Netflix Spent about $12 million per Oscar Nomination

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It’s been forecasted that Netflix will spend roughly $17.3 billion on original content in 2020 — a $2 billion increase from the previous year.

The hope, of course, is to lure in more subscribers, retain customers who may be on the fence about the service, and — if the streamer is lucky — land some major awards.

For the Golden Globes, that meant spending about $10 million per nomination, according to Fox Business.

That number is even bigger for the most prestigious awards show of them all: The Academy Awards.

Netflix landed 24 Oscar nominations this year — the first time a streaming service has led all studio nominations at the big show. (Disney came in second with 23; Sony was third with 20.)

And, as expected, those nominations don’t come cheap. An analysis by found that Netflix spent roughly $12 million per nomination this year. That spending was led by the massive budget of the streamer’s original movie, “The Irishman,” which reportedly cost $175 million.

Of note, financial information wasn’t available for three Netflix documentaries that received nominations — “American Factory,” “The Edge of Democracy,” and “Life Overtakes Me.” We’ve divided the overall cost of the financial date we had access to by the total nominations and feel confident in rounding up to at least $12 million per nomination.

The Irishman

  • Nominations: 10
  • Cost: $175 million ($17.5 million per nomination)
  • The skinny: Look at the cast list for this epic, three-and-a-half-hour movie, and you won’t be surprised by the number of nominations, which includes Best Picture. Both Al Pacino and Joe Pesci received nominations for actor in a supporting role. The film, which chronicles World War II veteran Frank Sheeran’s life as a hustle and mob hitman, is also up for best cinematography, costume design, directing, film editing, production design, visual effects, and best adapted screenplay.

Marriage Story

  • Nominations: 6
  • Cost: $18 million ($3 million per nomination)
  • The skinny: Movie stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson lead the six nominations for this Best Picture nominee about a young couple and their son navigating the waters of an impending divorce. Driver was nominated for best actor in a leading role; Johansson is up for the same award for actresses. Laura Dern is up for best actress in a supporting role. The film is also nominated for best original music score and best original screenplay.

The Two Popes

  • Nominations: 3
  • Cost: $40 million ($13.3 million per nomination)
  • The skinny: Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce have been nominated for best supporting actor best actor for their portrayals of Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, respectively. In addition to those nominations, the fictional portrayal of the relationship between the two popes is also up for best adapted screenplay.


  • Nominations: 1
  • Cost: $40 million ($40 million for one nomination)
  • The skinny: Up for best animated feature film, “Klause” follows the story of a young postman who is assigned to a rural Scandinavian town and strikes a friendship with a toymaker, which — you guessed it — leads to the creation of Santa Claus.

I Lost My Body

  • Nominations: 1
  • Cost: $5.2 million ($5.2 million for one nomination)
  • The skinny: Joining “Klaus,” Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Body,” is also up for best animated feature film. The unique film is all about adventure, young love and childhood memories as a severed hand — yes, an actual hand — makes its way through Paris in search of its owner.

American Factory

  • Nominations: 1
  • Cost: N/A
  • The skinny: Up for best documentary, “American Factory” follows the culture clash between American and Chinese factory workers in a new plant in Dayton, Ohio. 

The Edge of Democracy

  • Nominations: 1
  • Cost: N/A
  • The skinny: Another documentary feature nominee, “The Edge of Democracy,” explains one of the most dramatic periods in Brazilian history, which includes the rise and fall of the country’s leaders.

Life Overtakes Me

  • Nominations: 1
  • Cost: N/A
  • The skinny: Nominated for best documentary short subject, this film explores the hundreds of refugee children who have fled with their families from hostile countries to Sweden, where they now face deportation.

The numbers

  • Total Nominations: 24
  • Total known cost: $278.2 million
  • Cost per nomination with known costs: $11.59 million.

The Academy Awards live stream airs on ABC at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 9. Cable isn’t required to watch it, as ABC is a local, over-the-air channel that you can watch with an antenna. Here’s how you can watch the Oscars without cable.

Andrew Dodson

By Andrew Dodson

Andrew Dodson is a veteran journalist who has covered streaming and cord cutting for many years, including while technology editor of, where he advocated for free, over-the-air television. He also works as a licensed real estate broker in Denver. Reach him at [email protected]

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