How Were The Oscar Ratings in 2022?

Last Updated on April 16, 2022 by Lil Ginge

You could’ve been one of the millions of people who tuned in to watch the Oscar ceremony in 2022. And if your thing is seeing one grown-ass man slapped in the face by another grown-ass man in response to a questionable joke, you probably should have been.

But just how many people watched the Academy Awards telecast in 2022? How were the ratings? What was the viewership like? And from that perspective, was the show an overall success?

This blog post looks at the Academy Awards ratings and viewership in 2022 in the context of how it has been performing in recent years. And it does seem, in fact, that the Oscars do have a viewership problem.

An academy award statue against a black curtain
Photo by Mirko Fabian on Unsplash

The Academy Awards’ Ratings Have Been Bad

The Academy Awards used to be one of the most prestigious award events around. Especially when it comes to film. Despite this, it hasn’t been performing as well for quite some time when it comes to rating and viewership.

The ratings for the Oscar have been at an all-time low. The telecast has been steadily declining in viewership since 2013. That’s not the sign of a healthy piece of programming. It indicates that, for whatever reason, people are simply tuning out.

In 2021, the Oscars had 10.5 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among adults aged 18-49, the key demographic. This was an all-time low. In 2019 and 2020, respectively, the Oscars managed 29.6 million viewers and 23.6 million viewers.

The Oscar Ratings in 2022

The ratings and viewership for the Oscars in 2022 were definitely an improvement over the previous year’s record lows. In 2022, the Academy Awards had 16.6 million viewers. This is an increase of 58% over 2021.

The show managed a 3.8 rating in the 18-49-year-old core demographic.  This represents an increase of 71% over last year. But despite looking like an impressive period of year-over-year growth, these are still the second-worst numbers in the telecast’s history.

These moments included:

  1. Troy Kotsur, the star of CODA, winning the award for Best Supporting Actor
  2. The Will Smith – Chris Rock “Slap Heard Around the World”
  3. The very same Will Smith accepting his Oscar win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture

It is not at all shocking that Will Smith’s tantrum drove a spike in rating considering the aftermath and hubbub around it. Hell, it even caused me to rethink my current policy of not watching the Oscars anymore next year!

Why Did the 2022 Oscar Ratings Improve Over 2021?

One reason that the ratings for the Academy Awards may have improved in 2022 over the previous year is that more people have actually seen the nominated movies. For example, the science-fiction epic Dune grossed $400 million at the box office in 2021, an impressive feat in the post-COVID era.

Another example is the film Don’t Look Up starring the incredible Leo Dicaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. The film is the second biggest film Netflix has ever produced for its streaming platform.

The Academy also attempted to improve fan involvement with a Twitter stunt. They had two different awards voted on by everyday Twitter users like you and me. The two awards were “Best Movie Cheer Moment” of all time and “Fan-Favorite Film of 2021”. 

As you can guess, the fans don’t always share an opinion with the critics.

Director Zack Snyder, he of violent CGI action, was the big winner of both awards. The Zaddy army voted for Justice League for cheer moment and his movie Army of the Dead for Best Film of 2021. “Restore the Snyderverse” indeed.

How To Fix The Oscars

Many people have opinions on how to fix the Oscars. But the truth of it is, it all starts with the movies they nominate. If nobody cares about those, then nobody will care about the Oscars telecast celebrating them.

There are two ways to get audiences to start caring about Oscar movies. The first is to nominate films that audiences already care about, like Marvel Cinematic Universe, Batman, and Star Wars movies. The ones people actually still go to the movie theater to see.

The other, and perhaps more attractive way, is to find better ways to actually make audiences care about the more artistic films the Academy prefers to nominate. Because releasing them on a streaming platform and hoping for the best that general audiences will find them and fall in love with them does not seem to be working.

The proof is in the pudding, or rather, in the Oscar ratings.

If you enjoyed this article on the Oscar Ratings in 2022, make sure to also check out my article on how movies are being financed by private equity firms.

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