Obvious: Lowest Turnout Ever for Oscars 2021

The 2019 Oscars was much more exciting, it seems …

Didn’t mention Oscars 2021 here on Sunday. Didn’t watch it. Didn’t care. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as it turned out the smallest viewership ever.

Only 9.85 million viewers tuned into Sunday’s ceremony where Searchlight’s “Nomadland” took the top prize and Netflix walked away with the most wins. That’s a nearly 59% drop from the 23.6 million viewers that turned on their TVs for the program last year, according early fast national numbers released by Nielsen.

Academy Awards ratings plummet to all-time low as viewership drops below 10 million

We suggested several times last year that they should just lump 2020 and 2021 into one large celebration and awards show. There just weren’t enough movie theater releases and all the major titles, with some exceptions were pushed off to 2021 and beyond. The Academy couldn’t see skipping an annual tradition and pushed on.

What the result was a playing field that favored lesser known, smaller budget films. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Nomadland was the best movie in 2020, really? I don’t know. Anthony Hopkins acting in The Father was great, but was he the best actor of every movie in 2020? Maybe.

Bottom line: it’s done, over and now we can look at 2021. It’s already off to a stronger start than 2020. There should be more interest in the Oscars in 2022, maybe.


16 thoughts on “Obvious: Lowest Turnout Ever for Oscars 2021

  1. Well, if you encouraged your readers not to watch the ceremony what do you expect? 🙂 As for the questions you ask… Was Nomadland the best movie? Was Sir Anthony Hopkins the best actor? Those are the questions one asks every year. We all have our faves. and root for them and hope they will win. The whole conversation about Chadwick Boseman not winning the Oscar is disrespectful toward Anthony Hopkins. And I’m sure Chadwick Boseman would disapprove himself such conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t think we ever encouraged readers NOT to watch the Oscars, but we never actively encouraged it either, so fair point 😉 Yes, the awards are always subjective. Didn’t agree that Parasite was the best picture in 2019, but at least that was a very good film. Nomadland, did you see it? What did you think? It was cinematic shot, artistic absolutely yes, but was it the best film in 2020?

      As for Boseman? Totally agree there. He wouldn’t want to be in the discussion that he should win, at least in part because he passed away to honor his memory. Great actor, but he was better in other films. Da 5 Bloods was a better performance IMO.

      I think it was the wrong year to celebrate films with an annual ceremony. They should have just skipped it, but oh well, it’s over and done. The viewership seems to suggest that this sentiment was felt by others too. It wasn’t the right time for this. The Oscars next year will do better. Will be more films to have a more meaningful selection of films to discuss.


      1. I saw Nomadland and it depressed me. BUT! As you say it has great scenery, Frances McDormand is always wonderful. Last but not least, destitute people have their own story which deserves to be told and seen. I’ve learned a lot of things watching Nomadland.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I personally think the decline has more to do with the show no longer being about glitz and glamour. Instead it is about celebrities lecturing the viewing public and Meryl Streep twirking. Then again I am of the mind there are no movie stars left. There are only celebrities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure when entertainment became preaching from overpaid movie stars. Let’s go back to the days of telling great stories and not having all these “messages” being rammed down viewers throats.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And then you’ll accuse them of being disconnected of the real world, stuck in their “great” stories, unaware of ordinary people’s struggle. As far as I’m concerned, movie stars are humans entitled to their opinion and they are free to use their platform to make a point. I mean they SHOULD use their platform to make the world a better place whether it’s about animal cruelty (Joaquin Phoenix), environment (Leo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo), or gun violence (Regina King). If Regina King says she’s afraid for the life of her son I believe her. If Youn Yuh-jung says her sons were afraid of her safety in the US, I believe her. Stop being so judgmental and join their cause for a better world.


      2. Those that preach to us are disconnected from the real world. How can they talk about hunger and homelessness when literally outside their mansions miles away people are homeless. Why don’t they go down there and DO something? Hand out blankets, serve food, etc. Using a movie to preach to us about what they think is much less effective than actually doing something.


      3. How do you know they don’t do something? Some of them donate money. Joaquin is not only against animal cruelty, he is actually a vegan. You should have articles on your blog about all these good things movie stars do. Let them give a good example. That’s the least you can do. Speaking of which, what exactly did you do for homeless people? Have you handed out blankets? Have you served food? Have you donated money?


      4. I’m not a rich movie star, so it’s an irrelevant comparison 😉 We have had posts here about good things actors have done, see: https://moviereviewsbyus.com/2020/07/21/6-year-old-boy-protects-his-sister-from-dog-attack-receives-accolades-from-robert-downey-jr-tom-holland-and-mark-ruffalo/

        I celebrate the good and bad and honestly, would much rather report on the good. Sadly, most news around actors shows their hypocrisy. Not all of them. I don’t know anything about Joaquin Phoenix besides he signed $50 million for two picture deal. If you make $50 million dollars, let me know what good things you’ve done. I’ll do the same.


      5. More positive actor story links: https://moviereviewsbyus.com/2021/01/24/betty-white-turns-99-still-great-example-of-how-to-live-happy-long-and-well/ (Betty White)

        Robin Williams (particularly relevant to your comment): https://moviereviewsbyus.com/2020/09/15/robin-williams-helped-homeless-with-stipulation-in-his-contract/

        Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds: https://moviereviewsbyus.com/2020/04/14/stars-doing-good-reynolds-and-lively-donated-1-million-to-feeding-america-and-food-banks-poker-for-charity/

        We can’t paint the brush too widely, which I believe is your point. Some overpaid actors do good things with their money. Some are very quiet and we don’t even know what they’ve done, so how can we know? Regardless, I don’t want to see them use movies as a preaching platform — ever. I go to movies to see an entertaining story unfold, not feel preached at. If you enjoy that in your movies, that’s cool, this is what makes this entertainment great. That we can all enjoy it in different ways 🙂 Have a good day!


  3. I didn’t realize how low the numbers were until the next day when I heard it on the news. I watched it but it was just okay. My challenge was that they didn’t show the trailers when they read off the nominees for each category. I missed that part right before they say “and the winner is…” Many of the movies I had not seen or even heard of and I added a couple to my list to watch but yeah, I can understand why people didn’t watch it. Also, it was another year with no host.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The no-host thing seems like a cheap move. Just hire a host/emcee for the event already. I guess they went away from it because then it becomes more about the host/emcee than the movies. I saw many of the movies being nominated, reviewed all that we watched, but there weren’t enough standout films. It’s like playing MLB with a shortened season and trying to give awards out for single season records. Just doesn’t make sense. Oh well. We should get a full year of movies for 2022.


  4. I ALWAYS watch the Oscars, but even I gave up about 30 minutes in this year. Honestly the lack of clips led to just too much talking. I know the whole thing is just a bunch of movie people patting themselves on the back, but they weren’t even being coy about it in this year’s show. It was a contest to see how boring we can make an awards show.

    Liked by 1 person

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