Year after year, best picture nominees go to dramas

The winner of the 2020 Academy Award for Best Picture is going to go to a drama: According to IMDb, all nine nominated films are dramas.

And that’s not uncommon. Since 1930, the academy have consistently given nominations to dramas, romance movies, biographies and history films at higher rates. Between 1930 and last year’s awards, 88 percent of best picture nominees were dramas, compared to 53 percent of feature-length films as a whole.

At the same time, comedies, horror films and action movies have suffered at the awards, receiving nominations at lower rates.

Data Sources: Best picture nominations data comes from the Academy Awards. Data on movies produced as a whole between 1930 and 2018 and data on the genre of these movies comes from IMDb. We also used the Open Movie Database to connect some of the data from the Academy Awards to IMDb’s database.

IMDb records up to three genres for each movie in its database. The analysis of Best picture nomination genres and IMDb genres includes all of these genres. We filtered out films with null values for their genre, short films, documentaries and TV shows from our analysis. (See the full analysis on GitHub.)


Scroll to Top