How much time was between the release and ceremony dates for nominees and winners over all 84 years of the Academy Awards? See for yourself in this visualization.
In which month are most movies released? October (10.48%) and september (9.16%), but only september belongs to the best months to be nominated for an Academy Awards. December, with just 8.81% of all movies released, is the best month to get nominated. More than 1 in 5 nominees is released in december.
December is also the month in which most Academy Awards winners are released. That's not remarkable, considering in has the most nominees. November has the best conversion rate from nominee to winner with 32.5% of nominees in that month winning an Academy Award.
Remarkably, July has had 0 Academy Awards winners and for more than 20 years, the months February, March and April had no nominees.
In the first years of the Academy Awards, the number of days between release and the ceremony was well over a year. But after a while, this number quickly dropped to 200 days and stayed there.
In the period between 1973 and 1996, there was a distinct difference between nominees and winners. The closer your movie was released to the ceremony, the more likely it was to win.
The Academy seems to prefer longer movies: the 10-year average of winning movie run times has always been higher than that of the nominees.
However, since last year the averages have been the same: 130 minutes. Additionally, the average for winners has never been less than 2 hours. In 1966, the average run time for winners was the longest with 162 minutes.
The taste of the Academy seems to agree with that of the public, demonstrated by the higher IMDB-rating of the winners.
In fact, the 10-year average of the winners has never been below the nominees. The only decade in which both plot lines nearly intersected are the '50s. The greatest difference between winner and nominee occured in 1979 and was 0.8 points.
Throughout the history of the Academy Awards, drama movies have been well represented among nominees and winners. It's the most popular genre. In other words, you need the drama.
Nevertheless, the drama genre has entered a minor decline during the last few decades. Less drama movies are nominated, and even less actually win an Oscar.
Comedy is not a prominent genre at the Academy Awards, but it's a somewhat constant factor. The average percentage for nominees is between 25% and 15%.
The Academy doesn't seem to like thrillers that much. At least in the first few decades, they weren't on the nomination list all too frequently.
But since the '70s, thrillers seem to be on the rise. The genre is still a small factor, but it's there. The Exorcist (1973), Jaws (1975) and Pulp Fiction (1994) were nominated, The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) and No Country For Old Men (2008) actually won.
In the first years of the Academy Awards, romance movies were really popular. The first winner of the Academy Awards was a romance movie: Wings (1927). After that, classics like Gone With The Wind (1939) and Casablanca (1942) won an Oscar.
But over time, the genre received less nominations. In the '90s, there was a big romance revival for winners with Forrest Gump (1994), The English Patient (1996) and Titanic (1997). But in general, the romance died.
Are movies escapism? Maybe, but not for the Academy Awards. The nominations for the war genre are always around 10%. This genre doesn't win very often, except during the war decade of the '40s.
These war movies are almost always combined with the romance genre, like Gone With The Wind (1939), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Casablanca (1942) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1947). A more recent winner, notably without much of a love story, is The Hurt Locker (2008).
So what's a typical Academy Award winner? Although most movies nominated are released in December, the months October and November provide the best chances of winning. The last few years, winners tend to release around 240 days before the ceremony. And it's mostly long movies that take the little gold statuette home. And, as you can see, IMDB-visitors tend to agree with the Academy.
In genres, a movie really needs the drama to win. It's the most common genre both to be nominated and to win an Oscar. Thrillers seem to have become more popular at the Academy over the last decade. And romance movies are less popular than during the early days of the Academy Awards.
So who will win the Academy Award for Best Picture? We'll know the answer on Sunday February 24th. The nominees for the 85th Academy Awards Best Picture (which you could also read here) are:
'How scenes from five of the nine best picture nominees were reassembled to promote the films.' By New York Times.
'The Huffington Post crunched the stats on every Oscar nominee of the past 30 years to produce a scientific metric for predicting the winners at the 2013 Academy Awards.' By The Huffington Post.
'You - yes, you - can cast your vote in 12 of the major Oscar categories, including best picture, actor and actress, and best foreign language film.' By The Guardian.
'Other data sets about the Academy Awards tend to focus solely on predictions. Our visualization goes beyond to reveal the divergence in critic-public opinion.' By Brandwatch.
'This site is made by the team from Silk. We are all data enthusiasts and we love movies, so analyzing this data was fun to do.' By Silk.
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For more information, check the official website for the Academy Awards or IMDB.
© 2012 Jerry Vermanen · Data journalist at NU.nl
This project was made with Bootstrap, Font Awesome by Dave Gandy, Highcharts and next-level love for data.
Special thanks to Chris Helt, Simon van Woerden and Stephan Okhuijsen.