The Oscars may suffer from declining viewership and a down year for movie releases limited by the pandemic. But the organization that runs Hollywood’s most prestigious awards ceremony is on solid financial ground, with a growing collection of assets approaching $1 billion, according to the academy and its affiliates’ consolidated financial statements.
Most people know the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) for staging the Oscars. Thanks to some savvy investing and consistent annual revenue, the academy is also a wealthy nonprofit with influence extending far beyond one red-carpet event.
Sagging ratings haven’t hurt the revenues Ampas generates through its lucrative U.S. and international TV deals. The Oscars airs in more than 200 countries.
As the 93rd edition of the show takes place Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, here’s a look at some key numbers behind this organization:
Ampas’s annual awards revenues reached $131.9 million in 2020, capping a decade of robust growth anchored by its huge TV deals. The academy’s assets grew by more than $30 million last year. It posted $82.7 million in revenues in 2010.
The multiyear TV deal the academy signed with ABC runs through 2028, which even with depressed ratings should keep dollars flowing in the door.
Ampas generally earns more than enough revenue to cover expenses. In 2020, the academy earned $32.7 million after expenses, according to the academy and its affiliates’ consolidated financial statements.
Ampas boasted net assets of $789.2 million as of 2020. That’s due in large part to its success reinvesting excess capital. The value of its investment portfolio has more than tripled in about 10 years. Its investments, which include holdings in mutual and hedge funds, increased to $635.3 million in 2020, up from $187.8 million in 2010.
The academy employs a full-time staff of 450 people. Including production staff hired to pull off the Academy Awards, Ampas paid more than $50 million in salaries and benefits in 2020. Academy CEO
made $745,000 in 2019, according to the most recent tax filing available.
The academy is also close to opening its Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, a partly spherical glass structure located near Beverly Hills whose price tag it estimates at $482 million. The project, having suffered delays and soaring costs, is projected to open in September. The 300,000 square-foot museum is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.
In 2020, Ampas issued grants in excess of $6.5 million, which included pandemic-related contributions. Its more than 10,000 members paid more than $4 million in membership dues in 2020. The academy is also the world’s largest advocate for the “art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach.”
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Appeared in the April 22, 2021, print edition as ‘How the Academy Pays The Bills.’