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Bad News Delivered After Oscars, Motion Picture Academy Forced to Launch $500 Million Fundraising Drive

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched a $500 million fundraising campaign to support its global activities and programs over the next decade leading up to the 2028 Oscars.

The campaign, called Academy 100, aims to diversify the Academy’s revenue sources and further its international outreach.

“The future of the Academy is global, and Academy 100 will deepen our worldwide reach and impact,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer said.

It has already secured over $100 million in commitments from sponsors like Rolex and Delta Air Lines.

“The Academy will soon enter its second century, and we want to ensure that we continue to be the preeminent leader of our international film community. Like all healthy organizations, the Academy needs a sustainable and diverse base of support, and we are deeply grateful to Rolex and all of our partners for helping us launch this important and forward-looking initiative.”

The funds will go toward supporting film preservation, global exhibitions, training the next generation of film artists, and other initiatives.

The campaign comes as Oscars viewership has been declining in recent years, down to around 21 million for the most recent show, and the Academy faces the challenge of renewing its broadcast contract with ABC.

The 2024 show “started five minutes late, and it was only downhill from there,” critic Kelly Lawler wrote.

“The Oscar broadcast didn’t feel like anybody’s biggest night. It felt small, unimportant, skippable. It didn’t get anywhere close to the urgency or relevancy of the nominated films,” she wrote.

Lawler noted that “90 percent of Sunday’s broadcast could have happened at any Oscars (or really, any awards show) any year. The gently jabbing jokes, the expected winners, the overlong and overwritten bits, the dull speeches − they are so generic as to be soporific.”

“For some producers and hosts, a boring Oscars is far preferable to a bad one, and especially better than a trainwreck of a ceremony with say a slap or a wrong best picture winner announced,” she wrote.

“But as ratings for awards shows dwindle, it’s worth trying just a little harder to try to persuade people to spend their Sunday nights watching the rich and famous hand each other golden trophies,” Lawler said.

She added, “This is Hollywood, after all. These people are supposed to know how to put on a show. Otherwise, why are we watching?”

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