Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Oscar movies seen by the Academy, not UA students


This isn’t too shocking considering the number of young people seeing movies in theaters is on the decline. According to a Nielsen report, people between the ages of 12 and 24 averaged seeing 7.1 movies in theaters in 2014 – a 15.5 percent drop from the 8.4 they had seen in 2013.

Part of the decline can be attributed to online streaming services. Students tend to prefer them due to their convenience and lower price.

Since the University provides students with streaming services like HBO, many choose to wait and watch the movies that make it there instead of making the trip to the theater.

Currently “Mad Max: Fury Road” is the only movie up for Best Picture that is available on HBO.

Students may also opt not to go to the movies because they don’t have the transportation to get there.

Ciara Duggins, sophomore majoring in general business, said she was unable to get to the movie theater, and that that is just one reason why she hasn’t seen any of the movies nominated for Best Picture this year.

Duggins also said she didn’t feel an urge to see the movies because she feels there is no variety. She said she would like to see a wider array of genres. For instance, Duggins watches a lot of comedies and would like to see more nominated.

Duggins also didn’t like the lack of racial and experiential diversity in casting.

“It’s the same mainstream people that are always in it,” Duggins said.

While UA students were well aware of the lack of diversity controversy surrounding this year’s Oscars, few could name all, if any, of the movies nominated for Best Picture. Even fewer had seen one.

Paty Hall had Oscar movie viewing parties as part of their residence hall programming, but turnout was low.

“I had the program because I wanted to show the movies to the residents to try and give them a different taste of cinema that they aren’t used to,” said Issac Murphree, a sophomore majoring in marine science and biology and a resident advisor for Paty Hall.

Murphree said the program had varying attendance, with a high of 12 students and a low of zero. While he said there was high interest in the event, Murphree attributes the low turnout to limited advertising and residents’ conflicting schedules.

“Finding a time that worked with everyone was challenging,” Murphree said.

Another issue Murphree highlighted was that a number of students he talked to claimed to have already seen the movies.

Olivia Mott, a senior majoring in marine biology, tried to see a movie that is nominated for Best Picture. She and her mom went to go see “Spotlight,” but that trip was unsuccessful. Her mom bought tickets for the wrong day by mistake.

“Way to go mom,” Mott said.

Zach Hartzog, freshman majoring in computer science, hasn’t seen any of the movies because he said he isn’t even remotely interested in Oscar-nominated movies. Hartzog doesn’t let the award shows dictate what he watches.

“I’m not one to worry about awards,” Hartzog said. “If it’s interesting, I watch it.”

Despite uninterested college kids on a budget and moms who confuse movie times, an Oscar nomination will increase the ticket sales of a movie.

Guy Austin, vice president of operations of Cobb Theatres said “Brooklyn,” one of the movies up for Best Picture, was “nearly dead” when it first came out. Austin said its nomination for Best Picture brought it back to life.

“Films will get a substantial boost in ticket sales after a nomination,” Austin said.

While just a nomination does not get Duggins in a seat, if the film ends up winning, it sometimes motivates her to see the film.

“I’m more likely to see it if it wins,” Duggins said.

While many students seemed apathetic about the majority of movies up for awards this year, one thing they passionately agreed on was that they want Leonardo DiCaprio to receive his first Oscar for his role in “The Revenant.”

“I’m only watching [The Academy Awards] for Leo,” Duggins said.

For other students pulling for DiCaprio, the Oscars will be on ABC on Sunday Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. CST with host Chris Rock.

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