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Oscars: Empty box office, rich academy

The annual Oscars are a bit like the New Year's Concert: Both are broadcast around the world and generate a lot of money. But in contrast to the Viennese concert classic, in which conductors draw from an old music fund, the most important film award in the world honors current films and their makers. After a year with almost no cinema, Hollywood has a real problem. A problem that adds to existing problems such as falling audience ratings or the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix. Do you have to worry about the "Oscar"? At least not economically, as current figures show.

Lucrative TV contracts

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is behind the "Academy Awards", as the Oscar is officially called. The academy, founded in 1927, is a voluntary organization committed to advancing the film industry. And very successfully for a non-profit association. According to the consolidated financial reports of the Academy and its subsidiaries, AMPAS 'assets are slowly approaching $ 1 billion - generated primarily through lucrative TV contracts. The Oscars - also tonight's 93rd edition - are broadcast in more than 200 countries. The "Wall Street Journal" has listed some of the organization's financial metrics: The revenue from the awards ceremony in 2020 reached a record high of 131.9 million US dollars (109 million euros); in 2010 it was worth $ 82.7 million. The TV contract alone, which the academy signed with the broadcaster ABC, runs until 2028, which continues to guarantee decent income.

Assets tripled through investment

The net worth, which has grown to 789.2 million US dollars (652 million euros), is thanks to the clever investment strategy. The value of the portfolio has more than tripled in the last ten years. Investments, which include stakes in mutual and hedge funds, rose from $ 187.8 million in 2010 to $ 635.3 million in 2020, the Wall Street Journal calculates. The academy employs 450 full-time employees.

Academy building for $ 482 million

Including production staff hired to run the Academy Awards, AMPAS paid more than $ 50 million in salaries and benefits in 2020. Academy Executive Board Chairman Dawn Hudson earned $ 745,000 in 2019, according to the latest available tax return. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures by the Italian architect Renzo Piano is also nearing completion. A spectacular building with a spherical glass structure, the cost of which is 482 million US dollars (398 million euros).