The audience for the last Oscars, which was held Sunday, April 25 in Los Angeles, collapsed with a score of 9.85 million viewers in the United States, a fall of more than 58% compared to the previous year and a historic low, according to figures communicated by the ABC channel which broadcast the ceremony. This very bad result was expected by the experts, and it is in line with the half-mast numbers achieved this season by other film awards, such as the Golden Globes.
For the previous edition, in early 2020, before the pandemic that shook Hollywood and the film industry, the Oscars ceremony had attracted 23.6 million American spectators, which was already the worst score at the time. audience recorded by the event.
This drop in audience for the Oscars has been observed regularly in recent years. Again in 2014, the gala evening drew over 43 million television audiences, and the Oscars are usually the most watched non-sporting event of the year. This time, they turn pale in comparison to the first episode of a remake of the series. The Equalizer, which attracted 20 million Americans, or with the interview of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by Oprah Winfrey on March 7, with more than 17 million viewers.
A noticeable absence
Theaters having been closed for much of 2020 and studios having pushed back big productions like West Side Story by Steven Spielberg or the new version of Dune. The candidates competing for the Oscars this year were obviously unfamiliar with part of the public, like the big winner of the evening, Nomadland, an independent film with a modest budget and with a large part of amateur actors playing their own roles. To date, the three-Oscar film has barely grossed two million dollars at the US box office.
Among the failures noted this year by many experts, the absence of Anthony Hopkins, crowned best actor for The Father. However, exceptionally, the organizers had changed the order of presentation of the statuettes, which traditionally ends with the best feature film, and ends with the Oscar for best actor.
“At 83, I did not expect to receive this award, really not”, apologized from Wales’ Anthony Hopkins in a video posted to Instagram. He also paid tribute to the memory of Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer last year after shooting his latest film. Ma Rainey’s Blues. The star was considered the big favorite in the category of best actor.
The flagship Hollywood ceremony was exceptionally held in a historic train station in downtown Los Angeles, where competing stars and technical teams could work while respecting health guidelines and physical distancing. The number of guests being limited, some winners received their trophy, and held their speech of thanks at a distance, like the French novelist Florian Zeller, who stayed in Paris and awarded the prize for the best screenplay adapted for The Father, again.
Critics’ opinions of the ceremony were mixed on Monday, with many regretting the lack of humor and musical numbers that are the hallmarks of these great American-style shows.