On Monday, John Podhoretz wrote:
This will be the least-watched Oscar show in history, by the way.
Today, the Internet Movie Database’s news page, which always puts the best light possible on Hollywood and its product (whether it’s movies, television, or celebrities) agrees:
Will Indie Movies Pummel Oscar Ratings?
Movie critics and commentators who originally questioned whether a romantic film about two gay cowboys would be able to attract a mainstream audience are now wondering whether it will doom the Oscar telecast. Brokeback Mountain, which appears to have a lock on the best-picture Oscar, may have defied industry predictions and become profitable, but it has not been seen by a mass audience, the way Titanic and the Lord of the Rings movies were before they helped draw big ratings for the Oscars. [Gee, ya think?!–Ed] Indeed, as several writers have observed, virtually all of the films in the top categories are small low-budget films, none of which has risen to blockbuster status. Los Angeles Times entertainment writer Jim Bates observed today (Wednesday): “All you need to know about how hard it will be to get people to watch the Oscars is that a nominated documentary about penguins has been watched by more moviegoers than any of the five best picture contenders. Or that four out of five people tuning into the broadcast will not have seen any of those movies in a theater.” And New York Post entertainment writer Don Kaplan observed today, “ABC may be staring down the barrel of one of the lowest-rated Oscar telecasts in recent memory.”
The JPod-IMDB convergence doesn’t happen very often, so look out in March…