Best Picture Nominees Opening Scenes
A Case Study on Academy Award Contenders Awards

Best Picture Nominee Opening Scenes

A Case Study on Academy Award Contenders

A Case Study on Academy Award Contenders

With the 94th Academy Awards on the horizon, we decided to take a deeper look at 2022’s Best Picture nominees, specifically through their opening scenes. To better understand what draws viewers into these films, and what most makes them want to continue watching, we tested each opening sequence with a varied sample of movie-goers.

The Study

Using our Lumiere platform, we invited 350+ people to watch 2 opening sequences from the full list of Best Picture nominees and provide feedback in the form of open-and closed-ended questions. We also asked them to indicate moments they found particularly enjoyable or compelling with our on-screen emoji feature.

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Here are a few of the things we learned...

Clarity is Compelling

Across a wide range of metrics, including which scenes viewers liked most, which films they most wanted to continue watching, and which they believed should and would win the Oscar, King Richard and Dune consistently outpaced the competition. And what these two films have in common is an opening sequence that gives viewers a clear idea of what the rest of the movie is about.

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Plot is Not Always a Film’s Strongest Hook

When we asked what most made viewers want to keep watching a film, answers fell into four broad categories: plot, characters, story-world, and the tone or feel of the film. Among the films viewers most identified as ‘plot-driven’ (Drive My Car and Don’t Look Up), neither ranked particularly high for audiences in terms of a desire to continue watching. King Richard’s character-centric yarn, Dune’s immersive story-world, and Belfast’s artistic style all put them much higher comparatively in our viewers’ desires to see more.

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A Joyful Noise Moves the Needle

Across all 10 opening sequences, our highest single spike in audience enjoyment/interest came with CODA, when our leading lady lets out her first full throated belt of “Something’s Got a Hold on Me.” It’s an easy moment to enjoy and it helps rev up a desire to root for her pursuit of music throughout the film.

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Audiences Have a Surprising View of Which Film Will Win

While there is far from a predictive consensus, general sentiment is that Jane Champion’s Power of the Dog and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast are among the ‘favorites’ to win this year. Yet the largest share of our viewers selected Dune as their prediction for the night’s final trophy winner, followed very closely by CODA.

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You can check out the full comparative breakdown of ‘will win’ and ‘should win’ predictions across all 10 films below.

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Want to know even more about what audiences found compelling in these Oscar contenders? Or what they might find particularly engaging in your content? Reach out to us!

More Case Studies

Want to know even more about what audiences found compelling in these clips? Or what they might find particularly engaging in your content? Reach out to us!

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