Analysis: Netflix, Apple, Disney Emerge Stronger From Oscar Nominations; AMC Not So Much

Zinger Key Points
  • Netflix's Oscar nominees continue the company's tradition of serving up diverse and often eccentric programming designed to stand out from the competition.
  • the companies that did not come out of the Oscar nominations with a glow are the theatrical exhibitors including AMC, Cinemark and IMAX.

While movie lovers are debating the surprises and snubs in the latest round of Academy Award nominations, investors with a taste for the cinematic should be able to chart their latest trades based on the Oscar nominees and the circumstances surrounding their newfound glory.

And The Winners Are: The big winner in this year’s Oscar race is Netflix NFLX, whose drama “The Power of the Dog” dominated the competition with 12 nominations including Best Picture. Netflix’s releases “Don’t Look Up,” The Lost Daughter: and “Tick, Tick…BOOM!” also scored nominations in the major prestige categories.

Netflix's Oscar nominees continue the company's tradition of serving up diverse and often eccentric programming designed to stand out from the competition. Its series including “Stranger Things,” “The Crown,” “Squid Game,” “Bridgerton” and “Emily in Paris” dominate popular culture and the added prestige of multiple Oscar nominations for its film line-up will work to Netflix’s advantage. At the pace it's going, it's not difficult to see Netflix’s subscription levels increase over the course of the year — which, of course, is what investors are hoping to see.

The Oscar nominations have also affirmed Apple AAPL as a Hollywood power player. Its release “CODA” is the company’s first Best Picture nominee; the film received a total of three nominations, and Apple’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” also scored three nominations including a Best Actor nod for Denzel Washington.

“After watching audiences connect with these undeniably deserving films all over the world, it is rewarding to now see this diverse selection of Apple Original Films being honored at the highest level,” said Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video, in a press statement.

While movies are a portion of Apple’s wider web of pursuits, having Oscar-nominated titles exclusively on its streaming service can only help gin up its revenue stream.

A third company gaining from the Oscar nominations is the Walt Disney Co. DIS, but not necessarily for its films. Instead, the company used Monday’s announcement of the Oscar nominations as a test run for live streaming on Disney+. If the company is going to keep building momentum for Disney+, it needs to add something different and exciting — and that’s where live streaming can come in.

Of course, live streaming on Disney+ puts the streaming platform in direct competition for live content with its broadcast and cable networks, as well as its other streaming platforms. Nonetheless, the company will certainly be able to iron out that dilemma and it wouldn't be difficult to imagine live events including concerts, award shows and sports on Disney+ before the end of the year — thus bringing in more subscribers and strengthening investor confidence.

Related Link: Disney Teams With Air Canada For 'Turning Red' Marketing Promotion

And The Winners Aren’t: On the flip side, the companies that did not come out of the Oscar nominations with a glow are the theatrical exhibitors including AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC, Cinemark Holdings Inc. CMK and The IMAX Corporation IMAX.

Most of the films dominating the Oscar nominations are either art house titles that played in limited theatrical release or productions from the streaming services that had a brief theatrical run to qualify for film industry awards before showing up on the home screens. The one major exception was “Dune” from AT&T’s T Warner Bros. with 10 nominations including Best Picture – but that film was also streamed on HBO Max while it was playing in theaters.
"Dune" is also the sole film among the 10 Best Picture nominees to gross more than $100 million in U.S. theatrical release. At the other end of the spectrum, Janus Films' Japanese import "Drive My Car," whose four nominations include Best Picture, has yet to pass the $1 million mark in U.S. ticket sales.

And this year’s nominations proved that a film only needed a scant theatrical release to get nominated: Disney’s “Luca” and “Coming 2 America” from Amazon AMZN were straight-to-streaming titles that snagged nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Makeup and Hairstyling, respectively, thanks to having one-week theatrical runs in Los Angeles, the sole qualification to secure a film an Oscar nomination.

Of course, the bread-and-butter films for the exhibitors are the action-adventure and horror films that dominate the box office, not the smaller and quirky art house fare. When those companies get the next blockbuster on their screens, the ka-ching from their cash registers will be more valuable to investors than any Oscar statuette.

Photo: Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Power of the Dog," courtesy of Netflix.

Posted In: Academy Awardsbox officemoviesEntertainmentNewsSmall CapOpinionTop StoriesGeneral

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