Streamers Advertise Big on Academy Awards Telecast

Subscription streaming video services spent big March 12 marketing their platforms on ABC’s 95th Academy Awards national TV broadcast.

With 30-second spots ranging from $1.6 million to $2.1 million, marketers such as Paramount Global dug deep showcasing Paramount+, while spots for Disney-owned Hulu and Disney Studios’ The Little Mermaid invariably amounted to house ads.

Verizon bought several spots showcasing its new +Play streaming platform, the telecom’s attempt to emulate Amazon Prime Channels, which offers Prime members direct access to third party streaming services. The Verizon ads significantly featured Netflix programming, including “Wednesday,” “Stranger Things” and Glass Onion.

Beginning March 12, Verizon subscribers get free 12 months access to Netflix’s Premium tiered service ($19.99 monthly) with a paid 12-month subscription to a third-party SVOD service on +Play.

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Studio advertisers included Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and Disney.

“Our sponsors showed up in full force, across every major category with new and custom creative, joining a spectacular evening celebrating the biggest achievements in storytelling and the moments that bring us together,” Rita Ferro, president of Disney advertising, said in a media statement.

Netflix Wins Six Oscars for ‘All Quiet on the Western Front,’ ‘Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,’ ‘The Elephant Whisperers’

Following industry award-winning juggernaut Everything Everywhere All at Once dominance at the 95th Academy Awards, Netflix quietly followed behind collecting six Oscars across 16 nominations.

The streamer won big for the grim reboot of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel adaption for German World War I drama All Quiet on the Western Front, including best international feature, cinematography, original score and production design. The original 1930 movie, also based on the novel,  won four Oscars at the 3rd Academy Awards, including outstanding production (now called best picture).

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Netflix also won Oscars for Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (best animated feature) and The Elephant Whisperers (best documentary short film category). The former beat out Netflix’s other nominated animated feature The Sea Beast.

The SVOD pioneer, under the direction of co-CEO Ted Sarandos, has long made industry awards a priority, generating 16 Oscars across 116 nominations. All Quiet was also up for best picture, but lost out to Everything Everywhere All at Once — which topped the Awards with seven Oscars.

Regardless, the 2023 Oscars haul is a strong comeback for Netflix, which won just one Oscar (Jane Campion’s best director win for The Power of the Dog) across 27 nominations in 2022.

CNN Wins First Oscar for ‘Navalny’ Documentary Now Streaming on HBO Max

CNN won its first Oscar in its near 43-year history at the 95th Academy Awards March 12 in Los Angeles, where original CNN Films movie Navalny won Best Documentary Feature Film.

The doc, which aired on CNN and is currently streaming on HBO Max (both owned by Warner Bros. Discovery), explores the attempted assassination of Alexey Navalny, the enigmatic Russian anti-corruption campaigner and former presidential candidate (against Vladimir Putin) currently imprisoned in Russia.

Doc director Daniel Roher methodically records the meticulous research and analysis that unmasked Navalny’s would-be killers, and why they sought to kill the man Putin apparently considers a serious threat to his power. Interweaving interviews with Navalny, his family, and contemporaneous eyewitnesses to key events with other records, the doc follows the investigation into the assassination plot, and includes reporting from the investigative news organization, Bellingcat, and CNN.

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“[The doc], first and foremost, is about the passion, drive, and inspiring heroism of Alexey Navalny, who even as we celebrate this award continues to languish in a penal colony,” Amy Entelis, EVP, talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, said in a statement.

The documentary premiered at 2022 Sundance Film Festival where it received the U.S. Documentary Audience and Festival Favorite Awards. The film was released theatrically by Warner Bros. Pictures. It has been honored with a BAFTA Award for Best Documentary, a PGA Award for Outstanding Producers of Documentary Motion Picture, a DuPont-Columbia Award, two Cinema Eye Honors for Outstanding Production and the Audience Choice Prize, along with a Critics’ Choice Documentary Award for Best Political Documentary.

Navalny marked CNN Films’ first win and second Academy Award nomination for Documentary Feature Film, following the 2019 nomination of RBG.

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Dominates Oscars With 7 Wins, Including Best Picture

The hyperkinetic multiverse actioner Everything Everywhere All at Once completed a surprising awards-season campaign with a Best Picture trophy at the 95th Academy Awards Sunday, March 12.

The unconventional film from indie distributor A24 ended up winning seven trophies from its 11 nominations. A good night was portended early for the film when it won both the supporting performance awards, with Ke Huy Quan winning Best Supporting Actor and Jamie Lee Curtis taking Best Supporting Actress. The film also won Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh, for Best Film Editing, and both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for the filmmaking team of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The film has been available through retail channels since July from Lionsgate, and can be streamed on Paramount+.

The German film All Quiet on the Western Front, a new adaptation of the World War I novel of the same name, won four Oscars, for Best International Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Original Score for Volker Bertelmann. It is available for streaming on Netflix, and arrives on Blu-ray and 4K March 28 from MPI.

A24’s The Whale won two trophies, Best Actor for Brendan Fraser, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. The film is available now through digital retailers, and arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD March 14 from Lionsgate.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, which is streaming on Netflix, won Best Animated Feature.

Best Documentary Feature went to Navalny, about imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The film is streaming on HBO Max.

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Best Adapted Screenplay went to Sarah Polley for Orion Pictures’ Women Talking, based on the novel of the same name by Miriam Toews. The film is available digitally from MGM, and on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Pictures.

Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick, which has been credited of late with helping restore the theatrical exhibition of films with its huge box office take, took home just one trophy from its six nominations, for Best Sound. It is available on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Disc, digital sellthrough, VOD and for streaming on Paramount+.

Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won Best Costume Design for costume designer Ruth E. Carter, which she also won for the first Black Panther from 2018. The film is available on disc and digital, and for streaming on Disney+.

Director James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water, from Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, won for Best Visual Effects, a category also won by the 2009 original Avatar. The sequel will be available for digital purchase March 28.

Best Song went to “Naatu Naatu” from the Indian film RRR, which is streaming on Netflix.

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In the short-form categories, Best Live-Action Short went to An Irish Goodbye, Best Documentary Short Film went to The Elephant Whisperers, and Best Animated Short Film went to The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, which can be viewed on Apple TV+.

The ceremony also included 100th anniversary tributes to the Warner Bros. and Disney studios, the latter including a preview for the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid remake due in theaters May 26.