With the Super Bowl and Grammys (soon to be) in our rear view mirror it’s time for Hollywood to honor its BEST (with the 88th Annual Academy Awards.)  This year Chris Rock will host the Acad Awards for his 2nd time. Neil Patrick Harris hosted 2015’s awards for a small audience of 37.3 M viewers. There is more off screen clamor this year than in any yr w/i memory. For back 2 back yrs, no black actors have been nominated. The question which resonates w/i the black (& other) communities is how can the leads for such movies as Concussion, Creed and Straight Outta Compton NOT be nominated? This “whitewash” has stirred much controversy. A recent Economist (1/21/16 article) stated that 94% of the 6,000± voting Academy members were white. It also noted that NO minorities were nominated b/t 1975 and 1980 & again none were nominated in 1995 nor in 1997. The Economist also said that the Acad’s current prez, Cheryl Boone Isaacs (blk) has said that this 1900s trend (that has carried into the 2000s) WILL STOP! According to the aforementioned publication the probability of this “whitewash” / “whiteout” is 1 in 100,000. OUCH! (The minority noms [in our upper hand box] from 2000 forward comes from the Economist. The next Scope will address the impact of Chris Rock as host, a possible TV blackout of sorts and discuss 2016’s advertisers.)


Table 1: Best Picture Nominees
Nominated Movie

In order of release

Date Mins Prd


$ M

Dom Box    $ M Frgn


$ M

% Frgn Box RTTN TOMT USA 2DAY Noms Odds*
Mad Max: Fury Road 15-May 120 $150.00 153.63 $222.20 59.1% 97 *** 9 66:1
The Martian 2-Oct 141 $108.00 227.62 $370.55 61.9% 93 ***½ 6 66:1
Bridge Of Spies 16-Oct 140 $40.00 71.51 $89.24 55.5% 91 *** 5 100:1
Room 16-Oct 118 $6.00 7.95 N/A 0.0% 96 N/A 3 80:1
Brooklyn 4-Nov 111 $10.00 27.53 N/A 0.0% 98 N/A 2 100:1
Spotlight 6-Nov 128 $20.00 33.00 $0.83 2.4% 96 **** 5 21:20
The Big Short 11-Dec 130 $28.00 56.71 $30.70 35.1% 88 **½ 4 13:2
The Revenant 25-Dec 151 $135.00 159.16 $201.99 55.9% 82 ***½ 11 11:5
*Odds according to business insider as of 1/22


In T-1 we see all of this yr’s BEST PIC nominees. At this time The Martian is a box office winner with more than $200M at the Dom Box plus $ 371M at the Frgn Box.  The heavy favorite for Best Pic this year is Spotlight with The Revenant and The Big Short in pursuit.  The Revenant won Best Pic at this yr’s Golden Globes which historically hasn’t meant much at the Oscars except in 2012, 2013 & 2014. (Perhaps, it will also resonate in 2016 since The Revenant has 11 nominations and has the 2nd Best Pic odds at 11:5) Table 1 gives important data about all Best Pic noms including $$ in & $$ out.


The old proverb of “it takes money to make money” may work in BIZ but NOT for Oscar Gold. Many films today have Production Bdgts (and Domestic Boxes) in excess of $100M, however 5/8 of films nominated for 2016’s Best Picture have Production Budgets & Domestic Boxes of far less than $100M. The last Best Pic win with a big Prod Bdgt ($90M) & a $100M+ Dom Box was The Departed (2006). While our bet The Revenant (and 2 other nominees) had a Prod Bdgt & Dom Box of 100M+, 5 nominees had small Prod Bdgts & Dom Boxes (THE LESSERS WILL INHERIT THE OSCARS!)

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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