The New Guard: A24 and Netflix dominate the 2023 Oscars

The two studios, both barely ten years old, have officially established themselves as Oscar powerhouses, winning 15 of the 24 Oscar categories.

Jamie Lee Curtis, James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Wang, Stephanie Hsu, Daniel Scheinert, Ke Huy Quan, Daniel Kwan

Jamie Lee Curtis, James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Jonathan Wang, Stephanie Hsu, Daniel Scheinert, Ke Huy Quan and Daniel Kwan at the 95th Academy Awards.

Gilbert Flores for Variety

Although it became all too predictable at the end of awards season that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” would win the Oscar for Best Picture, its victory indicates a surprising trend among the winners of the 2023 Oscars. A24 and Netflix, two studios that are barely ten years old have completely dominated the Oscars, winning 15 of 24 categories. It looks like awards season has ushered in a new guard.

Their accomplishments this year in particular come as a surprise as the global narrative around 2022 as a year in the movies celebrated the movies that brought people back to the movies after the COVID-19 pandemic waned. While this was mainly driven by big studio nominees like “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Disney) and “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount), A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once” can be seen as the middle ground which earned over $100 million at the box office, but still had the indie and arthouse chops of some regularly nominated production companies like Searchlight Pictures (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Universal Pictures (“The Fabelmans”), who both went home empty-handed this year.

It’s probably no coincidence that the remaining major studios would struggle at the Oscars this year after 2022 was such a mess of mergers and acquisitions, driving many film professionals out of work. A24 and Netflix are more adaptable to an increasingly digital world. While the former now likely appeals to those working above the line, with A24 becoming the first studio to win all four acting categories, in addition to Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay wins. original, it’s also safe to say now that Netflix has earned the respect of the crafting community.

Although the streaming service didn’t break its previous Oscar record (it won seven Oscars in 2021), “All Quiet on the Western Front” beat out “Roma” for the Netflix movie with the most wins ( four Oscars against three). Even with a break as tough as six straight years of multiple losses in the category, having made movies with masters like Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Jane Campion, a Best Picture win for Netflix seems inevitable. To come so close this year with a movie, the company wasn’t originally pushing to show that the company can truly be a powerhouse at the Oscars.

However, the Academy still places great importance on films offering a theatrical experience and A24 quickly becomes the only studio capable of attracting a large number of viewers to “prestige” projects. Even without a Best Picture nomination, “The Whale” still had a strong box office performance when it was released in December. Until the major media conglomerates that own perennial Oscar-nominated distribution companies like Searchlight Pictures, Focus Features and Sony Pictures Classics figured out how to reach arthouse audiences again, making a better use of digital marketing as their new competitors do, expect A24 and Netflix to top the Oscar charts again next year.

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