The glitziest Academy Awards actually cost the least, one analysis shows; predicts wins for “Phantom Thread” director and “The Post”
Not all Oscars are created equal.
Statuettes recognizing showbiz excellence in 24 different categories will be handed out at the 90th Academy Awards this Sunday, but some will have cost more than others. While much attention will be focused on who among the likes of Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep will go home with a trophy, it turns out that some of the glitziest awards actually cost the least to pick up.
That’s according to an analysis of the budgets of every Oscar winner since 2000 by Gameplan the personal finance arm of U.K. mobile service provider Giffgaff. The website found that on average, an Oscar costs $81.7 million to win, but there’s great variation among the movies. The most inexpensive Oscar to win is Best Leading Actress, since actresses who took home the Golden Man fronted movies costing an average of $26 million. Surprisingly, this was cheaper than the average budget of a movie awarded a Best Supporting Actress Oscar ($45 million.)
While movie stars get all the attention in Hollywood, the priciest Oscars recognize work that primarily isn’t the province of celebrities. The most expensive Oscar to win is for Visual Effects, with the average triumphant film costing $175 million. Following closely behind are the awards for Animated Feature ($146 million) and Sound Editing ($133 million) respectively. Meanwhile, the Best Motion Picture award costs just an average of $46.1 million. The figure was likely drawn down by “Moonlight’s” surprising win last year; the LGBTQ-themed film won a score of accolades and took in $65 million at the global box office on a budget of just $4 million.
“Animated Feature carries a bevy of Pixar classics as winners, while Visual Effects has blockbusters including “Avatar,” “Inception” and all three “The Lord of the Rings: films,” Giffgaff wrote, adding that “Moonlight’s” success meant “splashing cash seldom means getting a stellar movie.”
The big caveat to Giffgaff’s analysis is that it doesn’t necessarily take into account a big part of the Oscar nomination and award process: lobbying. The run-up to the March 4 ceremony, involves months of campaigning that includes cushy junkets (AKA “value-added opportunities”) for Academy voters, though these perks are restricted as the big night grows near.
Giffgaff however is so confident with its analysis that it’s even predicting winners in select categories for Sunday night. Its pick include Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” which cost $50 million to make, for Best Motion Picture, and “Phantom Thread” auteur Paul Thomas Anderson for best director.
(“The Post” was co-produced by 20th Century Fox, whose parent company shares common ownership with Moneyish publisher News Corp.)
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