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Oscar Trivia: 50 Fun Facts To Prepare You For The 85th Academy Awards

Features
by Oliver Lyttelton
February 20, 2013 11:02 AM
24 Comments
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If there's anything we love, it's pointless trivia. And with Oscar night on the way (and, if you're anything like us, an Oscar viewing party), if there's one thing that it's important for you to have, it's a fistful of Academy Award-related trivia for you to bore impress your friends with on Sunday night.

Well, look no further! Below are 50 Oscar-related facts that are guaranteed* to win you friends and influence when you drop them during the commercial breaks throughout the ceremony. Read on and contribute your own Oscar trivia and thoughts in the comments section.
* not legally binding

1. Domestically, "Lincoln" is the top grossing Best Picture nominee, with over $180 million. Worldwide, it's "Life of Pi," with $576 million...and still going. If 'Pi' were to win, it would be, unadjusted, the fourth biggest Best Picture winner of all time (behind "Forrest Gump," "The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King" and "Titanic"). And it's the thirteenth biggest film nominated for Best Picture in history.

2. Domestically, the films have taken a total of $918 million combined (an average of $102 million each), and worldwide, a total of $2.035 billion (averaging $226 million each). Who said quality doesn't make money?

3. That's way up from last year, when the nine films took $622 million domestically (an average of $69 million), and $1.245 billion worldwide (averaging at $139 million per film). But 2012's batch still pales in comparison to the ten films in 2010, which made $1.355 billion domestically (av: $135 million each), and $3.342 billion worldwide (av. $334 million each), and 2009, where the films took a domestic total of $1.7 billion ($170 million each, on average), and a worldwide total of $4.68 billion ($468 million each). Grossly inflated by megahits like "Avatar," "Up," "Inception" and "Toy Story 3"? Sure. But worth bearing in mind. 

4. If George Clooney wins an Oscar for producing "Argo",  he'll be the second person to win for both acting and producing (Michael Douglas did it first, winning Best Actor for "Wall Street" in 1988, and Best Picture for "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" in 1976).

5. Clooney's nomination for "Argo" saw him break the record, and become the individual nominated in the most separate categories: Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay and now Best Picture. Warren Beatty, John Huston and Kenneth Branagh were all nominated in five separate categories, though Branagh has never won an Oscar.

6. The only film this year nominated and capable of winning the Big Five (picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay) is "Silver Linings Playbook." Only three films have achieved the feat before -- "It Happened One Night," "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Silence Of The Lambs."

7. "Argo" is the frontrunner to win Best Picture, and if it does, it'll be the first film to manage it without a directing nomination since "Driving Miss Daisy" in 1990.

8. On the flipside, no film has won Best Director without a nomination for Best Picture since the 2nd ever Oscars ceremony in 1930, when Frank Lloyd won for “The Divine Lady.”

9. If Steven Spielberg wins Best Director, he'll tie William Wyler and Frank Capra for the second most Oscars won by a filmmaker. John Ford will still hold the record, however, with four (from only five nominations).

10. Spielberg also currently shares third place for most nominations in the category, with Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Fred Zinnemann and David Lean, who've all had seven. Billy Wilder is second, with eight, and William Wyler has the most, with twelve.

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24 Comments

  • megjfreedman | April 14, 2013 11:57 PMReply

    #4: George Clooney was third. Laurence Olivier and Michael Douglas did it before him.

  • Joey | February 22, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar for her film debut.

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:39 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • John Moran | February 21, 2013 3:24 AMReply

    Audrey Hepburn's role in Roman Holiday was her first lead performance. She previously appeared in smaller roles, including as a waitress serving Alec Guinness in the classic Ealing Comedy The Lavender Hill Mob. So, her win was not for a debut.

  • Tyson | February 20, 2013 7:52 PMReply

    #49 Hasn't Meryl Streep appeared in three best picture winners? The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Out of Africa?

  • Brandt Hardin | February 20, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    Such lackluster choices are very unbecoming of such a tremendous year for cinema. Where are the nominations for movies like The Grey, Jesus Henry Christ and Killing them Softly? Read about the Top 10 Movies of 2012 with reviews and other honorable mentions at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2013/01/top-10-movie-picks-of-2012.html

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    this just doesnt make sense to me:
    "29. Only one actor has even been nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, for the same performance -- Barry Fitzgerald, for "Going My Way" in 1944 (he won Best Supporting Actor, while Bing Crosby took Best Actor for the same film). Two actors -- Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx -- have picked up nominations in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, but for different performances. Both won Best Actor."

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:47 PM

    re-read it and got it now, this was before the rule change.

  • David | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    "38. Amy Adams has four Best Supporting Actress nominations, and no wins, a record in the category." - But Thelma Ritter was nominated 6 times in this category, without a win.

  • Danielle | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    If you like movie trivia, check out this Blubbr's awesome Oscars video trivia contest. Tons of Fun 2013 Oscar trivia games!

  • cirkusfolk | February 20, 2013 12:48 PMReply

    Good list.

  • anna | February 20, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    " Quvenzhane Wallis is the first acting nominee to have a Q in her name."


    lol, good one.

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:35 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Rob | February 20, 2013 10:58 PM

    Also Mo'Nique, just a few years ago.

  • Paul | February 20, 2013 12:40 PM

    I assume they mean first name? Anthony Quinn won two Best Supporting Oscars and was nominated twice for Best Actor.

  • eduardo | February 20, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    about #46: The dark knight rises became the 3rd movie from the Batman franchises (live-action, of course) that didn't receive an oscar nomination, the other 2 are the 60's version and Batman & Robin

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:58 AMReply

    "13. If Ang Lee win Best Director on Sunday, he'll become the second non-caucasian to win in the category. The first... was also Ang Lee, for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006."

    This makes me sad.

  • Chris | February 20, 2013 11:52 AMReply

    You've got the Newman/Deakins numbers reversed. Newman has 11 nomination and Deakins has 10.

  • Michael | February 20, 2013 11:15 AMReply

    29. Barry Fitzgerald won Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way. Bing Crosby won Best Actor for the same film.

  • MAL | February 20, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    In Item 25, it was Robert Duvall (not Robert De Niro) in Tender Mercies -- and he was the winner that year.

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