Oscars 2016: What Americans Watched


Despite the boycotts and tension over the lack of racial diversity among the nominees for the top awards, the 88th Academy Awards will take place this Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. Oscars will be awarded in 24 categories, with The Revenant a favorite among the nominees for “Best Picture” going into the weekend—though many believe Spotlight may cause an upset. But with all the hype surrounding the “Best Picture” nominated films, Barna thought it would be interesting to find out if anyone actually watched them. In Barna’s annual movie-going survey we asked Americans whether they had seen the Oscar nominated shortlist, and what other movies they’d seen this year. We also asked what movies they are anticipating for the year ahead. Here’s what they said:

Interestingly, the “Best Picture” nominees were among the least watched of the 27 films surveyed, with the exception of Mad Max (21%), and The Martian (19%). A small 10% of respondents had seen The Revenant, the favorite for Sunday night’s “Best Picture” category. The numbers begin to drop off after that, with only 6% seeing Bridge of Spies. The Big Short (5%), Brooklyn (4%), Spotlight (3%), and Room (2%) all came in under 5% each.

So if people aren’t watching the most critically acclaimed films of the year, what are they watching? Well, to put it simply: action films! Among the top five most-watched films of 2015, four of them were action flicks. Jurassic World was by far the most matched film of 2015, topping the list with almost 4 in 10 adults (38%) having seen the latest installment in the Jurassic franchise. Next up was Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, with almost 3 in 10 (29%) adults having seen it, followed closely by Minions (27%), Avengers: Age of Ultron (27%), and Furious 7 (25%).

After the dust settles from the Oscars, many will hit the theaters to see 2016’s most anticipated films. Topping the list is Batman vs Superman, with a little short of half (44%) of adults aware of the film and looking forward to seeing it in a theater. The superhero matchup is followed shortly after by both Captain America: Civil War, and Ghostbusters, both with almost 4 in 10 adults (39%) looking forward to seeing them. Following these, about a third of adults are either likely to see, or definitely want to see Finding Dory (35%) and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (34%). 

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