The Oscars and other big awards shows have little to do with anything other than money and the need to feed some egos.
Money is a very important thing in our society, some might argue the most
important thing, and I think the Academy Awards
, for all their near total lack of mention of money, are primarily about it. I think it’s a mistake and misunderstanding to think of them, as you and exchemist seem to, as mere and empty ceremony and ego stroking.
The nearly 6000 Academy members who vote for Oscar nominees and winners nearly all have financial interests in films. Having a film nominated, or better, win and Oscar, can greatly increase the amount of money that film, and thus its investors, make, or decrease the amount they lose.
I’ve noticed that Oscar winning films are often ones that, despite their high quality, were unprofitable in their theatrical releases. Often, after winning, they are re-released, and thanks to their Oscar publicity, are better viewed, resulting in their investors going from losing money to making it. Consider this year’s Best picture and 2 other awards winner Moonlight: according to its IMDB box office/business page
, it cost $5,000,000, but in its short October 2016 theatrical run, made only about $1,421,000. Following its Oscar wins, it is now being re-released in many theatres near me, and I would not be surprised if turns a profit.
Although I can’t prove that this actually happens, I suspect that Academy members do favors to for their fellows who have lost money on credibly good films, by voting them awards they would not have had they been profitable.
I don’t mean to imply this financial give-and-take, quid-pro-quo is a bad thing. Rather, I think it is on the whole a very good thing, allowing people to make interesting movies with lessened concern about their financial viability. I do
mean to imply that the Oscars are not the simple “best of the year” awards they purport to be.