Dr. Nelson Granados Weighs in Academy of Motion Pictures' Decision to Keep Qualifying Rules for Oscar Eligibility Intact

April 29, 2019  | 1 min read

Dr. Nelson Granados recently blogged on Forbes about the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ decision to keep the qualifying rules for Oscar eligibility unchanged. This settles at least temporarily the controversy from this year's 10 Oscar nominations and three wins for Roma, a Netflix film by award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón. Roma premiered on an exclusive theater window of three weeks on independent U.S. theaters, just enough to meet the Academy's requirement of a minimum seven-day theater run for a film to qualify for an Oscar. It then released the film on the Netflix streaming service.  

Dr. Granados says that “a longer theater window requirement would protect box office revenues, but it could do so at the expense of revenues from other distribution formats like streaming and downloading. Dr. Granados and Dr. John Mooney have been working on a paper entitled Popcorn or Snack? Empirical Analysis of Movie Release Windows that found that on average 82% of box office revenues are captured in the first month. So purely on distribution economics, the Academy's range to consider extension of the theater window requirement is from seven days to about a month.

Dr. Granados says "I have argued that the Academy should embrace streaming as an important channel for distribution and monetization of motion pictures. But it should also safeguard its broader goal to reward the best motion pictures. By keeping the status quo for at least a year, the Academy has precious time to evaluate the trade-offs, analyzing carefully what's best for its members. Oscar qualifying rules are not changing for now, but the debate doesn't end here." Read more