What Americans Really Think of Movie Nominations

The Academy, the critics, or themselves: Who do people trust when choosing a movie to watch?

During awards season, no one can escape the pop culture buzz around which nominated movies, directors, or actors will bag the Oscar. But do all those movie nominations and reviews have a real impact on the movies people see in theaters or at home? As part of the DISH promise to “tune in to you,” USDISH went and found out. We asked one thousand American adults what they think of movie reviews, nominations, and awards. Here’s what they said.

Interest in watching movie awards ceremonies

A sizable majority (69%) of our filmgoers said they care about tuning in to movie awards shows each year, with nearly half that group saying that their interest depends on a specific actor or movie nomination. Of the remainder, about half still care enough to get the scoop after the show.

Reasons people avoid movie awards ceremonies

Over 80% of our survey takers find movie awards shows offensive or at least distasteful—64% cited concerns about politics and diversity, and 21% want classier jokes. Most viewers aren’t as bothered by the running time, with only 15% citing length as the main issue.

Likelihood of watching nominated movies

Movie nominations influence the movie choices of a good 70% of our survey takers—the same percent that cares about watching the awards ceremonies. Only 30% said an award nomination doesn’t affect what they watch on movie night.

Timing of watching nominated movies

Most of our moviegoers (59%) consider the timing of the awards show when watching nominated movies, with preferences for before and after split right down the middle. The remaining 41% may not care to watch at all, or they just don’t care about watching at the same time as everyone else.

Trust in movie reviews vs. award nominations

A good 59% of respondents trust movie scores from sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes at least as much as they trust movie nominations, if not more. The fewest respondents trust movie nominations most, while nearly double that group (26%) trust their own opinions over the critics’ and insiders’.

Reasons for trusting movie reviews vs. award nominations

Nearly half of our survey takers (48%) value movie scores and ratings most, because they believe reviews better reflect the average viewer’s taste. Only 15% put more stock in movie nominations, while a sizable remainder of survey takers (37%) trust both sources equally or not at all.

Opinions in action on movie night

Three-quarters of our moviegoers look up a movie’s scores or award nominations before they press Play, with most of them favoring the movie reviews. The folks who watch what they want regardless—and the folks who may care, but not enough to do a Google search—make up the remaining 25%.

Most trusted film and television awards

Exactly half our survey takers trust the Academy Awards over other high-profile movie awards. The other major US film awards each received between 10% and 20% of the vote, and the British BAFTAs came in last at just 6%.


We surveyed 1,000 American adults with 8 questions about

(a) their attitudes toward movie nominations and movie review scores and

(b) their behaviors around watching award-nominated or well-reviewed movies.


Although most of our survey takers watch the nominated movies and awards shows each year, few look to the awards as the sole source of truth on what makes a movie worth seeing. When filling their watchlists, in fact, most of our film lovers check movie review scores far more often than they look up movie nominations—and a good remainder just follows their hearts. We know you have opinions too. Subscribe to usdish.com emails for news of our next survey or dream job opportunity.

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