Film News

Money Wins Oscars, Duh – An Adam Ruins Everything Video

There’s a moment in this new Adam Ruins Everything Video where his co-host remarks, “Oh, [For Your Consideration] campaigns. I’ve heard of those, and you don’t have to explain them to me [Pauses to notice how disappointed Adam looks]. Go ahead. Have your fun.”

That roughly sums up my initial reaction as well. My “I already know about this” was quickly followed by “Who are you again?”

Adam Conover is a comedian and writer who works with CollegeHumor and now has a show called Adam Ruins Everything on truTV. He specializes in throwing facts at our assumptions in an entertaining way. In this particular video, he attempts to tear asunder any notion that Hollywood awards show are really about awarding art, although who ever really thought they were.

I can’t lie – this is the first time I’ve ever seen Adam, which is probably not so much a comment on him but more on me simply being really late to the party. I only came across this video because it was trending on YouTube yesterday, and I only share it here because it has Ray Wise laying down Netflix knowledge I had totally missed:

“No one was taking Netflix seriously as a TV network. So we resolved to win us an Emmy. We went to the neighborhoods of Emmy voters and gave people $50 each to put up Netflix lawn signs. We sent food trucks with free lunch all around L.A. We painted this town with money, and that year we didn’t just win one Emmy, we won three. So I melted the other two down and made rings. And now Netflix is a TV network.”

That actually comes from a Deadline article from 2013, which I found through Adam’s collection of links on his TruTV website where he lists all of the sources used for his videos.

The one aspect of Adam’s argument I would take exception with is this: “One study found that an Oscar nom is worth 20 million dollars at the box office, and 34 million for a win! Even if your movie’s a flop, getting nominated is an easy way to make your money back.”

Of course, he is referring to the Oscar bump, and his stats are supported by a 2011 article, at which point the Academy was two years into the 10 Best Picture nominees era and about to switch to a sliding scale system where there could be as many as 10 nominees per year but only if they all received a sufficient number of votes.

Eh, he’s both wrong and right. Ever since the 2009 expansion and 2011 alteration the so-called Oscar bump, at least as it pertains to box office, has been largely diluted. However, over the past 2 years the Oscar bump has returned on a case-by-case basis. At the very least, a win or nomination has a huge impact on an actor’s salary (the same, sadly, can’t be said for actresses). You probably don’t want to know how much Eddie Redmayne is making these days, especially if you’re familiar with his work, er, yeah, let’s go with “work” in Jupiter Ascending.

tumblr_n32pz0ahjf1rzoznmo3_r1_500So, the studios continue to funnel massive amounts of capital into campaigns, and while Oscars can’t be outright bought (several notable losers last year spent far more on campaigning than the eventual winners) that doesn’t stop anyone from trying.

And now this:

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