What's an Oscar Really Worth?

By Setoodeh, Ramin | Newsweek, January 24, 2011 | Go to article overview
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What's an Oscar Really Worth?


Setoodeh, Ramin, Newsweek


Byline: Ramin Setoodeh

To win one is every actor's dream--a chance to be center stage at the Kodak Theatre, thanking the academy (and Mom), and being shocked at the weight of the statue. (Seriously, why are winners still so surprised by this?) With nominations coming next week, an assessment of the actual and perceived value of the Oscar--and its award-season brethren:

OSCAR Cost to Make $800

Weight 8.5 lb.

No. Awarded 2,768 (starting in 1929)

Material A metal known as Britannia, which is 93 percent tin. Plated in copper, nickel, silver, and gold.

Resale Value Academy policy bans post-1950 winners from selling. In 1996 Steven Spielberg bought Clark Gable's Oscar for $607,500--and returned it to the academy.

Career Boost Catapults some--Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie--into superstardom, but Taraji P. Henson said her nom didn't mean "very much" financially.

GRAMMY Cost to Make $325

Weight6 lb.

No. Awarded 8,989 (starting in 1959)

Material A zinc alloy named -- "Grammium." Plated in copper, nickel, and gold, says the maker.

Resale Value Winners agree not to resell. Somehow, Ronald Dunbar's 1971 Grammy wound up on an episode of Pawn Stars.

Career Boost Robert Plant and Alison Krauss won album of the year in 2009 for Raising Sand. They saw a 715 percent(!) jump in sales.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD Cost to Make $1,000-$1,200

Weight 12 lb.

No. Awarded 660 (starting in 1995)

Material Bronze, with a black granite base.

Resale Value Winners agree not to resell. An award-show cap is selling on eBay, however. Starting bid: $2.99.

Career Boost Actors love the peer recognition. But it's on TNT.

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