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Published March 11th 2024

The Oscars 2024: How Social Media Reacted to the Event

We tracked online mentions of the Oscars to see what got people talking.

This year’s Oscars ceremony gathered over 1.9 million mentions throughout the broadcast. That’s impressive.

From a memorable performance by Ryan Gosling to Oppenheimer taking home seven Oscars, this year’s 96th Academy Awards was certainly one to watch.

According to Brandwatch, there were over 425,000 unique online authors chatting about this year's Oscars during the ceremony. Let’s dive into the data from the celebrated event to see which moments gathered the most attention.

Note on methodology: All the data mentioned here was gathered from 3 PM PDT to 9 PM PDT on March 10, 2024. All data comes from public posts on Reddit, X, Tumblr, blogs, forums, and review sites.

How this year’s event compares

The Oscars’ viewership isn’t what it used to be. 2021’s broadcast had the lowest viewership ever, but numbers have been crawling upwards in 2022 and 2023. According to Statistica, last year’s Oscar event was viewed by 18.7 million people – a 12% increase from the previous year. But what does the social data say about this year’s Oscars ceremony?

While we don’t have 2024’s viewership statistics just yet, we can use Brandwatch to see how many online mentions there were during the ceremony. This year’s event saw over 1.9 million online mentions about the Oscars, an increase of 18% from the event in 2023. This increase in mentions bodes well for the ceremony, despite falling numbers in recent years.

So, what’s been getting people talking about the Oscars online? Let’s find out.

The biggest talking points

We used Brandwatch Consumer Research to look at minute-by-minute mentions of the Oscars.

The most discussed moment at the Oscars was Oppenheimer winning Best Picture at the end of the night – although Ryan Gosling’s performance of “I’m Just Ken” almost beats it. The prestigious Best Picture award is always heavily discussed on social media, and this year was no exception. While many Oppenheimer fans were pleased with the result for the film, the Barbie vs. Oppenheimer debate reared its head once again.

Many Barbie fans were disappointed with Barbie’s lack of recognition throughout the night. The film took home one Oscar for Best Song, despite being the highest-grossing film of 2023.

Oppenheimer took home seven of its nominated thirteen Oscars, also winning awards for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score.

Ryan Gosling’s rendition of “I’m Just Ken” almost beat the Best Picture award for the most mentioned moment.

It wasn’t confirmed that Gosling would perform until recently, as he wasn’t officially asked and, he said, “it might be too much of a risk to have me do it.” Yet the show went on, and fans were blown away by Gosling’s performance, with some even saying it was one of the best Oscar performances in years.

A highlight for many was an interaction between wrestler-turned-actor John Cena and host Jimmy Kimmel. Cena – rather unconventionally – took to the stage naked (or almost naked, thanks to the nominee card), when announcing the nominees for Best Costume Design.

Another memorable moment came shortly after Robert Downey Jr. won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. While this win caused a spike in online mentions across social media, we saw a second ripple of mentions when Messi, the dog from Anatomy of a Fall, was seen applauding Robert Downey Jr. for his win.

Let’s talking about the host

This year’s ceremony was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second year in a row – his fourth time hosting overall. Being the face of such a high-profile event is never easy, and Kimmel fell victim to the curse of hosting at this year’s Oscars.

Almost 80% of sentiment-categorized mentions about Kimmel during the ceremony were negative. These negative mentions saw a huge spike after Kimmel read out a comment made by former US president Donald Trump, who labeled Kimmel as the worst Oscar host ever. Kimmel then thanked Trump for watching before asking: “Isn’t it past your jail time?”

The joke exploded online. Some thought Kimmel’s reaction was funny, but many criticized him for leaning into a political comment during the ceremony.

The award categories

Using Brandwatch Consumer Research, let’s dive into the most discussed award categories.

As is usually the case at the Oscars, the Best Picture category was the most discussed award during the ceremony. The award was won by Oppenheimer and presented by Al Pacino – but his announcement wasn’t exactly conventional.

The audience was confused for a moment when Al Pacino opened the envelope and cryptically said: “My eyes see Oppenheimer.” Many in the audience had a delayed reaction to the announcement due to this unconventional delivery.

Best Supporting Actor was the second-most mentioned award category. Robert Downey Jr. took the win for his role in Oppenheimer, and many were pleased to see the film take another award. Amusingly, Messi the dog’s applause also contributed to the award’s many online mentions.

A great number of the mentions for this category were about Ryan Gosling, though, who was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role in Barbie. Gosling’s previously-mentioned performance caused ripple effects throughout the night, as he was cheered on by eagle-eyed fans.

The Best Lead Actress category came in third when it comes to the most-mentioned awards. People commented on Emma Stone’s win for Poor Things, applauding her performance, and the fact that she had already won a string of awards for Poor Things, including a Bafta for best actress and a Golden Globe for best female actor in a musical or comedy

This is Emma Stone’s second Oscar for Best Actress, having won it previously for her role in La La Land in 2017.

Roundup

From fans captivated by Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” performance to an unexpectedly naked John Cena, this year’s Oscars resulted in plenty of online mentions. By tracking these mentions, we can paint a picture of which awards, nominees, and memorable moments are likely to keep fans engaged.

With a notable increase in mentions from last year’s ceremony, things are looking positive for the future of the Academy Awards. We’ll certainly be watching next year.

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