Advanced Television

Data: Barbie out-streams Oscar rivals

March 8, 2024

Barbie has accumulated a far larger audience than any other Oscar-nominated movie, after their arrival to streaming platforms, far surpassing Netflix’s nominee, Maestro, by 45 per cent according to data from Plum Research.

In the first seven days of its release Barbie (on Max) was viewed by 4.1 million unique viewers in the US, compared to Maestro’s 2.8 million. Especially pressing as, at time of writing, Netflix has more than double the amount of active users of Max in the US.

Of the 10 nominees in the Best Picture category, only five are currently available on the most popular streaming services: Barbie, Maestro, Oppenheimer (Peacock), The Holdovers (Peacock) and Killers of the Flower Moon (Apple TV+), while other films, like Past Lives, remain available only via pay windows.

Leading the set with 13 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director, Oppenheimer takes the crown for the most nominated film available on streaming at the moment. Following closely is Killers of the Flower Moon, with 11 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Director, followed closely by both Maestro, nominated in categories such as Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay, along with Barbie, which secures nominations including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, both films boasting a total of seven nominations each. Only Peacock has more than one Best Picture nominee in its library.

While Barbie boasts an impressive 88 per cent of favourable reviews by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s The Holdovers that claims the highest score of 97 per cent on the site. Despite this, in terms of on-platform popularity, The Holdovers managed just a 5 per cent (first 7 days) share of Peacock users, compared to Barbie’s 11.4 per cent on Max. In other titles critical claim did seem to translate into streaming success, Apple’s Killers of the Flower Moon claimed approximately 17 per cent of its platform viewer share within the first week of release, surpassing the impact inside its platform even when compared to Barbie, which IMDb identifies as the highest-grossing film of 2023. It is widely speculated that Apple was unconcerned by poor box-office performance and internally is prioritising streaming success.

Animation: Spider-Man swings to success

In the realm of animation, three out of five films are accessible on streaming platforms: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Netflix), Nimona (Netflix) and Elemental (Disney+).

The Spider-Man franchise’s latest instalment proves its dominance, attracting the most substantial audience, not only within the animated films category but also in comparison to the Best Picture nominees.

flix retains scale, with breadth of offer

Netflix emerges as the most relevant platform in terms of holding the Academy-Award favourites, with 11-nominated films in its library: in total Oscar nominated Netflix movies have been viewed by 87 million people (at time fo writing) on Netflix, with an average of 1.3 nominated movies per user.

Aside from the popular Spider-Man animated movie, the Spanish film Society of the Snow nominated in the International Feature Film category, emerges as the runner up on boasting a broader audience after its platform debut, with 9.8 million Unique Viewers within its first seven days. At third spot is the animated film Nimona, trailing behind with about half, 4.6 million viewers.

As the audience metrics are relevant, popularity does not tell the whole story. The completion rate provides a deeper understanding of the cinematic impact, reflecting the audience’s engagement with the movies:

Even though The After seems to take the crown, boasting 90 per cent of their first week’s audience completing the film, it’s worth noting it’s a short film of only 18 minutes long. When taking a look at feature films, it’s the animated film Nimona that claims the top spot for engagement. With a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes, the Netflix Original starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed, has surpassed the engagement of highly popular nominees like Spider-Man or the one in the Best Picture category Maestro, achieving 81 per cent of the seven-day’s audience to complete the entire film.

Nyad, a biographical film with nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, secures the second place, captivating 76 per cent completion rate to finish the two hours-length film. In a surprising turn, only 51 per cent of Netflix’s Best Picture nominee viewers completed the film within the first seven-days of release.

On the flip side, the Chilean film El Conde, nominated in the Best Cinematography category, struggles with less than 45 per cent of its viewers completing the film, showing an opposite relationship in the viewers’ preferences and the Academy technical criteria.

As the Oscars draw near, it becomes evident that popularity and engaged audiences do not always go hand-in-hand with critical acclaim, certainly when considering this year’s nominees. However, the question remains as to how much this popularity then influences the ultimate winners.

Plum Research will deliver further analysis exploring the impact of Oscar triumph on viewership.

Categories: Articles, Consumer Behaviour, Content, Research, VOD

Tags: , , , , ,