Once again, the Academy Awards held to the long tradition of grounded humility and perspective that the ceremony is known for.
Actually, that’s not true. It was an opulent, self-indulgent affair for the…84th time in a row. The statues are handed out, The Artist was the big winner, taking home Best Picture, Actor, and Director. Some woman named Meryl Streep won the Oscar for Best Actress, and, in the category everyone was watching the closest, Saving Face won for Best Documentary Short.
But none of this is addressing the question on everyone’s mind: What potential equities plays could one make based on the Oscars?
The Walt Disney Company (DIS)
The Walt Disney Company didn’t go home with all the statuettes it might have wanted. Winning an Oscar is a major financial boon for any film, bringing in millions in box office and DVD revenues that wouldn’t otherwise be there. Disney got one win for The Muppet Movie‘s song Man or Muppet, but Pixar, normally a shoe-in for the Best Animated Feature award, failed to get a nomination this year while rival Dreamworks Animation had two for Puss in Boots and Kung Fu Panda II. However, Disney’s big win came from the fact that ceremony was once again broadcast to the nation on ABC, a fully owned subsidiary of Disney. The ratings boondoggle no doubt gives ABC the chance to sell its line-up to a captive audience of entertainment fans.
While it may be obvious, the big winners on Oscar night are the companies that own the content. Win or lose, the major players in the industry get real exposure for their product and can help leverage that into more eyeballs for the future. Viacom (VIA) owns Paramount, Newscorp (NWSA) owns 20th Century Fox, Time Warner (TWX) owns Warner Brothers, and Sony Corporation (SNE) has its own studio. On the whole, the big money movie makers are the companies most likely to benefit the most from Oscar night.
Oscar’s golden statuettes have long been an icon in the film industry, but is it possible that major gold mining companies like Barrick Gold Corporation (ABX), Goldcorp (GG), and Newmont Mining Company (NEM) could see a boost in share value from the gold plating on the statues?
No. Of course not, don’t be ridiculous.