Netflix hit back at huge $100m spending claims for Oscars campaign

Netflix hit back at huge $100m spending claims for Oscars campaign

02/09/2020

Netflix was reported to have spent a staggering $100 million (£77.6 million) on their Oscars 2020 campaign after earning the most nominations among the studios, but the streaming giant says the figure is greatly exaggerated.

This year’s Academy Awards see Netflix leading the way with an impressive 24 nominations for titles such as The Irishman, Marriage Story and The Two Popes, which have earned nods in categories like best picture, best actor and actress.

Industry experts had told The Wall Street Journal that Netflix was estimated to have spent around $100m promoting their movies in the run-up to the Oscars.

But Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s original films, said this is simply not true.

‘I don’t think we’re doing anything that everyone else isn’t doing,’ he clarified to the WSJ, adding that Netflix’s spending has been ‘very smart’ this awards season.

In their original report, the publication said Netflix had spent more than traditional studios, who typically budget between $5m to $20m (£3.8m to £15.5m) per movie on awards campaigns.

Another source told IndieWire it’s important to note that Netflix had a much higher volume of movies to promote this year compared to other studios.

If Netflix had spent $20m on each of it seven films, its budget on the Oscars campaign would have reached $140m (£108m).

In 2019, Netflix faced similar claims of high spending after reports it had splurged $25m (£19.3m) on a campaign for Roma, which was produced on a $5m budget.

The epic drama missed out on winning best picture to Green Book, but did scoop best director for Alfonso Cuaron, best foreign language film and best cinematography.

Netflix are no doubt hoping to take big wins with The Irishman at the Oscars tonight, after the Martin Scorsese epic failed to clean up at prior awards this season, notably the Golden Globes.

It boasts a star-studded cast featuring golden oldies Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, and was made on an estimated budget of $160m (£124m).

Marriage Story, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, has so far earned the best supporting actress Bafta and Golden Globe for Laura Dern.

The Academy Awards are taking place Sunday (9 February) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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