.5 million goes to placing ads in publications and union magazines that target Academy voters. And millions more can be spent on each film for other types of advertising too, which is one of the largest costs.
The cost to mail “screeners,” which are simply DVDs for Oscar hopeful films, is about $250,000 per film.
Additional money is spent on screening the movies and hiring various consultants who can better position a film to get nominated and hopefully win.
For the winners’ envelopes? $10,000
At this price tag, it’s clear they’re not using your standard #10 business envelopes, the kind we use to pay bills.
These are specially designed envelopes by stationery designer Marc Friedland. Designing and printing the 488 nominee cards takes about 110 hours worth of manpower, with each hand folded and gold-leaf stamped.
The amount paid to fill-ins to take up seats in the auditorium? $125
While the Academy Awards show is filled with hundreds of stars and their guests, it’s still a challenge to fill the 3,300 seats at the Dolby Theater. That’s where fill-ins are needed.
In addition to being able to take in the show, these fill-ins (who are just everyday people) are reportedly paid $125 to plant themselves in their seats and cheer loudly as the winners are announced. Not a bad gig for getting to hang with the stars, right?
Amount wagered on the Oscars via online websites? $100,000+
There’s no official tally of how much money is bet on the Oscars. One reason? Betting on this kind of event is illegal in the US. But foreign betting websites still take wagers. One executive at a betting site says the Oscars bring in an amount in the “healthy six figures” in wagers.
This year, Birdman is the favorite to win Best Picture with 4/9 odds according to OddsChecker, American Sniper is a long shot at 66 to 1 odds despite being a box office smash.
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