Netflix’s “If Something Happened, I Love You” win for Best Animated Short helped this year’s Oscar field set a new record for most streaming movie wins.
The animation trophy followed a win for Live Action Short by another Netflix title, Two Distant Strangers. Netflix had previously hit the board with two Academy Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Amazon Prime Video was named Best Sound for Sound of Metal.
The new record came in the middle of the night, beating the grand total of four wins each for the ceremonies in 2017 and 2019. Of course, next to this year’s record there is a big asterisk that is the decision of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to abolish the traditional requirement for a theatrical release. In a typical year, even movies intended for streaming must qualify for at least a week in theaters.
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With theaters in New York, LA and London having to close for most of 2020 due to the coronavirus and only recently opening their doors, streaming has become the pandemic norm. In addition to Netflix and Amazon, newer branches also made themselves felt. Apple TV +, which launched in November 2019, received nominations for Greyhound and Wolfwalkers, but didn’t score any victories. Hulu, who has been in the streaming game since 2007, paved the way with a Best Actress nomination for Andra Day The United States versus Billie Holiday.
Netflix, first nominated in 2013, led this year’s field with a total of 36 nominations, including 10 for Mank, most of a single film in the running. This year’s total nominations surpassed the 24 Netflix scored last year, but won in just two categories. In 2019, 15 nominations were received from a harvest with Roma.
The first year that films distributed by a streaming service were officially accepted into the circle of Oscar winners was 2017. Amazon Prime Video won three wins out of seven nominations for Manchester by the Sea and The Salesman. Netflix recorded the best short documentary motif this year, The White Helmets.
This year’s math has gotten pretty blurry on the streaming bottom line due to Covid-19. Disney, for example, decided to release a handful of films through its streaming service Disney +. Those titles included multiple Oscar-nominee Soul, named Best Animated Feature Film tonight, and a theatrical release in certain parts of the world. Warner Bros also posted Judas and the Black Messiah (a winner tonight) and other new releases on WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max as they hit theaters.
While the story will record Soul and Judas as studio nominees, most voters and viewers got it through streaming. Hulu has established a primary link for Nomadland, Collective, and a number of other films through its Disney ownership and output deals. In 2017, Manchester by the Sea came to Oscar night with box office sales of more than $ 46 million, but it wasn’t due to be streamed until May of this year. The times have changed.