The 89th Academy Awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were held in Hollywood on February 27, 2017. The event saw the usual fanfare on the red carpet prior to the show, but it wasn’t until the show itself got underway that the real entertainment began. This edition of the awards will be remembered for the embarrassing error that occurred during the presentation of the final and most prestigious award, the Best Picture award. This year, however, the television broadcast of the awards attracted 32.9 million Americans in 2017, the lowest figure since the 2008 ceremony ratings.
Social media allows audiences to have their say on the biggest event in the awards calendar. The 2016 social media highlights included Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar and Lady Gaga's live performance of 'Til it happens to you' with sexual assault survivors. But it was the 86th ceremony that hosted one of Twitter’s most popular moments of the awards, when Ellen DeGeneres gathered some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Spacey for what is now known as the ‘selfie that broke Twitter’ when it generated 254,644 tweets per minute during the show.
As history shows, opinions cast by Academy voters are rarely a reflection of the box office results for the best picture nominations. Domestic box office revenues reveal that the best picture winner, “Moonlight”, came last in the ranking. On the other hand, “Hidden Figures”, the nominee that had the most domestic box office success, went home with no statuettes, despite having been nominated for three categories .
Ultimately, whether audiences agree or not, the Academy voters have the only say on who gets to take home the coveted statuette. For actors and actresses, Katharine Hepburn still reigns supreme with the most acting awards in the Awards’ history with 4 statuettes to her name from the years 1932, 1967, 1968 and 1981. However, this may not be a title which lasts long as other popular names such as Daniel Day Lewis, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep have a chance to equal or even surpass Hepburn in the future as they all currently have three awards each.
Of course, getting to take home the biggest award in acting isn’t the only honor on offer, as the trend for naming babies after winning actors and actresses reveals. After Benicio del Toro won best actor for his role in the 2000 film “Traffic”, the name Benicio increased by 1,971 percent in the United States, with other popular winning names including Denzel, Gwyneth, and Meryl.
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