According to the ABC network, 18.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the well-received sci-fi hit “Everything Everywhere All At Once” rule the Oscars television ratings for the second year in a row.
The 95th Academy Awards organizers had hoped that Jimmy Kimmel returning as presenter and a number of genuine blockbusters among the nominated movies, including “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” would attract viewers.
The average crowd size has increased by 12% since the telecast last year, which was best known for Will Smith slapping Chris Rock live on stage.
The Oscars’ lowest attendance ever occurred in 2021, when a pandemic-era edition of Hollywood’s largest award show attracted just over 10 million viewers.
The upward tendency is a much-needed boost for live award shows, which have been losing viewers more generally as they compete for viewers with streamers and highlight videos from social media.
The numbers on Sunday are still the third-lowest in Oscars history.
The gala, which featured big-name musical performances from Rihanna and Lady Gaga, was generally praised by critics.
Following the previous year’s infamous slap, the Hollywood Reporter said Sunday’s gala — notable for several tearful winners’ speeches — was “mercifully low on drama, movingly high on emotion.”
Variety called the show “familiar” but “tasteful.”
However, The New York Times described the performance as “a shrink-wrapped, anodyne exercise” that “stuck safely to the script” due to the absence of any noteworthy surprises or on-stage violence.
The word-of-mouth sensation “Everything Everywhere,” which has made $100 million at international box offices, took home seven awards, including best picture. Michelle Yeoh, the film’s star, made history by becoming the first Asian woman to receive best actress.
Yeoh portrays a worn-out Chinese laundromat owner engaged in combat with a supervillain from another realm who also happens to be her daughter.
The official ratings data will be released on Tuesday, according to the preliminary ratings ABC released on Monday.
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