YouTube Reacts: Oscars 2018 edition

February 28, 2018

As the 2018 Academy Awards approach, the YouTube community has been home to tens of thousands of review videos, reaction videos, and discussions of the awards. Ahead of the ceremony on March 4, we examined some of the trends when it comes to nominees.

The Popularity of Best Picture Nominees

How popular were each Best Picture nominees’ trailers? We ranked the trailers for each film by global views (up to 2/14/2018) to find out:

War film “Dunkirk” took first place, with nearly 44 million views globally for its trailer.

In second and third place were “Get Out” and “The Shape of Water,” with 30 million and 18 million views, respectively.

How YouTube Reacted

In addition to trailers, YouTube is home to tens of thousands of review and reaction videos from creators. By examining the words used by creators in such videos, we can better understand how they responded to each film and the effect it left on the community.

To do this, we analyzed the captions created by the creators, the YouTube community, and automatic captioning from every English-language review/reaction video about the Best Picture nominees.

  • The Most “I Cried” Film: “Call Me By Your Name.” Coming-of-age drama “Call Me By Your Name” takes the trophy for most review/reaction videos with the word “cry,” a signal that the YouTube community was quite moved by the film.
  • Most “Funny” Film: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” About 50 percent of review/reaction videos use the word “funny” for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” the most of any Best Picture nominee.
  • Most “Relatable” Film: “Lady Bird.” “Lady Bird” resonated with YouTube creators for its realism. About 20 percent of review/reaction videos used the word “relatable” for the film. YouTube creators also used the word “realistic” in 18 percent of videos.

We also used the reaction and review videos to create a list of “top words” used to describe each film. These words were disproportionately unique each Best Picture nominee.

Reliving Timeless Moments

Lastly, we observed people coming to YouTube to rewatch some of their favorite Oscar acceptance speeches. Here’s a list of the most-watched speeches to date on the Oscars channel, using lifetime global views.

The most-viewed video is from Leonardo DiCaprio, with over 11 million views.

It’s slightly more than the second most-viewed video from nine years ago: Heath Ledger’s family accepting the Best Supporting Actor award. The remaining top ten are below:

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio (2016) | 11+ million views
  2. Heath Ledger (2009) | 10.2M+ views
  3. Matthew McConaughey (2014) | 10.1+ million views
  4. Kate Winslet (2009) | 8.5+ million views
  5. Jennifer Lawrence (2013) | 8.4+ million views
  6. Roberto Benigni (1999) | 7.3+ million views
  7. Tom Hanks (1995) | 6.1+ million views
  8. Natalie Portman (2011) | 5.6+ million views
  9. Sandra Bullock (2010) | 5.2+ million views
  10. Adrien Brody (2003) | 5.2+ million views

The award ceremony begins this Sunday, and if it’s anything like last year, we expect thousands of creators to live react, review, and discuss the winners (or snubs).