The Oscars in numbers

As the world gears up for the 85th Academy Awards, we take a statistical look back at the history of the ceremony

After months of build-up, the 85th Academy Awards (officially rebranded The Oscars earlier this week) will take place on Sunday 24 February at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.


Since it was first staged in 1929, the Oscars has become the most prestigious event in the Tinseltown calendar, not to mention the biggest awards event in the world.

And with Family Guy’s creator Seth MacFarlane installed as host alongside a wealth of guest presenters including Meryl Streep, Robert Downey Jr and Samuel L Jackson, this year’s event promises to be a thoroughly memorable night of glamour and fun.

So, while you wait to find out who’ll win big on the night, here’s a collection of intriguing statistical facts about the ceremony. It’s the Oscars…in numbers.

1…model In 1928, Mexican actor and director Emilio Fernandez was persuaded to pose nude with only a sword to cover his modesty. The resulting design, by Cedric Gibbon, has been the iconic Oscars statuette ever since

8.5…lbs Each gold-plated Oscars statuette weighs in at eight and a half pounds and stands 13.5 inches high

11… venues In its 85-year history, the Academy Awards has been held at 11 different Stateside venues: the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Biltmore Hotel, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Shine Auditorium, the Academy Awards theatre, Pantages Theatre, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Los Angeles Music Centre and (phew!), finally, the Dolby Theatre

24…categories This year’s ceremony will see Oscars handed out to winners in 24 different categories, ranging from Best Film to Visual Effects

26…wins Walt Disney holds the record for the most Oscars picked up by an individual (22 competitive; 4 honourary). Understandably, given Disney’s prolific cartoon output, most of his awards were in the category for Best Short Subject. Disney also clocked up the most Oscars won in a single year in 1953, when he scooped four awards

73…hosts and co-hosts More than 70 different individuals have hosted the Oscars over the years. Bob Hope holds the record for presenting the greatest number of Academy Awards ceremonies, having notched up 18 appearances between 1940 and 1978

85…years It’s been more than three quarters of a century since Douglas Fairbanks and William C deMille hosted the first ever Academy Awards in May 1929. That year, William A Wellman’s silent war film Wings was voted Best Picture

2,809…Oscars handed out To date, 2,809 Oscar statuettes have been dished out – with around 50 more due to change hands across the 24 categories this year

6,000…voting members While exact membership numbers are hard to come by, it was reported in 2012 that a letter about this year’s online voting system was sent out to around 6000 individuals who make up the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences voting body

39,000,000…viewers The 2012 Oscars ceremony was watched by a peak of 39 million on the ABC network in America, (up 4% on 2011’s Academy Awards telecast) reaching an estimated overall US audience of 76 million. And that’s not counting those devotees in Great Britain and Europe who brave the five hour time difference to stay up and watch

Coverage of the 2013 Oscars ceremony will be broadcast live in the UK from 11:30pm on Sunday 24 February on Sky Movies Oscars, a dedicated HD channel which launched earlier this month.


For more Oscars fun, check out these two promo videos starring this year’s host Seth MacFarlane and our run-down of the most frequent presenters in the history of the Academy Awards.