Los Angeles: Television ratings for the Oscars rose for the second year in a row as 18.7 million viewers tuned in to hit fantasy film “All At Once,” ABC reported on Monday.
With Jimmy Kimmel as host and a string of bona fide blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Last Airbender among the nominated films, organizers hoped the 95th Academy Awards would bring back viewers.
The average audience figure represents a 12 percent increase over last year’s telecast – largely due to the memory of Will Smith punching Chris Rock on stage.
The low for the Oscars came in 2021, when the pandemic-era edition of Hollywood’s biggest awards show drew about 10 million.
The upward trend is a boon for live award shows, which have been competing for eyeballs with streamers and social media highlights to attract more viewers.
Still, Sunday’s ratings were the third-lowest in Oscar history.
The gala, which featured popular musical performances by Rihanna and Lady Gaga, was generally praised by critics.
After last year’s infamous blowout, The Hollywood Reporter said Sunday’s gala featured several tearful winners’ speeches — “very low on drama, full of emotion.”
Estrada called the show “familiar” but “delicious.”
But The New York Times said the lack of any serious shocks or on-stage violence made the show a “bland, anodyne exercise” that was “safely stuck to the script”.
“Everybody’s Everywhere,” which grossed $100 million at the global box office, won seven awards, with star Michelle Yeoh becoming the first Asian woman to win best actress.
Yeo plays the owner of a Chinese laundromat, who is weary of a battle with an interdimensional controller who happens to be his daughter.
The ratings released by the ABC on Monday are preliminary, with final data due on Tuesday. (AFP)