Last year, ReelSEO started what I hope will become an annual event. We looked at some critical data from Tubular Labs about the movie trailers for the eight Oscar nominees for Best Picture – and all the other videos made by creators that mention these trailers by name. Then, we enlisted some old friends from CinemaSins to provide regular ReelSEO readers with some strategic insights that will boost their status as an authentic video marketing experts in time for Sunday’s big Oscar parties. Today, the CinemaSins YouTube channel has more than 1.1 billion views and over 5.4 million subscribers, and believes that “No movie is without sin."

Now, you may already know about the controversy swirling around this year’s nominees for best picture (The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight). Somehow, Academy members, who have been described by The Boston Sunday Globe as “old white men,” overlooked “Creed” (#OscarsSoWhite) when making their nominations in this category.

Nevertheless, you will want a cheat sheet of critical data before you place a last-minute bet in your office Oscar pool. Why? Do you have any idea how much money you could win? Heck, it’s probably more moola than most YouTube Partners make in a year! And during the big Oscar party, you’ll want to be able to point out all the “sins” in the movie trailers for all eight movies that did get nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Why? Hey, there are more than 3 million creators, according to Tubular Labs. So, the odds are pretty good that a couple of them will be at the party and be so impressed with your strategic insights that they hire you on the spot.

Oscars Movie Trailers: 2016 Nominees for Best Picture

First, let’s look at some general data from Tubular regarding this year’s Oscars. As you will see in the charts below:

  • The view count is higher in last 90 days compared to the year-over-year (YOY) data, but engagement is lower. This could suggest more paid promotion as studios turn to social video platforms to promote their movie trailers for 2016 Oscar nominees for Best Picture.
  • Feb 15 to Feb 16 = 982 million views. That's a 236% increase YOY - again, suggesting a huge paid promotion push by the studios.
  • 2016 Oscar season content generated more Facebook views (no surprise) but engagement is also much, much higher on Facebook than other platforms, so fans are sharing, liking, etc. Across the last 90 days, and last 365 days, content engagement is higher on Facebook than any other video platform.

Between Nov 2015 and Feb 2016, there were 982M views, and 25.5M engagements for Oscar 2016 content uploaded to the main social videos channels between those two dates. This compares to only 347M views and 7.7M engagements for Oscar content uploaded in that time frame:

Oscars 2016 2 22Feb15 to 22Feb16

Content relating to 2016 Oscar Content uploaded to main social video platforms 11/22/15 to 02/22/16 (All data via Tubular Labs)

And here's the data for 8 movie trailers for the 2016 Oscar Nominees for Best Picture. We can't promise these stats include every official trailer released, or exclude every freebooted one, but here are the key takeaways:

  • The Revenant and The Martian were by far and away the most engaged, and viewed, movie trailers.
  • However, The Revenant generated 65% of its views just in the last 90 days - due to Golden Globes, and general buzz around Di Caprio and that bear scene.....
  • So, based on engagements, will The Revenant win the Academy Award for Best Picture or will DiCaprio win the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role? I don’t know. It’s a mystery.

Best Picture Trailers: Last 365 Days

The Revenant and The Martian pretty much tie for views and engagement when it comes to official trailers - well ahead of the rest of the pack:

oscar trailers views and engagement last 90 days

Video views and engagement for official movie trailers for 2016 Oscars Best Picture Nominees uploaded in last 365 days. (All data via Tubular Labs)

However, The Revenant picked up the majority of views (65%) just in last 90 days, and engagement hit a peak on Tuesday 12th Jan after Di Caprio won a Golden Globe for his part in the film:

The Revenant Trailer Video Views

The Revenant Trailer Video Views for content uploaded in last 90 days (All data via Tubular Labs)

CinemaSins: Trailers for 2016 Oscar Nominees for Best Picture

OK, now let's give our former colleagues at CinemaSins a whirl.  Once again, they have listed the time code for where his observation should go, given us a brief description of what's happening, and then indicated where the "sin" comes after it. Here goes:

Movie Trailer: Bridge of Spies

1:16 (do you know how people will look at us?--people looking at him on the train) Apparently everyone who rides a train not only reads a newspaper but is reading about the very story that concerns one of their fellow passengers.

