Declining viewership for the Academy Awards has become an embarrassment to Hollywood. In 2021, more people watched the National Dog Show (11 million) than tuned in for the Oscars (10 million).
One reason for declining interest involves the nominated films, according to TV analysts. People at home want something to root for — something they have seen. In recent years, as the celebrated films have become niche (“Moonlight,” “Nomadland,” “CODA”), so has the viewership.
This year, though, the nominees for best picture include “two colossal four-quadrant hits,” as Rich Gelfond, chief executive of IMAX, recently put it.