April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: Mary Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study

The Oscars: Inside the Academy’s finances

BY ROBERT W. WELKOS – PART 1 OF 2
Talk about Oscar gold. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which stages the Academy Awards has amassed net assets of $167 million.
That staggering figure is contained in the Academy’s most recent Form 990 it filed with the Internal Revenue Service for the fiscal year 2007-2008.
The 990 reveals in detail just how big a cash cow the Academy Awards have become – and how much Oscar season costs the Academy.
The 990 states that the Academy received $210 million for broadcast rights to the Oscar telecast on ABC from 2006 to 2008.
Broken down by fiscal year, the broadcast rights went for $72 million in 2008, $71 million in 2007 and $67 million in 2006. More recent figures are not available.
This war chest is used to finance an array of educational, research and preservationist activities of the Academy and its nonprofit affiliates.
Where the Academy’s money goes, and how much it spends during awards season, is rarely the focus of news coverage in the run-up to Oscars. But the tax filings shine a spotlight on just how expensive mounting the Academy Awards has become.
Here are some of the expenses listed on the Academy’s latest 990:
Academy Awards program: $18,163,522.
Marketing and promotion: $2,175,549.
Board of Governor’s Ball: $1,587,067.
Scientific and Technical Awards: $394,753.
Awards screenings: $227,795.
Nominee’s luncheon: $194,473.
Academy Awards nominee’s announcement: $168,434.
Security: $166,237.
Press relations: $162,470.
New York awards ceremony: $77,623.
London awards ceremony: $40,469.
The Academy’s 990 lists total revenues of $83,826,447 and total expenses of $62,056,486.
The Academy is not a traditional charity that seeks donations from the public. The bulk of its revenues comes from the Oscar telecast and investments, officials say.
Overseeing the Academy is an unpaid Board of Governors, whose membership includes studio executives, producers, writers, directors, actors (Tom Hanks is the board’s current first vice president), and others.
Heading the administrative staff is long-time AMPAS Executive Director Bruce Davis, who was paid $339,485 in fiscal 2008, according to tax documents.
Contributions to his employee benefit and deferred compensation plans totaled $130,001.
Other administrative costs included:
Staff wages: $4.9 million.
Legal fees: $2.9 million.
Pension plan contributions: $1.4 million.
Employee benefits: $831,699.
Printing and publications: $793,922
Compensation for officers, directors and other key employees: $558,197
Supplies: $454,949.
Payroll taxes: $408,286.
Postage and shipping: $295,855.
Equipment rental and [...]