1:38 (Inspired by True Events) Which means almost certainly 90% of this didn't happen, but it's an interesting story we don't want to mess up by providing too many facts.

Movie Trailer: Mad Max: Fury Road

0:06 (My world is fire and blood) Here's the sequel you've all been waiting for: the 4th movie in a franchise best known for pre-racist Mel Gibson and something about a Thunderdome which didn't even figure all that prominently in the plot.  Everyone who saw the last movie in 1985 is dead now, so bring the kids.

0:23 (orange desert, vehicles riding into picture) Ladies and gentlemen...the orangest picture of the year!

1:31 But wait a minute...is what I'm seeing here...kinda awesome?  We'll remove a sin or two if it's even half as good as this.

Movie Trailer:The Revenant

0:13 (DiCaprio running) 20th Century Fox would like to present to you...a movie that we are begging, begging you to give Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar for.  Hasn't he suffered enough in the arms of hot supermodels?

0:53 (bear attack) I don't care what the real story is or whether the guy in real life survived this bear attack.  There is no way this guy survived this bear attack.

0:58 (Inspired by True Events) Which means almost certainly 83% of this didn't happen, but it's an interesting story we don't want to mess us by providing too many facts.

Movie Trailer: Spotlight

0:14 (do you think your paper has the resources to take that on) Have you seen All the President's Men?  It's kinda like that movie, but if Nixon were the Pope.

0:42 (Based on a True Story) Which means almost certainly most of this happened in some way, but we dramatized the boredom of working at a newspaper and we changed some stuff not to get sued or owe people money.

Movie Trailer: The Martian

0:14 (Jessica Chastain in frame as Matt Damon talks) Matt Damon AND Jessica Chastain in a science fiction movie!?  I haven't seen that in exactly one year, when it was called Interstellar.

1:19 (in your face, Neil Armstrong) Whoa, whoa...where did this sudden rivalry between you and Neil Armstrong come up?  You do know he went to the moon and the technology was 50 years behind yours, right?  Slow your roll, Will Hunting.

Movie Trailer: The Big Short

0:10 (the whole housing market is propped up on these big loans) This is a story about the heroes of 2008 who bet against the housing market and made tons of money on other people's misery.  At least the banks got screwed.

0:47 (and the outrageous mind of Adam McKay) Movie comes from the director of Anchorman, Anchorman 2, and that video starring his daughter as a foul-mouthed landlord.

1:30 (and it's true) Lesson 1 about making a Best Picture contender in 2015 is to base it on something true and then change all the boring stuff to be palatable to a mass-consuming audience.

Movie Trailer: Room

0:50 (truck...) Oh wait...they get out of the room?  Well, I guess I don't need to see this movie.  The trailer saw it for me!  There is nothing else that can possibly happen after that daring escape attempt.

1:24 (Room) Not to be confused with "The Room," which ironically, more people have probably seen despite being the polar-opposite in quality.

Movie Trailer: Brooklyn

0:06 (Fox Searchlight logo) 20th Century Fox is responsible for 4 Best Picture nominees, despite providing moviegoers "Taken 3" earlier in the year.

0:11 (Saoirse Ronan) Starring that one girl whose name you've never pronounced correctly even one time!

0:54 (I really like Irish girls) 2015 movie finally has the fortitude to show a taboo interracial relationship between an Irish girl and an Italian guy.  I bet back then this entirely white couple couldn't even sit in a diner without being harassed.

Final Thoughts

So there you go. That should work, right? You should be able to go to the big Oscar party and amaze everyone with your strategic insights. Or, you should be able to make a last-minute bet in your office Oscar pool and clean up with this critical data.