Netflix beat streaming rival Apple in the studio race for most Oscar nominations, scoring 18 including one for best picture for “Maestro.” That total topped Apple, which nabbed 13 nods.
In fact, Netflix’s haul was most bolstered by the Bradley Cooper-helmed Leonard Bernstein biopic, which scored seven nominations including best picture. Apple made a run for the title with a slew of nominations for “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Napoleon.” And overall, Walt Disney Company nabbed 20 nominations via its various content brands and platforms representing 20th Century Studios, Disney+, Hulu, Lucasfilm Ltd., Marvel Studios, National Geographic Documentary Films, Pixar Animation Studios and Searchlight, but Variety counts each label separately.
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Netflix and Apple’s big day capped off a year of extravagant awards-season spending from all of the studios, with some films going all out with eight-figure budgets. Last year’s WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes forced studios to slash many of their marketing campaigns given that talent couldn’t promote films. That left extra money on the table that could be allocated to awards-season expenditures including tastemaker screenings and panel discussions. “Barbie,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro” and “Oppenheimer” were among the biggest spenders, and all enjoyed major recognition this morning, particularly Universal’s “Oppenheimer, which led the pack with 13 and secured nominations in the major categories of best picture and director for Christopher Nolan.
Once the SAG-AFTRA strike ended in November, stars made up for lost time in their campaigning. Cooper was particularly visible with “Maestro,” more so than when he was promoting his 2018 drama “A Star Is Born” for Warner Bros. The notoriously private actor raised eyebrows when he brought his 6-year-old daughter Lea de Seine to the Academy Museum screening of “Maestro” in December.
Netflix’s impressive morning proved to be a bittersweet moment for film head Scott Stuber, who yesterday announced that he is leaving the studio. But the Oscar nominations will likely be a topic of conversation when Netflix holds its earnings call later today
Overall, the Oscar love was spread around with four studios pulling down double-digit Oscar nominations: In addition to Netflix and Apple, Searchlight and Universal both scored 13 nominations thanks to “Poor Things” and “Oppenheimer,” respectively. Separately, Universal’s Focus Features label also made a strong showing with five nominations, buoyed by best picture nominee “The Holdovers.” A24, which landed seven nominations, was the only studio to place two films in the best picture race with “Past Lives” and “The Zone of Interest.” Neon also boasts seven nominations, led by its best picture nominee “Anatomy of a Fall,” which picked up surprise nominations in the director (Justine Trier) and actress (Sandra Hüller) categories.
Last year, A24 took the prize for the most nominations — depending on how you count — with 18 and went on to win best picture for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Disney scored 22 nominations overall, but that number reflected films from several of the studio’s labels, including Searchlight and Pixar. Before that, Netflix was the most nominated studio for three years in a row from 2020-22.
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