Netflix won the most Oscars this year of any studio, but still lost best picture to Disney

  • Netflix won seven Oscars on Sunday, the most of any studio.
  • But it lost best picture again, this time to Disney and Searchlight’s “Nomadland.”
  • Disney won five Oscars in total, followed by Warner Bros. with three and Amazon with two.
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Netflix always manages to be an awards champion without winning the top award.

The streaming giant took home seven Oscars on Sunday, the most of any studio. But since it broke through the best-picture race with 2018’s “Roma,” it hasn’t been able to actually win Hollywood’s most coveted prize.

This year’s best picture went to Searchlight’s “Nomadland,” which also won best director for Chloé Zhao (the second woman and the first woman of color to win the award) and best actress for Frances McDormand, her third win the category. Disney acquired the studio Searchlight, known for small-budget dramas, in its Fox merger.

Netflix led the Oscar nominations for the second year in a row with 35 heading into Sunday night’s ceremony. Its David Fincher-directed film “Mank” landed the most nominations of any film with 10. 

But Netflix ultimately lost out on not only best picture, but all of the major categories in acting, directing, and screenplay. One of its best-picture contenders, “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” didn’t win any awards.

Here’s what Netflix did win:

  • Documentary feature (“My Octopus Teacher”)
  • Animated short (“If Anything Happens I Love You”)
  • Live-action short (“Two Distant Strangers”)
  • Cinematography and production design (“Mank”)
  • Makeup/hairstyling and costume design (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)

Netflix has similarly dominated the Emmys nominations recently. It surpassed HBO for most nominations in two of the last three years, but didn’t win best drama, comedy, or limited series. Its luck could change this year though with momentum behind “The Crown” and the limited series “The Queen’s Gambit.”

But while best picture has eluded Netflix, the Oscars have opened up to streaming in recent years, which is good news for the company’s future in the awards race. And as media companies like Disney and WarnerMedia reorganize around their streaming businesses, the Oscars will likely continue to embrace the streaming space.

Here’s how the Oscar wins broke down by studio:

  • Netflix: 7
  • Disney: 5
  • Warner Bros.: 3
  • Amazon Studios: 2
  • Sony Pictures Classics: 2
  • Focus Features: 1
  • A24: 1

Disclosure: Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.

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