Each year, the Academy Awards (which most of us simply refer to as The Oscars) puts on a show with the biggest names in Hollywood to honor those that worked in film over the past 12 months. The show is considered to be the most prestigious awards ceremony in all of film, and many people that act or work behind the scenes make it their life’s goal to win an Oscar.
The Oscars is also watched by millions around the world, making it the biggest broadcast for any awards show of the year. This means that those behind the Oscars need to put on a show for the people, and that can get expensive. If there was no entertainment and just a string of people coming up, accepting awards and leaving, there wouldn’t be as many people tuning in, and the spectacle that is the Oscars costs tens of millions.
Even the luncheon in the weeks leading up to the Oscars where the nominees are announced isn’t cheap. A lot of A-listers read off the nominees, and it’s estimated that this single luncheon cost more than a quarter million. Between the appearance fees, the food itself and the venue, the bill adds up pretty quickly.
As for the ceremony itself, it costs about $40 million each year to produce. Just like any film that’s nominated for an Oscar, the ceremony has vignettes and skits with incredibly high production values that use the top names in the industry. Those that come up and accept an award are holding a piece of expensive hardware, too. The Oscar statues cost nearly $1,000 to create, and about 50 of them are handed out each year.
The poverty threshold in the United States for an entire family is just above $25,000. In other words, it’s almost the exact same cost as the red carpet that the world’s biggest celebrities walk on and into the Oscars each year. All in all, with marketing and the ceremony itself, it can cost upward of $50 million to put on the Oscars.
That doesn’t even include how much money the fashion designers and filmmakers are paying. Some designers have seven or eight figure ensembles that are shown off to the worldwide audience, while those hoping for an award spend millions campaigning for their film. For many of these filmmakers and actors, it’s worth it. Having “Academy Award winning” next to your name means a huge payday in the future and movies that win Oscars always get a boost in tickets and sales.