How Uber, McDonald's and Other Businesses Are Aiming for an Oscar Boost

5Brep_awards1_W - Publicity - H 2020
Staff

Plenty of companies are pushing Academy Awards-themed promos, from marathon screenings to viewing parties.

Taking home a gold statuette may be the ultimate prize for those in Hollywood, but businesses can reap benefits from the Academy Awards as well.

Theater chains AMC and Cinemark are offering deals to catch up on the 2020 contenders ahead of the Feb. 9 telecast. In its 14th year, AMC's "Best Picture Showcase" will feature screenings of seven nominees, beginning with Ford v Ferrari, Joker and Little Women back-to-back-to-back at select locations on Feb. 1. Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite and 1917 unspool a week later. For the iron-butt crowd, AMC is screening all seven films Feb. 8 (missing are the two Netflix contenders, Marriage Story and The Irishman).

"We find there's a true sense of community," says AMC public relations director Ryan Noonan of the program. "So many of these guests come back to the same location every year — some only know one another through this event."

Running Feb. 3 to 9, Cinemark's "Oscar Movie Week" features those seven nominees, with festival badges costing $35. Badge holders also get to see the Oscar-nominated shorts Feb. 7 to 9.

As it has done for past awards seasons, Warner Bros. is taking $15 off studio tour ticket prices for Southern California residents so locals can lounge on Friends' Central Perk couch, check out The Wizard of Oz costumes or gawk at Batmobiles for $57 a person.

Bars and restaurants throughout L.A. are planning Oscar-viewing parties, with ticket prices ranging from free (W Hollywood, No Jealousy at Hollywood's Liaison) to more than $250 (Roosevelt Hotel, Universal Hilton Hotel's Luxury Gala 2020).

The Bluebird Brasserie in Sherman Oaks promises a viewing party with a twist: Anyone in attendance named Oscar will be awarded a mini statuette. "We figured since no one invited us to the red carpet, we would host a party of our own," says GM Sean Phagan. "This will be our second year. No one last year actually earned the award, but we hope this year will bring some winners in the category of Excellence in Being Named Oscar."

Happy Hour pricing will run throughout the show and there’s an Oscar pool will prizes of $100 gift cards.

The Stalking Horse in West L.A., Bluebird's sister restaurant, also is offering an Oscar pool during its Red Carpet Party, with prizes awarded for most accurate and "most eclectic tastes" (the restaurant's euphemism for least accurate). And there's a free glass of champagne if you show up in red carpet attire.

For those watching at home, Uber Eats will throw in a free 10-piece Chicken McNuggets for any McDonald's order over $15.

This story first appeared in a February stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.