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Oscars 2023: Can RRR, Avatar 2 & others help the Academy regain its waning viewership?

RRR's presence in the Oscars 2023 race, through Naatu Naatu, has urged Indians to turn their gaze towards the upcoming awards ceremony.

Oscars 2023: Can RRR, Avatar 2 & others help the Academy regain its waning viewership?
Avatar 2, RRR and Top Gun: Maverick posters
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 08.06 AM, Jan 25, 2023

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Thanks to the inclusion of RRR in the Oscars race, everybody's talking about the Oscars 2023 nominations. The final list of nominees for the upcoming 95th edition of the Academy Awards was unveiled yesterday (January 25th) amid tremendous scrutiny and anticipation. And compared to the previous iterations, the Indian film fraternity made a much more prominent appearance this time around and eventually three nominations in three different categories.

RRR's Naatu Naatu, which recently won the Golden Globe, is among the five nominees for the Best Original Song with Shaunak Sen's All That Breathes being a contender for the award for Best Documentary Feature. Kartiki Gonzalves' The Elephant Whisperers has been nominated for the Best Documentary Short Film award.

While many hoped that S.S. Rajamouli, his film RRR and the film's leading Jr. NTR, too, would feature among the nominees, the final results emerged not carrying these names. Regardless, RRR's presence in the Oscars 2023 race, through Naatu Naatu, has urged Indians to turn their gaze towards the upcoming awards ceremony.

What this also does is allow the Academy to expand its viewership base and potentially mark a significant improvement compared to the previous few editions. The 94th Academy Awards, held on March 27th, 2022, drew a little over 16.5 million viewers (according to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day national numbers) in the United States and saw a stark correction in comparison to the almost-nightmarish results of the 93rd edition. Oscars 2021, or the 93rd Academy Awards, attracted only 10.5 million viewers in the host country - this was a striking 60%+ slump compared to the viewership of the 92nd Academy Awards (23.6 million). In short, the TV-plus-streaming viewership of the Oscars has declined considerably over the years with most of the previous 7-8 iterations failing to clock more than 30 million viewers.

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