Slumdog Millionaire, the Oscar winner for Best Picture in 2008 was not a summer blockbuster. Nor were any of the other nominees in that category. But they all had a couple of things in common: they were primarily advertised in the second half of the year with a concentration in the fourth quarter, and they were all released in the months of November and December. So while the summer blockbusters get a great deal of attention, it is those films that are released – and tend to advertise – during the last half of the year that get recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, according to recent review by Nielsen.
A review of Best Picture winners over the past five years reveals that only one film – Crash, which took home the award in the 2005 – was released outside the fourth quarter (it was released in early May). But summer flicks hold their own when it comes to winning awards: the top 10 movies in 2008, based on advertising spending from May through August, included four films with nominations in other categories. Wall-E, which was ranked third after spending over $38 million in advertising during this period, was nominated in six categories – and raked in $63.1 million box office sales.
Read more about how advertising can make or break a film in the latest issue of Consumer Insight.