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5 interesting facts about the Academy Awards

February 25, 2017

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The 89th Academy Awards kicks off on Sunday, starting at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Time, from Los Angeles.

Get ready to see your favorite film earn an award or suffer a snub.

America’s feelings toward the Oscars has dropped a bit in recent years. Last year, the award show hit an all-time low with Chris Rock as host, down 6 percent overall, according to Variety. The show averaged 34.3 million viewers throughout the night.

The 2016 Oscars had a 23.4 household rating, while the 2015 awards hovered closer to 25.0. The highest ratings of the last 10 years came in 2014 with a 27.9 rating, according to Variety.

But interest seems high already going into the event. Google Trends released charts this week that reveal what Americans are searching for in regards to the upcoming award show. Here's what they found.

1. Search interest reached an all-time high last year

Despite low ratings in 2016, the search interest about diversity in film climbed to an all-time high, according to Google Trends.

As the chart below shows, searches for diversity in film broke records last year. This is likely associated with the controversy surrounding last year’s Oscars, which leaked onto social media with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, The Los Angeles Times wrote.

2. “Hidden Figures” finds a home

“Hidden Figures” — nominated for Best Picture, telling the story of a group of black women who work with NASA and helped astronaut John Glenn launch into space — seems to have a lot of the nation’s attention, according to Google Trends.

It’s most popular in South and North Carolina, even though the film takes place in Virginia. Octavia Spencer, one of the actresses in the film, hails from Columbus, Ohio, where the film also has a following, the data show.

3. The most searched Best Picture winner is …

Plenty of films have won Best Picture over the years. But which one is the champion of champions?

The Google Trends data show that “Titanic” places first, ahead of “The Godfather,” “Forrest Gump,” “Argo” and “Birdman” within the top five.

But when you compare those five, which film wins out? The chart below shows that Titanic is currently in the lead, but the “Birdman” spike is a little hard to ignore.

4. What states are most interested in the Oscars?

Interest in the Oscars varies by state. California and New York seem to have the most interest, at least based on Google Trends data. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation has a flat reaction to the show.

5. The country’s favorite host is …

Which Oscars host do Americans look back on the most?

James Franco and Anne Hathaway, it seems.

Google Trends data showed that those two — who received poor reviews — top the list in terms of most searched hosts. They stand ahead of Seth MacFarlane, Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris and Chris Rock.


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