The history of Oscar nominations: by numbers

Ahead of this year's list, here are ten fascinating facts about the Academy Awards

24 The number of categories in this year’s awards. The first academy awards in 1927 only had 12.

million The most expensive film ever nominated for an Oscar (including inflation over the years).  Cleopatra received nine nominations in all, which equals about $35.6 million per nomination.

1928 If The Artist is nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards today, it will be the first silent film to have done so in 84 years – since 1928, in fact. 

6,000 The approximate voting membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation who decide the winners of the Oscars each year. In 1927 there were only 36 members.


2 The most posthumous nominations ever awarded to an actor.  The honour goes to James Dean.

18 The number of times the Academy Awards have been presented by Bob Hope. Billy Crystal, this year’s host of the awards, has so far only presented it eight times.


14 The highest number of Oscar nominations one film has ever received. Two films share this achievement: All About Eve in 1950 and Titanic in 1997. Titanic went on to win 11 awards, the same amount of awards as Ben Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

16 The number of Oscar nominations Meryl Streep has received in her career, the most any woman has earned – she has won two. With 12 nominations, Jack Nicholson is the most nominated male actor. 

The number of films Peter O’Toole was nominated for as Best Actor without winning. He is the most-nominated actor never to have won the award.

The number of women who have ever been nominated in the categories of Sound or Cinematography. Only one woman has won Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow in 2010, for The Hurt Locker.