A24’s underdog Oscar playbook
The Future. With Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Whale, indie studio A24 once again proved that it could triumph over the big boys by turning brilliant, oddball gems into the big winners of Hollywood’s biggest night — seven for EEAAO and two for The Whale. The success may demonstrate that not even jaded Academy voters are immune from the passion that A24 is able to drum up among its young, diehard fanbase.
Lay on the heart
A24 worked hard to convince Hollywood that its unlikely Oscar contenders deserved the gold statues.
- A24 leaned on the personal underdog stories and charisma of actors Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Brendan Fraser, and EEAAO filmmakers, Daniels.
- Those were superpowers during award circuit Q&As, magazine profiles, and interacting with fans on social media, spearheaded by Cinetic Marketing and Divergent PR.
- That strategy is especially amazing considering that EEAAO debuted at SXSW last March — not an Oscar launchpad by any means.
And A24 relied on craft guild screenings of EEAAO for enticing awards voters, with one rival studio exec telling THR that the movie’s fans “were so passionate that they were converting members who were not into it the first time they tried to watch it.”
The care that A24 gave to these films ended up netting the studio nine wins (the most of any studio that night) and the rare distinction of being behind Best Picture, Director, and every Acting award in a single year — all on top of EEAAO being the studio’s biggest commercial hit yet. Not bad for a movie with hot dog fingers and “Raccacoonie.”
But you won’t see co-founders David Fenkel and Daniel Katz doing a public victory lap — they notoriously avoid press, letting the films speak for themselves. Maybe they’re just too busy plotting an expansion with a recent funding injection of $225 million from Stripes. Strike while the iron’s hot.